Wednesday, November 23, 2011

A funny thing happened on the way to the funeral...

Joe was buried yesterday in a picture perfect was raining, cool and blustery, just like Joe! The preacher was brief (even with the obligatory come to Jesus message), a lady who both knew and liked Joe told a short tale of Joe in WWII, and then it was over. We went to local church for a meal (Baptists always cook when somebody dies) and had some of the best home cooking, semi-southern style that I've had since the last funeral I went to.

My mother-in-law didn't go to any of this.  Her memory is so gone that she couldn't remember that Joe had died for more than a couple of hours at a time, and so it was like learning for the first time all over again every time we told her.  So, we've stopped telling her, figuring that this is the kindest thing we could do. Surprisingly enough, everyone involved agreed, and didn't think that we were being weird or cruel by withholding the information.

I have finally met a lot of the people that Gayle has told me about, both relatives and just locals that she knows. Of course, there's not a chance I'll actually remember everyone's name, but at least I'll remember their faces. This is a good thing, as I'll be coming up here a lot more.  Since Joe died before Medicaid getting involved, they've no claim to his estate.  Gayle's mom is a lot easier to care for, so we'll be keeping her at the house for the foreseeable future. This means we'll get to keep the house to retire to, which also means that we'll be getting all of the busted things fixed...the roof and all of the plumbing that Joe did will be first on the list.  Bless his heart, he had great ideas...all very logical. Unfortunately, logic fails when you see the wildly convoluted piping he put in place to add a 2nd bathroom/laundry room in what was a bedroom.  The venting for all this is actually below the level of the fixtures, which I really don't think is a good thing.  Anyway, I happen to know my limitations, and will be getting a licensed, well referenced plumber in to take care of all this.  The same with the'll be a company that can pony up some references, show me their license and insurance limits before I sign a damn thing.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Death in the family

Gayle's father Joe just died. He was 90 years old, a veteran of WWII, and worked most of his life at the Department of Energy plant in Paducah, KY.  He was opinionated, contrary, and proud of it.  I'll be heading up tomorrow to be with Gayle, and to help her with the arrangements. He'll be buried in the local cemetery that holds his and my mother in laws family.

RIP, Joseph Lindsey

For the few that actually read this blog, send your best thoughts Gayle's way...I'm sure she'll appreciate it.

Monday, November 14, 2011

tempus fugit

And not just when you're having fun.

I was just looking at Gayle's blog, and saw that her last post had her suffering from a massive case of the "don't want to's". This condition seems to be continuing, as she's not posted anything since. I can relate, though not quite to her level of infection.  I've tons of stuff I should be doing, such as packing up the shop upstairs, and starting on my stuff.  But every time I walk up those stairs and look at ALL THAT STUFF, I just can't bring myself to start putting it in boxes.  Well, I'm on call this weekend, and have a partially planned out Saturday of work, so maybe I'll just give it up and get to it.  I could probably get the majority of the stuff boxed up in a day, if I just kept too it.

Of course, I've been saying that for a few months now....

I think one of the underlying causes of this for both of us is the sheer uncertainty of our current existence.  We live hours apart, and don't have any way to plan for the next six months, let alone anything past that. We're both of an age when we should be able to do things, like vacations, or spur of the moment weekends at the beach.  Instead, we sit in our respective houses, just existing day to day, waiting for this purgatory to finally end.

On that depressing note, I'll shut the hell up and get back to existing. Mikey has just jumped up to remind me that cats are masters at the living day to day, and that they pretty well prefer it that way, assuming that food, water, belly rubs and the occasional treat are in good supply.

Monday, November 7, 2011

late night conversations

I was rudely awakened last night by Mikey jumping up on the bed, walking up to my head and howling in the weird, stupidly loud fashion he has when he's upset or just wanting to make his opinion know.  So, I whacked him on the head and advised him that shutting the f**k up would greatly increase the odds of his continued survival. He the plonked down next to me (when this cat lays down by you, he pretty well stretches from knees to chest) and went to sleep.  Of course, it took me about 10 minutes to get back to sleep, and I still have no idea what that was all about.

The joys of feline ownership. Go figure.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Damn, but I'm out of shape!

I'm sitting here enjoying the end to a nice weekend, and pondering just how badly out of shape I am.

I went to Arlington on Friday night, which was interesting...I kept thinking I'd taken a wrong turn. I hadn't, but the thought stayed with me most of the trip.  More on this later...

I got up early on Saturday, but really didn't get moving much past a shower and making coffee, due to a slight over indulgence in strong drink the night before.  This of course made the work I had planned for Saturday much more interesting than anticipated, but I still got most of the things I'd planned on done.  This was mainly hacking back a huge holly bush, and trimming all of the trees around the house that actually touch the roof, in an attempt to keep the critters out.  The hacking went fine, but the dragging the huge tarp full of trimmings liked to have killed me.  Of course, it didn't help that my right ankle is still playing traitor, and causing massive pain every time I move it wrong. Anyway, I got everything dragged back to the burn pile area, huffing, puffing and sweating like a pig in the 60 degree weather. I've absolutely got to drop this weight, and get back to some semblance of shape.  Granted, I don't expect to be 30 again, but damned if I'll behave as if I'm 70, either!

The visit itself was fun, as it's good to actually be able to spend time with Gayle.  She did go out for about an hour or so on Saturday afternoon, and I think that her mom spent the whole time in terror of this unknown person in her house. I spoke to her every time I came back in from doing the tree thing, and reminded her who I was, but I don't think that she really understood who I was and what I was doing there.  I'll be going  back up for Thanksgiving, and will try to make sure I sit down with her at least a couple of times a day, so that maybe my visits won't be quite so tramatizing. This may be futile, as I'm really not sure just how much of what goes on now actually stays in her memory.  For the most part, I think she's retreated to a time when she was young, capable, and strong.  In other words, anything but the elderly, weak and near helpless woman that she's become. I can't say as I blame her, either.

The drive home was fun...though I did kinda get lost this time, and in broad daylight!  I changed my usual route as I needed gas and breakfast, which was easy to find.  What wasn't was the way back to US 45E, the road I normally travel.  I only added about 45 minutes and associated milage to my and learn, eh?

Anyway, I've got veggies and round steak in the oven, with about another 40 minutes to cook.  It's already smelling way too good (drool, drool).  Don't you just wish you were here to help eat it?