I suspect 5774 is going to be a year of changing. Again. I cannot say the thought is thrilling; it is not. In fact, it's terrifying. I know that my folks and my father-n-law, all in their 90s, are growing frailer. I worry about FIL going up and down the stairs. I worry about my mother's recent forgetfulness. I worry about my father's stress level. I worry but at the same time I marvel that at 92 for the two gents and 90 for Mom, they are all managing with incredibly grace, fortitude and a healthy dose of stubborn...which is the part I suspect keeps them all going.
But it occurred to me the other day, as I was changing the furnace filter, that there's a dining room set in the basement that’s older than my parents, long with my late mother-in-law's hideous walnut table and chairs, the senior son’s futon, a zillion books...and the remnants of that intrepid starship, NCC-1702: Beit Ya'akov. That should've been decommissioned years ago, but it turned out to be a good thing it was there when we were sitting shiva. The crew reconvened. Most of them, anyway. All grown up, all adults (sorta), they sat amidst what had, once upon a time, been their bridge and talked long into the night. But I digress.
There are collections down there...including back issues of The Freedonia Gazette and the first year of SHALOM MAN comic books. There's a stack of wooden puzzles awaiting the next generation. Stuff that should've gone away, but was set aside because we thought we'd use it for the grandkids. Some stuff I'm pretty sure will go to proper new homes. Other stuff should be sold off or tossed. I keep threatening the guys with a dumpster, but they've thwarted me at every turn. I worry about what to do with it all....and then....
Then there was the collapse of sweater pile in what is still called Dad’s closet. Suddenly I found myself dealing with sorting of stuff I didn’t want to deal with but it had to be done. And suddenly they weren't just a bunch of crew neck sweaters all over the floor....they were bits and pieces of my life.
This edifice is our house. We built it. We raised the kids here. Steve died here. And while my father-in-law is alive, it's the place he wants to be, stairs and all. But this barn has become symbolic; it’s everything my life once was but is no longer; a personal limbo. It's just doesn't feel like my house.
In a perfect world, they would carry me out the way they carried out Steve – feet first. But this is not a perfect world and even though I will soon own the house outright, it will be too much for me to keep up. Even with my tractor. I will need to sell the house to protect myself from the day that I can no longer work. I have no serious belief that there will be Social Security…or at least enough of a supplement… to keep me from living under a bridge in a cardboard box should I have the bad form to live for a long time.
But here’s the thing. I look the Congressional Clown Car and I resent like hell that they’re playing roulette with my tax dollars. I can’t shut down my house and decide not to pay my bills without the government and its corporate minions showing up at my front door to toss me out on my striking butt. I don’t get to waste $10,000,000 of their money each day to not pay my bills. And instead of working toward keeping the country afloat in tough economic times, these clowns are going to pay themselves while the military gets IOUs?
I am the middle class but a part of me thinks the only way this is ever going to get resolved is if there is a shut down, Obamacare is un-funded, the EPA is scrapped, and all gun control repealed. Let the people who voted those CongressClowns into office live under their Libertarian regime for a while and then decide when life was better. Until the villagers are marching on the Three Ring Circus on the Hill with pitchforks, torches and AR-15s, the GOP and its ilk will continue shredding what’s left of the fabric of the United States.
I am so tired of this whole conversation. But for the record, I think John Boehner is the worst Speaker of the Circus We, the People, have ever had. I think the lack of leadership is not in the White House; I think it’s in the House and, to some degree, in the Senate. Until the leadership of both the House and the Senate figure out that American Spring isn’t too far off, they will continue to play Russian Roulette with our lives, our livelihoods, and our country. None of them get it.
Meanwhile, back at the ranch, what I’m really worried about is what happens next. Once, the unknown was exciting. These days? More like terrifying.
Wifely Person's Tip o'the Day
There are people you can hire who will come and take away your junk. For a price.
Getting rid of it without having to ask for help? Priceless.