Abstruse Affairs

Life just seems to be getting more complicated as I get older. I would have hoped I’d be generally settled, coaxing my days into retirement and relaxation but I grow more certain those days will never dawn.

My father (imagine a vaudevillian Mensa member) had a minor-ish stroke a month ago. He had been living on his own just fine, mostly…but now it is time to surrender that bachelor pad in Arthritis Acres and come to live with us. He is in a rehab facility (read Medicare thievery palace) for now but should return home in a week or so. Then, another week to pack before I send Sarge down to fetch him here.

I know, I know…our lives are going to change, there will be many tough times and my generally good nature will be tested. But as I’ve told the family I reckon he has between 1 and 5 years left. I can commit to that. I have shoes older than that. So…you do the right thing. No? You suck it up and, as you always have, be the responsible one in the family. You would think that your useless sister who hasn’t any real job would take one for the team and move there to watch over him…but, no. Hell, maybe she has clearer memories of him being a really crappy father. I can’t blame her, really. The middle kid is always the Fixer.

My brother and his wife tried this last year – or maybe 2 years, now. My father declared it a “gilded cage” which I immediately refused to accept. If he felt that way in their palatial offering, he will feel quite Dickensian in his small guest room home. With dog hair, gratis.

Sarge has been terribly ill for a week, now. Salmonella, I think. Don’t know from where since I haven’t been ill but…so it goes. Literally. Ahem. One learns to be thankful for things like the Lamp Berger. (Which, gentlemen, is a lovely gift – you can even get a nice masculine scented oil that pleases you both.)

The week ended on a rattly sort of note as the Excursion’s batteries gave up the ghost (not unexpected and, yes, they take two). But not only that – the AC Compressor also decided that it was time to shuffle off this mortal coil. At least there was someone local who had a trailer to hold it – barely. Perhaps 4 inches to either side. Lord love him, he said he could cut the belt and run it long enough to get it up the ramps. Cut it, do! And it worked. So…there goes Christmas but, hey, this year I planned ahead…

I was making my list of acquisitions throughout the year and am astounded at the things I got and forgot, tucking them into the gift drawer for these coming weeks. Yay me!! Add on the few things ordered during these cheap deal days and I feel quite pleased with myself. The same thing applied to the supplies, moved from the guest room as we prepared for Dad…

It is true – if I left it all to Sarge, we’d be in a sad state but that is not his strength. No, he sees to the armaments and training – and connections. A fair trade, to be sure. Just…it sometimes feels like a burden too large for my shoulders, all this planning. We spoke of it all on the long drive to Thanksgiving dinner…of how it is all spinning wild, now, and what we have may be all we get. He is deep into Bastiat these days. He always understood the concepts but the deep philosophy is a learning process…so now, when I am ordering a case of this or that, he knows it isn’t because I don’t want him to have that pistol but that we have to eat…

And now…friends see the walls closing in and make their own plans, saying it may be time to concentrate forces in a less target intensive area. We agree, deeply. And so I look around me, at the walls needing paint, and floors to upgrade. Yes, yes – sell, leave, move…but I think there is no time left for it and, instead, start to look at likely bolt holes. Options.

There is a kind of mental exhaustion the planning brings – planning without any initiating of action. Complacency is a result, often. But not now – it is more just a tiresome waiting, watching, facts stored, and plans adjusted. I read the office chatter, the PR submissions to an eager investing public and stifle my laughter. I hear Ripley’s voice in my head, “Goddammit, that’s not all! […] And all this, this *bullshit* you think is so important, you can just kiss all of that goodbye!”

You watch something like this and show it to your family – tell them that this is what people are doing when there are things to buy and money to buy it with. Now, consider what it will be like when that is the last of the bags of flour and no one has money and hasn’t eaten in days. Good luck with that…

And now…the last of the stock from the ham and turkey has been prepared and vacuum packed for the freezer against just such an incident. Thinking ahead…thinking of so much these days…I wish I could slip into the soft ignorance of the medicated state, sometimes. Wander through my life as nearly everyone under 25 years is…but those days are over. And one day they, too, will harken back to their walking sleep. If they make it that far.

3 responses to “Abstruse Affairs

  1. Wow, I don't think I have read anything that so completely and accurately summarizes my mental state as the last four paragraphs of this post. We are dealing with remodeling (perhaps a more appropriate description would be extensive repair) our only full bathroom, we just had a garage door fail, the roof is beyond ready for attention, and I am praying the furnace and water heater make it to next spring. I am ready to pack up, leave the suburbs, and make the commitment to self-sufficiency in lower population density locale, but I just don't think it is going to happen. I joke that we didn't pick the right parents to have those options. What is weird, from my perspective, is many think we are doing great, and relative to many others, they are probably correct. But, I feel the exhaustion you speak of, and I see those walls that need paint closing in. Unfortunately, I see no avenues of egress. Take care, stay safe, and I hope the transition with your dad goes well.

  2. Indeed. I appreciate this post more than you know. My Father tonight commented that he is glad he has no children under 50 years old. I will also deal with some of what you are about to face sometime in the future. My friend is not getting any younger nor is his wife.

    God bless and my prayers for you and yours. Take care.

  3. Thanks, H – I know what you mean about being buried in what seems to large a load. One bite at a time is all we can do. That, and barter…

    K, it has been the most divisive undertaking ever. Admittedly, a lot of my family sucks. I didn't ask them for much nor expect much. But it has become an incredible battle…it will be okay in the end. I hold to that. Thank you for the prayers. We need them!

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