I’m in whine mode.
(I know I said at the outset that I wouldn’t use this weblog for therapy, but, hell, it’s my blog, so here goes…)
Why? Not only do I not have any funds to get neat presents for friends and family, but, I’ve no one with whom to share the non-materialistic parts of the holidays. One terrific couple I know gifted me with a cool assortment of cheeses and beers (including Lindeman’s raspberry ale!), and all I could give them in response was a small bag of garlic goldfish.
Hardly an even trade.
I love my sister and her kids, and her kid’s kids dearly, but going to a family celebration alone with certain people in absentia is always painful.
Now it’s the downhill slide from the New Year, to Molly’s birthday, to the anniversary of the accident, in March.
We’re told the best way to get out of this kind of funk is to create a gratitude list. So here goes…
I’ve a roof over my head, and a working car. Thanks to my friends! I’m on Medicare. I’ve disability benefits, which, while in no way am I rich, I can buy food, gas, and pay rent. I’ve a select group of friends, both locally and on the Internet, who help out whenever they can. Many of these friends have gone above and beyond – for years – when I am unable to give back in kind.
This must mean something.
I’m disabling comments for this post. Because, in lieu of giving me an Internet “there-there”, or a virtual hug (or a kick in the pants), please stop for a moment and create your own gratitude list.
My good friend Old NFO discussed this most recent of ‘infamous’ drug deaths. I was reminded of the PBS Series on JAZZ. They’d mention some historic jazz figure, and then, more often than not came this line:
…and then, they died of an overdose…
Is it the artistic personality, fame, fortune or humanity which binds all these folks together? Are we all, at our core, addicts of some sort? (Wikipedia – List of Drug/Alcohol related deaths)
I come rife with an addictive personality. I have excess weight, due to compulsive overeating. I’m neurotic, but not particularly artistic. My real mother died when I was in grade school as a direct result of her cigarette addiction. She had emphysema. ( I remember her turning off the oxygen tank and lighting up!) My father was an alcoholic, ate too much and smoked cigars. I come by my addictions honestly. Even though I’m getting ‘help’ for my addictions, in all seriousness, I don’t expect to see 85, like my maternal grandfather did. My fraternal grandfather made it to 68. My own father to 61.
Today is my daughter’s birthday. She would have been 31. Auto accident, age 12.
At least it wasn’t drugs or alcohol. :-(
Brigid reminds us often of the love, responsibility and loss we acknowledge in our lives. Recently, her friend Vic @ Monkeywrangler had to put down her beloved dog Charlie.
I was never allowed pets as a child. For many years, I believed it was because my parents didn’t trust me with that responsibility. Later I found out my Dad had both a dog and a cat in his teen years. And they died. And it was he who couldn’t bear that pain, again.
Once I was out of college and had my own place, I more of less by default acquired a cat, a black longhair with yellow eyes. Partly feral. Beelzebub. The moniker seemed appropriate. She would sleep on my chest and upon my awakening bat at my eyes with her claws out! Guess it was time to get up. The landlord had told me no dogs. He saw the cat and amended his statement to include cats. Bastard! To the so-called Humane Society she went. I’d no other choice at the time.
It was years later when I met my future wife I learned she had a kind of chi-weenie. Lady Eowyn. She was very timid, and didn’t like me, and ran away. Then we got a Spitz (Nessie) and a knee-height brown shorthair mix (Ilsa). And a Calico shorthair cat (Gracie). And some kind of special Siamese with a tabby skeletal structure (Bear). They all left this World in various ways: disease, fights, old age.
And this process about killed me. Each time. I now know something of what my Dad must have felt. Our pets were not working animals; they were part of the family.
Now, living with my exgf, and her three Chihuahuas and black long-haired cat, I know this will happen again. I was here before when another cat passed away. And the old lady dog is 18 1/2 years old!! Blind, deaf, no teeth. But in no pain and a real sweetheart. And the two other dogs are 14.
I’m constantly reminding you to love the people in your lives. Love your animals, as well. Do it now.
Because you never know.
One year ago I was anticipating tomorrow being Ground Hog Day – that silly ‘holiday’ alleged to determine if Winter is on her way out, or lasting six more weeks. Based on the prognostication of a marmot; a woodchuck.
It was a Wednesday – the immediate previous Sunday, Mark Bell and I had attended the Central Arizona Blogshoot in Casa Grande! My car is kinda old and infirmed (as is her owner) so he offered to drive us.
We arrived late, but Kevin Baker and company showed us a great time! We met some other gun bloggers and some other shooters – great fun. Then Mark drove me back to Phoenix, and we had a late lunch at Original Hamburger Works. I was unable to attend the shoot this year.
Part of the reason for missing it is my ride is gone. On Wednesday, February 1, 2012, three days after the shoot, Mark Bell passed away, suddenly. His wife called me Thursday, Ground Hog Day, to give me the bad news. It’s a year later and it seems as yesterday.
I tend to get overly emotional, to react rather than act. I am getting better. Mark was my teacher. I never saw him lose his cool or express strong anger or rage. He was always rational and soft spoken, even in disagreement. A man of fine character and deportment.
A few years back, I was in the middle of trying to refinance my house (the one I lost last June) and the appraiser asked that I paint the trim. Now, I’m no painter, and being disabled would make this an arduous task. Mark volunteered, and I insisted on paying him, because, after all, it WAS work. He agreed, and said he would take it out of my extra re-fi funds. He accomplished the task in a couple weekends, and I got the financing. And I cut him a check. This was in late November.
Christmas afternoon I was between family Christmas get-togethers, and there was a knock at my front door. It was Mark, with a present! He again thanked ME for letting him paint (!) said he used the money for presents for his family. There was room for an additional present. Mine.
I was dumbfounded. It was the complete Capitol Record selections of Frank Sinatra on DVD! Wonderful!
Of course, every time I listen to Sinatra, I think of Mark. And other times, too.
I love you and miss you, my friend.
Remember – hug those you love and tell them you love them. Because you never know. Groundhog Day Eve will never be the same.
Guffaw’s got the blues…
I try not to let the state of
the World the Nation my life get to me. I try not to be self-centered. I do realize that there’s very little I can do regarding the state of either the World or the Nation. I’ve let my opinions be known, and I voted. I’ve spoken out on this blog. In many places on the globe these things are not allowed, and subject to sever penalties.
But, I can do something about my attitude! I’m approaching a landmark anniversary in my life (if you reckon in Base 10); I’ve no partner to share it with; no money – on disability (which is both a description of lack of funds and physical ability).
I’ve a number of chronic conditions, and seem to acquire more every day. I owe medical bills.
I drive a 13 year old car, when I can afford gasoline.
And last Summer, because my disability income is 60% lower than my previous meager income, I lost my home. (“We lived in a hallway!” “We dreamed of living in a hallway-we lived in a cardboard box!” – Monty Python) Fortunately, a good friend offered me a place to stay.
Two weeks ago, my sister had a minor stroke. (If there is such a thing). She’s back to work, and coping, but it does get one’s attention.
But all is not lost.
Re: this upcoming calendar mark – My new neighbor and EX-wife (and friend) contacted me, and asked if she could put a little celebration together in my honor!
I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again, “If you have friends, you have everything!” You know, like the end of that Christmas movie…
Time to remove my head from it’s regular inverted resting place and get moving.
Thanks for listening.
SO, of the competitors Tweedledee and Tweedledum, Tweedledum won.
SO WHAT? BUCK UP!
That third party guy GOOD IDEA received the most votes that party has ever received in a presidential election!
What do we know, now?
The once and future President of the United States promotes policies with which many of us disagree: More gun control, more Internet control, less free speech, more of our troops to unwinnable wars, more redistribution of wealth, support for other countries use of child soldiers, continued Federal attacks on State-legal marijuana dispensaries, quadrupling the warrantless wiretaps since the Bush era, continuing and expanding the so-called PATRIOT ACT, granting the FBI access to private communications without warrant, renewed FISA warrantless spying on banking and wireless communication, continuing the horrendous Federal Reserve QE debacles, and,
LEAVING OUR AMBASSADOR AND FORMER NAVY SEALS TO DIE IN LIBYA, WHEN HELP WAS AVAILABLE. AND HE WAS WATCHING VIA LIVE FEED.
Better the devil you know than the devil you don’t? Let’s make a two-pronged effort: 1) Pay attention to any government attempts to violate our rights, and be vocal in our response, and 2) Reform the opposition party so the leadership no longer consists of big government RINOs, to give us a real choice in the next election. Like Mr. GOOD IDEA was supposed to.
Because you just know Hillary is waiting in the wings for 2016…
Future Senator Bluto Blutarsky said it best: Let’s GO!
…Guffaw in AZ !
I’m certain you recall a couple days ago, when I posted about various problems in my life, most-recently the failed front passenger seat electric window in my car.
Half open (or half closed) depending on your point-of-view. (My POV was it’s f*****!)
WELL, this morning, I went out, anticipating a short drive, and diligently removed the opaque black trash bag from that car door window, increasing my visibility, lest I be cited for driving as if my car were a pirate or had lazy eye.
The window was still at half mast, as it was before the rain. Sigh.
I turned the ignition, opened the driver door window, and reflexively triggered the passenger side switch, yet again, knowing full well it was broken and my action was a pointless effort.
And the window closed!
A cheer went up – I think it was from ME!
Not being one to take stupid chances, I DID NOT run the window up-and-down, but left it closed. Where it shall remain, evermore.
Now if I could just get my meds from the pharmacy easier…
(content warning – may contain depressing rant and peanuts)
I’ve lost my home, moved the contents of my spacious 740 square foot house into a 11’x17′ room, still crippled, still broke, still on disability, still driving a 13 year-old car. Still unpacking boxes.
BUT, this AM I go outside and it’s like 75 degrees! (it rained yesterday, one of the ten days/year it rains here). Usually it’s 105, 106…
And I take a short trip in my car, (the one with no working A/C, going on three years now), with the driver door window and front passenger window rolled down (the rear window mechanisms no longer function – they are more-or-less closed). And I return home.
And my front passenger window fails about one foot short of closing!!
Nothing, nada, bupkis, the big goose egg, zero activity. And more rain is scheduled for this coming Saturday (which usually means Friday or Sunday or not at all). And, of course, the whole cannot secure the vehicle thing. (note to thieves – if you steal it, I might get $500 – of course, that’s my deductible – nevermind)
I’ve not been overly emo with all that’s been going on, but this was the proverbial straw. (Question? Is ‘the straw that broke the camel’s back even IN Proverbs? Just an aside.)
BUT, we will prevail. The plan is to buy some clear plastic sheeting to cover the opening. Then to win the Publisher’s Clearing House sweepstakes.
On my masthead, just below ‘Guffaw in Az’, is my motto. A phrase which has been defining much of my life, even before I began blogging.
“Struggling to keep what is rightfully his, but with a hearty laugh.”
This is in part because over the years, my financial success has been marginal (largely due to my own character defects) and also in part due to my various health issues. Statistics state I should be long gone, but I’m still flipping off the Reaper.
Now that I’m medically disabled, by income has dropped significantly from my 20+ years tenure @ TMCCC, and with this loss a plethora of financial ‘issues’ have developed. One of these was a choice: buy food, or make the mortgage payment. I chose the former.
You remember my previous postings regarding a project? This is about said project.
And the mortgage company finally decided I should leave. And so I have. And Molly’s basketball goal must stay.
Rancho Guffaw is no more. The two-bedroom, one bath home I bought to share with my daughter has reverted to the bank. It was a good fight, and perhaps I could have done more to save it. But the house is my age, and continues to need maintenance. With my current financial condition, I might have been able to get square but then there were always other issues. Like roofing, and repiping. And, I’m simply not financially equipped to do that.
Thankfully, I’ve not had to depend on the kindness of strangers. A good friend has offered me a place to land, open-ended. A spare room large enough to be called an apartment. And I’ll be splitting the expenses. Hopefully both of us will be saving some money.
“Guffaw’s Mancave?” ” Guffaw’s Freehold?” Haven’t come up with a suitable name, yet.
But, I’m still here, tired, but still kicking, and surprisingly, still laughing heartily. All’s right with the World. – Guffaw
Bayou Renaissance Man offers some examples culled from the Great Depression Story Project (Ohio). Published in four parts during 2009, it’s a collection of the recorded memories of those who lived through the Great Depression of the 1930’s. Not only is it a valuable historical resource, but with our own economic situation as parlous as it is right now, we might all be able to learn something from these reminiscences of how our forefathers coped under even worse circumstances.
A couple examples:
“I saw some of the kids (at school) eat banana rinds that other kids had thrown away. Mom would pack my lunch with bread and apple butter and sometimes I had a fried egg sandwich and that was better than a lot of them had. Thank God.”
– Charles Warrick, age 81, Barnesville
“After a few days there, my father was very concerned about our survival. One cold winter morning, he got up very early, dressed as warmly as he could and left walking. He said: ‘I will not be back until I find a job.’ My mother was very worried about him; she thought he may not make it back. He stopped at a farm house four miles away. A man (there) had a trucking business. My Dad told the man: ‘We have just moved in. I have no job. I have a wife and nine children. I need work. We have no coal for heat and very little food.’ The man said: ‘Go with me today and help me, we will get coal and groceries on the way home.’ There was no phone; we did not know where he was. At 10 p.m., we saw a vehicle coming up the lane. It was the man with the trucking business. I will never forget the tears in my Mother’s eyes, as she hugged my Dad. My Dad worked for the man for $1 a day, until spring. He then got a job working on the road, pounding up rocks. He got $1 a day.”
– Neva Rees, age 87, Marietta
There are many other examples at the link.
Let us hope we’re not in for times such as these, and be grateful for our situations, as, speaking at least for myself, things could be worse. - Guffaw