Not responsible..sort of.

Have been thinking a lot about mum. Friday will be the day she died and I realised I’m still very angry with her. Not for dying, but for not taking care of so many things I had to do and am still having to do. That quote from Patricia Briggs is still so apt, “Just because you have a connection to a thing, you are not necessarily responsible for its actions.” (The thing and it being mum.)

I am absolutely thankful I got to be home for so very long. I am glad I was able to take care of her and the little I managed to do before her death (because walking into it fairly blind would have been beyond hellish!). I was blessed by having the ability to do some things I’d never done before (meet dogsled owners and mushers, have a bra fitting done, do whatever I wanted with little or no consequences, get a modern cell phone, and more). I was thankful to be needed, even if I wasn’t always wanted and was more than often frustrated beyond belief, in a way I’ve never been needed before.

Yet, I am still angry. Because I was connected and willingly took that responsibility and found it a lot larger than anticipated. So, yeah. Not fair to be angry with mom, it was my choice to tell dad when he died that I’d take care of everything and later pick up that ball mom dropped..or ignored. I was made to fix things (well, not mechanical stuff or technology or injuries to the house that need mended–bathtub or windows-or yard things that require tools with power behind them!). So, I do, if it is at all possible.

Every single day I am reminded of how I need to forgive her. But, is it that I need to forgive myself? For not being the daughter I should have been by taking care of more, by not pushing that stubborn woman to do things she should have done, and by fixing things only half assed? (which, when you think of it is a very odd phrase..does it mean your pants aren’t pulled up all the way or what??? Sorry, digression is an old person thing!) Forgiveness is so important in a person’s life. There was a time when I let go of an anger with a friend, who is now, once again, a best one. It is a bit of a disturbance in my force!!!

I decided I wanted to write out mum’s journal type books into a accessible form. Because history isn’t just what you find via google or Facebook or in a class. It is all those bits and pieces that help create someone. I’m barely through the second week of September of ’94 and there is so much I cannot figure out. And there are so many more years to transcribe!!! It looked like a fun project, but it may be more than I can chew! Taking tiny bits at a time, mostly because mom’s handwriting was from a period when handwriting was taught and used through college. (Hers is super loopy!!!) Perhaps when I get further along, I’ll understand her more and be more able to get why she put so much off til someone else could try to finish it.

My sister, Jake, is often meeting people who have used fabric or material from mum or even completely unfinished projects mum left behind. Being separate from home, I don’t see that.

Maybe today is so hard because I miss the inlet, the scent of the water, the lake, the smell of wet leaves in moss when walking in the woods, the sight of towering mountains with termination dust (first snow), the echoing chuckle of ravens, and when I hear high overhead the sound of sandhill crane migrating south, I cry inside. It makes sense that today I’ll terminate my contract with the Alaskan cell company-hoping to keep my Alaskan number!! Another closure of home.

Flying Days

Wrote a rant and opted to not publish it. Whine only goes with cheese and crackers. The Craftsman has been working on so many projects. The dishwasher was fixed a while ago, this week the washer was fixed (it was so odd needing to go to his mom’s to wash clothes and bring them back to dry here..a lot like being in AK!), and now he’s working further on the window he started on Monday’s holiday. Alas, this house is a bit of an onion. It was supposed to be a fairly simple fix, replacing a window. However, the window he’s putting in is smaller and when he took off siding, he discovered no wrap had been put under it (he had found this elsewhere, but he was really hoping the previous owners had done a little !), and he found some boards rotted. He also learned the old window had been put in by someone who had, semi-neatly, cut off two supports that were supposed to be load bearing. He replaced those first. If we ever sell this house, I’m not sure how I’ll keep my mouth shut about the stupid things that have been found. We cannot afford to have the siding all removed so the house can be wrapped and then have the siding replaced and repainted. It will be spendy enough to put in a new foundation. He’s fixed a few things, but we need a contractor. I realise the house was built in 1910, but seriously, if you are going to do work on a structure, do it right!!!!!!

The eldest is having house trouble, too. He’s on the East Coast where there was flooding. His house wasn’t ruined by weather, though. His basement was flooded by a burst septic pipe. (sound familiar???) He figures that when his house realised it was ‘safe’ from the elements, it would make something happen anyway. (yes, he is certain his house has an evil sentience) When the plumbing company arrived, they discovered the pipes resembled that old windows pipe screen saver, some even going uphjill!! And his insurance company is doing some of what mom’s did. They won’t cover fixing the problem, they will cover the damage made by the problem. Hopefully, Strider will have much better contractors than the ones I did in Alaska. 

This last week, I learned two good friends had died from Covid. One was a couple of years younger than myself and the other a nice, older lady. Both died a week agao Friday. Thankfully, my two got vaccinated on the Monday after. I get how many people don’t want vaccinations or hope that herd immunity will eventually kick in and are sure masks are useless. I agree it should be a choice and a person should have a waiver card to say it was opted out of. Yet, we get flu shots every year (most of us). This last flu season was so light, I’ve heard folks say it has been eradicated (maybe from wearing masks and washing hands so often??). Many of us have shot records from when we were kids and I needed both my tetanus and flu shots when in Alaska with mum (the former because mom’s house was rather icky in spots!). I never managed to get vaccinations for mumps, measles, or chicken pox..because I actually got them. The boys did, though. Well, Strider didn’t get the chicken pox one, but he managed to escape into the military without that disease and the shots he got there probably killed anyting living or planning on living in him. He figures those were good for at least 10 years. Those old fashioned diseases are back in our nation and that makes me sad. They also kill and maim. Little Bear did get fairly sick for 24 hours from his Covid shot, but he’s always taken everything to the extreme. (He’s never been in love before, hoping that experience is positive! Is there a vaccine for that???) 

Meanwhile, the caterpillars are growing like crazy. Charlie and Alpha are a bit large and Pee Wee is catching up!! I was a tad annoyed to realise that although they are eating maple, they won’t eat just any kind of maple. So, the little tree in the yard is slowly getting snipped away to feed 3 caterpillars! I’m so glad not all 12 survived. I think the neighbor has a big leaf maple, but she had hers trimmed this spring and the leaved branches are a million miles up now. The Cats are fun to watch. You can actually hear them munching and crunching. They are so big, though, they are too heavy for the smaller leaves on my young maple and they droop to the floor of the container! Charlie and Alpha are almost ready to cocoon for the next 9 or 10 months, Pee Wee has a stage to go yet. Hoping they hurry up, the locust leaves are scattered in the grass like tiny gold coins, pocket change from hot summer days, surrounded by sunflower sentinels attempting to hold back the autumn.

Makes me smile

After Little Bear got back from the mountains Saturday night, I mentioned he looked nice (compliments are a good way to encourage people) in his matching camo. He did, too! Little Bear looked at his tucked in shirt and tidy pants and insisted, it didn’t match! Apparently, the shirt was Camo D3 and the pants were Real Tree Break Up. (I rolled my eyes!) He later shared a video he’d been watching. It was about an invasive species in FL called lionfish and how people are encouraged to catch them. They are also poisonous and most likely were first released by people who used to have them in tropical fish tanks. (obviously before Disney’s ‘Finding Nemo’) Except, they are incredibly prolific and rarely travel. He said when they procreate, the female releases eggs that float to the surface and the male releases stuff that also floats and the substances meld into each other and as soon as the babies are born, they fall to the sand and there they stay. My nose crinkled and I said, ‘Sperm?’ He responded, ‘Yes, stuff.’ 

Thankfully, he’s pretty on the ball with technology. (although, he hates it and even with the amount of cash in his various bank accounts, he hasn’t paid a bill yet. Because he has to do it online!! Oddly, he shops online, but that isn’t a bill!) I had three persons interested in mum’s rig in AK and was texting each of them and talking to them. The first person, M, said he’d give me 1600..which amazed me. I’d put 2000 in the window advertisement because I didn’t remember The Craftsman told me 12-15. Person B, contacted me close to the first person, who at this time hadn’t done more than text me about an interest. Person B was strapped for cash and I told him I”d drop the price. He then texted me he had 631$ and would be doing a job that would bring it up to $831 and then he sent me a photo of his baby!!! (this practice of tweaking the sympathies of a seller is just creepy!!! Oregon realtors finally disabled this practice in that business. Other places still use it and it is called writing ‘love letters’. Needless to say, it made me uncomfortable to recieve the picture!) Person C didn’t text me at first. He called and waffled on and on and on. He seemed my age, single, and I had to keep hauling him back to the vehicle by the proverbial scruff of his neck! He said he’d see what it was like to drive and contact me with what he felt was fair. Then, suddenly, MY PHONE STOPPED WORKING! I went online and tried different things and nothing solved the issue. All I wanted was to get it back so I could write down the phone numbers of those 3 people, the person who had the title, and the person who had the shop where it was stored. Little Bear had the afternoon off and after he ate his lunch and fed his rabbits, he helped me out. He not only removed the battery, but also the sim card. Huzzah!!! It started working again!! And later in the evening, it was sold to person A for 1600!!!!!!! Now, all I have to be concerned with is mom’s leftover debris here that I need to sell online. (Hallmark ornaments and so on.) And I should do something for the kid who helped me get my phone back so the Pacifica could be sold!!! 

He drives me nuts, is a sometimes clone of Jeremy in the comic ‘Zits’ or even Calvin of ‘Calvin and Hobbes’, but he’s someone I’m entirely thankful for. You do NOT want to watch a movie with him, though. He’s watched so many reviews, he tends to tear them apart as we are entertained. Granted, WW84 did need torn apart. How disturbing was it that Diana’s BF, the BF she kept dreaming about after knowing him for about a week 7 decades ago, came back in someone else’s body????? VERY! I’ve never been comfortable with long term possession in fiction. And WW84 was complete fiction and too long. Gal Gadot and Chris Pine are much better actors than the script gave them credit for.