Thursday, February 4, 2016

Winter

We've had a pretty mild winter here. Maybe 2 or 3 weeks w/ snow on the ground. On January 31st, it was in the sixties. I don't mind it.

Punxsutawney Phil is calling for an early spring (don't laugh people...Groundhog Day is a big deal in Pennsylvania).

Next week they're calling for snow every day, although accumulations should total less than six inches. Nothing to worry about.

There have been some big snows but they have missed us each and every time. I've gotten kind of jaded about weather forecasts. Tonight though, I heard the weather man say that as we lose a few degrees tonight, it will get colder.

Huh.

You know, I have no real doubts about the accuracy of that forecast.




Wednesday, February 3, 2016

She Was

I recognized the name in the death notice right away. Probably most people did. If they didn't, they'd have recognized the face.

She always looked like a bag lady, but she wasn't poor, not if you believed everything that you were told about her. Not if you knew where she lived.

Her home was architecturally interesting, but unfinished and cluttered. I looked across the iron fence at it often since we lived on the same street and I am a walker too. I like to daydream, and it was fun to daydream about what could be done with a place like that.

Her car was parked in front and filled with papers and junk. I never saw her driving. She either walked or caught a ride with others.

She would sit at McDonalds for hours with her coffee collecting free refills while reading the free newspapers. I imagine that she bought a sandwich or something from time to time, but truth be told, I never saw her do that. Just the coffee while she read those newspapers.

She'd button-hole lawyers for free legal device, and she would not back down. I'd watched it once. The lawyer was flustered, stammering a little, while this short little woman just kept at him.

Everywhere she went, she was arguing for discounts or cheaper prices, and she just would not back down.

Actually, she was one of those people that employees sort of dreaded to see coming. She could keep at you forEVER. She'd just claim not to understand you (she had a foreign accent- Polish? German?) and keep on arguing.

I saw that death announcement in the paper, and I was anxious to read the obituary which was to be printed when available.

So who was she? Where was she born? Was she really the widow of a prominent doctor? What kind of life makes a person like that?

Except that there has not yet been an obituary.

Did she have a family? Is there anyone to mourn her?

I find myself feeling badly for that elderly lady, the one that made employees groan a little when they saw her coming.

Sunday, January 31, 2016

Horrified

Someone explained to my husband that they had gotten a reverse mortgage on their home. We've heard about them, of course, but talking to his friend, Tim got a little alarmed. 

This 'mortgage company' pays  60% of the value of the home. That's all. They own it, but the previous owner can continue to live in his or her own home. Except that the mortgage company can inspect the house and tell their 'tenant' that this has got to be fixed, or that the house needs painted, or that they want new carpet, etc. etc. If the 'tenant' does not comply, eviction proceedings are started. 

Tim was horrified. 

Why does anyone think this is a good idea? We discussed it as I got ready for work. I mused, "We've spent our whole life together trying to establish financial freedom. He has sold himself back into financial bondage."

I cannot help but wonder why this sort of thing is even legal. It seems like it is preying on the elderly. 

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Yes

It seems like I fit into this world in a tentative sort of way. 

Like, maybe, I have lost my voice. 

I wasn't always like this. My kids were telling of their adventures at Christmas, and I listened to them laughing, amazed at their audacity. Dylan reminded me that I had my own streak of audacity, once upon a time. I knew right away that it was true. 

When happened? Why did it happen? I've been thinking a lot about this since then. 

A couple of weeks later, Andrew asked to speak with me after the service. He stood in front of me, and he said, "We were all talking the other day, and your name came up, and we think that we would like you to join us. You would be a good fit." And he stood there with his gentle Andrew face, waiting for my answer. 

Immediately, the reasons why I shouldn't, why I couldn't, why he was wrong, why I didn't fit at all, came pushing to the front of my mind. 

I struggled for a moment, but I remembered a time when I used to be audacious, and there arose in me such a hunger...

...that this time, I said yes. 

And all those thoughts and excuses that had pushed to the front of my mind stood transfixed at the sound of my voice. 




Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Flipping

Did I tell you that we sold a house?

No?

We did.

And did I tell you that we bought another?

No?

We did.

We are in the middle of another rehab, and this one is mine. It is a very nice ranch style home. The appliances are delivered, and so are the kitchen cabinets. We have gutted two bathrooms with one more waiting for us.

I think about the people who will live there some day as I am working on it, and it makes me happy.