Saturday, October 22, 2022

Driver's license

 Dear John,

S passed her driving test with ease and got her license.  I don't know if she was correct that the test was easier in Town G as opposed to Town E.  But there was certainly a lot less traffic there.  In fact, the only person on the street was the dude who was walking along yelling at someone I couldn't see.  

You would definitely not be letting her go places on her own already.  You'd let her drive to work or send her on errands for you.  But I let her take her friend home, and take another friend to McDonald's, and take yet another friend to Target.  You would bemoan the waste of gas.  You would be concerned about accidents and liability.  Of course, you might also have sold her the Altima already.  I'm not sure.  

While she was working today, I took the dogs to the library.  My favorite librarian likes to have them visit, since she's a dog (and cat) person married to a cat person.  My other favorite librarian quit working at our library - I'll have to go visit her at her library one of these days.  I miss chatting with her - she's fun and funny and earnest.  

After the library, I came home and sorted baseball cards for a while.  Then I had to go out and do some yardwork.  The pine needles are covering everything this year.  Yesterday, I swept two bucket loads off the driveway.  Then the wind changed direction, so today, I took 4 wheelbarrow loads collected from the driveway, and off the grass, down to the back.  I wish it would rain so I could burn the yard waste.  If I tried it now, the whole stand of trees would catch fire.  Sigh.  Climate change.

I also had to spray weed killer on all the stuff growing in the grass.  You would never have let it get as far as I did.  The grass looks terrible since it's been so dry.  I hope for some rain so I can throw some seed out there and hopefully help the lawn recover.  We have a mole in the back again this year.  I can't be bothered to care about it.  The lawn guy hasn't been in the neighborhood in 2 weeks, and I haven't had the lawn mowed in 3.  It's in sad shape.  I'll probably have to do it one more time, with the bagger.  You know how I love doing that. 😡😡😡

I think tomorrow, since the weather is supposed to be warm again, I'll try to power wash the house.  I did it in spring, but I can't get very high on that one side.  I know you didn't mind leveling the ladder for yourself, but I'm not confident of my abilities. Even if I were, I still can't reach as high as you could.  My friends have a guy who does their house, but I don't know.  Maybe I'll see if he's available this week.  I know I could do some of it, but not all.  So maybe I'm better off having someone else get all the mold and dirt off, instead of doing the half-assed job I'm capable of.  

I really hate worrying about this kind of thing.  Who has to wash their house?  I grew up in an all-brick house.  Tuckpointing once every 40 years was all that was necessary.  Siding that collects mold and dirt?  No thanks.  If it were possible, I would get the rest of the house bricked up.  Hmmm, I wonder if that's possible?  I don't think you had a brick ledge put in on the other 3 sides when you did the foundation, so I would guess it's not possible.  Power washing, it is, I suppose.  

S's puppy is asleep on his back next to me right now.  It is absolutely the cutest thing (I mean, aside from being able to see his junk).  He looks so relaxed and comfy.  I think you would like him - he's a lot like you.  He barks at anything unfamiliar.  He wants everything to be unchanging, so he doesn't have to adjust.  And he prances when he walks - he reminds me of you imitating your nephew E.  I guess I just look for you in everything.



Monday, October 10, 2022

Sweet 16

 Dear John,

I didn't realize how hard today would be for me.  I've been crying off and on all day.  I didn't know how much S's birthday would make me face how much I've lost.  You were the only one who was there to see her right after she was forcibly retrieved - she refused to come out after 24 hours of labor.  You were the first to hold her.  You changed her and fed her and comforted her.  You saw all her silliness and sunny personality (before she became a non-stop complainer.)  You cleaned her up every time she threw up on me, so I could clean myself up.  You took her to school and were there when she came home.  You had epic wrestling matches and ambushed me when I got home from work.  You fought over phones and chores.  You went on late night missions (to take the trash out or search for wildlife).  And now you're gone, and I have no one to remember with.

I have tried not to dump this all on S - I wanted her to have a really great birthday.  It's her 16th, and that's such a milestone.  My sister J (the older one) and T and E came over to spend the day yesterday.  We went to the Botanical Gardens and walked around for the afternoon - and then we went to The Hill for dinner.  I guess I didn't realize, but S doesn't actually like Italian food much.  Today, we had a few presents to open, and in the afternoon, she went to play volleyball with friends.  She didn't take a key, and didn't tell me until late that I didn't need to wait for her.  So she was stuck sitting on the driveway while I finished shopping.  I made twice-baked potato and filet mignon for dinner, with a salad.  I hope she has had a good birthday. 

We were talking about cars, naturally, since she's excited to get her license.  She asked if we got the first Maxima because of her.  I got very upset, because we sort of did, but also because we got it just after our first two miscarriages.  I told her that I'd tell her about it one day, but not today because I'm pretty emotional.  She was all "Ooookay..."  Then we talked about the cars you had when I knew you and she made fun of your Titan.  Apparently, she's not a fan of Nissan trucks.  I told her about that Mustang you bought for your brother, who never came up with the money, so you sold it after a couple months.  She said "Uncle M is kind of a flake, isn't he?"  Yes.  Yes, he is.

Speaking of which, your sisters all sent texts wishing her a happy birthday.  Her older cousins did too, and one apparently is sending a gift.  Your mom just sent some pictures and birthday wishes at 8:45 this evening.  Love that very vague "Let's get together soon."

We're going to go Friday after school to try and get her driver's license.  She wants to go to one particular place, since she thinks the driving test will be easier there.  I'll have to pick her up from school, so she can get through the line...or else we're getting up early on Saturday morning.  Then she's got a hair cut, and then we're having another birthday party in the park.  It's a little bigger this year, but no boys were invited.  I can't make up for you not being here, but I hope I can provide some happiness for her.  

I can't tell how much she misses you.  She never says, which I think is because she doesn't want to upset me. But I know it's a lot, because she's started trying to wrestle with me the way you two used to do.  

This is really hard.  Because there's no way to fix it.



Saturday, October 8, 2022

Heart issues...

 Dear John,

I went to the cardiologist yesterday.  I wasn't much pleased with the nurse-practitioner that they set me up with.  The doctor I liked left, for Tennessee according to my internet stalking skills.  That's a little too far to drive, even though I thought she was really good.  Anyway, although the NP had a good grasp of my SVT issues, her approach was the standard "take blood pressure medication which doesn't actually address the problem or have heart surgery which will cure it."  While I know an ablation would fix the problem (in theory), there are 2 things holding me back.  First, if this didn't show up until I was about 40, how do I know that another pathway won't misfire once I take care of this one?  And second, it's heart surgery.  That's inherently hazardous.  But I did make an appointment to talk to the electrocardiologist.  We'll see if he can persuade me that it's in my best interests to get the problem fixed.  Then, of course, I had another incident last night.  It was relatively short-lived; only 4 hours this time.  

While I was in the office, I was reviewing my records of incidents.  I didn't remember having one the day before you died.  The only time I told you about the incidents was the one time I had you take me to the hospital, after 36 hours of palpitations.  I probably should have shared the incident on March 22nd - maybe that would have changed your mind about leaving.  Of course, discovering that made me cry in the doctor's office.  Always my favorite thing - being emotional in front of other people.

S's birthday is on Monday.  She's turning 16.  I know that was an important time in your life - your love of vehicles of all sorts was legendary.  And at 16, you gained access to owning anything you could pay for.  I wish you were here to share that with S.  She's so excited to get her driver's license and has been pestering me about it at least weekly.  She already calls the Altima her car.  Then she asks when I'm going to get a new car so she can have the Maxima.  I think I'll pick up a cookie cake for her once I drop her off for work today.  We have some plans, so we'll see how we get through this weekend...