Today is my birthday. Woo hoo! I have crossed the line into my late 30s and for some reason that sounds really damn old to me. Like I ought to be a real full fledged adult now. I think I’ll put that off for a few more years.
Not much new to report here in the six months since my last post. Work has thankfully stayed busy. I left the chaos of the new “day job” I took last summer, enjoyed some time off, and returned to my old day job a month or so back. It’s a good thing. More time to spend doing things besides work, fewer headaches, and fewer nights spent chasing impossible deadlines.
Did I mention we did some renovating this winter? We’ve long been planning an extensive outdoor living area addition that will eventually include a huge screened porch, patio, outdoor kitchen, and pond. We did the first two phases this year…the patio and foundation work, and the outdoor kitchen. As with any renovation, there were bumps along the way. The brick on the house was no longer available locally, so had to be sourced halfway up the coast. The rigs that delivered it drove through the yard the day after the snow from our biggest winter storm melted, leaving three foot deep ruts behind. And the original builder of the house held up work for two months (the length of time it took to have them come re-side the back of the house on a warranty issue.) But, these phases are done, my savings account is done, and now we pinch in a penny here and a penny there to do the next phase, hopefully early next year.
When I last left you, I believe mama was shacked up at her mama’s house. After three overdoses in as many days, my aunt and uncles had enough, got power of attorney from my ailing grandmother, and had mom removed. She went on to a few weeks stay at the Medicaid Spa she checks into once or twice a year, and upon discharge was placed into some sort of program that would have fast tracked her into an income based apartment. (Long time readers will know that Mama’s own home, left abandoned these last four of five years, has been repeatedly burgled, rendered unlivable, and now must be moved off the land it is on. You’ll also recall she had the means to do this two years ago and frittered it away on a new car, a lawnmower, and a storage building.) Whatever this program was must have been too much like work for mama, so she left it, along with any chance of being in an apartment anytime soon. She shacked up for a few months with a man named Phillip, who had been widowed less than a month before mama brought her Kroger bags full of hair doodles to his trailer. Shock of shocks, that didn’t work out, so she and Kenny patched things up for the 14th time (literally.) The 14th time wasn’t the charm, and Kenny told Mama to get to steppin. She didn’t. Kenny hired a lawyer, and she was given 30 days to vacate. Most recently, she’s been staying with a new female friend.
This morning, I got a call from Mama. “Happy Birthday! This time 37 years ago I was in labor with you for 37 hours. Can you give me $5000?” That’s almost a direct quote. Turns out, someone in Kenny’s trailer court is selling a single wide for that sum that is “just gorgeous”. Having recently gotten an estimate for more than that just to paint my kitchen cabinets, I’m thinking her idea of gorgeous and mine differ somewhat, but to each her own. She had to have fifty percent down by the end of the month, and was hoping everyone could “pitch in”. I told her to go ahead and raise whatever she could and I’d see what I could do to help, but warned her that my ability and willingness to help was going to be minimal.
“Well your aunt and uncle say I ought to sell my car.”
“I agree. That would probably get you enough to pay for it altogether.”
“I am NOT gonna do it!”
“How long’s it been now that you haven’t driven it? Two years?”
“I’m gonna get it back on the road!” (readers will recall that mama physically lost her license two years ago and has YET to have it replaced. She’s let it go so long now that it expired and she will have to retake the written and driving tests.)
“You’ve gotten by without it this long.”
“I am NOT selling my car!”
“Well, you’re making a conscious decision that its more important than having a home.”
“if everybody would pitch in a little…”
“Now why should anyone reach into their own pocket to bail you out AGAIN when you have the means to do it yourself?”
“I’m not gonna do it!”
“Then live in the damn thing.”
“Alright I gotta go, someones gonna take me out to get some cigarettes.”
Fast forward a few hours, and a tearful Mama calls again.
“I’ve been in a bad wreck! My neck is twisted, my backs hurting, I’m bruised all over! They’re gonna take me up to the hospital in an ambulance.”
“Hit and run accident! I was in Kevin Whatchercallits truck and he ran into a concrete wall and just left the scene!”
“Slow down…who? what?”
A few more details and we can suss out that Kevin, who was taking mom to get her cigarettes, hit a concrete block that was holding up a mailbox. Now, I guess in Mama’s mind such a tragedy should be attended by the police, a firetruck, and a slew of ambulances, and since it wasn’t, its a hit and run (that sounds more dramatic anyway!) Would anyone like to take a bet that she has already called some ambulance chaser lawyer and poor Kevin will get slapped with a lawsuit for her injuries?
Ooo…I almost forgot. I had to delete Mama’s Facebook account. For the third time this year, a married woman tracked me down wanting to know if I knew anything about Mama and her husband sending each other nekkid pictures. The woman and her husband appeared to be about my age from their Facebook pictures, so I doubted any such thing was going on. So I logged into Mama’s account to see what was happening, and saw a few messages from this man to mama, of a generally friendly, perhaps slightly flirtacious nature. Then there were messages from Mama to this man’s wife, this man’s mother, and some other woman, all saying that she had pictures of his penis that she would be happy to show them. There was also the usual warning from Facebook about sending friend requests to people she didn’t know. So I looked at her pending requests and was shocked to see, literally, about 100 of them, including many people from my own friends , clients included. Once the account was disabled, I got a call from her, and I said her account was gone because she was sending friend requests to people she didn’t know. “It was mostly people on your list!” she protested. When I explained that my friends list is made up of clients, coworkers and colleagues, along with the usual social acquaintances, she seemed completely perplexed as to why it would be inappropriate for her to bother them.