Well...that turned out to be relatively painless. We got in to see the house today, liked it, and have a verbal agreement to rent. We'll go in tomorrow or the next day to sign the lease and hand over our life savings.

Go ahead, guess which house it is...

The cats will be happy; they'll still have stairs to run up and down (without carpet, so it will be extra noisy) and lots of windows to look out. I'm happy because there's an extra bedroom that will become my office. And I think we'll all be happy because the interior layout just makes more sense than the house we're in now.

We don't take the keys until the middle of September, so at least we won't be paying two rents all through the month.

So...after we plunk down the downpayment and the rent, I can make the Spouse Thingy buy me a really god post-birthday present.

What should he buy?

Come on, tell him. Think $$$.

I'll sit back and make a list... :)


And so it begins...

We sort of started the house hunt today. We drove up and looked at the outside of two houses. Both look like places we'd like to live, but one (the one with the pool, dammit) is about $300 more than we'd even consider paying for rent, so it's not even an option. The other is a definite possibility, if we can ever get inside to see it. There are people currently living there, and for some reason the guy from the property management place doesn't think they'd want us just banging on the door. He's going to try to arrange for us to see it in the next day or so...hopefully it won't get rented out in the meantime.

Ideally we'd like to stick with this management company--they know us, know we pay rent on time, and aren't problem tenants...and the guy we've been dealing with just has that 'I'm trustworthy' vibe--but in all the things they have available for rent, most of them refuse pets.


Keep your fingers crossed we get in to see this house asap and it turns out to be a good one. The neighborhood is a good one, and it would only add about 5 minutes to the Spouse Thingy's commute. It would be nice to not have to spend the next couple of weeks worrying about where we're going to be living in a month...

And thanks for the birthday wishes...I figure once we move, I'll make the Spouse Thingy buy me a present. Something expensive. Oooyeah.


Real Life just doesn't stop real life from happening. Whether I wanted to or not, at some point today the clock ticked one second further and I turned 45.

I don't think any of us are in the mood to celebrate anything, although the Boy got up early and baked a cake (white with chocolate frosting, my favorite) and the Spouse Thingy and I went out to dinner (mostly because no one wanted to cook, either...) We may do something fun (and there better be presents!) in a week or so.

For now we just have to move forward, and right now that means getting our butts in gear to find a new place to live. Looking at houses is kinda fun, but the applying to rent is not. Just take my deposit, take my rent, and get outta the way. OK? Ok...


Things I've Learned This Week

  • It is possible for me to not have a thing to say, thusly, I did not blog.
  • When your world tilts off its axis, it does not come off.
  • Cats know when to be good, and do not beg for food.
  • Instead, they give attention and commando cuddles.
  • They don't complain if you're gone all day.
  • It is possible to laugh even when things seem pretty dark.

The viewing is tomorrow and the funeral on Wednesday. I may not be especially verbose until the weekend... but I wanted to pop in and say thanks. I deeply appreciate all the thoughts and prayers and warm wishes for our family.


16 August 2006

Requiem for Superman

An obituary can only say so much. It lists the little details that aren't really so little; birth dates, the names of those left behind, a glimpse into the work that interrupted life on a day to day basis, and sometimes an idea of the cause of why that person left this earth. If you read between the lines you can get an idea of someone, but you can't really know them.

You could read about the life of Tom, who died today at 72 years of age, survived by his wife, their two adult children, and 4 grandkids. And you could read that he served his country honorably for over 20 years, including time in Vietnam. That he retired from the military and worked in pest control, where he was so good at his job that he was sought after and wooed away from one company to be a key player in bringing another incredible success. And you'd find out where his funeral was to be held, and when. You might think he had a good life, and you'd be right.

But none of that would tell you much about Tom himself. You wouldn't get the honor of knowing the man that so many people loved deeply.

There's not enough space in an obit to tell you that he had his first heart attack at age 36, and the landscape of his life was painted with lowlight brushstrokes of heart disease and diabetes; there's not enough space to tell you that he did everything right: he watched his diet, he managed his blood sugar, he exercised. There wouldn't be enough space to tell you that he kept on doing all the right things, through quintuple bypass surgeries and stints placed to open his arteries. That he was a tough SOB with wonderfully soft edges.

There's not enough space to tell you he had an abudance of friends, yet not nearly as many as he deserved.

There's not enough space to tell you how deeply he loved his family, and how each and every one of them didn't have to be told, because they knew. How he loved his grandkids and lived for them almost as much as he did for his wife. How his grandchildren have the gift of a life filled with knowing him, and how when the sting of his being gone lessens just a little, thoughts of him will be wrapped in the smiles and laughter of treasured memories.

There's not enough space to tell you that he was an example of what a man really is, that he raised his son to be a good man, a kind man, someone who isn't afraid to show or to give love. That he blessed his son with knowing that compassion is the measure of a man, and that being tough doesn't mean being distant.

There's not enough space to tell you that his kodachrome image of a real man gave his daughter the ideal to look for, and a knowing that she would never settle for anything less. That his granddaughters have him as a way to measure the worth of the men that will come into their lives. That his grandsons will always have him, alongside their fathers, as an Ideal. There's not enough space to tell you that he showed his son and his grandsons, with quiet dignity, that real men stay, real men uphold their commitments, and real men honor those to whom they pledge themselves.

There's not enough space to tell you how he made the people to whom his children wed feel so loved and respected that in their hearts he was never just a father-in-law.

There's not enough space to tell you about the woman he loved and who loved him back, about how they were so much a part of each other that even as days slide into weeks, into years, and into decades, they will be inextricably part of one another. That he cherished her as much as she adored him, and how worthy of each other they were.

There's just not enough space to tell you everything about this man who will so deeply missed, and by so many people.

There needs to be enough space, though.

I need there to be enough space.

I need there to be enough space to tell you about him. I need better words, more clarity, a stronger voice... I need to be able to tell you about a man who was not the little details that compose an obituary, about a man who was so much more. I need to have the right words to tell you about a man who would drive 50 miles to make sure his eldest grandson had rent money or to see his grandchildren in a ball game, who showed up to just sit there when his daughter-in-law had surgery, who would go to hell and back just to be there for the people who needed him.

I need you to know my father-in-law and love him as much as I do. And I know that can't happen now, and I don't have the words to do him justice.

You want this, you know you do...

Sweet, eh?
click on the picture, eh...

It's going up on eBay soon, but I'm giving first crack to anyone here who might be interested.

Coming soon: more eBayable stuff, and Things Thumper Will Do For Cash.

How much y'all willing to pay to see me shave my head...?


Ok, the shoving of the tube down my throat was loads of fun. I am not a morning person, not at all, but had to be there at 7 a.m. I wasn't nervous and the only thing, aside from getting up that early, was getting an IV. My veins are notoriously uncooperative, but they only had to stick me 3 times. The endoscopy itself wasn't pleasant but it wasn't bad, either. The doc took 7 biopsies of polyps, supposedly normal looking and common to the drug I'm on, but who knows...? I'll find out more on the 22nd.

Oh, and then the day got so much better.

As I napped (because, really, I am NOT a morning person and was not all that awake) the Spouse Thingy got a call from the property management place. the guy that owns this house is going to try to sell it, so we're out at the end of our lease. The end of September. As in, in about 6 weeks end of September.

And he wants to be able to show it while we're still living here, complete with placing a lock box on the front door so that it can be shown while we're out. That's not happening.

I don't mind the idea of moving all that much, but damn, a little more notice--even though we've been given more notice that he's obligated to give--would have been nice. Giving us our deposit back in full and early wuld be helpful, but I can pretty much assure that's not happening, either. So basically we have to figure out how to put down a deposit, pay the first months' rent on a place, probably pay some rent on this place, and rent a truck to move again.

Fun times, eh?


Once again, I sat at a corner table in the WalMart McDonald's, a small paper cup filled with ice and Diet Coke nestled between my hands. I fidgeted quite a bit as I sat there, trying hard to not guzzle, while I waited for the magical DDAVP to take effect. Oh yeah, I've gotten a little smarter over the last 4 years: now I keep a supply in a nifty little pill container in my pocket. Now I don't have to head for home while I fight against a thirst that feels like it's going to turn my mouth and throat inside out. If I have no trouble finding an available restroom, I can keep it all under control within just 10 minutes or so.

And yes, I know I spend entirely too much time at Walmart. There are times when I'm headed elsewhere, but the same general direction, and I somehow just wind up there. It's like my car has autopilot and takes me where it thinks I want to go, not necessarily where I intended to go.

This time being there was intentional; not for the $1 cup of Diet Coke, but to pick up a necessity or two.

And yes, a 12 pack of Cherry 7 Up Plus soda is a necessity. Without it, my head will start to spin in circles, otherwordly voices erupt from my mouth, followed by gushes of Exorcist Pea Soup.

I got there just before a mini-rush, and watched as people filtered by: three men in business suits. A woman and a boy about 8 years old. An older woman, who shuffled along slowly, and leaned heavily on a cane while she waited her turn to order.

I was caught up in appreciating the dignity of how she carried herself--slow but determined, aged but not old, even though she looked to be in her late 80s; she was alone and it was obvious it didn't bother her in the least--I didn't stop to wonder how this frail yet obviously strong woman was going to juggle the fatigue of her steps, the cane she clutched determinedly, and the tray topped with food she had just ordered. Not until her number was called and she was inching her way down the counter, ready to reach for the tray.

I felt the muscles in my legs twitch as the thought filled my head: she needs help.

The three suits stood there, hands in pockets, staring at her. Not one made so much as a miniscule move to help. Along with the thought that this woman probably needed help and might not ask for it was the distaste of realizing these probably otherwise nice guys, who were right there, were too self absorbed--either in the moment or just in general--to offer any kind of assistance.

As the woman's hand went to the tray, I felt myself push on the table as I was about to get up, wondering if the words "Lazy little things, aren't you?" would actually tumble from my lips as I elbowed past them.

I never actually got up, though. This 8 year old boy pushed past them and asked the woman quite firmly, "Can I help you carry your tray, please?"

He had authority in his young voice. It wasn't a question so much as "I am going to carry your tray."

She smiled and thanked him, and he carried that tray--trailing behind her very slowly--as far as she needed him to, and went back to his mother. I'm sure she was proud of him and I hope she told him so...but I don't think any of those three grown men who stood there playing with keys or loose change in their pockets even realized they had just been completely outclassed by someone who probably still picks a booger or two and eats it.

I can't presume that all three of those men were selfish idiots. Face it, the tide of interpersonal chivalry has turned. Men get blasted for holding doors for women, and women sometimes erupt in red hot lava flows of I Don't Need Anyone's Help For Anything Ever. For all I know they used to scramble to be considerate and helpful and were yelled at one time too many. Or they all think they're God's gift to humankind and carrying some older woman's hamburger and fries is beneath them.

I'll never know. I can be as irritated as I want, but I'll never know what their story is.

That little boy, though...he's got at least one thing right in his young life, and I hope he doesn't think it's exceptional. I hope he just thinks it's What You Do.


Um, here's a little advice for ya:

When you're in the car and you've gotten a milkshake to go, and it's a reallllllly thick milkshake that you have to suck on reallllly hard to get it up through the straw, don't hold it out to your Spouse Thingy and ask if he wants a suck.

Just sayin'....


Ask and ye shall receive.
Beautiful day, supposedly hit 90 but it didn't feel like it, and just a mild breeze.
85 mile ride.