How were they taken apart, you ask?
Well, those of you who have been following my life this year (it’s hard. It’s been bouncing all over like a rubber ball) know it’s not the easiest year to deal with.
To begin with, it was always going to be a transitional year. What I mean by that is that with both the boys graduating, and at least one of them for sure moving out of state, and the other one punting to our basement apartment till he found a job, (who knows where?) it was going to be…. oh, messy is a good term.
But then starting in January the year went …. interesting.
Come January we found that a lot of things might be delayed/take another direction. And I got what felt like a cold from hell and had to get an asthma inhaler for the first time in years. (I’d been using mine so rarely that I actually hadn’t refilled in … two? years?) I spent the first two months of the year kind of in a daze.
Which is a problem, because …. well, I had a book finished ready to edit, and three almost finished, and they should be out. Yep, they’re still in the same state. Bear with me.
Just as I was recovering, we took one of our days off. This is known as the date night (It’s usually from twelve to eight or so, but roll with it, or just “We go to the museum/zoo/botanic gardens and out to eat.” (We haven’t done this since the lockdown, for various reasons. And I’ve found its’ not good for me.) We got in our car to drive 20 minutes on the expressway….. And an exit in, the car slowed to a crawl. We pulled to the side just before it STOPPED cold. We restarted it to get off the exit. I think that’s when we killed the engine.
Later we found what looked like a gasket in our driveway. I think it popped off, we were losing oil….
Anyway, RIP Old Blue, the expedition Dan bought me “practically new” (Seriously, we think retired corporate vehicle, a year old and very low mileage) for my 35th birthday because I was tired of ending up stranded by the side of the road with two toddlers, when one of our beaters went paws up. (In Colorado, with snow, this is not a happy-making feeling.) And he knew my tendency to have furniture for refinishing follow me home, so he made sure it was a BIG car.
That car was the “away pod” in my kids’s spaceship games, and it took us everywhere. Okay, fine, mostly to museums, zoo, botanic gardens, special exhibits and occasional lectures. We’re not just geeks. We’re boring geeks. And I’m afraid we raised the kids in our idea of fun. It also was the vehicle that after his last job search, my husband hauled a dresser that happened to be in pieces home to me. I first knew he’d got the job when I heard the pieces hit the porch. (Even in pieces it was something like $100 as it was a French antique dresser. He’d said we’d get it if he got the job. Unfortunately I used it in the boys bathroom in the last house, and it was much the worse for the wear. Though we still sold it okay.)
ANYWAY if you do the math it was 23 years old, and we shouldn’t exactly have been shocked that it broke down, right?
Except that it died suddenly and without warning, and we’d been counting/hoping for one more year. AND it cost us almost three weeks car shopping, to find something I was comfortable driving.
We had just bought it, when someone — glares at government in general, not that they’ll notice, since that’s pretty much my normal stance — thought it was a really good idea to — on the basis of the science fair project of the daughter of a FOB (Friend of Bush and no I’m not making this up) lock the entire nation up to prevent the fast spread of a respiratory virus.
The fact that the virus is far less lethal than advertised, had probably been here for months already, and that they had to leave stuff like grocery stores open, while smashing the economy with a hammer otherwise was just the icing on the cake.
Here I must confess I’m broken in a peculiar way. I can take any level of evil and nastiness. I just can’t handle either rudeness or irrationality. Rudeness makes me spend weeks trying to figure out if I read it right/if I somehow caused it. Irrationally just drives me nuts. I keep trying to figure out HOW anyone can believe that nonsense, and end up tied in knots and unable to work/think/function.
So, you know, finding out that this virus could absolutely attack you in the open zoo where you normally don’t come within six feet of a living soul, but is completely innocuous in a pot dispensary or even a big grocery store, packed with people who all touch the same things? I’m still not over the fact that government officials would make such ridiculous demands, or that PEOPLE FELL FOR IT instead of standing there, with middle fingers aloft.
That they keep piling on the contradictions hasn’t helped. And the new hotness of masks which actually stop nothing (99% of your home made masks) BUT do make breathing way harder, at a time when we all already know this is NOT THE SMALL POX and when death rates are falling straight down (and btw, the infections are going up, which means, yes, wayyyyy less lethal than even I suspected.)
I don’t like to see vast numbers of people acting irrationally. It made me wonder if I even understood the world at all. Which made the writing stop.
See, where no writing has happened this year, besides blog and a very few PJM articles.
Partly as self therapy and partly because I don’t want new car hit by
hammer of the gods sudden Colorado hail storm, and partly because I don’t know how long free laborer younger son will be nearby, I’ve been tearing the house apart and putting it back together. Or rather…. long story short, but we had enough wood to redo floors stacked in the garage for 2 years. And carpet in this house is mostly dirt held together by our imagination. It was bad when we bought, and it got worse. So, I’ve been laying down floors, and also rearranging things in basement apartment, so son can move in next week week and a half.
Needless to say, once you start on something like this, you get bright ideas on how to more efficiently organize your space. So, there is (ongoing) the great office swap of 2020. My office was packed up a month ago. I painted and floored it, and husband took it for his office (kind of needed a better office, as he’s now working from home.) We then emptied, painted, refloored his old office. And when that was done, we moved the household management office into it. That room has now been painted and floored, and I’m waiting for varnish to cure, before I move my office into it.
Still to be done are art/craft room, bedroom and guest room, oh, and family room.
But right now the big push is getting basement apartment done so son can move in. My biggest issue there is the shower stall which was installed backwards and sideways by former owners and needs to be completely ripped up (It’s actually broken) and replaced. I found a system I can install, but I’m terrified of installing the shower pan on the floor. I mean, I’d pay someone if I knew who’d do it. (Yeah, that bad.) I’ve seen it done and let’s just say me and making something level are kind of antithetical.
That said, things are taking shape. I’ll have an office next week, and maybe I can schedule time in it and actually finish the work that should have been done in January? (Would be nice.)
I really, really, really am going nuts from being unable to write. I know that finishing everything is probably going to take us into the fall, but I’m trying to shift the “rebuilding the house” to the weekends, so I can actually do some writing this year.
On the good side, we normally do this just before we move. We intend to stay put for four to five years more, so if I can get this finished, at least FOR ONCE we get to enjoy it, right? And I’ll have an office organized the way I want it for the first time in twenty years. That alone would be worth it. I find a pleasant working environment helps. A lot.
Other good sides. Younger son, who is a lot like me, says I’ve been lost for a while because my “framework” fell apart. I.e. the previous house was not conducive to working in (My office was half the bedroom, which made it mentally untidy, if that makes sense) and I couldn’t establish routines. He says he has the same problem with things that don’t fit quite right. Well, I can’t promise, but we’re doing what we can, including getting rid of stuff we no longer need/use (to the charity store. I mean, we get a ton of stuff from there, so….) and organizing what we need in a way that makes sense to us.
Also, since everything was going to change, anyway, at least we have had an intervening time of total chaos. And if you just went “Arooo?” Well, you see, I have trouble with changes in routine. It’s somehow easier to go through a period of total chaos and set the routine anew, than to creep to new routine by incremental steps.
So…. At least I hope the taking everything part is done, and we’re putting things back together.
I can’t wait to get Another Rhodes (Android, sf/mystery), Winter Prince (space opera) and A Well Inlaid Death (Dyce Dare Mystery) out there at last. I’m tired of the chaos of 2020. One of us, myself or the year is going to win this. I hope it’s me and I can be productive again.
Keep your fingers crossed.