Year-End Ruminations

It’s been an odd year. The first half sucked big time because I wasn’t getting work. It’s scary when bills continue to come in but income doesn’t.

So I put out a distress call to friends, asking for edits. No one responded. Maybe I would have had better luck with GoFundMe, especially if I’d said I was raising money for a wall.

I lived off my savings for a few months, gave serious thought to how I would handle being homeless, and then things turned around, and I was getting work from my usual sources again.

My mother died in September, after five years in a home. She had dementia and, according to staff, breast cancer. Why they would do tests like this on an old woman, I have no idea. She was almost 94 when she died, and it wasn’t from cancer.

My dad spent five years in assisted living, and they wanted to give him a colonoscopy. Mom refused, and she was right to do so. A series of tiny strokes had destroyed his mind; looking for something expensive to treat was ridiculous, and if he had it, well, the brain was gone, why save the body?

It’s no secret Mom and I didn’t get along. We fought most of our lives, and I considered her a poor excuse for a mother and a lousy human being. I still wonder what my father saw in her; he was hard-working, kind, generous, and laughed easily. Talk about opposites attracting! 

I suspect he often thought of leaving her, but because of the way he was raised, divorce wasn’t something you did.

I miss him. I don’t miss her. She was that toxic person in your life who ruins everything with a few well-chosen words.

Five expensive years of care for Dad, five expensive years of care for Mom. When I added up what that cost, I was shocked at how much money they had. The greedy medical and insurance industries made out like bandits from the hard work my parents did over a lifetime. The kids? Not so much.

What was left of their estate amounted to only a few thousand for each of us (I have two younger brothers). As I expected nothing, this was a pleasant surprise. I considered whether or not to spend it and eventually decided to buy a five-year-old car to replace the faltering ten-year-old car. It was fun jacking them around on the price and paying in cash. I think I got a good deal, but they’re like the gambling hotels in Vegas; no matter how good you think you are, they’re always better.

I had a little money left, but I was in no hurry to spend it. I planned to hang on to it in case of another extended dry spell–and with Trump as our idiot president, there are bound to be some as the economy continues to tank.

I didn’t take into consideration that my landlord would raise my rent. I was already paying more than I was comfortable with, so I hopped online to check out rental properties. You know those reports that say a person making minimum wage can’t afford a decent apartment anywhere in this country? They’re right. I make minimum wage most months (income averaged out over twelve months), and I couldn’t afford the rentals I was seeing. This is the first time I’ve ever run into that, so yeah, things are getting worse in this country, at a speed that is shocking.

I looked into renting a room and quickly realized that would be unpleasant, at least in regard to the places I checked out. I figured becoming someone’s new roommate would be much the same. I thought about renting out my second bedroom, but how do you vet someone adequately enough to know they won’t stiff you, party all night, or invite questionable people home? I don’t like sharing a space unless love is involved.

If I wanted to live alone, I had to go in a different direction. That’s how I ended up buying a bargain-basement mobile home in a park an hour away from me. The lot rent is $150 less than I’d be paying here in January, and water is included. In Florida, water is considered something rare, and it’s expensive. Having it included in the lot rent means one less bill to pay every month, so the move saves me over $200 a month.

I’m giving up concrete block construction, and a hurricane may eventually blow my house away, but when you’re living at the bottom of the economic scale, it’s now that matters, not what ifs.

I won’t be sorry to see 2018 go. Politically, it’s been a horror show, start to finish. Personally, it was a roller-coaster ride. A toast to a better year in 2019!

Here are a couple of pics I took while out on the moped two days ago. First, a shot of someone’s porch, the railing lined with potted plants. 

I spotted these two cats in someone’s rocking chair and circled back to take a picture.

See you next time.

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About Fenraven

Fenraven happily lives in south Florida, where it is really hot most of the year. Find him on Twitter, Google +, and Facebook by searching on 'fenraven'.
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7 Responses to Year-End Ruminations

  1. Helena Stone says:

    I’ll raise a glass to a better 2019 although I’m not inclined to hold my breath. Even if things improve on your side of the Atlantic, all signs appear to indicate that the situation over here will get worse unless a minor miracle happens with regard to Brexit.

    I wish you happiness in your new house. I’m so glad it all worked out of you and keep my fingers crossed that’s a sign of things to come for you. ❤

  2. Janet Ellinger says:

    I’m so excited for you. You were restless and ready for a change.

    • Fenraven says:

      Happens regularly. I’m not one of those people who can stay in the same place forever. I have to move around. When I get tired of the new place, I’ll sell and go somewhere else.

  3. Laela says:

    Missed previous writings declaring your plight. Still, despite mom’s toxicity and love for dad, loss hurts. And, as those who retire can tell you, health issues suck all the savings away. I wont complain that my family had nothing in the first place, so my pleasant surprise came when my mother had her burial site and vault paid.
    Seems construction is doing very well up here in Indiana but everything else about this state sucks….lived in a mobile home once, loved it.
    I hope things for you improve and you don’t look back at these as “the good days”.
    💜

    • Fenraven says:

      At my age, things don’t improve. They hold steady or get worse. I’m not bitching; just stating a fact. Income won’t improve and might be less. Physical and mental health isn’t going to get better. Whoever said these were the golden years, was full of shit. 😉 That being said, I still enjoy life. I love photography and visiting new places. Suki gives me a lot of joy. I take pleasure in small things. As long as my outlook remains positive, I’ll do fine. 🙂

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