Hoo-wee!! It has been a wild ride already around here folks! That’s the main reason I haven’t been around here much. My life has literally gone nuts! Heh.
You know my eldest and his wife were (are!) moving to the Cincinnati area. We started right after Christmas helping them get packed up. They had to downsize a LOT, which wasn’t entirely a bad thing. They went from a 1500 square foot home with a full, finished basement, two kitchens, a two-car garage, the land and outside areas to go with to a just-under 1000 square-foot apartment, no garage (although they can rent one that’s attached to their building!) and a tiny storage room!
That alone would have been enough to boggle my brain, but I have to say, Melissa handled it well. She is a funny one. She’s not super attached to things and was happily tossing all sorts of things. I’m glad she could do it but it was hurting my head to watch her purge so mercilessly. Ha ha! Then again, I lean toward the hoarder rather than minimalist. sigh Ha!
We took several of their larger items but can’t fit the piano here, so I’m hoping my parents can put it in their basement. It’s so old, I doubt they could get much out of it even though it looks great. It’s severely out of tune and it sounds like from what the kids had been told by a couple of tuners, because of the age, people don’t want to tune it. Gah! I dunno…. it’s been so long since I played, I’m not sure it’s worth hanging onto. No one else in the family plays and we really don’t sing as a family anymore, so I’m not sure why we even need it. I just hate to get rid of it. It’s the used piano my mom bought when I was around 5 or 6 to take lessons herself. When I began to sit down and play what she had just practiced, I became the one who was getting lessons and those didn’t benefit me a whole lot. She started me with an old and old-school teacher who was all about theory and note reading, not at all interested in any natural “talent” or playing “by ear” like I was want to do and had always seen my Papaw do. By the time I was in fifth grade, she found me a younger teacher who finally realized I was just going to learn the music she assigned my and play it by ear or from memory. When I was about 11, Papaw recruited me to the piano at church to accompany congregational hymns, so I had to rely heavily on playing “by ear” so when I’d show up at lessons with a hymnal, asking the teacher to show me “how to play this chord” and then immediately pick it up once she’d showed me, she sorta gave up.
She came out to the car with me one day and told Mom she didn’t wanna take her money any more because she couldn’t really teach me anything else. Bahahaha!! Yeah. I’m not sure it was so much a compliment as a statement of fact. It surely wasn’t because I had learned all she had to teach! I had no use for doing the little theory exercises or reading music beyond what I absolutely had to. It was hard for me and I really sucked at it. If you could “hum it for me” and I could figure out what key you needed it in, I could at least play the chords enough to accompany you.
Okay, enough about the piano! For now, it’s still sitting in the house down there. The business is still using the office that was built onto the back of the house years ago, so people are still going in and out of it. Also, for the time being at least, Melissa’s younger brother is still living in/renting the basement although I’m not sure how long that will last. Mom told me she has told him to be looking for another place. This after she told him he could stay there awhile. I know know what that’s about, but it’s pretty typical. I hope he can find somewhere and not have to move back home, especially since he just proposed to his girlfriend over Christmas!
So Melissa and I took off in our vehicles, I took our car up so Tommy could drive the UHaul and we’d have a way back home. She had a bunch of more delicate stuff in their truck, along with their Australian Shepherd, Timber. We headed out about noon on Friday leaving the guys behind to load the big furniture in the UHaul and the plan was they’d be up the next day.
Corey had quite a few guys lined up to come help but only two actually did along with his dad and it turned out to be enough. They had no clue how much room they’d need, so they got a 26-foot truck since it was the same price as the 22-foot truck and planned to let Tommy be the “fitter” since he’s good about packing a ton of stuff into a small space. He started out trying to get as much stuff in as possible but soon, they told him they only had so many pieces left and he had to get them to repack and spread stuff out!! They had a TON of room!
Mel and I got up there without too much incident. Our GPS’s didn’t agree at one point and we ended up getting off a wrong exit in town. It was right during rush hour, so when I tried to stick with her through a light and blocked the intersection for a second, some butthead in a little economy car blew right up to the passenger side of my Challenger and started on the horn. Honking and honking as if that was somehow going to ‘make’ me be able to move when there was no space for me to go! Argh. That was a little nerve wracking, but we got through it okay and made it to the apartment complex in good time.
We were both pretty exhausted, and I was still battling the remnants of my months of being sick with a nasty cough so I stayed with Timber most of the time while Melissa made trips back and forth carrying in some of the stuff we’d packed. We hadn’t really thought out how we’d handle Timber while unloading stuff, I guess. When she had got all she could manage herself, I went out to the car and carried in the few things I had to have out of it. We had also put some of their stuff in there, so it was packed full too.
Corey called to say they were talking about maybe heading up that evening, just him and his dad, instead of waiting til the morning. So in about four hours, they had arrived and it was a good thing after all. Showing up with limited items at an empty apartment when the weather is frigid, you’re tired and sick can be a lot more deflating than I had counted on. I think Mel felt the same way. She was a bit more upbeat than me, but seriously… as I looked around, thinking about the place, sensing its smallness and of course, the sparseness of it, if it’d been me moving, I’d have been seriously depressed. Maybe it was just me still processing the fact that my kids actually were moving away from me. I’m not sure, but I hope it didn’t show as much as I felt it. If I’d been by myself, I’d have cried!
At this point, a week after the fact, I can’t remember what else we did that night. I am pretty sure we made a few trips to the store for some odds and ends. Even though it was almost New Year’s Eve and we hadn’t bargained for any stores being closed. They needed a pad lock for the UHaul and there were a few other things we had to have that night. Dinner was one of those things, so we got some food before coming back to settle in for the night.
We blew up our mattresses and slept fairly well. Thankfully the kids’ mattress was in the truck since their bed went flat during the night!
The next day, Melissa’s uncle and cousin came to help unload. I hadn’t realized until then that the former plan for some of Corey’s friends to come up to help had been changed. No one else was coming. Mel’s uncle had arranged for several of his friends to come help, but not until later in the day, so when it became clear that they would have everything done before then, he called to cancel his guys and the four of them got it all unloaded just before lunch (and the rain!) It worked out perfectly.
Tommy and I stayed til Monday, which helped me feel a bit better about them moving. I was able to see that the apartment was nice, it was quiet and not so wildly different than being at home. I got to interact with a lot of people and put to rest the notion that Cincy is full of mean people. (seriously, I don’t if it was the people who just really didn’t want them to leave or they were relating their own experience, but people kept telling them everyone was rude and mean there).
Even though I felt better about them moving, it didn’t stop the tears from falling when we finally said our goodbyes Monday night after supper. Tommy had already mentioned staying another day so I had no clue if we’d end up going home or not! When we got to the restaurant, he didn’t know where his phone was, so that immediately became a possible “reason” we would have to stay. We had already packed up the car and were ready to leave straight from the steakhouse, so the phone would have to be back at the apartment for us to stay. It was sort of funny as we all walked out toward our vehicles, looking at my phone trying to locate Tommy’s… it appeared to be in the car and it was apparent that Tommy was disappointed. He said if it wasn’t for needing to be on the job, he would just take a vacation day and stay. And here I thought I was the one having trouble letting them go!
It would have been nice if we’d been able to stay and leave the next morning because we were sure exhausted once we finally got home. It was just after midnight and we had several things that had to be unloaded (the rest could wait) and the dogs and chickens to take care of. Poor Max was still outside, so I had to try and clean him up some before turning him loose in the house.
As soon as I could, I collapsed in bed and in what seemed like just a few minutes, I woke up sick as a dog. I was coughing and snotting like nobody’s business. I felt horrible! So after battling a similar blech for months and finally getting almost over it, I’m starting from scratch, fighting it again.
Here’s to NOT having all of 2017 be the same way it started!! Ha!
That’s where I am these day. Torn, and swinging wildly between, being overjoyed and heartbroken enough I have to fight back the tears.
To some it may seem trivial. Maybe it is something other people expect to happen, but for me, the thought that this might happen has never entered my mind.
My baby is moving away.
I knew that a company in Ohio had reached out to Corey about a position and that he’d gone up for a meet-and-greet-slash-interview. I knew he’d sent them the resume they requested. I knew he’d been looking into the company, trying to learn more about them, see if it was something he even wanted to consider.
I also knew that all he’d discovered was very positive and desirable!
After the first meeting, he was disappointed because the man from the finance department of the company (they are big enough to have ‘departments’) told him they had initially wanted him for a management position, but then his age and lack of experience with a large company made them think he might not be ready for that yet.
To me, at that time, it was encouraging. I mean, I told you I was torn, guys. I wasn’t kidding!! I was so proud that a huge company like that was considering hiring my boy for a high position, not to mention that they instigated the contact! It didn’t bother me that they were leery of him due to his young age and his lack of a college degree. Most places are very big on a piece of paper from a university that says you know certain stuff. I am of the opinion, however, that personal experience and the ability to teach one’s self and learn whatever is necessary is much more valuable than a degree that may or may not be a true indication of the person’s knowledge. Of course, there’s not a lot of quantifiable proof for personal experience and the ability to self-teach either, but I’ve seen for myself that it’s a definite advantage in many areas of life.
I guess, deep down, I was content with knowing that Corey could attract attention from a big company, that he presented himself well and wasn’t lacking in any way from being homeschooled. I mean, it was on his resume, after all. They knew he had been taught at home. I sorta felt that would be the end of it. Which wasn’t a relief entirely because, confession time: I’ve been praying for both my boys to be able to get away from all the stress they have with their jobs.
Yes, I should have been praising God for answered prayer, but you know how it goes. Sometimes God answers in a way you never considered. Kinda like praying for patience, so God lets you break your leg. “There.” He might say. “Patience is earned, my child.” All the while, I imagine He’s snickering to Himself. Bahaha!
But seriously, it would be a big relief to see them have jobs where they weren’t constantly being brow-beaten and put down and having to deal with my dad. I feel like I’ve posted about this whole complicated mess-of-a relationship before, but I’m not positive about that and I can’t find any reference to it, so I’ll try to explain while keeping it short.
My father has always been an entrepreneurial type of fella. Always had his own business. Everything from a coal tipple to a paving business, a wood burning stove store, therapeutic massage chairs to spray foam insulation. You name it, he’s prolly done it or at least thought about it. Excavation is where he always excelled. He was good on a dozer and so began a core drilling business. That led to him being asked to help bulldoze roads during a forest fire so the firefighters could access the fire. Finally, he began this current company in 1994 originally doing only dozer and backhoe work. It evolved into the plumbing arena and he had to get permits and such. During that time, he learned about and got into the underground camera and jetting business, which is mostly what the business does now. It’s considered a “plumbing” company, although dad has never been a plumber. He always had to employ one, though and now, both my sons are licensed plumbers. Corey has his master plumber’s license and Casey has a journeyman’s license.
The boys began working for my dad when they were teenagers. Originally, it was just to do the extra work, the grunt work. Wheelbarrowing dirt out of the way or digging trenches, that kind of stuff. And it was just as needed because for the last 15 or so years, Dad’s only had one or two regular employees and in the last 10 or so years, that’s been older men like himself. Not young men who could lift and heft and work hard, but older men who were a little more feeble and less agile and able-bodied. I felt okay with that and I was happy about the experience it gave them. Most kids their age had no clue about the real work-a-day world, ya know? My boys did and they were learning all kinds of stuff about using tools and how things work. Most of the time, they’d work pretty much full time during the summer months. Soon though, dad started talking about when Corey graduated and could come in full time and all this crap about “handing down” the business to him one day.
That made me nervous. My dad is a workaholic. Even in his mid-seventies now, you can’t keep him still. He can barely get around sometimes but insists on working. It worries me to death but he’s as bullheaded as he is anything else, so you can’t tell him anything.
My dad has always been what some would call a “loudmouth”. Ha ha. Sometimes that’s a more apt description than others, but he’s very outspoken, opinionated and pretty judgemental. Ever since I was old enough to realize it, I have seen that people either love or hate my dad. They either get his brusque manner and laugh at his blustery speech or they despise his attitude and think he’s a blowhard. I guess on both sides there’s a little truth, but in these past few years, he seems to have leaned even more toward the brusque/harsh side of his personality. I think some of it is just the growing older process but the boys say he makes remarks about how he’s lived to the age his older brother and father were when they died so now he’s just “living on borrowed time” which is ridiculous since our days are numbered by God, not our ancestors!! I don’t understand why he would think this way when he knows better.
So anyway, I tell you all of that so you might understand just a little why I have wanted my boys to not be working with or for my dad. It has made them bitter and hard, more so for my youngest for some reason. He’s never been a really ‘soft’ kinda guy anyway so that may just be his natural tendency. But it is so worrisome. Especially when he also lives right beneath my parents, ya know? He doesn’t really escape that stuff at all. The boys don’t really have a grandfather relationship with him since he has treated them more like employees, disappointing employees at that, than like grandsons. I have worried for their self-image and sense of self-worth for years because of how Dad is with them.
I know that sounds horrible of me, but it’s just the truth. Telling you otherwise, pretending otherwise, doesn’t change the facts of the matter. My parents harbor a LOT of negativity, which is one reason I don’t go around very much. It just drains me. It makes me feel ill, beaten down, hopeless and sad. I struggle with depression enough as it is, and so I’ve found that my battle with it is easier if I don’t spend a ton of time with them. Yes, that DOES make me sad, but self-preservation is important especially when I tend to become non-functional when I get in a deeply depressed state. I pulled myself out of that once and I don’t want to ever have to do it again. Is that wrong of me? To guard my emotional, and also my physical, well-being? If it is wrong, then I don’t know how to cope otherwise because spending time with them, lots of time, will inevitably lead to me spiraling into a horrible place where I shut down and then don’t take care of anyone or anything. I’m not sure how they live in that darkness. It’s like a tangible cloud of negativity and animosity. They can’t speak about someone without pointing out all the perceived or concocted flaws the person has, they can’t be encouraging about any situation that isn’t exactly what they would choose for themselves, they are judgemental of everyone and don’t even think that your past won’t follow you toward them because they will never let you forget that thing you did but no longer do, no matter how much you have changed.
So… I feel like I’m rambling and I honestly don’t know how to end this post. Apparently, the start date has been moved up to January 9 from January 23 so it’s even more of a time crunch! Melissa wants to paint some of the walls so the apartment isn’t so “vanilla/boring” so she and I will go up a day or two after Christmas and stay for a couple days to do that. For that, we’re having to decide which vehicle to take. They have one vehicle between them, a 4WD pickup, we have our 4WD “second” vehicle (a pickup, too) and our new car, the Challenger, which we’ve never had in snow before. It looks like it would be best if we took the car, but then there’s the issue of weather and Tommy’s insane obsession with keeping the car spotless. Yeah, right! I want it to stay awesome-looking too, but there’s only so much you can do if you actually want to use the vehicle, ya know? So anyway, I think we can get everything we’d need in there since the back seats fold down… you know, step stools, extension handles and all the painting material. Then we’ll need to go buy paint unless she plans to do that here, then we’ll have to haul it up with us along with some air mattresses, clothes & food items. The apartment is central to EVERYTHING almost, so running out to get anything we’d need won’t be a problem as long as the weather holds. Then the guys will come up with a pickup load of stuff that weekend, I guess. And we’ll be ready to start the actual moving process.
The kids are going back up there this weekend to finalize some stuff, and look at one more apartment that will now be empty to see if they like it better. I think they’ve settled on this first floor one though even though the other is a tad bigger, it’s on the third floor. With their dog, it will be a lot easier to be on ground level plus only first-floor apartments can have barbecues! They grill out a LOT! So…
I’m trying to steel myself for the wild rush to begin. I’m praying for strength and focus and to stay well so I can help them all I can! I’m taking advantage of every opportunity to be with them while they’re getting all their ducks in a row. I’m not sure how I’ll survive this, but I know I will. Like I said, I’m reminding myself multiple times a day that God promises to take care of us, to prosper us and not harm us. I just need to stop looking at how much my heart hurts and focus on waiting to see what God’s going to do with this big change in all our lives.
Try to overlook me while I process everything, okay? Thanks.