UPDATED: photo of a little of the damage from the fire below.
It’s the start of another New Year and it’s time to take stock. Actually, I don’t really do that because as the quaint daycare saying goes, “you git whatcha git and you don’t throw a fit”. What I do know is that there will be some major changes coming up this year. Let’s start with my job.
It doesn’t seem that long ago that I started working again after a three-year involuntary stint of unemployment, but it would seem that this is the year my boss will be retiring from his practice. Something the corporation has known for years and for which you would think they would have prepared better for by securing a replacement surgeon for this office, one so very desperately needed in the rural anal of Nebraska, but you would have thunk wrong. Actually, I should give some credit. They have been actively wooing a new surgeon for practically two years. And still no commitment. Call me a pessimist but it might have behooved someone to pursue another specialist about a year ago. If New Boss continues to be evasive, the office could close sometime late summer.
Last night I brought this possibility up to my husband and we’ll have to give serious thought to whether I should find another job or if I can just become a trophy wife and soccer mom. I promised him that if I become a SAHM, I will become a fitness freak and whittle myself back down to a size 4 and grow out my hair to my ass and instantly lose 20 years of age off my face. I’m not sure why he’s not buying it.
I bought my mom new bedding and delivered it Saturday (all but the damn sheets, which I forgot by the door!). She was not happy to come home from church and find me upstairs in her bedroom and insisted she didn’t need new sheets, she just lays on the blankets and that a new mattress pad wasn’t necessary as the old one was currently in the dryer, just waiting for her to put it back on. I told her in no uncertain terms that the mattress pad, which had been the one ON FIRE could not simply be washed and put back on the bed (because, DUH!). She scowled as I pulled the new blankets out of the packaging and folded up the old ones, including the one she had attempted to sew the hole the size of a dinner plate. By the way, that doesn’t work when you just try to sew up the edges of the void when it’s in smack-dab in the middle of a rectangular blanket. It was a bit disheartening to know that my mom didn’t even really try to patch the blankets by sacrificing one and cutting it up and using it on the other, which I know she is/was more than capable of doing.
I tried not to make a production out of the bedding because I was taking the old blankets with me as I knew she would try to reuse them. I figured if they were out of sight, they would most certainly be out of mind. Especially her mind. On the way home, the smell of burnt polyester and wiring wafted from the folds of the blankets, which made me sadder still to realize that she hadn’t even bothered to wash them before trying to put them back on her bed. The smell was nose-wrinkling awful.
My daughter was with me, chatting happily with grandma who never took her eyes off of me. I’m certain having Aitch there kept grandma from going off on me in a tirade, but then Aitch said, “Grandma, you forgot my concert!” My back was to them, but I knew my mom’s eyes were boring into my skull. “I’m sorry. Why didn’t anyone remind me?” she asked pointedly. I calmly replied, “I did, but that was the day you went up to see [your sister-in-law] in the nursing home with the other Red Hatters.” “Oh.” Later, she asked Aitch if she had a Christmas Concert and I was relieved when my too-busy-playing-with-grandma’s-bell-collection-daughter didn’t hear her as I’m sure she would have said, “Grandma! I already told you!” Subtle, she is not.
The point of that whole story was that sometime this year, it’s likely mom’s health may indicate she would be safer if she was in a nursing home instead of at home. Based on how quickly she’s deteriorated in the past year, I can’t imagine she’ll have much more time living independently. Worse, I know there will be dissension within the family when the call has to be made.
And on a happier note, thank you to my readers who participated in the Card Exchange! I would show each card to my husband and exclaim, “And this is my friend from Scotland/Auckland/Portland!” He would just give me a blank stare and wordlessly un-pause the DVR and return to watching football. He didn’t say as much, but I know he was rather impressed because I caught him taking a picture with his phone the string of dozens of cards I hung across the dining room table heavily draped with cards. It’s the start of a New Year and I’ve hit the ground running.