When we returned from camping there was a letter from the county.
I recognized the name and knew it was trouble. We don’t make enough money to pay income taxes, but we have a home and it is subject to property taxes. The last two years, because of our age and income, the state has helped with our property taxes, but this was for the year before that.
The note from the county said that if I did not pay in full by next Monday they would add $500 to the tab.
So I began to scrounge. For a decade or so I have been throwing change in a jug. Some years back Miriam rolled a good bit of it. We rolled the rest, made a hit on our savings account, and boom.
Miriam helped me and we got it all into the bank -- it was heavy. The smiling teller pulled out a fist full of aluminum trays and we began stacking rolls of coins.
When it was all over, the kind teller handed me a stack of General Grants ($50 bills for the rest of you) in exchange for a check made out to “cash.”
The court house is just 3 blocks away, so that stack of bills was in my possession an amazingly short length of time.
But thanks to the change jug and a bit of savings we are even now.
Now to make peace with the irrigation water company.
Some one who was supposed to know was asked about the most important inventions of the 20th century and his answer: Air Conditioning.
He did not say it was the best invention, but it made the most impact on humans. In the US people did not live, in any big numbers, in really areas that were really hot. There were ways to cope, but getting into a black car that had been sitting in the sun was not an easy one.
So last month we discovered that the AC on our little car (the first car we ever owned that had AD) was not working. The problems was a broken hose, but the car had the old refrigerant, which is very spendy, when it can be found. That made fixing it involved converting the system to the new coolant.
So a discussion began -- in my head. We lived for 5 years in Texas without AC in our car. Of course we could do it again, and if we really had to we could take the pickup which has a good AC!
Our house is not air conditioned, but when I designed it I designed it so it did not need AC to be comfortable, and my design has proven itself.
With the tight money that is associated with retirement, the discussion in my head goes on. Of course every time we get in the car my dear one asks about it and asks often. But, until I win the lottery (I don’t even buy tickets, so it is a very long shot), we will be uncooled in the little car.
This blog began as a spot to vent about my life with Miriam and her time with Alzheimer's disease.
She was diagnosed in '99 and her decline has been quite slow. In fact some of our best years of our long marriage have been these recent years.
Alzherimer's, at least her version is a disease of waiting. One shoe drops and it can be a very long time before the other one drops.
So life goes on.
At the beginning of this blog I told the story of our courtship and marriage, about out family and our personal journey with this disease. The part that scares the most is the anticipation as the disease slowly progresses.
So, I will touch on that subject from time to time, but the entries will tend toward comments on life. I'll leave politics and religion for others to worry about, not that I don't have strong opinions!
I have my hands full just looking after my wonderful Miriam.
We met when we were 6, began dating at 15 and have been together since. We will have our 56th anniversary this June.
We have four wonderful daughters. Smart, independent, awesome. They have given us 7 grandsons and 4 granddaughters. None of them are little any more. The oldest is 28 and married, the youngest is 14.
Until this last fall we lived in a hosue I designed and built in the '70's and it is pretty weird and wild, but very comfortable. Last summer the girls came to the conclusion that I really did need help dealing with Miriam. Now we live on a couple acres with daughter 1.
Life has been good. There is not much I would do different even if I could. We are rich beyond belief but chronically short of cash!
And, unless stated otherwise all the photographs are mine.