Not Exactly Their Finest Hour

There’s 519 miles between Eugene, Oregon and Berkeley, California.

Ron’s ex hitchhiked there and back in 1978 – with a little child.

They’d had an argument and she disappeared. For two days. And it didn’t occur to anyone to be concerned.

Lord, am I grateful that I never got into drugs; at least, not at that level of oblivion.


Put two and two together and you come up with

cuckoo cuckoo cuckoo.

At least, that’s how I feel about the last 20-odd years of Ron’s life in Berkeley.

It’s about giving up pay and service credit to act as chauffeur for a patronizing snob on long, unnecessary road trips supporting a very expensive hobby.

It’s about a “best” friend who so distrusts Ron’s judgment that he won’t allow me, his wife, as an overnight guest in his home.

It’s about Ron’s insistence – at age almost 65 with a bad leg and a bad back – that he can drive his 2-wheel drive, 14-20 mile to the gallon GMC Safari van 3,500 miles across country in five days rather than pay a company to transport it. For essentially the same money. Or wanting me to fly to Berkeley and put us up in a motel for a week to help him pack and clean his place instead of hiring the movers and Merry Maids for the purpose.

It’s about a Worker’s Compensation bureaucrat who is delaying Ron’s move to the East Coast and preventing him from getting appropriate medical care – but hasn’t approved paying him a dime in over a year from the date the claim was accepted!

I started listening to Ron’s tales of the otherworld known as Berkeley, California, at the end of September. He relates these things so matter-of-factly that it’s only last night, when he told me about the Worker’s Compensation gambit, that the insanity of all of it hit me for the first time.

There’s got to be something about California.

I’m recalling Donald’s Nabeena days, when he was snookered by a fast-talking Nigerian huckster who convinced him that he was a prince. Donald was mesmerized, half out of his mind, dazed, babbling.

California is beautiful, to be sure, and the climate is temperate in the Bay Area and Orange County, but it seems to knock some people off-balance.

Then again, after investing tens of thousands of dollars and hundreds of hours in her house, my neighbor has just sold it because she doesn’t like the way the people across the street keep their yard.

Maybe insanity isn’t a singularly West Coast phenomenon after all.

Spring Cleaning, Shed

100_4489Before he got sick last week, Ron put up two more tool hangars for the garden tools that I’d stacked in a corner.

Then, James swept the shed.


It looks great now.






Emme and I went to the Hyannis Home and Garden Show today and picked up early violas, which I planted in the tiny window boxes in the shed.


In reference to my observation that Ron’s exes haven’t seemed real interested in getting back in touch, Peter remarked tonight that I haven’t left a trail of happy priors myself.

Well, I have no idea about that, really. I can only remember the full names of four of them. One is apparently doing very well, has a great job and two kids and is still married to the same woman he was dating when we met. At least two others haven’t fared so well: one was booted from his tenured faculty position back in the eighties and another one died some years ago.

I went to a hypnotherapist last week to see if she could help me retrieve any memories from when Ron and I met, but it wasn’t very successful.

So, given the holes in my brain, unless they track me down themselves, my priors’ opinion of me remains a riddle wrapped in a mystery inside an enigma. Or some variant thereof.

Garden Lights

For the first time in a VERY long time, the garden lights are lit in a symmetrical pattern.

I wish I could get a photo.

I’ve had trouble with one of the old lights for a while, and in the process of cleaning out the shed for the reorganization last week, I found the components of an extra one, which I installed a couple of days ago.

I love the lights and am thrilled that they are working.


Drove Ron to the bus today. He wanted to get back to Berkeley very badly, even though he still felt pretty lousy.

Got the lab report from Falmouth Hospital: negative. I think it might be something other than a virus, but guess we’ll find out once he sees his primary on Monday morning. I suggested he ask his doctor about Crohn’s. This seems even more likely, at least IMHO, following Peter’s comment tonight that Ron has chronic digestive problems, which I hadn’t known before.

I am winding down from a stressful week of my own. After seeing Ron off, I deposited an unendorsed check at a free-standing ATM. The bank wasn’t sure if it will be deposited or sent back to me. Meanwhile, I’d written two checks against it. I can cover the checks, but it puts back my plans to pay some bills sooner rather than later.

Then, I locked myself out of the truck. AAA sent someone pretty quickly, in about half an hour, which was good: I hadn’t brought my coat and it was getting cold.


Ron got the okay from his primary to visit the ER late yesterday afternoon, so I brought him to Falmouth Hospital. Dropped him off so I could gas up the truck which was running with less than 3 gallons in the tank.

By the time I got back, he was in an examining room wearing a johnny, and they’d already drawn blood.

We were there for about five hours. They IV’d two liters of saline and some magnesium solution.

He had a terrible night, getting up every hour. This morning, I got a prescription filled at Walgreen’s for an antiperistaltic/anticholinergic and picked up some ibuprofen, applesauce (BRAT diet) and Gatorade. By the time I got back, he was sound asleep.

Peter had a similar illness a while back. I had no idea it was so bad.

It’s frustrating because yesterday morning, Ron was doing well enough to get dressed, eat lunch and go to the senior center for a few hours while the bathroom floor was being installed.

I’m tired, too. I’m staring at work that needs doing, like laundry and putting out the trash, and I just don’t care.

It snowed last night and still coming down a little, so if I shovel the deck now, it’ll just ice up.

Goodbye, Linoleum

I have hated the floor in the bathroom for years. It was original-issue linoleum, was impossible to get completely clean, and was peeling in areas near water, like the tub and under the window.

So, late last year, when my favorite contractor called to see if work needed to be done, I was able to bargain with him a little on installing a new floor, since I had just enough materials left over from the kitchen/livingroom/hallway project to do so.

We scheduled the work for today, so yesterday, Ron removed the baseboard and I ripped up the old linoleum.

It’s not clear whether this was time wasted or not. It did allow us to see the condition of the top subfloor, which was badly water-damaged. The carpenters ripped that out so that the new floor would be even with the hallway, similar to what they did in the kitchen.

I think the carpenters knew what they were doing and the PM did not. Amazing, workers knowing more than management!


I did laundry, cleaned up the kitchen, washed Fluffles’ box and changed the litter, stopped at the library and the Senior Center, brought Ron to the Mashpee walk-in clinic and did a transfer station run.

Purchased a really nice jazz collection “Hommage à Nesuhi” using a LivingSocial deal Peter recommended a while back. It’s a pleasure to hear some good music out of the underused harman/kardon speakers.

Still Sick

Ron is still sick. He called his doctor’s office yesterday but they recommended only OTC remedies, which aren’t remedying much.

The boys and I took the big ferry to the Vineyard yesterday. We needed to make it a short trip, but there was still time to do a little souvenir shopping. They had lunch on the boat as well, then cake and/or ice cream here.

I took James to breakfast at IHOP in the morning. The plan, which didn’t work out exactly as anticipated, was for Ron and me to spend 1:1 time with each of them.

It turned into an expensive day, but the kids had fun and so did I.

James swept out the shed and it now looks great. With his earnings from yesterday, he already has $5.00 in his new bank!

I’m more than a little worried about Ron. His back is a disaster and he hasn’t been able to shake this GI bug. It will take some potent mind over matter for him to be ready to travel tomorrow, but I won’t be surprised if he manages it. I think he’s really looking forward to going back.

What does surprise me is that none of his priors seem to have an interest in at least touching base with him. I think he’s been moderately disappointed. Evidently these Janes* are not the people he imagined them to be back in the day.

Having other people around when he’s sick seems to irritate him. He’s happier reading, although he did seem to find 60 Minutes interesting last night, particularly the segment on the earthquake and tsunami in Northern Japan. I made an online contribution this morning earmarked for Japan to Relief International.

I have to buckle down today. Have already started laundry and really have to do some work, clean out Fluffles’ litter box and maybe do a transfer station run. Ugh.

*A “Jane” is a woman who acts in a low-rent manner, regardless of her actual social class, per my very classy late Aunt Margaret.