Tuesday, December 30, 2014

A big  economic trend in cow shit valley (as a local author has lovingly dubbed my home valley) is the consolidation of farms. Small family farms are going away. They are slowly being bought out and folded into big farms.

When dad and the uncles get together, they frequently talk about farm robots and automation. They have a strong mistrust of the robots, but have to concede that they are necessary for the big farms… if you could do most of the maintenance yourself , and figure out how to convince a bank to loan you a million dollars to automate, then a big farm may be the way to go.  That is if you want to farm, and I don’t. I’d love to see some of the robots up close though.

Take a look…

Thursday, December 25, 2014

The life of J…

J's mother was my cousin. I guess that makes J my first cousin once removed.

J's mother committed suicide.

A month layer J was in a horrible car accident. J is now paralyzed and mentally retarded. Her father was also badly hurt. 

That was four years ago. J can now scoot around a little bit in her wheel chair. She can use a special keyboard to speak out her thoughts.

My brother and his wife visit J regularly. They have fun with her. They give some meaning to her life.

I deeply respect my brother for doing this. I don't know if I could do the same.

It's Christmas. This morning, after breakfast, mother was looking at her calendar. "Is it the 25th today?" she asked.


"Oh. It's Christmas. Merry Christmas."

Dementia is starting to affect mom. Her short term memory is going. Dates and commitments slip past her. To help, she has started keeping a daily calendar.

Then there are the meat balls. This Saturday is the big family Christmas Potluck. Mom is to bring meatballs. Two or three times over the past few days she has suddenly remembered that she needs to buy meat balls. She has got into arguments with dad, reminding him to bring her to the store to pick up meatballs.

Last night dad asked me to look in the fridge. It's full of meatballs.

Most of the time mom is perfectly normal. But something about future social engagements sets her off, makes her anxious, makes her heart race, makes her forget things.

I see that my faults are echo's of my mothers. Her faults are an order of magnitude worse than mine. At the core, we share the same weaknesses. It's like I'm getting a preview of my old age.

Dad is patiently by her side the whole time. He calms her. He helps her through her spells.

I wonder how he is. He is a very quiet man who very rarely talks about his feelings.

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

I'm at my parents now. It's quaint and quiet. Snow covers the ground. It's a great little getaway.

Monday, December 22, 2014

Clem & Bates got married yesterday. The wedding was on a train headed south to our sister city of Portland. Clem & Bates have been railroaders for years, decades even. The railway is special to them.
Since C&B have lived together for over twenty years, we pestered them with many newly web jokes-- "Are you sure you are not rushing into this decision?" "After you marry a man, he may do something unspeakable to your body."

It was very sweet. C&B have been roll models for many couples around us. Mostly they teach that people learn and grow. Relationships must learn and grow with the couple. Holding someone back because that's the way they were on the wedding date, is not good for anyone.

RO and I… I have next to me the dissolution agreement. It lists our assets and our debts, and who gets what, and who is responsible for what.  Going over it is painful for RO.

In fact, RO asked me, that if he got his life together, could he ask me out on a date? I urged him to let go. That I'm happy being single.

So the document isn't hard on me. I'll take on some debt as the cost of separating. But, I can pay it off in a few years. Better the debt that staying deeply involved with a business that needs so much time and that I have so little passion for. As Tommy said, you have to listen to the voice in your gut.

Saturday, December 20, 2014

It's 7 in the morning on Saturday. Early. And I've slept in. I've been getting up at 6 for the past two weeks. With my new, temporary home,  the early hours let me avoid traffic on the way to work.

I think I like getting up early. It's quiet. It let's me get ready for the day without rushing. Enjoy a cup of coffee. Read a little.

Steven gave me a gift, a copy of "More Language of Letting Go" The books wants to help us let go of codependent tendencies, and cultivate healthy balanced relationships. I read the daily essay every morning. Today's essay was on the value of keeping a journal. And now hear I am…

Clem & Bates are getting married this weekend. They tactfully uninvited RO & I from the wedding. I actually agree with their request. RO and I can be very emotionally raw right now. These are our problems and they have no business interfering with Clem & Bates's wedding.

RO and I chatted a bit after that. We reached an agreement-- RO would go to the Bachelor party. I'd go the wedding. C&B liked that idea, so we will both be able to spend time with them this weekend.

Bachelor party-- Clem and Bates have been together for twenty years. But, in two days they will no longer be single in the eyes of the law.

RO and I still have a long way to go to untangle our lives. Right now the plan is that I live with Steven until RO finds an apartment. That should happen in a few weeks. RO has a lot to decide. The store was never really profitable, so I'm wary of him continuing on with that. At the same time he is very resistant to getting a job.

In "More Language of Letting Go" the author states the value of keeping a journal is that you can explore your goals, track them, and see how you are making progress to them. Very business like.

So, what are my goals? Very simple now. Untangle my life from RO. Pay down my debts. Move back home and fix up the house a little. After that I don't know.


Sunday, December 14, 2014

The neighbor at C2's cabin is actually very nice. Far more restrained than she comes across in email.  We've talked a little.

Mostly I'm just watching the tide go out. The view is very peaceful.

Friday, December 12, 2014

I haven't talked or texted RO in about 48 hours. This is my choice. A few friends have recommended this to us as fastest way to getting to the new normal.

I'm actually enjoying myself. I've spent a little more time working this week, but that has allowed me to get ahead of my work worries.

I don't watch TV now. I've also stopped drinking. Those two activities have freed up more time and energy.

This weekend I'm going away to C2's vacation cabin. I wanted some time alone. I'm also a little worried that if I stay in the city then I'll spend my first weekend as a new single man cruising for sex on the internet. The cabin will give me a place to collect my thoughts and plan a little.

C2 informed the neighbor that I would at his cabin and is paying her to clean a little and give me a key. She is uh... interesting...

C2's email...
>>>>>> Neighbor,
>>>>>> BC (a friend) will be at the place this weekend as well.  I'm just
>>>>>> trying to ensure someone is there.  If you need to be at work, please say
>>>>>> so.

The Neighbor...
>>>>>> That’s wonderful..I am excited to have someone to talk to...lol You want me to get him a few paper plates and
>>>>>> solo cups?  I have a few extra pans I can take down there..I want him to be
>>>>>> comfortable..What time will he be arriving..I will leave key under the mat
>>>>>> downstairs for him?  I will get him some soap and shampoo?

Later on...
> Sorry I know I am a pain in the rear end..May I buy dishwasher
> detergent?  When I go to thrift store tomorrow I am going to buy a few
> cheap kitchen supplies if that’s ok,  hand held can opener? Maybe a
> couple baking dishes just in case?  I will be very thrifty..They are
> only going to be a few dollars and a few pieces of silverware and
> spatula etc if they appear brandnew?  I am just trying to make it easy
> on your friends cause to go back to town for a few items 10 miles up[
> and back..will not be very relaxing for them..Unless you think you
> have a few kitchen supplies in spare room?
> I promise this is last email..

This weekend away may not be as away as I hope.

Monday, December 08, 2014

> Hmmm.... my dear friend, does this speak of a transition or just time to re-group

This is a time of transition.

It's hard on RO. He's not taking this well. At the same time, he's too stubborn to reach out for help or compromise on what he thinks is the right solution-- me by his side, helping him through all his problems. This stubbornness is one of the reasons I left. But he is not capable of hearing that right now. His guard is way up.

Saturday, December 06, 2014

I've spending some time away from RO. This is bitter sweet. No plans yet. Am sleeping in Steven's spare room.