Saturday, January 5, 2013

Post 2219 - Dress for Stress

I had a ticklish throat on Friday night.  That normally presages a full-blown cold, so I thought I would turn in early in an effort to stave off this malady.

I did.

I didn't get up until... well, I am ashamed to admit it.  But let's just say it was so late that it seemed tardy even to eat brunch.

Patricia was fighting something as well and napped this afternoon.  That was fine.  I came down here to my home office and have spent several hours reading a blog on which I had fallen months behind.  I absolutely adore Mark Evanier's "News From ME" blog.  My regret is that I hadn't read it in nearly 6 months.  I have tweeted a few links from it this evening.  I also found out that this beloved mother died in the last few months.  Sorry to hear that.

Like him until very recently, I am down to my last parent.  While I am not an only child, I am my mother's primary care provider.  I guess I shouldn't state much more than this.  It gets stressful sometimes.

It got especially stressful this afternoon when I called my mom and she reported that the house was cold.  I kept trying to get her to override the default values on the programmable thermostat.  Just press the up arrow on the 'stat accomplishes that.  The default programming will kick in during the next time transition that I programmed into it a couple of years ago.  A battery back up ensures that the settings will be retained.  I thought this might fix the problem.

Not so much.

I called her again early this evening.  She told me the house was even colder.   Not good at all, especially during a January cold snap.

I remembered a phone number I had programmed into my BlackBerry in 2011 for a home heating service we had used a couple of times.  I looked it up and gave it to Mom, and got her to call the guy.  She did, and he went over to the house this evening.  Mom called me right after he left and reported that he had fixed the problem, which turned out to be a burned fuse on the main fuse panel in the house.  The man charged her less than he could have.  The house was warming up as she called me.

I am unaware of anyone else in the family who could have done what I did this evening: provide her this information which would allow her to address the problem.  Once again, I must be diplomatic here, but I am the only one who could have done what I did, and I am a 90 minute drive from her house while I have other relatives who live mere minutes away.

There are times when I feel that my mother and I are the only ones in this together.  I drive down in the summer months and mow her lawn.  When I am home, I make her some meals for the upcoming week.  I take her shopping for hours at a time, as I have written about at length.   I do my best to fix things around the house, without the benefit of any carpentry skills to back me up (I have recently discovered the magic of washers).  I spent untold hours in 2012 cleaning up the garage and removing as much detritus as I could to make the work area that Dad created some 40 years ago, relatively useful again.   Not that I have a particular need for that work space, but it  makes me feel so much closer to my father to see that work area cleaned up again, as if he were about to go out there and build something once more.  I have done all these things entirely on my own.

I state these things not to brag, but merely to state facts and help you understand why I am zonked so much.  Come the weekend like this one, I stay here at my house and try to recover for the next week of work.  Other weekends I am at my mother's doing some of the things I listed in the previous paragraph and/or other things I didn't list in the previous paragraph.  Not sure where there is Bevboy time in all that.

It is nearly 11;30 at night.  I will turn in soon.  But I will call my mother in the morning to see if she is doing ok and if there is anything I can do to help her, even from afar.   My phone call to her may be the only one she gets all day.  Yeah.  I know.   Don't get me started.  Families are funny sometimes.

Sorry for the serious tone of this post.  I will try to write something funny next time.  Surely to frig Newbie will do something to amuse me, or Patricia will ask me a computer question or something that will make me smile.  I hold on to those moments as best I can.

See you tomorrow.


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