Fault line

This morning, David accused the cleaner of taking his toilet brush.  I have a feeling he lost the brush in his bedroom. He is still cleaning it. Today, he hauled 20 years of bank statements to the burn center and the newly cleaned ties to Goodwill. He also dropped another 25-30 ties at the cleaners.  I hope he finishes the room before he dies. At age 83 he has a few more years according to his life table.

Above: No, its not David’s room, its the dividing fault between Appalachian Mountains and Allegheny Plateau.

As a demographer, one of the tasks I undertook in graduate school involved constructing a life table. I won’t go into the ins and outs, but suffice it to say, statisticians don’t foretell the future as they work with historical data. While the past might be prologue, it does not repeat itself.

David, whose birth cohort is 1929, has lived longer than most of his birth fellows. One of the strange thing about the life table is the longer you live, the longer you live.  I am reckoning David will live to at least age 100.


If we are going to live a long while, and we need to be prepared. That’s harder than you think. On the one hand you don’t want to budget your money to fit a shorter period of life and run out if you live a while longer. On the other hand, you don’t want to spend all your money with the idea on a certain date you will drop dead. I cannot live like that. 

Thank goodness we were both savers when we worked and put some money aside in 401K accounts, although one crises or another after retirement has eaten into our savings. 

We live very frugally, and took our money out of the stock market and put it in government bonds a while back, but with low-interest rates the money is not growing and won’t until the government raises interest rates, which it will only do when the threat of inflation rears its head or the bond rating agencies lower credit ratings. Last birthday, the government sent me a letter saying that I would have to spend some of my 401K money as my time was growing shorter.  So I am taking it out, a bit each month and rolling it into savings. I suppose they want to tax it, and they will, but meantime, I have a little egg for my “FUN” STUFF.


We are insured to the hilt. We even purchased insurance from our county to cover a potential failure of the sewer system hookup to our house.  This month we are adding another $1.75 to the monthly bill to cover any landscape repair should the line be replaced.  This might sound ridiculous, but during housing booms, some builders around our area installed below standard sewer pipes, and I have seen the pipes in some neighborhoods collapse. That eventuality probably won’t happen here. Our builder was into overkill with quality.

For years we carried earthquake insurance but our company cancelled it a few years ago. Of course, we experienced an earthquake as soon as they cancelled the insurance.

My son in California said, “How’d like that earthquake Mom?” I told him no big deal, but it was a real shaker for a while cracking the Washington Monument and the National Cathedral to our north and making our house snap, crackle and pop. 

We live about 8 blocks from the East Coast fault line (where the coastal plain meets the piedmont) but our neighborhood sits on a massive rock known as the Arlington Ridge, so the ground didn’t crack open but the everything on the rock trembled during the earthquake. That experience, sonic booms from military flyovers, and 9-11 were enough to send us out for more insurance.  

9 thoughts on “Fault line

  1. It’s so hard to prepare for our future. We just met with a trust lawyer today that our bank provided which was really pretty amazing. We’ll have things updated for the kids if there’s anything left by the time we pass on. It’s such a weird thing to have to think about all this, but I guess we must. I hoping for 100 for the both of you!


  2. Pretty cool. We don’t live on a fault line, or in a flood plane. But we do live just inside the 10-mile circle around a nuclear power plant. Can you buy insurance for that?!?


  3. Yes, for a moment I thought that was David’s pile. Yes, too, thanks for the note. Yup, over 50 the chances of getting shingles increases. If you have had it before, you can get them again. That’s so depressing. Like David of old, I am still bringing things home. Today an itchy, very warm wool sweater of a golden brown color. No ties tho. LOL Yes, I thought about having some helpful young man heave a weeks worth of groceries up the stairs. I will look into it tomorrow. 🙂 Von’s/Safeway delivers here.


  4. That WAS freaky, having an earthquake in the D.C. metro area. I only clued in when my computer’s monitor started jumping around on its table. Did you see the YouTube video taken from inside the Washington Monument? Some very startled tourists there.

    I’m glad nobody got hurt.


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