Always Something

MY old garden shed.  Gabriel is losing his grip.

MY old garden shed. Gabriel is losing his grip on the rotting roof.

I’ve probably used the title above at some point, but don’t have the energy to sort through four or five years of blog posts to verify this. I figure if you can’t remember it, neither can I, or vice versa.

Even after 10 years of retirement for me, and more years for David, who worked to age 72, I can’t believe how quickly each day passes and how busy we are.  For many years, I worked at a paying job downtown, read at least one book per week while riding the bus or Metro, and completed a couple of advanced degrees at universities in DC.

I was probably a negligent mom because my kids and I lived in Alexandria VA, a ways from my work, and after about ninth grade, I stopped attending school events involving my kids because at the end of the day I had nothing left to give. If you don’t have it, you can’t give it.

The upside was no more sitting through a boring game to watch my kid play in the band at half-time.  No more powder puff football. I once made it to an out-of-town track meet in Charlottesville VA, for my oldest son, but other than high school graduations, I shunned all sports events.

I made up for it with my granddaughters, until they reached high school…piano and ballet recitals galore.  I missed the high school graduation for the youngest child, but my excuse is that the older three graduated in DC which is easier for me to reach than anywhere in VA outside the beltway.

I am the proverbial ‘Inside the Beltway’ kind of person and have been for many years.  A friend named Dennis once accused me of having “Potomac Fever,” as anyone addicted to politics said to be around here, but I never considered myself addicted to anything. It was Dennis who laughed at his mother because, he said, she was always saying “it’s always something.”  He quoted her a lot.


Troy, a fellow who just rebuilt Kathy’s chimney took a look at the brickwork on our house yesterday and said he thought he could fix it.  By this he meant “repoint” it.  I am about to find out exactly what that means.

Meanwhile, John W. the handyman, told me that he doesn’t think David’s shower needs retiling. John says if we keep after the mold with ‘Mold Armor stain remover plus blocker,’ the chemical we purchased at Home Depot, we can contain and eventually destroy it.  This translates into me keeping after David to keep after the mold.

John says he will repair the roof on my garden shed next spring.  I told him that if he can’t do it, he needs to let me know. John is no spring chicken either.

Our neighborhood is old (established in the nineteenth century) and our houses need constant repair.  John says we keep him so busy he could spend his life around here. Troy says he loves our neighborhood.

Meanwhile, I am assembling the material to prepare the income taxes for this year, maintaining the household calendar, paying the bills, balancing checkbooks, handling the cleaners and repairmen, etc.  I am now my housekeeper, which of course I always was.

I’ve taken over much of the running of the household because as David says he “just can’t do it anymore.”  His short-term memory is not very good, and short-term seems to extend back to many years.  This is scary for me, because I can begin talking about something we did together and he often can’t recall it.  On the other hand, my kids think I do the same thing to them, so…I can’t remember becomes a frequent expression around here, much more frequent than, “It’s always something.”


14 thoughts on “Always Something

  1. The main reason I left my 100 year old house was the maintenance, it and I together just required to much of it. I couldn’t have gotten along without my longtime maintenance guys, what a blessing. The plumbing man retired just about the time I sold the house. Some things didn’t get done not because I forgot them but because I was tired of the neediness of a much loved but old and shifting building. My kids came and helped get it ready for sale and all is well in my new place. Wish I could upgrade my memory, when will they invent additional RAM for the brain? 🙂


    • My RAM is full I think. Yes, the house maintenance guys won’t always be around. John’s wife just joined him in retirement from ‘real’ jobs. Both of them still work, however, she as a substitute teacher and he as a handyman. They use the money to make frequent trips to the west coast to visit her mother who lives in a retirement home.

      David never wants to leave this house, and I will hang on as long as I can for his sake. However, as I am 13 years younger, the day may come when I am on my own and it’s all too much.


  2. We “lose” many objects nowadays, but have adopted a strategy that it’s better to wait until they show up than to worry about remembering where we put them. The lost always are found, but sometimes there is quite a time lag.


  3. Memory loss is one of the reasons why we should not be employed in a challenging office. I even told my hubby that his accounting days are over. I have to look over his tax forms now to make sure they are correct.


  4. Although only 66, I’m getting concerned about Terry. He left an envelope from AAA on the dining table, or so he says, that contained our new membership cards and invoice. It’s no where to be found (I never saw it in the first place),and he has accused me of throwing it out. Why he even left it on the dining table is beyond me. That’s not where the bills go.


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