Tuesday, December 15, 2009
Just when you think life's getting a little dull...
The neighbor has an emergency and EMS and three fire trucks go whizzing down the road. The fire trucks weren't needed but EMS was. As the jerks in the neighborhood don't stop by here, don't answer their phones and otherwise don't talk to us (because we want our land respected!) we don't know if it was the elderly guy on the third two-track past us or his neighbor who may have come out to check on his camp. Usually, the elderly man drives to town daily for his beer run and a visit with his girlfriend. We haven't noticed his car in three days. The seasonal neighbor's obit was in the newspaper tonight so it may have been him.
And then we drove to town today to get my Dad. He was in his independent mode today and insisted on driving himself out here. Fortunately the roads were in better shape than they had been three hours earlier. Tomorrow we have an appointment in the nearby small town (nine mile drive) at 2 p.m. so Dad will follow us that far and then be on his own. I pray for his safety and those on the roads as he drives by, sometimes in his lane and sometimes not.
My eldest son called and asked to borrow a wood stove for the winter. His basement is cold and he wants it heated to help keep the main level comfy. Guess he's not sold on the $4000 plus pellet stove he installed this summer. His house is about 1800 square feet and he's complaining of coming home to a cold house at 6:15 every night. His request meant Sweetie had to dig the stove out of it's perch on a flatbed trailer. The picture shows part of the process. He strapped rope through the stove and lifted it to the old sauna bench from my son's basement. Now we wait for him to pick it up. This could be tomorrow or next week or never as he is dependent on others who are not dependable. With snowmobiling and snowboarding season here nearly everything else goes by the wayside for his friends - unless of course you promise a case of beer once the job is done. Even then I don't know if that's enough inducement.
In other news, Ontonagon's largest employer Smurfit Stone Container Corp. announced it will close permanently. About 186 people will be out of a job. A nursing home closed there a few months ago so they're left with the road commission, the small hospital and the school system. Not much for a few hundred people who, if they want to remain there, must drive to Ironwood, Houghton or somewhere else to work. The plant closing also affects suppliers and loggers and truckers and... well you get the idea.
And then we went to Walmart. I like going to Walmart. Not because they have great prices or service but because it's an opportunity to people watch. There were few shoppers and lots of inventory and a few check out people twiddling their fingers and hoping they wouldn't be sent home. My most interesting observation was overhearing a conversation between a mom and her young son, maybe about age 7. He begged and begged for various snacks and we met up with them again in the toy aisle. I was there looking for something for my two youngest grandkids. Didn't get anything and decided I'd bring them out one day to pick out what they want, within reason, of course. But this youngster was there begging his mom again and she was more adamant in her refusals, even telling him money was tight and "remember, your Dad is out of a job and will soon be out of the house if he doesn't bring in some money."
I wanted to slug that woman. I'm sure she's stressed to the max but telling this to a little kid is real crummy. But not to worry, as we were leaving the store, she was in the entryway talking to a friend. "Can't wait for 8 o'clock when the babysitter comes," she said. "We're going out to play pool, then party and have breakfast at Perkins in the morning." Her friend asked how they were managing and she said, "I don't care anymore about managing. To hell with all the bills. When we get kicked out we'll go to my folks or his folks and then we'll go to the welfare office."
Some people's priorities.
My friend from Tuscon called tonight and said she had been to a discount store and stocked up on paper products. "To look around my closets it reminds me of you and your stocking up," she said.
I couldn't resist asking her what condiments she was going to use with her paper products. She laughed and said, "I know, I know. But I eat out just about every day."
Oh well. She also works two jobs, lives in an apartment rented by someone else and has her bills mailed to an address here in Michigan. All other communications are via the Internet and her cell phone.
I don't know why I haven't developed the skill sets of these individuals. It does appear to work for them.
Well, it's time to clean up the kitchen