Posted by Dell 07-18-2017
I spent my day doing the last compound coats on the new drywall, and then trimming out all the new windows. The day before I finished the kitchen and then painted the walls there. Tomorrow (Monday) I will paint the balance of the new work and then I will spend the next several days putting in all the flooring and moldings. Then I can sit back and say ‘Am I done?’ … ‘Yes,’ I will answer myself, ‘You are done.’
It has only been a few months since I started this but it seems like forever. During the process my aunt went from sick to worse, and then passed away. In less than a year I have lost, first my uncle, now my aunt. I look at my mother every day and hope she feels fine. It’s humbling and also sobering. Life does end. One day you can be talking to someone you love. Everything may seem okay. They may be talking, laughing, and then a few days later you find yourself at their funeral. It seems impossible, but I have dealt with it twice in less than a year.
It seemed odd to me that I would be the one to deal so closely with it, but that is the way it worked out with my uncle. Not that I am somehow above having to deal with death, I certainly am not. I spent two years living on the streets from fourteen to sixteen. I saw death up close. I spent ten years in prison, I saw more. Despite that I had only lost a very few people who were close to me. My father and another uncle, both several years ago. I hated my father and loved my uncle. That really means I loved them both, I was just too damned young to understand what hate was, where it came from. When you are young it is very easy to look critically at the world around you and make snap decisions on your feelings, judge others, feel justified, righteous. Of course as we age our character is tempered. We are not so quick to judge, act, hate, love. I was a kid, I hated and I felt completely justified.
So I saw those deaths and they affected me, but I didn’t fully understand death any more than I understood my own motivations, drives, feelings. This time I spent two weeks with my Uncle as the end came. We talked, I changed and bathed him, and in the end I gave him the morphine that the nurses had told me he would want at the end. Rough. I felt it, and when my aunt came to the same point I was surprised that I wouldn’t have to be in the same position. Relieved, but depressed about it too. Of course I was doing all the work on the house, so my mind was busy. But she came to see me a few days before she died and she seemed fine. Tired, yes, but fine.
My mother is left. For the last twelve years the three of them lived on opposite sides of this house that I built for them so that they would be able to be close. It worked. They had family reunions, big picnics, large family gatherings. There is a door between the two kitchens. They would simply open that door and the two houses became one. This summer passed and there was no Fourth of July celebration. Everyone was still reeling from the loss of my uncle from bone cancer, and of course my aunt had gotten very sick, very fast, and was just as quickly diagnosed with terminal lung cancer. No get together. We had seen each other at the funeral, it was tough to think of anything else.
This past week we saw each other at the second funeral and promised ourselves we would stop seeing each other only at funerals. I doubt that though. It seems when these things start they obtain a life of their own and they feed off the things that are going on and just continue to exist when all of us wish they wouldn’t. I agreed a few days ago to build a huge double deck on the side of the house for family reunions next year. Everyone seems to think we will have all recovered from our shock enough by then to want to gather together again. Maybe. Maybe not.
For me it is simply life. It is hard to do, but it’s supposed to be hard. Life isn’t coasting and letting someone else do all the hard work. In my younger days that was the way I looked at life though, I am ashamed to say. Life is sharing the load. Being compassionate, understanding, practicing empathy. It’s not about owning the baddest car, the biggest house, the most toys. Maybe it’s tied into your feelings about the people you love. Hopefully it is, otherwise you’ll be coasting, and all of us have done that before. Anyway, I’ll move on. It has been a very rough year, but a very good growth year.
The house will soon be done and I will be able to sit on my couch and look around at the walls and remember when this wall gave me trouble, or how it took myself and two young nephews to get the new roof beams up, why I decided to build in a sound system, replace all the windows instead of just the few I had earmarked. Things like that. But I will be back to writing, sitting on my couch after a day of writing and relaxing, probably petting the damn cat that has made me its friend. Excuse me, damn cats. There are two. Can’t pet one without petting the other either. Still, I will be on the couch. No more house construction for me.
Let’s shift gears:
I like the Geico commercials, especially the Old MacDonald was a bad speller one. The Owl one was good too. Occasionally things do catch my attention. A few years back it was the HLN song. They were looking for people to write an HLN song, so I wrote one. I liked it, but I didn’t send it in: Instead I rolled it into a real song. But the other morning I had a thought. The thought was, ‘What would the next Great Geico commercial based on the same line be if I got to write it?’
Well, it isn’t written, and no one’s coming to ask me to write it. But even so, the idea would not leave my head, so at six A.M. I found my self writing it out. I’m telling you that so that you know what the writing bug is like. Things like that happen all the time. A good part of the reason I am single. Find a woman that would put up with that and the other oddball writer behaviors. That is what I will leave you with this week. Maybe it will make you laugh a little. Hard to do in this world sometimes. Meantime have a great week! I’ll be back Friday morning…
Geico Commercial Idea: Copyright Dell Sweet 09-14-2015
Two women working in a cubicle. The first woman just had an Email that tells about Geico. The monitor is in the background showing the Geico Gecko.
First Woman: “Huh… Fifteen minutes can save you fifteen percent on car insurance.”
Second Woman: “Yeah… Everybody knows that.”
First woman, taken aback a little: “Yeah? Well, do you know why the chicken crossed the road?”
Second Woman looks confused:
A group of chickens hanging around at the side of the road. They are all goofing around, pushing each other playfully, like grade school friends. Clucking and talking.
Chicken One: “I don’t know… I don’t see anything over there that looks any different to me.” He glances up and down the road nervously. Smiles at the other chickens. Glances across the road where everything appears lush and green.
Chicken two, kind of nerdy: “They say the barnyard over there is lush and green… Filled with grain and water troughs everywhere.” Gets excited as he talks. All the other chickens look at him and begin nodding in agreement. “And no one ever disappears,” he adds. Everyone clucks nervously, bobbing their heads.
Chicken One licks his lips: “Gee, I don’t know fellas.”
Chicken Three: “They say you never know ’til you try.” Glances across the road.
Silence holds for a beat.
Chicken One Laughs nervously. Smiles: “Yeah… Okay.” He looks up and down the empty road. Nothing but silence greets him. “Well, here goes.” He smiles and darts out into the road.
The other chickens stare in wonder, but their faces change fast as the sound of an automobile engine building comes to them. Their eyes widen in fear. A wind whips their feathers as a vehicle roars by, and they close their eyes. A split second later Chicken Two opens his eyes.
Chicken Three: “Oooohh… That looks bad.”
The other chickens are all nodding and clucking.
Scene shifts to black screen with announcer over:
Announcer: “Fifteen minutes could save you fifteen percent on car insurance.”
Well there you go. The reason I got up in the middle of the early morning and wrote it. I complain, but I love the gift of writing, especially when it is like that.
Take a look at Geo Dell’s The Zombie Plagues Book One…
The Zombie Plagues Book One… The end begins, who will survive…?
A free eBook for your Tuesday… Earth’s Survivors Apocalypse…
Have a great week!