Sunday, July 05, 2015

Taking stock

There was no blogging for several years.  It is now July, 2015.  My last blog was in 2013.  So much has happened.  I've been too busy to blog.   There seems to be a theme in my life.  It is, "Shit Happens".  For some unknown reason, I am experiencing one of every delay and disaster type.  My life reads like a cheap novel. 

Let's see:   There was mildew in the apartment, tenants that tried to cheat me, several floods and storms, frozen pipes, the betrayal of my sister who stole my inheritance. (This reminds me of the story of Joseph with the coat of many colors.  Was she jealous?)   We are now permanently out of each other's life.  This is a tragedy, but I know it will never improve. 

I received a phone call from several friends with the same message.  It was "You had better get home right away.  Your house may be on fire.".  Good possibility, but this one was a near miss.  The fire hydrant just outside my door has failed.  The reason is probably that there is a lot of sand and dirt in the fire hydrant's piping system, from the Hurricane Irene and Hurricane Sandy.   The fire consumed 2 houses right to the ground.  It was working on the house right next door to me and coming my way.  My house was engulfed in thick acrid smoke.  Fortunately, the Fire Department got the fire out before it ate the third house and came for mine.   Close call.

My tenants in Orange are moving out.  As I inspect the house, I see bugs in the pantry.  Another plague to deal with.  There are roaches in the house.  An exterminator is on the case.  I hand the bill to the tenants, which they gladly pay, as they don't want to move roaches along with their furniture.  I will be paying for monthly sprays for a year.  In that way, I am sure that there are no roaches in this house ...which I want to sell,, but am hesitant to list for sale with roaches in the pantry.  Oh my.

This is the same house that now has another insect infestation.  I have a hive of honey bees living in a bent gutter on the front of the house.  You can't miss them.  They buzz back and forth, going about their little bee business, gathering nectar and making honey.  The exterminator for the roaches won't touch the honey bees.  They are protected in the state of Connecticut.  I agree.  I like them, little workers .  Instead, a bee keeper is called in.  I saw him this morning.   He has 2 ways of removing the bees.  One will take only 1 day, but it means ripping up the siding.  What is the other way?  He will set up a one way door over the bees.  They can fly out, but they can't fly in.  He sets up a fresh bee hive near by.  The evicted bees settle into the new hive.  Over the course of several weeks, most of the bees are in the new hive.  Then a surprise!   the bee keeper opens the door, so the bees can re-enter the old hive.  They do so and suck up all the honey.  ..  which they move to their new hive.  In the meantime, the old queen has died because no one is feeding her.   After a few weeks, the old hive is completely dry and clean.  There are no bees.  There is no honey.  The beekeeper picks up the new hive, hands me a bill for $400 and take the new colony away.  All that I have to do is, have the bent gutter repaired.   Will do that, with much gratitude to the gentle bee keeper, Mr. Harrington.

Let's see;  I am still taking stock of this long progression of disasters.  I don't have the patience of Job, but I begin to see that there is some unseen purpose here.  It could be a test of faith?  I am not sure.  

Then there was the tenant that left the house filled with garbage.  The process of cleaning out the house and finding dead mice, resulted in me contracting Lyme Disease, which I will have my entire life.

Does that complete the list?   Fire, Flood, Financial reversal, family betrayal, illness and insect infestation.  I think that does it for me. 

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Saturday through Thursday, vacation

Judy is an amazing cousin.  Actually, she is my first husband's cousin.  We've adopted each other.  Every time I visit my home town, I've been invited to stay with Judy and her mother, June.  I feel welcome.  June is sociable and friendly.  This time, June is incapacitated.  She is laying in a recliner.  She tries to speak, but the words come out garbled.  I hold her hand.

Beth and Don are with me the last time I see June alive.   Judy calls me.  Her mother has died this morning.  Judy is in shock.  Her minister has come to the house to pray and comfort her.  I show up next. 

Judy has to manage her own illnesses and infirmities.  She has to monitor her brother, who is in a nursing home.  She has bills to pay for 3 houses:  her own condo, her mom's house and her brother's house.  She will have to sell her Mom's house.  There is no other option.  How can so much responsibility fall on one lady's frail shoulders?

On Tuesday, I drive Judy to the walk in medical clinic.  She has a cataract removed.  We are there about 2 hours.  She is released to go home.  Judy wears dark glasses and has drops for her eyes.  Other than that, there are no restrictions.  She will be OK to drive in a day or two.  How can this be?  A cataract surgery used to be a dicey operation.  Patients had to lie still with sandbags on either side of their head.  Real progress has been made in cataract surgery procedures.  There is no pain. 

It is time to start clearing out the house.  I am instructed to clean out the medicine cabinet.  My aunt was 89 years old, so of course the cabinet is filled with scripts, many of them outdated.  Many medicines are across the counter meds.  They all go in the trash.  I wash out the medicine cabinet.  One job done.

Judy attacks the refrigerator.  Some food is going bad.  She throws out food.  Some food was for her mom.  She doesn't eat that stuff.  I get a present of yogurt and puddings in a cup.  I never eat dessert in a cub, but I am curious about this new food.  The label for the yogurt says it is pasteurized.  What is the sense of eating pasteurized yogurt?   There is no live culture in it.  I see it is extended with gelatin.   Neither foods are worth eating. They are nutritional zero foods.  I take them to my cottage in Angola  and will eat them for dessert anyways.

Next job is to clear out the linen closet.  My!  This is a deep closet.  It holds lots of towels and interesting things.  Other people's lives are interesting.  See what they put in their refrigerator and the linen closet to learn how different people can be.  I pull out piles of towels.  Judy says she hasn't seen some of those towels in years.

The washing machine churns out clean towels all day long.  I separate them into piles:  bath rowels, hand towels, fingertip towels.  Judy sorts through and discards those with a lot of wear on them.  I ask her if I can have that pile. I will take it to Beth , as she has a lot of people using towels in her house.  Some of the towels are used to wipe up dog piddles on the floor.  The worst of them can be pressed into dog service.

Books.  books.  books.  Judy is retired from the University of Buffalo's data processing department.  She is spending her retirement as a volunteer in the library.  Judy loves books.  She has stacks of them at her house.  She has stacks of books at her mother's house.  The books need to be moved back to her condo.  She has saved boxes.  We pack the boxes with books.  We fill the back of my truck with boxes of books.  I take them to her condo .  Judy moves them inside.  Back to Mom's house .  The process is repeated many times.  We make a small dent in the pile of books, just a dent.  At least the process of clearing the house has begun. 

It is my pleasure to take Judy out to dinner the first night.  We go to her favorite place:  Athens Diner.  The second night, Judy treats.  We go to a burger joint.  I had the best angus beef burger I've tasted in a long time.  It is my turn to treat.  I choose a steak place for lunch.  It is also very good.  They have good beef in Buffalo.

There is an apple tree in the back yard.  I am invited to pick apples.  I do.  Would Judy like me to make her some applesauce?  She declines.  The apples are all mine.  They are huge apples.  My apples from my trees back home in Milford are small.  I am jealous.  The reason her apples are so huge is the rain fall .  Buffalo gets plenty of rain.  The soil is damp.  The tree soaks it up.  By contrast, I have to run a hose for my trees.  (Make a note to myself  to do better next year.)  Her apples aren't ripe yet.  One bite tells me they aren't ready to be picked.  You know when it is time to pick apples when you can smell them.  I pick them anyways.  A bag of them is now on the floor of my truck.  Sugar will be added to make sweet applesauce.  I will freeze some and can some.  Do apples ripen after being picked?   ...must research that question....

Piles and piles of stuff go to the curb.  One recycling container is completely filled recycle things.  There is a pile of newspapers, nearly stacked and bound.  There is another container with the regular garbage.  It is also filled to the top.  Judy is making progress cleaning out her mother's house. It is less than a week since her mother has died.

Aunt June had shoes.  Judy goes through a big pile of shoes.  I am on my hands and knees pilling shoes from 2 closets.  I can wear them.  However, these shoes are "dress up" shoes and I know I will never wear them.  It is more important to preserve space in my tiny closet at home, so I decline the offer of shoes.  Judy does give me one pair of new shoes and I purchase a pair of slippers from the estate  for Beth.  They are "muc lucs"...nice and warm.  Beth will like them.  I can't find any shoes for Melanie, as Melanie is a tiny lady.

After taking Judy to her follow up appointment,  I claim some time for myself for shopping.  I have only one pair of gray slacks and only one dress up outfit to use for this trip.  Shopping can be fun or it can be no fun.  This time, it is fun to go look at things in stores.  I buy my pair of gray slacks on sale, and a belt, and basic socks.   A box of pots and pans jumps into my shopping basket and ends up in the back of my unplanned purchase.  One has to take advantage when opportunity presents itself,....right?

It is hard to say goodbye to my cousin.  How will she manage all those responsibilities?  She lives in constant pain from brittle bones, as her brother does.  The 2 siblings have been given a bad genetic code.  They have to live with it the rest of their lives.  My cousin confides she does not expect to live to 70. I can't find any words to respond to this.  She is 68.   

Back in Angola:   Time to do my own laundry.  This is boring.  The nearest drugstore has paperback books.  I buy 2 ...sit on the porch and enjoy the sunshine and a mystery book.   This is about the first activity I would classify as a vacation activity .  My vacation is half over.

There are people who are looking forward to seeing me.  I can't be that bad if they want to see me.  One of them is Joyce K.  We go out to dinner at that same steak place I took Judy to for lunch.  Joyce doesn't know I was there a few days ago.  Joyce is a college friend of mine.  How nice to keep in touch over the years.  I can't believe how much time has gone by.  Joyce made a photographic documentary on old barns in her home town.   I purchase the book, instructing her to autograph it.  I have a book autographed by the author!    She is a very good photographer.   My friends seem to be that!   

The sun is going down.  It is time to drive south, back to my beach cottage.  Another day is gone.  Another friend re-connected with.  I am rich in friends.   Good night.

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Thursday and Friday on vacation

One of the nice things that I remember from growing up, is being in Triangle Girls.  It is a masonic organization.  Parents participated , so I had my Dad and sister with me.  There was another girl:  Nancy B.   I met her again as a freshman in Kensington High School.  We were both art majors.  Nancy has considerable talent. She did the year book cover for Kensington high school.    In Triangle Girls, she was voted queen.  I was the organist who accompanied our rituals.  We wore beautiful white dresses. Nancy's was brand new.  Mine was second hand, but the affect was still lovely.

The second year of high school, my parents had moved to a different school district.  Nancy and I lost track of each other, except for Triangle Girls.  We square danced with the DeMolay boys.  I learned to love square dancing.   and, I know of one marriage that came out of our square dancing.

We connected again at Buffalo State.  What a miracle that We were assigned to the same section.  We took all our classes together, except for electives.    Nancy graduated Suma Cum Laude.  She was that kind of a girl.

We've kept in touch over the years. Her address was one of the first places I visited on this vacation.   I got lost .  How could I not remember the streets in my home town?   Nancy directed me to her house via cell phone.   She had a luncheon date with a group of women from her church.  I came along to meet a group of loving, supportive women.  They are Nancy's adopted fam.ily.   We had lunch at the Lafayette Hotel.   it is a historical landmark in down town Buffalo.  It takes up a whole city block.  They sure made them sturdy and beautiful when that building was built. ...about 1902.   I admired carved stone, marble, oil paintings, beautiful architectural detail...and the lunch was good, too.

At Nancy's house:  She has matured into a very competent artist.  I loved what I saw on her walls.  I would have taken photos of her work, but my batteries in my camera are getting weak.  I need to save them.   I have another reunion to attend to in a week.

We had a very nice dinner at a place she loves.  Then I slept over.

The next day was another lovely experience.   My cousins in Hamburg NY had invited me to lunch at Christy's house.   Her sister, Joyce, is preparing for a trip to Spain.  I could not wait to hear about their trip.  Christy has a marvelous sense of design.  She also works like a horse.  She told me that she had broken her wet saw and had to buy another.  Who do you know who is beautiful, slim an blond and cam do her own tiling?  That's Christy.  She also lugged the furniture upstairs, painted the walls.  Christy is a very good contractor.  She has a dog named for my mother.  The dog's name is Maggie.   Mom influenced more people than she knew.....

Anyways, it was a lovely get together with 3 cousins.   Christy gave me a case of Vernor's ginger ale 
as she know I can't get it in Connecticut.  I love that stuff!

It is Saturday.  I am about at the half point of my vacation.   The phone rings.  It is Judy.  Aunt June has died.  Judy is crying.   Aunt June was a lovely lady.  She was sociable and loving.  I will miss her , but not as much as her daughter.    Last time I was in Buffalo, about a year ago.  I went to my Aunt Irene's funeral.   This is a tough time of life.  I am losing friends and family.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Vacation continued

It is the hottest and most humid day of my vacation.  It is time to head for the beach.  I was there yesterday to check it out.  The beach is lovely.  I tell myself to be in the moment.  Feel the breeze on my skin, the hot scratchy feeling of sun burn...the sound of the waves and sea gulls.....I feel the sand under my feet.   There is some power to those waves, so I haven't gotten under the water yet.  Instead, I am standing in it.  I feel the push of the water...back and forth.  The power of the moving water moves the sand under my feet.  My heels sink.  There aren't many people on this beautiful beach because it is after Labor Day.   I am decompressing.

At home at the house I have rented, I check my email.  Aunt June has been moved to a nursing home.  Judy is frantic.   Hospital staff have found that Aunt June's lungs are full of cancer.....probably from second hand smoke.  Uncle Howard was a chain smoker, as were many people of that generation.   Judy is preparing to have Hospice care for her mother.  She signs a "do not resuscitate" order.   I can expect a phone call any day that I have lost my last remaining aunt.

Monday, September 09, 2013

Still on Vacation

Last time that Beth and I were in Buffalo, I took her to the Anchor Bar for Buffalo Wings.  Don boasts about how much "heat" he can eat.  We challenged him.  We brought home a box of their hottest wings.  Don munched them like peanuts.

This trip Don is with us.  He wants to go to the Anchor Bar.  Off We go.  We buy tee shirts.  Don wants a bumper sticker that says He survived suicide wings at the Anchor Bar in Buffalo.   I buy the bumper sticker and tee shirts. 

The food is very good at this bar.  Another favorite food from the Buffalo area is roast beef on a wick....a kimmelwick role.  It has caraway seeds and kosher salt on the role.  You eat them by dipping them into rich brown gravy.  The salt cauterizes the roof of my mouth.  I love them.  That is what I order . They are delicious...mile high with thinly sliced roast beef cooked just right. The sandwich was so big that I had to take a quarter of it home.   They are so good, that Zagat, a food reviewer, has named the roast beef on a wick, as the official sandwich of New York State.

  Don orders a double batch of suicide wings .   I think his stomach must be cauterized by now.  He has been know to eat a ghost pepper....the hottest pepper in the world.   He eats his wings without a complaint.  I expect him to be sick this evening....or tomorrow.  Nope.  He is fine.

Beth and Don have gone.  I have the house to myself.  The purpose of this trip is to decompress, to do some art work, to enjoy the beach.    The weather hasn't cooperated....until today.  Today is the first day I drive to the beach and stay for hours.   Opps....I am sharing the beach with little critters.   I have opened a bottle of soda and attracted a swam of yellow jackets.   The only way to get rid of these pests is to give them what they want.  I pour some soda on a piece of aluminum foil and set it a yard away from me.    That should take care of those little bastards.   Oh has flown right into my soda bottle.  To get him out of there, I have to pour half the bottle on the sand.  Out He goes.  I cap the bottle.  The soda on the sand attracts more yellow jackets.  It is time for me to move down the beach.  The yellow jackets have that section of the sand to themselves.

Sunday, September 08, 2013

How I spent my vacation time

Hurray!   I am on vacation for the first time in at least 15 years.  Beth and Don are with me for the first 6 days.  They are welcome to stay longer, but Don has to go back to work on Monday.  Such activity getting settled in.  Suitcases and bags are carried in.  Each claims a bed.  Then We go off to buy groceries.      There is time to explore the beach.  To reach it, one has to walk about two blocks.  The colony is on a cliff, so the way to the beach is down hill.  The way is so steep, that someone has attached a rope so you can pull yourself up...or keep from falling as you descend.  I am fascinated by the pattern of the layers of shale as they flake off.....something like a buttonwood tree.  This will not be my access to the beach.  There is a public park about a mile down the road.  Much better.....a soft sand beach, hot dog stand, and a flat approach.  This is where I will soak up the beach experience, if it ever warms up enough.

Beth wants to visit her father's grave.  We drive from south of Buffalo to north of Buffalo, to Acacia Masonic Cemetery.    Beth cries because there are so many people buried there from our family.  They are people she has memories of or heard stories about.    There is a headstone for the Crawford and Olson family.  There is another headstone for the Sheldon, Seyse and Deth family.   While there, I decide it is time to decide where I will be buried.  I choose to be cremated and my ashes interred with my father.  I have the paper work ...will attend to this project after I return home.

We are in the Tonawanda area.  This is where Richard's cousin Judy and her mother live.  Things are not well with this family.  Both Judy and her brother Don were born with a genetic defect:  They have brittle bones.  Judy has recovered from surgery on her thumb and a metal implant on her upper arm.  She is scheduled for cataract surgery while I am here, so I will drive her.

Don is in a nursing home.  He just about died.  He was found on the kitchen floor of his house, after laying there for two days.  It is Judy's responsibility to administrate his affairs.  She pays her own bills, her mother's bills and now her brother's bills....all while recuperating from her own surgeries.   to make it worse, her mother is severely deteriorated.  Judy is there to assist the nurse.  Judy feeds her mother.  She changes her diapers.  My lovely cousin is exhausted.   Beth and Don do some grocery shopping for Judy.  Then We return to Angola.  I promise to come back.

Activity still evolves around setting up:  There are many phone calls and appoints made to see old friends.  We chat on the phone.  How lovely to hear familiar voices and talk about old times...and current events in their lives.  I will see every one of these people before I leave the area.

Don tracks down a man selling wood.  In the evening, We take the truck  to where the wood is.  Don stacks about half a truckload of wood.  The man charges us $15.   He is a talker.  he is also a man of faith.  Don and I listen to miracle after miracle that has happened to him during his lifetime.  He is an orphan, raised in Father Baker's orphanage.  Mr. Nelson is sure that Father Baker is still looking out for "his boys".   What a lovely experience, hearing this man talk. 

Evening:   a blazing bon fire and "smores"....Graham crackers, chocolate and marshmallows by the fire.  That same evening, We had arranged to talk to Melanie via Skype.   There was some trouble getting started, but We solved the problem.  All three of us saw and talked to my eldest daughter who now lives in North Carolina.    Beth feels that Melanie is depressed. She misses family.  I think she does also.  Melanie has some life situations to solve and I think she is very capable of doing so.  Melanie has a birthday October first.  I can't come to Raleigh, but We arrange to Skype again on her birthday.

Then , thee was the rainy day We slept away the afternoon.  All that work finally got to us....

It is Sunday.  Beth and Don pack up to go back to Syracuse.  Don has cleaned the grill.  Beth has washed her sheets and ran the vacuum cleaner.  It seems like they just got here.  They have to go.  Don has to fix the Jeep before Monday.  Beth's phone rings.  Her son promises a surprise when they get home.  I am guessing the kitchen is all cleaned up. (I hope).     To be continued.....

Saturday, September 07, 2013

Fifth lifetime

Numerology:  I am in my fifth lifetime.  The number 5 means "drama" and it sure has been that kind of life.    Previous posting details my experience with my house in Orange.  This post deals with my house in Milford, on the the street from the beach. 

Shall I repeat all the trouble I've had that is water related?   Storm Beth?  Hurricane Irene?  Hurricane Sandy?   Dealings with my insurance company or with FEMA?  How about dealing with the city of Milford?   It seems that the city is desperate for money because of our recession.  Property taxes are based on the value of houses.  The value of houses is going down from the peak.  The city did not count on the downturn, so they have budget problems.  

An assessor is walking the streets, looking for improvements to tax.   I've replaced siding and deck railings because of hurricane damage.  The city wants to raise my taxes, but I proved that I did not improve my house.  I merely replaced damaged wood.  The house looks pretty good at the moment.

I am taking a look at the neighborhood.  We are all scared of climate change or global warming.  Take your pick of terminology.  Which term do you prefer?   Several neighbors are renting out their houses during the summer.  I had never thought to do that.   Maybe I will do that.

After research, I sign up with "Vacation Rentals By Owner"...a web site.   On this site, I see how houses are advertised and what the rent should be.    Last summer, I rented out my house for the first time....and met some very nice people.  I met a family from Germany...another family from Saudi Arabia.   This summer, I rented to people from Georgia and from Pennsylvania.  The family from Saudi Arabia came back.  I think I made a friend.    I restrict the number of weeks I rent the house, as this is my main address.  I don't want the tax man to challenge me, as I may sell this house some day and claim a capital exemption.    I don't make a lot of money doing this.  It is a lot of work, but it pays most of my taxes.

Tina helps me clean and set up the house for the next guests.  She make a decent fee for doing this. 

However, I am getting tired.  My age is slowing me down.  Perhaps I should take a vacation???   I block out September, 2013 just for myself.  Where shall I go?   I want to go back to Lake Erie.  I want to swim in the lake and walk on streets I walk on when I was little.  The colony where Dad had a cottage is now over developed, so I am not going back there.  VRBO leads me to a cottage in Angola, NY.  It is south of Buffalo NY.  Close enough.    I make the arrangements.  It takes me a full month to get everything in place.

Larry will cut my grass and take care of the outside of the house on Park Circle.  Dan will cut the grass on Melba Street.   I set up electronic bill paying so I can pay  my utility bills while I am away.  I don't want a batch of overdue paper bills waiting for me when I return.

Stephen shows up.  I pay him (over pay him) to install some insulation under he porch and pull some weeds.  He can use the money.  The porch will need more insulation to finish the job, but at least the job is started. 

Ernesto is here.  He has fixed the hatch door.  He installs it with bolts so it will no longer pull out from the frame.  He has painted it with primer.  I paint it again with exterior paint that approximates the house color.  It is not an exact match.  The house has faded.  I don't care.  The hatch door is protected from the elements.

Two Pella doors have arrived.  One will be installed in the kitchen. The other door goes to the dining room  opening to the front enclosed porch.   Then, there is the toilet:  I've decided to replace the toilet with a wall hung toilet.  It will make cleaning the floor a lot easier.   Ernesto's brother is a plumber in New York City.  He has installed many of them.  The toilet has been sitting in my living room for over a year.  I can't wait to get it out of the living room and installed upstairs.   Ernesto will work on those projects while I am away.  He has a key to the house

The mail arrives.  I have a water bill for over $300.  It is not a mistake.  My faucets have been dripping for some time.  The plumber comes to put new washers in every faucet in the house.  I never want a bill like that again!   While He is at it, I send him to Melba Street to fix the yellow toilet.  It rocks on the floor.    After He leaves holding his paid bill, I hear the toilet "sipping" water.  The problem is still there.  Nothing to do at this time, but to turn off the water to the yellow toilet.  I will deal with it when I return from my vacation.

The mail man is notified to hold my mail.  They only hold mail for 30 days.  I may be gone for more than that. Carol offers to pick up my mail after the 30 days is over.    She is a good friend.   

Jack needs a sitter while I am away.  Beth volunteers to take care of him.  Pushing my luck, I ask her to take him for the entire winter.  She agrees.  I will be driving through Syracuse on my way to Angola.  I can drop Jack off.  Next  stop is to Trader Joes for dog food.  About 50$ of dog food is loaded into the Ranger truck.   I don't want to cause Beth and Don any expenses related to my dog.  A tote bag is filled with his allergy medicine, medical records, leash, coat...stuff a little dog will need during his stay.  By leaving Jack with Beth, I can move into Melba Street.  Jack can't come into this house because it is carpeted and rented to others.  He may soil the carpet...a no no...

I have yet start my trip...   I make phone calls , email and post cards to friends that I will be in the area.   If  I am lucky, I will get to spend some time with old friends, college friends, cousins.   Yes!   It is coming together.

Two bills arrive.  I receive contracts for furnace insurance,  Tina's furnace and mine need to be cleaned and serviced in September.  I pay the bills.  Tina will set up the appointments so both furnaces will be cleaned on the same day.  She knows how to get into the house.  Both Jay, the furnace man and Tina can be trusted to enter my house.   That is the last detail I need to address in order for me to take a vacation.

One week of clothes is thrown into the truck, along with art materials, jack and his stuff.  I also have furniture I want to drop off for Judy Fisk...a senior and friend of Don's mother.  She lives in Senior Housing in Syracuse.  She is a sweet person on dialysis.  She never complains.  I love to see her.  Some how, I get a dining room table, lamp, small bench for the end of her bed and some other stuff into the truck.  Off I go.  I am on vacation.

First stop is at Beth and Don's house in Syracuse.  Don comes with me to Judy's house.  He takes the furniture out of the truck and up the elevator to Judy's apartment.  She is so gracious.  She is thrilled with the furniture.  I have one more upholstered chair for her, but I could not get it into the truck.  That is for the next trip.

Labor day!    Beth, Don and I and Don's family are gathering at Dori's house on Lake Oneida.  The lake is so similar to my memories of Lake Erie, I should have rented a house near here.  We had a nice picnic visiting with family.  Dori is an artist.  She showed me some lovely things she has made.  Richard has made a "push swing" .  It is sitting outside.  I always loved them.  He will make them as a small business.  I order one.  It will be delivered in the spring.   Good feelings here. 

Don says He has some vacation time the same time I will be on vacation.  They are coming with me.  I did not plan on this, but why not?   Don has to repair his Jeep.  He uses my truck to get car parts.  On the way, my brake fails.  I am so glad this did not happen when I was on the road.  Don replaces my brake line and adds fluid.  He starts to work on his Jeep.  This can't be happening, but his brakes fails, too.  He also needs a universal joint.  There is no way all those repairs can be done on time.  I am scheduled to drive to Angola on September 3.  There is only one solution:  I rent a car for them. 

Anthony says He will take care of Jack.  Off We go in two vehicles.  About three hours later, We are in Angola.   We have a nice little house....two bedrooms, one bath, a deck out front, a deck out back, a fire pit, a horseshoe pit.  Luggage is moved in, but out host is not there.  She has called.  The key is under the mat.