On my way home from work Friday my dad called me to check in on my health status, which there was no real news to speak of. While I had dad on the phone I asked him about the state of them trying to sell their house in Marienville. I did not get a real rosy report card. It seems like the shine from the prospect of getting out from under the load of isolation and seclusion of north western PA is proving to be pretty daunting although that is not a surprise to him. They just got done putting a new roof on the house which was advised by their realtor to make it more appealing. There is actually a lawyer that may be interested enough to make an offer but dad did not sound upbeat about it.
At the same time as they have been trying to prepare their current house to be sold they have been prospecting new places in SE PA, near my sister Meghan. It sounds like so far it has been a Catch 22 because of the current requirement dad has to move with all of barnyard animals. Any property that is more or less ready to move in, with all the animals, is well above what they are looking to spend. The properties that are in their range generally would require a lot of work (and money) to fit that need, which is something that just does not work for dad at this point in his life.
My entire life I have witnessed dad go into homes where he spent countless amounts of money, time, and effort to make the property fit him and his needs to a tee. He did it with the house in Gouglersville, the house in New Mexico, and now the Marienville home. The unfortunate thing is the Marienville house probably has the most invested with the smallest chance of getting the money out of it, because of the area, which is just not going to be attractive to a lot of potential buyers. But my point is it just is not realistic for him to get into another fixer upper scenario at this point. Both he and my stepmom deserve to enjoy life more and not be pulling a heavy weighted sled of work and responsibilities 24/7.
So to the casual observer the answer is pretty simple, they need to find a good home for the barnyard animals and move towards a more conservative property that does not require all of that work and upkeep. Moving while keeping all the animals just relocates all of that work, albeit it would be closer to my sister. If anyone understands a deep attachment to animals it’s me. Hell one of the big reasons we have done less road tripping in recent years is I worry about the care of the chickens in our absence. But, if the ultimate goal is enjoying your golden years I think some hard choices are going to have to be made.
Regardless of the outcome I am not envious of the situation. Staying put is just going to become more and more stressful, as a person’s physical capabilities generally do not increase as they age. Moving will be a task of monumental proportions although I thought the same thing when they moved from New Mexico back east. They had a TON of shit then as well although sheep and llamas were not part of that equation. I hung up with dad feeling somewhat sad for their dilemma. It’s a situation that has big barriers and challenges no matter which direction they turn.
Based on the convo I thought it was funny/ironic that the parting advice dad gave me was to relax this weekend FIRST and then do whatever work I can. If it doesn’t get done, oh well. Well obviously that isn’t the way I am wired. I ALWAYS want to get tasks out of the way first and then relax, if there is any time left over for that. Doing it any other way just leaves me unsettled and anxious.
So as you could predict, I totally ignored my dad’s advice. I spent over 6 hours on the tractor Saturday mowing grass. The reason it took so long was I decided to knock down areas of the property outside the fence line, some of which that have not been mowed in years. Mowing three to four foot tall grass is a very slow process requiring you to go back and forth over each area multiple times. It’s also a very dirty process. I had the chute held open to allow debris to get out easier. The side effect was that debris blowing all over me. Any exposed skin areas had a coating of organic matter on them when I was done.
On Saturday night Cindy and I got out to see Venom, a movie I had been looking forward to for awhile. Although it was a Marvel affiliated movie it was not a Marvel production, and I could tell. It was entertaining and I liked the movie but it definitely was not up to par with what I expect from a Marvel film. There was lots of funny moments in the movie and many a few too many of them to be honest. For an origin story, I felt like there should have been more serious plot and substance. But like I said, I liked it overall but just don’t expect it to live up to any of the Marvel stand alone character movies of the last 10 years. I’d give it a B to weak B+.
So before we left for the movies I had to close the garage door on the big shed. This task has been becoming more hazardous over the last month or two because of my refusal to eliminate a wasp nest that has been constructed in the door frame. My compassion for living creatures has governed that decision. It felt like the wasps and I had a mutual understanding. They knew I had to open and close the door, which would bump their nest each time and I did not want to destroy their home they have been working on for weeks on end. Each time I accessed the door the nest would get jostled which would send some of the wasps off the nest but they never were aggressive towards me, they simply landed right back on the nest.
Like I said this nest has been growing and as of this weekend it had close to 20 wasps actively working on it. It had gotten to the point where Cindy was afraid to go in the shed. Despite the growing size I continued to let the nest be as I would do my best to keep the door disturbance minimal and the wasps continued to ignore me, until Saturday evening.
So when I went to close the door this time a bunch of wasps came off the nest and I could instantly tell they were aggressive. It looked like the smaller, younger wasps were actually the aggressive ones, perhaps they didn’t get the memo that I was a good guy. So as I see the small wasps looking for a target I hunched down as I was closing the door. As I did I felt the distinctive burn on the top of my head as one of the little bastards stung me. Instead of anger, my initial overwhelming feeling was one of sadness, as this meant the wasps had officially broken their peace treaty with me. I could not have them stinging me or Cindy.
I did not address the situation immediately. Instead during the night I felt sad that I was going to have to take the nest down. Sunday morning I did the deed however I tried to do so in a non-lethal way. I stretched a hose over there and blasted the nest with water to knock it down and off to the side. I figured water wouldn’t kill the wasps and possibly allow them to rebuild their nest elsewhere. When I saw one wasp later trying to initiate a build at the same spot I hit him with some insecticidal soap that should annoy him but again not be lethal. I’m not sure exactly when in life I developed this seemingly at times strange compassion for even the littlest of creatures but it is ingrained in my personality for sure at this point. Pretty much the only things that die without remorse at my hand are fire ants or mosquitoes, once they bite me.
Sunday morning I did not go out riding. Instead I hopped back on the tractor to mow the back yard that is inside the fence, consuming another couple hours. I figured I had the time to ride in the afternoon since the Eagles game was late. After we ran errands late morning I didn’t get out to ride until around 3. I drove out to Ave Maria with the Meepo and One Wheel. In the video I talk about a lot of things I mentioned here, just because I felt like it.
I got home to watch the Eagles game, which in retrospect was not a great thing. The team again played very sloppy ball and for the second consecutive week lost to a team they shouldn’t have. I see several differences from last year that seem to be impacting the outcome of the games. First off the secondary, outside of Malcom Jenkins is pretty awful. Last year the front four of the D-line was able to get pretty consistent pressure on opposing QB’s, allowing the secondary, which still was not great last year, to make some plays. This year the pressure does not seem to be there, exposing the poor secondary play even more.
I also hate the soft zone the DB’s seem to play the majority of the time, lining 8-10 yard off the ball most plays. Doing this allows receivers to get a full head of steam to either blow by you as you are back pedaling or cut in front of your back pedal for easy yardage. I much prefer a bump and run coverage where DB’s challenge the receivers during the first 5 yards to slow down their routes while playing man coverage. I guess Schwartz just doesn’t like that play style or thinks he doesn’t have the talent in the secondary to do that.
The offense has been very inconsistent as well and a lot of that has to do with a lack of solid pass protection. The O-line has been pretty awful with keeping Wentz upright since he returned. The end result has been a lot of sacks and knockdowns as well as Carson making some poor decisions and not protecting the ball, resulting in big turnovers.
I don’t know that there is any magic formula to get the team back on track. They just are not making big plays this year when they need to. Last year they had an uncanny ability to do exactly that as well as getting just plain lucky at times when they needed to. So far this year, the luck has run out.
On Friday evening I started the biggest print I ever attempted. It was estimated to take two days and a few hours. As of this morning it was only 66% complete. If the print is successful it will be pretty epic. If it fails this late into the print it will be pretty damn depressing.
Hey Brett Kavanaugh was confirmed! What an incredible, unifying and progressive move. It’s a hugely, very, very, fantastic win for Trump and the republicans. It was just the latest of a string of never ending examples of just how f’d up the political system is in this country and why we continue to accelerate towards the bottom of the bowl where winning an argument has now become paramount to acting for the greater good. It’s not a #metoo world, it’s a #mefirst kind of thing. Please register to vote for the mid-term elections and do your part to try to end the insanity.