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    Just love QWU, a place to hang out talk about quilts, sewing machines, ideas, and our grandkids.  Also where we can share, let our hair down or tear it out among friends, right?  Oh, I'm so glad you agree.

    Because you are just not going to believe this!  We headed up to Idaho in early April.  This was to be the year we remodel the west end of the house.  I anticipated lots of dirt and dust flying around while things got torn down and put back together.  So no quilt projects went up this year.  I bought a few embroidery kits to take.  And some yarn and knitting needles, crochet hooks.  All small project stuff to keep me happy and out of the guys hair yet be on call for consultation:  "Hey, what is this closet thing you have designed in the bathroom wall?" or "A mirror defogger?  And it needs to be hardwired?" or  "A towel warmer?  What is it, a towel rack that gets hot?  I spose you want that hardwired too?" But I'm getting ahead of the story.

    So we drive up to our gate after a long day and night on the road, DH is tired and a bit frazzled, so I'm not really surprised that he's having trouble getting the gate open.  But after some fumbling around he comes back and digs in the truck tool box.  Uh Oh!  He cuts the chain to open the gate.  Must be really frazzled.  Gets back in the truck, looks at me and says somebody has been here, broke in, and replaced the gate padlock. We get up to the house and everything is OK.  Heads scratched, shoulders shrugged, then unpack and all.  Later that morning we notice that the electrical meter now has a smart meter.  Aha!  Mystery solved.  But kind of miffed, ya know??  A phone call or note on the door would have been nice.

    Fast forward four months and I get a call that DH's mother is failing.  The dying process has begun, we need to get back to California.  DH does not take this news well.  In fact he's all over the board emotionally and mostly taking it out on me verbally.  I'm beginning to feel like his personal rag doll being whacked against the wall all day.  But he's working his way through his pain/grief.  Meanwhile, the job site has to be shut down, calls to contractors to delay/postpone work, equipment packed up and removed, doors and windows order put on hold.  The contractors nightmare.   Then, two days later, just before we are ready to leave, the call comes that she has passed away.  A new flood of emotion for DH, and more phone calls with his brother while we finish packing up and get on the road.  Deciding what to do and making the necessary arrangements on speaker phone with brother takes up a lot of the trip so it goes fairly fast.  We arrive back in California a little after midnight.  DH gets out tired and frazzled and goes to open the gate.  I get a quick deja vu but relax when it opens, just the chains are a little jumbled up.  However, the house is dark.  The porch light should be on.  So we open up, DH with a flashlight, me with the cell phone to light my way.  OK, the power is out.  But DH turns on the faucet to get a drink and no water.  Suddenly he rounds on me "Haven't you been paying the utilities?" A little tired and frazzled myself plus playing the rag doll wall bang, I answer "No, but I've been checking the bills every month..."

"What?  When was the last time you made any payments"

"January.  But I've checked the bills..."

"Never mind!  Let's just get the candles...Why the h@ll haven't you been paying the bills!!!"

"To save on stamps, it costs 49 cents every time you mail a payment." I answer with a little edge in my wee tired voice.  Then it dawns on me.  He's forgotten that I pay ahead for the year on all the utilities and check the statements each month to make sure we still have a credit balance.

   After some more choice words between two totally too tired people, we get that one sorted out, but then start to wonder why are all the utilities off?  A trip around outside and DH sees the water has been turned off at the street and the main valve covers removed for the house line and the shop line.  Which means somebody came over the gate and turned off all the valves.  SNAP!

   Meanwhile I make a call to PG&E to report a power outage.  While I'm punching in the account number per the recorded voice directions, a man comes on the line and I nearly miss him because I'm holding the phone so I can see to use the keypad and don't hear him talking.  Okay, get the info that power has been out since 7:00PM yesterday, so I'm thinking quickly how long is that in hours and do I need to pitch everything in the freezer, and say "So 7:00PM Monday, then"  and writing it down, when he answers "No, 7:00PM yesterday....today is Wednesday"  It is freaking Tuesday night just after midnight!  SNAP! 

           ......................................................................

   No, I didn't say bad words to Mr. PG&E.  Or any more bad words too poor DH grieving for his mom.  After checking our phone messages which included a neighbor saying we'd had a sprinkler running (sarcasm alert: can you say automatic sprinkler system) and we need to get it fixed, I went to bed and just laid there numb, staring at the ceiling in the dark.  California, once dubbed the land of fruits and nuts, now also the land of the water police...?  What the h@ll happened?  These were supposed to be our golden years.

Joan

PS:  Hope you enjoyed the story.  No, I did not make this up!!!

   

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Comment by Roxann on July 20, 2014 at 12:18pm
I'm sorry for your loss. I am certain my husband can relate to your rag doll definition. After I lost my dad I know there were times I treated him that way. The day I actually snapped out of it we were talking about something and I said it makes me mad!, and the comment that I can still hear, and not only hear but hear the hurt, and frustration in his voice was: "you are always angry any more!" Ouch! It was then I realized just how much I had taken out on him. It's still sometimes a struggle but since hearing the hurt in his voice I give it my all not to take things out on him. I'm sorry you are hurting and I hope things get better soon. Prayers for you!
Comment by Donna Sykes on July 17, 2014 at 6:16pm

So sorry for your loss. Sounds like you need to take one day at a time to recover from this rough ride. You are in my thoughts and prayers.

Comment by Prairie Quilter/NE on July 17, 2014 at 4:58pm

You can't make this stuff up!  Seems like when that ol' snowball starts rolling downhill, it just picks up speed.  All you can do is ride it out to the bottom and pray the crash doesn't kill you!  What a ride you had this time around.

Condolences to your husband in the loss of his mother.  

Comment by Barbara Graham on July 17, 2014 at 2:38pm

Oh, my. That sounds like enough sorrow and melodrama to last for at least twenty years. Sorry to hear of your loss.

Comment by Barb/WI on July 17, 2014 at 7:21am

I am so sorry to hear of your loss.  What a trying time that just seemed to snowball.  You could use a little "down time" to recover.  Hope things are improving, you deserve a break.

Comment by Joan on July 17, 2014 at 6:32am

Since the seven year drought in the 1980's we've been working to plant drought resistant shrubs and meadows that survive on yearly rains and reseed themselves instead of a lawn.  However, through the course of the summer they need some water.  And this year we restricted the watering schedule even more before we left.  Everything looks dead right now.  Some may come back from the roots.  I did think about piling up all the dead rock roses (Cistus), Helianthums, Butterfly bushes, etc. out on the front with a sign "HAPPY NOW?" for the neighbors edification.  They all still have their roses and potted plants on the porch.  But I won't.  A sad memorial to better days when we had a semblance of landscaping, and a dear mother in law.

Comment by Irene Gallway on July 17, 2014 at 5:16am

Sincere condolences to you and hubby on the death of his Mother.  As for all your troubles, I would say you have had your share to do you the rest of your life.  I hope things will go well with the contractors and utility companies once things settle down from his mom's death.

Comment by Mary/ Tewksbury MA on July 17, 2014 at 5:05am

Condolences to you and your husband on his Mom's death. Seems you have a lot to deal with, good to vent a little.

Been seeing reports on national news about California's drought and water restrictions going into effect, water has really become a precious resource.   

Comment by Pam/NY on July 17, 2014 at 4:25am

Sorry for your husband's loss...it always seems worse when you're thinking of other things. California sure has had it's issues the past few years with weather and fires, along with many more. Sure hope there wasn't major damage to your house or marriage! :)

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