observations on life

From the 2012 Christmas letter

July 2012
It rained less than half an inch this month, and was at or near 100 degrees every day. Still deriving joy from South Dakota weather.

I have progressed from calling the guy who sold us our house “The Knucklehead” to “The Numbskull” (expletive deleted). So far, after a year and a half, we have scrapped all of the faucets in the house, three sinks, a toilet, a shower, the stove, the microwave, all the low voltage lighting in the back yard, and half of it in the front yard, because none of these things functioned as expected. The microwave had a myocardial infarction and expired suddenly. The oven temperature was a game of chance which resulted in more than one ruined cake. Sinks were so small they were useless, the faucets were all gold, and the outdoor lighting was all lit at the same time only once that I can remember. Otherwise it was a crapshoot as to which lights would be on on any given day.
August 2012
Had two nice days over the weekend, so I spent them trying to get our pond working again (Surprise! The pond doesn’t work either.) I’ll save you the details of installing a new pump, but suffice it to say that when I finally got it working, every muscle in my body hurt, I was covered with cuts and scrapes and bruises, had a sunburn, was eaten up by chiggers, and lost a fingernail. But hey, that’s a small price to pay for successfully getting water to run across some rocks into a puddle. F___ing Numbskull. Who puts a pond in their yard?

Remember that curse I told you about last year? Curse ongoing. (Like you hadn’t figured that out.) Cats butts are not improved, except that now there are only three of them. I’m still allergic to water, and my body continues its weird reshaping thing.

The holes in the dining room ceiling are still there. Can’t work up the energy to deal with sheet rock dust. Most people never look up anyway.

On a happy note, Jim and I are still married. Also, I am still thrilled to not be a social worker anymore. Not being a social worker is like being let out of prison. In fact, I’ve been thinking lately that jail might not be so bad. Can’t be any worse than being a social worker, and definitely an improvement over working for Sanford Health, the mega giant healthcare company here where I worked at the hospice.
August 28th
The forecast high for today is 100 degrees. Thursday it’s supposed to be 102. Saturday it will be September. And the Republicans are convened in Florida, claiming there’s no such thing as climate change. You have to give those people credit, though. They don’t let facts get in the way of their beliefs.

I was thinking, for something different, I might highlight some of the things that are the SAME in both Virginia and South Dakota:

1) The air guard likes to fly on beautiful sunny days here, too. Is the sun out? If so, let the strafing begin.
2) Morons abound. Nobody, anywhere, seems to know how to drive.
3) Nobody under thirty knows how to make change.
4) Even the newspaper reporters can’t spell. And they don’t know imply from infer or elicit from illicit. Some days I just want to cry. Today it said in the paper that an argument escaladed into a fist fight. I am not making this up.

September 30, 2012
Now the front porch is rotting away so badly that it needs to be torn down and replaced. Also, it is too hot out today, the last day of September, to go outside and work in the yard. Do you all ever feel as though you were really not meant to be here? Like it was all a mistake?

My four paragraph essay has been published in a book called What Makes a South Dakotan.

October 2012
Even my friends are now convinced that I am truly cursed. Bought a new TV and a sound bar. Our TV was so small we couldn’t see what the score was when watching baseball games. New TV didn’t have an audio output. Difficult to believe, but nevertheless true. The guy who hooked it up said to me “I’ve never had this happen before.” I say, “It’s OK, it happens to me all the time.” Got a new ceiling fan. Didn’t work. The installer said, “You know, this is a really good quality fan. I’ve never had this happen before.” Me– “It’s OK, it happens to me all the time.” New convection oven. The first time I used it for a cake when it was brand new, the fan wouldn’t run. Guy comes to fix it–a blade was bent, somehow, during shipping or installation. (???) Guy says, “I’ve never had this happen before.” Me– “It’s OK, it happens to me all the time.”
November 2012
It is a great relief that Barack Obama is still president. Some South Dakotans want to secede from the nation now because there are democrats living and voting in the United States. It’s quite a surprise to me that they hadn’t noticed that sooner than this.

The new porch is finished, and cost $11,000. Holy mother of god. This house sucks up money faster than Mitt Romney.

Remember that car accident I had 10 years ago, where my Blazer tipped over and my elbow skidded down 70 feet of pavement? Now there’s a torn tendon in that shoulder that’s probably been hanging on precipitously ever since, and has now given way. I had a premonition back then that it was going to come back and bite me in the ass, er, arm some day.

Hallelujah! We have survived another Thanksgiving. In the spirit of the holiday I would like to say that I am grateful for my family, my friends, my socioeconomic status, the fact that my husband now does all the grocery shopping and I don’t have to, that I no longer have to shovel snow or mow the lawn (mostly because Jim does those things now, but since we live in a desert lately, it never rains or snows anymore anyway, so mowing and shoveling are not required), that none of our pets have died so far this year, for the South Dakota sky, fireflies, hummingbirds, Ben and Jerry’s Karmal Sutra ice cream, pharmaceuticals, and that I am not and never was in Bastogne freezing my ass off at the Battle of the Bulge.

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