Home Alone Again (Naturally)

This has been less fun than I imagined, and my imagination wasn’t going crazy. I knew it might be a little quiet here this week. On any given week, I might have had a couple of social things on the calendar, dinner somewhere, a meeting, something. I was tempted to drop a few hints, in fact, to see if I could wrangle an invitation, but it seemed like too much trouble.

But quiet, yes. And boring. And troubling, for reasons that aren’t related to anything in particular. It’s been sort of a troubling week in that regard, with some somber thoughts on mortality.

I’ve been practicing self-care, then. I guess we call it that now, and I guess why not? Putting on your own oxygen mask first and all that. So I’m taking a little break from digging into the news of the day, not ignoring but just wading in the shallow waters. I’ll return to my normal schedule soon enough, but I just can’t this week. Some weeks are like that.

And to think, I’ve still got five days of aloneness. Oh, the places I’ll go.

My son is having a fine trip to Texas so far, at any rate. I dropped him at the airport Wednesday, parking and going inside with him for, I guess and on his part only, sentimental reasons. He takes departures and arrivals seriously, emotionally. I’m not sure these are actual emotions as much as behavior he finds attractive, airport goodbyes and such. He wanted an appropriate send-off, anyway, and that meant me watching him stand in the security line until I couldn’t see him anymore.

It seems silly, I know. He’s a grown man. Even given his challenges, I could drop him by parachute into any town in this country and I know he’d be fine. He’s perfectly capable of functioning as an adult in the modern world. He copes better than anyone I’ve ever met.

Texas men with Seattle flavor. John, cousin Trey, uncle Jim.

Texas men with Seattle flavor. John, cousin Trey, uncle Jim.

So he played video games and bought a cheese platter on the flight, and his mother and grandmother picked him up at DFW with no problems, getting him appropriate refreshment before heading home.


There’s a feeling here, though, that I’ve crossed another thing off my list. There’s no road map when you have a disabled child, no touchstones or expected landmarks to note. It’s the Wild West of life, and you can’t count on the calendar, but time does tend to smooth things out. I have confidence that my son, who’s been a constant companion and the most consistent relationship of my life, I think, is going to do just fine. I’m not all that needed.

This is natural, and part of life. Then again, acknowledging that, I’m not needed, is worthy of some consideration. It a little awkward, coming at this stage of life. I still have things to do.

One of my readers wrote the other day, asking for clarification on a couple of things (and misinterpreting a stray comment into a wonderful metaphor that I intend to steal; you gotta know some writers if you’re interested in semantic larcency).

I’m a little compartmentalized, as I told him, less enthralled suddenly with writing to large groups of anonymous readers (they may not be that large), preferring a small audience of mildly indifferent people. I’m currently working on arranging a reunion for next summer, which involves a lot of video editing and cleaning up old VHS tape recordings, which is a fun learning experience (I’m inadequate, but better). It’s a little weird to stare at the 20-something faces of your friends and yourself for hours at a time. I start to see thoughts and decisions being made in real time, watching their eyes (and mine).

He was curious about the projector I keep talking about, which is one of my failures of communication. I’m well aware of my tendency to wander all over the place, and hopefully wind up where I was headed, but I seem pretty incompetent when it comes to explaining things.

One of the questions I got from my reader was about the reference to my projector, so I got frustrated. I understand scattering my thoughts around, and I know it’s just a personal preference. It was just surprising to find that I discovered a new-found love for watching movies in the dark. I’ve watched Bogart and Burton and Hepburn and O’Toole and space movies and westerns and silent films. I sit in my dark room and I’m always amazed by the resolution. Not sure I can do it service but decided to try.


Still can’t work. It’s just a little screening room, comfortable and with an amazing resolution. Looks like a real theater, missing sticky floors and overpriced popcorn. So much fun, but I guess it’s my fun. Still, some marginal movies improve quite a bit with blowing things up and turning off the lights.

But just call it fun. I watched The Searchers the other night and was impressed. I might wander in the John Wayne canon a bit. Although I’m got so many to choose from.

The second thrill is the fence, of course. It’s damn near impossible to demonstrate, either. Essentially, they took a wide-open back yard, with tons of brush blurring property lines and nothing but gardens and grass extending out west of my house. It was an amorphous blob of multiple lots, and now we have demarcation. I can argue against development (I wouldn’t, or see the point), but it’s  funny feeling, just a fence. It delineated my yard, and while I don’t feel master of my castle, I’m getting to be pretty masterful at those stray blackberry vines. Tons of work left, digging up stray vegetation from the tree and brush removals, but it feels nice. A good landscaper could work wonders.

And money is a struggle. We spent $9000 last summer on our water line, and that was home improvement for 2017. Work needs a ton of work (tarps so far holding the leak line), and we have now this nice backyard with a missing deck. And some water damage to repair. And other things, and all this suspecting this is a tear-down, sooner than later.

But a deck would be wonderful, to enjoy some summer, and I need to apply for a deck grant. Also a dental grant, because while I don’t have pain I do have a tooth that slipped behind another and remains grayed-out, almost giving the impression of a missing tooth, my inner hillybilly. It’s fixable but it requires money, a few thousand to get a veneer and maybe a couple of implants. I know what this would mean; I'd do more video, fun video. It’s probably the next step; old guy speaks his find for three minutes, give days a week, with bells and whistles and stickers and an amazing CGI. No way to get that work done with the other projects needing money I don’t have. I need rich friends, I guess, with sympathy and curiosity. You seriously have no idea how often I refrain from appearing on camera when my mouth has to open. It’s a sadness but not much I can do about it.


So the final idea here: I might try some audio. I do audio well, and you don’t have to look at my crooked teeth. Maybe three minutes, as I approach my 60th birthday. I figure even podcast haters can tolerate three minutes. And what with my blackout curtains for the screening room, I’m getting good sound. Let’s see if I can scale this up for July.

I’m up for anything, including finding a special July 4th dessert for my Syndicate of ladies who like my offerings. I’m considering ice cream sandwiches, all from scratch, with a delicious cake that might just work out, along with my special ice cream. I might have to wrap up some regular cookies in case there are disappointments.

So stayed tune for a few minutes of musing on aging and some plot developments if Better Call Saul every comes back.

One last thing, although about misunderstanding. The fence thing. The Fence Conundrum.

So hard to demonstrate, just like the new projector. You had to be here before.

But if this helps, I mocked up some stuff.

The red dotted lines are my property lines. You can see the blurring.

The red dotted lines are my property lines. You can see the blurring.

This is a photoshop mock-up, the general idea. Maybe you see that it's a bit more organized.

This is a photoshop mock-up, the general idea. Maybe you see that it's a bit more organized.


I am hanging in there. More yard work, more digging and weeding. Some treks outside in the sunshine. Maybe some dessert experimentation. Maybe I'll watch Citizen Kane. Maybe I'll just hang on until Tuesday, which honestly can't come that soon.

And if anyone wants to donate dental work for my birthday, charity starts at home. Go for it.

Chuck Sigars4 Comments