Can the child within my heart rise above?


This was kind of a momentous week. Not so much with my journey to fame, fortune and Europe, but in other ways. First of all, Monday and Tuesday was when Linda’s parents were moved into assisted living. It had been a long, tense road for Linda and her siblings getting them to that point, but by then, they were pretty much in a state of acceptance.

The facility has movers that took care of the move itself, although a lot of packing was done ahead of time. Due partly to my work schedule, and partly to the time of year, I didn’t help with that. The work schedule is pretty much self-explanatory, but as for the time of year, this is the beginning of my allergy season.

Each year varies, but what can be counted on is in the late summer/early fall when ragweed comes out, I’ll be pretty miserable. For now, it’s just grasses and chenopods, which I always have to look up because I never remember what they are. Suffice to say they are a huge family of very prolific weeds.

Some years, they don’t bother me much. This year, my sinuses have been packed and throbbing.

As for the ragweed, I remember researching it a little last year about its presence in Europe. Apparently, ragweed is not an issue in Western Europe, including Portugal. Of course, that’s not to say that there won’t be other European weeds that could cause havoc with my allergies, but we’ll see.

Anyway, about Linda’s parents. They spent Monday and Tuesday at our house during the move. At ninety-six and ninety-seven years old, they don’t really have another move in them. In fact, her dad has made comments in the past, after moving into their independent living apartment, that they were just waiting to die. That’s part of what fueled their fight against moving again, but unfortunately, with both of them affected by dementia and Alzheimer’s, it was necessary.

There’s not much that impresses age and mortality on you than seeing a ninety-seven-year-old man laboriously push himself up from the chair where he had spent the last few hours, sleeping a good portion of the time, and hobble with his walker out to a different chair on the deck, to fall asleep in the sun. An even more alarming thought was when I realized that I’m only thirty-five years away from where he is.

Thirty-five years ago, I was a year into my second marriage, already recognizing the signs that I had made a huge mistake. At that time, I never even thought about someday being sixty-two years old. Just a few ticks later, though, here I am, thinking about being ninety-seven.

And those ticks are happening faster and faster now.

We’re really hoping we can make it into our dream life before our bodies break down too much to be able to enjoy it.

On a lighter note, our first garage sale was this weekend. That being a lighter note, though, was relative, which you likely know if you’ve ever had a garage sale. It was a ton of work.

And I was reminded of another reason why I hate doing garage sales. People are so cheap! There were a few instances where buyers lied to cheat us out of money. One instance, we didn’t realize until later, worked. Others seem to think that garage sales are Middle Eastern street markets. The punitive haggling was staggering.

Linda and I worked together on Friday, along with one of her sisters for part of the day. Linda’s great at engaging with people, and even if a sale wasn’t made, it was an enjoyable experience for her and, I suspect, the potential customer as well.

Saturday, I worked it alone since Linda had to teach. By noon, I was exhausted. It’s the middle of July, so obviously, it was hot. But also, as I’ve said before, I’m an introvert, so I get my fill of people pretty quickly. I also suspect that I’m on the spectrum. Numerous symptoms of Asperger’s apply to me, placing me on the “high-functioning” end of that scale.

For one thing, I love my routines. I can deal with interruptions of the routines, if they’re planned in advance. And if they are planned in advance, I can deal with them if they’re pleasant changes, things like vacations, for instance. Garage sales, though planned weeks in advance, don’t fall into that category, by any means, so besides the physical fatigue, my mental and emotional reserves are pretty well tapped.

But, we did fairly well. Friday, especially. I was surprised by that. I expected Saturday to be the bigger day. We didn’t come close to selling everything we had out there, but we took in several hundred dollars, and there will be at least one more sale.

I may not be one of those spring chickens I hear about occasionally, but now that the sale is over and I’m relaxing with a glass of Jameson on the rocks, I feel like I’m starting to recharge.