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Temperature Rising

Photo by Johannes Plenio on Pexels.com

I’ve lived a long time, voted and seen many presidents take the oath of office.

NEVER have I seen, worried about, prayed about, focused on the returns of a presidential election as this one in 2020. It caps a year to end all years and right now, this very minute, Joe Biden has taken the lead in Pennsylvania, a determining factor in the race to victory.

Nothing is projected yet because there is not yet the level of confidence that Donald Trump cannot overtake Joe Biden. Yes, I said, cannot.

So more votes are awaited, some thirty thousand, and meantime, I cannot leave any source of information, whether it be CNN, Public radio, or the news venues on my Kindle and cell phone. Wherever I am, my mind. my heart, nerves, hopes, are focused on this election.

It’s that important!

We’ve watched a sitting president villify the voting system, calling for a halt to the counting and praise for the areas lifting him above his contender. We heard lies about fraud, about irregularities in voting, about intentions of never conceding.

It will not be over, though, even when the final count proclaims a victor. To expect a peaceful transfer of power is to expect, yes, pigs to fly, the moon to turn to green cheese, the sun to rise in the west. And that is scary.

It’s scary.

Our country is divided, and that is primarily due to the past four years with a president intent on division. It’s no secret that I dislike Donald Trump.

I believe him to be a bully, uncaring, totally engrossed in himself, not the country, and determined to rule according to his whims, ignoring the constitution. That he has held the Republican party in a tight fist with no challenges is not a surprise.

It’s politics and power and where there is power so goes the party.

My prayer is for Joe Biden. My prayer is that he can temper the division in the country and that he can moderate the current dissention over the next four years.

Watching the events of the last four years, and the acceleration of the divisions that began long before the Trump administration, I know it will take divine intervention.

But in Joe Biden we have a president with empathy for the people of our country, a president who will listen, who will try to make us better.

I’ll leave it there. So much more is yet to come, and I want to be present and aware of the very moment Donald Trump is defeated.

I want to take a breath. I want to feel thankful. I want to hope.

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into each life some rain must fall . . . and fall . . . and fall some more

Time was when rain didn’t bother me. Being a gardener, most often I welcomed it.

Until 2013 when a torrential downpour pounded the new pavers just installed around the front of our home and found a seam into our downstairs family room. It left sopping carpet, damp walls, and a musty smell.

Talk about an unwanted surprise! Especially since the reason for paying thousands of dollars for a more decorative wall, pavers to cover a small courtyard garden and making a pathway around the house was to prevent water from invading our renovated basement.

I thought that was clear when we talked with the landscaper who contracted the work. And I did call after it happened, and when no one called back, left a long message on their internet site. That did bring the owner and her lawyer son to our home. They sort of agreed to “do something” but there would still be a cost to us for any materials needed, such as drains which should have been put in initially.

Thing is, no one followed through. And after repeated calls to the place of business and getting no response, I contacted a combination of contractors and businesses known to “fix” water problems. I contacted five in all. Each said the pavers were tilted toward the house which meant water would flow to the walls instead of away from them, and work its way into our downstairs. All said the problem could be  fixed and the cost ranged from $15,000 to $40,000-plus. The cost didn’t include taking up the pavers or replacing the family room carpet which was ruined, or the drywall, which would have to be pulled off the walls to see the extent of the damage.

Here we are five years later, the heavy black plastic my son covered the pavers and wall with to keep water outside, is still in place. It does its job but doesn’t fix the problem. So this may be the year we spend the money necessary to redo.

We’ve been advised to sue (not going to happen), to ignoring the issue (pretty much happening) to fixing the problem and being done with it.

So why am I blogging about it now? And why do I not just tell you who the landscaper is?

I’m blogging about it to get it out of my mind. And though I’d love to drag the local landscaper who didn’t follow through and come fix the problem through hot coals, I won’t. I will say the business has been around for a long time and it is NOT Lavalette Nursery.

Another reason for blogging about this is because I hope you benefit from it, do your research anytime you hire a job done, ask for references, check them, and ask for a contract specifying what you want done, and getting it in writing that there will be follow up if there are problems.

I did none of these things. Beyond having a materials list and cost for the work, there was nothing in writing to make sure the job allowed follow up if not satisfactory. So you might rightfully say, “Then this is really YOUR fault” and you’d be right. I was dumb and trusting. Don’t YOU be.

Yes, I do believe the business owner who figured she’d kept her part of the bargain and didn’t owe us anything more was, and is, wrong. If she had just followed through after we talked, we could have made it right. And yes, I do understand that if I had hounded her more and written about it back then, something might have been done. But should it have taken that?

And that’s where we’ll leave it. Just remember, the days of a handshake to seal a bargain are way over. Get everything in writing and seal it in blood.

All Done!

 

 

 

 

 

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It’s Never Too Late — And We’re NEVER Too Old!

I’ve  been a writer for most of my eighty-some years. If I had a portfolio, it would include samples of radio and television commercials, TV scripts, grants, public television stories, published fiction and feature articles.

Being a “hired” writer never bothered me. I got paid for playing with words and having them seen and heard by a lot of people. When I left public television to join my already retired husband, the words kept coming and I wrote a book. When the dreaded Alzheimer’s disease locked its sights on him, and our children and I could only watch as it took him away bit by bit, keeping a journal helped relieve the frustration, the anxiety, and the stress of trying to be all that he needed.

When he died, words locked themselves in my head and I couldn’t find a key to unlock them. It was as if all the words I wanted to write left when he left.

I might have accepted it, rationalizing that getting older must mean that the creative part of my brain was done, but the need to play with words remained.

It helped to make lists – to do lists, Christmas giving lists, menus, grocery lists. Working the daily puzzles in the newspaper helped, too, and, while playing word games with my daughter didn’t quite erase the block, it was so satisfying, especially when I won.

It was when my last sibling died that I knew my days as a writer weren’t over. I had started a family history years before, making notes, asking my eight brothers and sisters about their memories of growing up in a first generation Italian family, visiting Ponza, birthplace of our parents, even exploring Ancestry.com.

The first draft of “Following The Past” is complete. Revision is taking time. At eighty-three, I feel much as I used to, polishing words right up to air time, back in the days of Everything Live TV. It’s the rush every writer gets, that of finding the right words. That never goes away, no matter how many years we’ve lived.

 I used to think getting older meant giving up things, but I don’t think that now. I know a ninety year old yoga teacher who is more limber than I was in my teens. I know a seventy-five year old who still does landscaping and has his own business and I have a friend who travels the world at eighty-one and only last year stopped working  full time.

So, yes, if we’ve a mind to keep doing what we love, we ought to try, no matter how old we are.

I’ll let you know when my book is ready to read.