Friday, July 8, 2022

Summertime Complaints

My husband thinks I over-react when I find a bug in the house.  I have patiently explained over and over that bugs and I have an understanding.  I don’t mind bugs, as long as they stay outside.  They have the whole world; I have my house.  So when I found an ant in my bathroom last week I reminded it of the rules and flushed it down the toilet.  Today, for just a moment, I wondered whether my husband was right, after I stomped and stomped (and lectured) what turned out to be a piece of lint.  I decided, though, that it wasn’t an over reaction at all, just a symbolic act for any other bugs that watched me kill them all in effigy.  Hopefully now they will listen.

We are not seeing much wildlife again this summer, we have not seen much since the flood over a year ago.  Deer still come by, but not as many and not as often, and we haven’t seen a raccoon in over a year.  The chipmunks, however, are thriving and increasingly resent our presence.  I might soon be giving them the bug lecture before they get any ideas.

My body and brain feel exhausted.  I went to a medical appointment today, ready and right on time, only to discover that I was there a month early.  My doctor says I’m fine, so this might be the new normal.  

I am still not sewing, although I have a stack of projects ready to go.  I know for sure that my first project will be to make a sunglass hanger for my husband, so that I can reclaim the little machine-embroidered hanging I made and that he took over this spring, to hang his sunglasses on.


Now that the weather has improved, in keeping with my generally crabby attitude, I am starting to chafe at undone projects.  There are SO many things we intended to do to the house when we moved in 3 years ago, and very few of them have been done.  My husband insists on trying  - again - to repair the old dishwasher after the top rack collapsed again this week, breaking his favorite scotch glass.  It’s not a question of money, and I agree with him in principle that it’s better to repair than replace.  But this is not the first repair attempt on this old appliance.  On the other hand, it is just such a hassle to find anything new in a timely fashion, and the quality seems so much worse in everything we do buy, as we learned with the new freezer that broke after 3 months and could not be repaired, so it’s a frustrating choice.  Our kitchen is not set up for hand washing dishes, but that is on my list to do next.  It is the simplest solution until a permanent solution can be found.

We haven’t replaced the hallway carpet that was a ‘must do’, and haven’t turned the screened 3-season room into anything usable.  Both are unsightly.  It has been all but impossible to find contractors or materials.   Although supply chains have gotten a little better lately, the availability of workers has not. 

Thank goodness the roof was completed by the beginning of the pandemic.  But having the house painted will continue to wait.  After I called a dozen painters for an estimate only one responded and he said he can’t take any more jobs until late next year.   We thought siding might be an option but none of those contractors have returned my calls.  We still don’t have any of the furniture I thought we would get when we moved into this larger house.  First the stores were closed.  Then, every time we looked, we were told that the items were not available and no one knew when they would be.  Just lately we have sometimes gotten a slightly more hopeful answer, only several months wait on furniture made here in Michigan.  We have come so close,  only to get home and discover that the available item would be too large or too small.  I don’t have the knack of picturing things where they belong, even with measurements in hand.   I sometimes think about getting an interior designer but that seems so over the top to me that I resist the idea.  Apparently I would just rather complain.

I tell myself that it would be nice, once before I die, to have a thoughtfully designed home, but the odds are looking slim, and I also tell myself it doesn’t matter; we are getting by without.  Besides, we have not had anyone other than family inside this house since we bought it and the pandemic cancelled our intended ‘housewarming’ gathering.  We had so many plans back when we thought we knew people we would like to socialize with, but somewhere along the line we seem to have lost interest, we learned so many things about our social circle as a result of the political struggles.   I suspect my irritation at the undone tasks is really reflective of other issues.  In this crazy political climate, decorating - and entertaining - seem like the least important things in the world.

The weather here is cool again, but a lovely kind of cool with sunshine and a light breeze.  The daytime temperatures are in the 70s and I cannot imagine more perfect weather anywhere.  Despite the increasing viral loads that are ignored by more and more people, the house task-list that just gets longer, and the deteriorating political world we live in, there is much to be grateful for.   Thank goodness for family; thank goodness for grandchilden.  My older ones are starting to look seriously at colleges - where has the time gone?! — and are two of the nicest and most interesting people I know.  The baby is walking and talking more and more, entering that delightful age when he wants to control his own person and universe.  Although my body often feels like it is falling apart, and although I sometimes overflow with complaints, at its core my life is privileged and my heart is (mostly) content.