Friday, February 10, 2017

I probably won't be back to writing full-time on the blog again until April

This is a "not-so-quick" update on what's been going on the last few months while I have some internet access.

Number one, I did buy a new home in November. It's my first home, and at the snail's pace in which I dedicate myself to things, probably the only home I will ever own. I'm just not all that motivated to move and this last time moving from my apartment into this home was a nightmare. Part of what made it a nightmare was (of course) the stress of coordinating everything. But the extremely tight regulations on mortgages caused some unforeseen stresses on the very day I was supposed to get the keys to my house. Allow me to elaborate...

I put a cash down payment on my house, and I had the money transferred through Scottrade Bank (which is a brokerage firm). However, they happen to use U.S. Bank to transfer money. So when the money showed up at the lender, it was earmarked "U.S. Bank" instead of "Scottrade Bank" and they flipped out. They thought I was trying to launder money and even accused me of being ISIS. I'm not kidding. They said that unless I dropped everything (keep in mind this is the day of the move) and got a letter in writing from a Scottrade branch manager that was faxed using a verifiable Scottrade fax machine that said "We use U.S. bank for all money transfers" that it was going to be catastrophic failure. I already have hypertension and take medication for it. Needless to say, this was just the beginning of a long and painful day. I did get the letter, I did get it faxed, and I did end up getting the keys. But the delay caused me to get billed extra time for the movers I'd hired, and a storm that I was hoping to avoid rolled in on me. So of course the whole front of the house got wet with rain and rotting leaves (it was autumn) and the movers slipped several times, knocking holes in my brand new walls with furniture.

Anyway, with my body extremely sore and with a headache, I set up my bedroom and just wanted to take a relaxing bath. So of course there was no hot water. The pilot light in the water heater hadn't been lit, and it turned out that my gas line hadn't been turned on (so I had to figure out how to do that around midnight). My stove didn't have power (those switches hadn't been flipped in the breaker box). The very next day was Thanksgiving, and I had a complete meltdown on the garage floor. It wasn't pretty (please keep in mind that I live alone and do everything alone). There was no one to comfort me until my brother drove over in a blizzard past midnight with a bout of pink eye to try and get some of the things working in my house. Anyway, that was my first night.

And exactly one week later, my mother died. It was just an extremely rough time.

I loved my mother very much, and her death was completely unexpected. She was 84 and we got a picture of her that morning eating breakfast and smiling at her pancakes. The nurse that cares for her took her into the shower to wash her hair at 6:00 p.m. on December 2nd, and my mother just slumped in the shower chair. The nurse tried to revive her with C.P.R.; dad called the paramedics who arrived within 6 minutes. But mom was already dead. She either had a massive heart attack, stroke, or brain aneurysm. Her quality of life had deteriorated quite a bit (she was bedridden and was playing with her poo), but I wasn't ready to let go of her. I can look back on that now and see it was a selfish desire of mine. I would have wanted her to stay, but mom very much believed in heaven and was Catholic. She's in a better place with all her cats and dogs that she loved in her life. I can recognize that. However, it doesn't change the fact that I am still (sometimes) waking up in the middle of the night crying, or that I look at her picture and think, "I can't believe she's gone." It seems like just yesterday when she was cooking dinner or teaching me how to ride a bike. I had just seen her two weeks earlier and for the last few years I spent a lot of time with my mom, so there wasn't anything that had been left unsaid between us. I guess that's just the way life is.

And of course you know that I haven't been blogging (if you're a regular reader). Because my house was previously just a patch of weeds in the middle of Salt Lake City, I haven't been able to get internet. Since November, I've had two orders in with different companies (Comcast/Xfinity and CenturyLink). Both of those are in "held order" Hell status. What this means is that they have to build and wire the infrastructure to my home before they can provide internet. Comcast said they could probably have it all done by the middle of March, so that's what I'm waiting for. CenturyLink has to redo their entire Central Office building in order to get me service. That won't happen until almost April.

Until then, I do have DirecTV that's keeping me entertained, and I have books to read. Plus I'm planning the landscaping for my home (flowers and a Japanese maple and maybe some Juniper Skyrockets). In the backyard I may erect some kind of planter to grow tomatoes in, and I may plant a rosebush (my mom loved rosebushes). So until I get internet, my posts and responses may be sporadic. It's challenging living without being wired to the World Wide Web. However, it's also been kind of peaceful. I do wish all my smarthome devices worked properly, but good things come to those who wait.


  1. So sorry to hear about the loss of your mother. I can relate since my mother passed away on Christmas Eve. I look forward to you having Internet, as I know you are. Take care and I hope you're enjoying the new house, although I admit to entertaining the fantasy of you moving to Oregon.

    1. Stephen, thanks so much for stopping by and I wish I could afford to live in Oregon. So sorry to hear about your mom. It's hard, but I guess everyone goes through it sooner or later.

  2. Oh, man, I was just going to skim your post (I'm in the middle of being really busy at this very moment) and say something about how you've been missing all of my political posts, but you brought me to a halt.

    I'm sorry about your mom. I went through that with my grandfather, who was actually like my father to me, so I know where you're at. If you need anything I can help with, let me know.

  3. Hopefully everything gets ironed out in a couple of months. I suppose you can get back to blogging just in time for the A to Z Challenge. Yay!

  4. You didn't mention your mother - Michael, I'm really sorry. I know you miss her. My mother is close to that age and I know I'll have a meltdown when it happens.
    Moving into a house is never smooth, no matter what. Hope despite the fact you have no Internet, everything else rocks. Because despite all the extra work and responsibility, it's worth it.

  5. Wow. I was wondering where you'd gotten to, and this explains everything. I'm so sorry about your mother. And your mortgage lenders are dicks. Seriously. That was insane.

    And then it all piled up at once? I'm surprised you're not still in meltdown mode. When it rains, it pours, eh?

    Well, take care. I hope everything is working out for you now. I'll send good thoughts.

  6. It's never easy to lose your Mom, and I've lost both Mom and MIL. My sympathies to you Michael. And since we moved in 2015, I can identify with all the timing and organizing that needs to be done. Each time we move, the movers seem to manage to do something annoying. Hope things start to fall into place soon. Good Luck!

  7. So sorry about your mum, Michael. I lost mine exactly one week before yours died, so trust me when I say I can relate. Glad to hear you're getting settled into your new place, and I hope you get your internet sorted out soon.

  8. I'm so sorry to hear of all the trouble. The loss of a parent is rough. ISIS? That's just crazy. Moving is crazy in general. You never realize how much you have until you move. Will be thinking of you.

  9. So sorry to hear of the loss of your mother. It's never easy to let people we love go and you weren't being selfish, you just need her still which is completely understandable. She is with you still, in all the wonderful memories you had together and you were SO fortunate to have that. I do not have that relationship with my parents. The loss you feel now is love that has nowhere to go. You won't always feel so much pain but you will always have that love. Best wishes and hope things come together with your home. I am a first time home owner myself and it can be a bit overwhelming at times. Cheers!

  10. When I saw you had posted again I wanted to do my happy dance. Welcome back! But then you wrote about your mother passing away suddenly. How very painful for you, and I wish I could reach out through this virtual world and hug you for real. I lost my father years ago--a very sudden heart attack with no warning, so my grief was compounded with the shock of sudden loss, much as yours must have been. I'm glad you have many good memories of her to cherish. What a special lady she must have been.

    I'm glad too that you have your own home at last--I know you wanted as much. But it sucks big time that the move was so stressful and the bankers/mortgage people were dickheads. From this day on, may your life only get better and happier. Much love to you, Mike my dear.