Stern Looks and Butter Bar Jerks

Well, Zed has made the case that I do not embrace my blogging side often enough. True…but things have been a wee bit hectic around here. However, I shall sit here with a bit of dark chocolate and wine and try to cover the high points.

Sarge has been bearing up under the burden of an absolute horror of a Butter Bar. However, he has once again grasped the proper ring at the proper time and is wheeling away to a new station in which his skills are valued and desired.

As for me…well, it’ll be day shift again, and I suspect his health will improve quickly with it. Night shift is hard on a body and most especially when it isn’t a true shift – when one is texted and called at all hours of the day, interrupting sleep. I expect it will be difficult now and then – it has been a convenient schedule for the dogs, of course. Someone has always been around to let them out in the day. But I suppose they will adjust, too.

For now, it will be horrible 18 hour days as he tries to get his new squad squared away – they’ve gone without direct supervision for too long and are like schoolboys – unruly and biting. With luck, he will have it in hand in short order. Then in a few months he’ll be gone for a 3 week school. At least he’ll be back near home and able to make long visits to family…

Me? Well, same old hold down the fort, right? It isn’t an easy life, the spouse to MILLE – you are the fixer, the do-er, the planner, the thinker. Because they have enough to worry about. It is a bit like the scene in From The Earth To The Moon (Ep 11) when Mrs. Lovell is packing the house for yet another move and her husband finds hospital bracelets for the kids in the junk drawer, visits he did not know about. She says, essentially, “You were working and…I just took care of it.” A lot goes on that you do not detail…

I feel badly for the women who marry into it and haven’t the ability to be alone. And believe me – a great many men marry the wild and “fun” women only to find that the CBD (Crazy Bitch Disease) runs deep in their veins and the divorce with endless demands looms. They think she’ll be able to keep up with their lifestyle and keep him upbeat. Sadly, those women tend to require constant attention to their antics – without an audience, they are nothing.

No, find, instead, the woman who has interests of her own as well as those in your endeavor. And someone who can cook, dear God, because you will eat enough junk because your schedule won’t permit a stop at the microwave.

But I like my solitude…I don’t mind being alone now and again and it may be the key to a happy marriage. I don’t need much, really – just as happy listening to the wind in a tree stand…but I suppose the price he pays is that I don’t do the girly thing very often. Oh, I can don the finery and the face as duty demands. I just think a lot of the other frou frou stuff is a waste of good money. And so the small town knows me as his wife but I do not put on the show that other wives do…I am too old to care for their opinion.

Too old…it is an echoing sentiment of late. The grey hair has extended its reach to the full length – I keep it at bra strap length, usually, so to see it there tells me…it is the other side of that gentle curve, now. Everything is harder…and I do not permit myself any kind of deception on the point. The odds I’d make it through the storm to come are about even. I am tricky, though. I might do better than I think. It is hard to look down and see your mother’s hands, to remember how she napped just to keep up as you wasted your 13 year old intellect on foolish diversions.

Old…the cat, too, is slowing in his age. Sleeping more than awake, constantly hungry though it adds no flesh…and stealing whatever warmth he can, sleeping in the crook of my arm each night. It won’t be long and his sweet self will be gone. No more that soft brush against my face to wake me. I would have added the perfect photo to illustrate but it would appear I am not allowing enough access to my drive/directories/personal information and G00gle is giving me the finger. Meh.

I haven’t enough care to make this small enclave into something more modern. What’s the point, really? More and more it seems vanity, this expositional exhibitionism. I ought to be doing other things – in the 30 minutes I just spent trying to put the face of a cat on a page I could have managed about 4 different chores. What use all this? I’ve so much to do before time runs out…things to save and things to burn, prioritization…so much to do…

My sister called to lecture me on all that she has learned about surviving a crash and I worked hard to hold back my harsh tone. She won’t make it at all – she won’t leave the dozen dogs (I may exaggerate – I could not count them) behind, no doubt, and cannot walk a mile. I suppose she thinks the church will aid her though I doubt their plans include her level…”assume it will take you 4 days to walk 2 miles to avoid threats – that you’ll have to lay low and move in the dark. Assume you will not have a car. Then tell me about how you have learned so much…” Sigh. I don’t want to be dismissive but if you haven’t been paying attention, “we’re in some real pretty shit, now!” – she is better served trying to find a ranch that can use her vet skills for room and board. To find a useful slot early…

Such are my thoughts of late. Of how the bolt holes we’ve in mind may or may not work…how there is a dire need to prepare some sort of proper storage for the goods acquired…of how there is so little time and no knowing when the starting gun will go off. And it makes all this administrivia we are dealing with seem so damned foolish and pointless.

And then…then there is the boy turning a man, the age matching the bewhiskered mien. His gift requests not the usual “new car” but instead turns to EMT certification funds, ammunition for Multigun matches, and the like. Sensible, useful gifts that in no way exhibit the immature grasping of others his age. It makes me very proud to know him, and it gives me great hope that his future might be brighter…it is hard to look at children these days and think of the world they are going to live in. It could go either way, as I see it…the balance precarious and easily pushed out of kilter. No way to know if it can be saved, now…I don’t think so. I honestly do not. Hold what you have – that is what I cling to, now. Try to hold what you have and pray for better.

A friend told us hardly joking that she knew there may not be room for them but that her daughter surely would be saved if we could. I blinked against that image and knew they would all come, no matter the cost, their admittance vouched for, skills guaranteed, and the young lady saved from whatever danger might come. My mouth set in a half smile, firm against that onslaught. Hold what you can.

I had a thought the other day – of a time when I would have to warn the others, the young men and the father, and even my own – not for me, that risk. Not for me. Expendable, truly, if necessary. And I thought of the girl – through or over me, and no other way will danger meet her. And I knew a slice of what the fine men must feel as they, too, look and consider. Through or over me and hold what you can.

The other day I read a joke that said something about the sweet angel of death. One never thinks about it that way – no, always the grim reaper, always the harvesting scythe in the dark robed hand. But what if it isn’t? It was a comforting thought for an old reprobate…that it could be sweet and soft and a mercy…I don’t know that I’ve earned it but I do hope it’s true. Which can sum up just about all my faith: I don’t Know – but I hope it’s true.

What Holiday?

I have to give a big fat Meh to this years’ holiday season. Fact is, I worked much of it as did Sarge so it never felt like that big sigh of time off/relief from the burden…the day after Christmas I went ahead and disassembled all the finery. Little time to do so later (see Work) and no one was visiting so…onward.

In truth, I ignore the New Years Eve event – I don’t drink often so there is no attraction in that. And it brings out the utter moron in people who do. So…safe at home I remained, knitting my sweater to its finish. And it’s lovely! I made some errors along the way (I am not good at spacing buttonholes) but I am fixing the cuff now (larger than the other) and it will be all good again. Here – take a gander at the back.

 

The color is very nice and definitely due to the changing skeins every few rows. Ah, yes! We did have a lovely New Years Day! We went to the home of our adopted family and spent much of it lazing under lovely trees on a wide deck with comfy seating. Everyone had their blanket or coat, S’more and twig…it was truly like a vacation that day and I should be grateful for it.

Today was spent taking the garage apart, getting ride of useless things and trash, then rearranging it so another motorcycle will fit. Fingers crossed and prayers sent, Sarge may be moving on to a new role. Yes, another one that he has had tremendous experience performing…more on that if I am allowed to mention it, assuming he gets it.

Meanwhile it was VERY good to get these boxes unburied and available to properly load and refresh. I think we need a couple more but for now I need to get mine updated. That, and pull in the Go Bag from the truck and reorganize it. A few months ago someone at an event needed a simple bandaid and I was unable to find one. Madness! I have a thousand other useful things and that one small item eluded me. So…a revamping of the kit.

Zed asked if anyone was developing a preparation resolution – one of mine was to get that garage arranged so that it could be used again so I am pleased to have it done. Another would be to get more canned meats on the shelves – the freeze dried is nice but being able to crack open a tin and not prepare it in any way is also useful. It is more expensive but just getting a few cans a month is easy enough. Big ticket? I ache to get the spare tire out of the back of the truck – the external option is very expensive but sooo desired…this is another version though less sexy. This puts it on the front – not certain I like it that much but do-able.

Spare parts is also on my list – for vehicles as well as equipment. (Acquired a few such for the small things like jet fuel stoves this year.) I think we’re pretty squared away in many areas so it is sometimes hard to direct funds – a good problem to have, surely. Ah – yes! The dogs – more dog food should be canned while the empty cans are easy to acquire locally. Which reminds me to get another few cases of them this week.

Now, I have to research some pricing – found a Ford Explorer cargo cover and a Braves Bobby Cox bobblehead. AND a whole case full of older PC games. Ebay is my friend, I hope. Time to sell…