Life is killing all of us, but it seems to be killing some of us faster than others. Maybe it just seems that way.
Right now, my house is killing me. When we moved in here, we put up a new roof. We put up vinyl siding. We put in French drains. We removed the old rotting back sliding doors and put in French doors. We replaced all the toilets and sinks. We painted almost every room, though it took another ten years to get around to the floors. We never got to that kitchen restoration or repaving the driveway. Both are still on my agenda (ha, right, sure).
Meanwhile, we are doing what we can. We installed the new roof in 2000 — 18 years ago. It is in reasonably good shape.
And of course, there’s the heating unit. It was installed 12 years before we moved in. Add another 18 years we’ve lived here and suddenly, you’re looking at a moderately well-maintained 30-year-old boiler.
The front door is in round three as of last summer and just got its first layer of paint on the inside yesterday. It was my mother’s day present along with Owen putting together my new Oreck vacuum cleaner which, though they promised me it was better than the old one, apparently is exactly the same. Isn’t there some kind of bad joke about women who get vacuum cleaners for mother’s day?
Have I mentioned that advertisers lie? It is almost exactly the same machine with a bigger motor and a fancier handle, but the main difference is that it says “Commercial” on the box.
We replaced the steps to the deck right before I got to where going up that many steps was no longer an option. We put in a stair lift, but it needs some kind of fixing. It works, but only sometimes.
A few days ago, bricks from the chimney landed on the front stoop which I commented was “not a good thing.” We don’t own one of those old charming houses with 12-foot ceilings and tall windows. This is a 1970s bread box of a house that is getting old and tired. It’s not a bad place to live, mind you … but charming? Not so much.
When they say “They don’t build’em like they used to” they are NOT referring to this house. They build houses today exactly like this, only worse. Regardless, all houses need repair and maintenance which costs money. Unless you are luckier than most seniors and have money.
We had a bit, for a while but it paid for the restored septic system and the well. Last week, we had to add a replacement window and a substantial piece of the house’s front wall. There are lots of other damp spots on the house. Turns out, vinyl siding is not a cure-all for your house. It looks good, but it doesn’t mean the walls underneath aren’t damp or crumbling. It is, as the pest control guy said, “cosmetic.”
We are on round three (or is it four?) of the hot water heater. It’s an expensive one because it runs through the boiler and keeps the boiler working all year round. If it didn’t do that, our heating system would croak.
I live in holy dread of having to replace the heating system. We are way beyond wood. No one able to chop it and haul it into the house not to mention that buying wood is not cheap.
I also need new glasses. Wouldn’t you think weaker glasses would cost less than stronger ones? I’m here to tell you it isn’t true. Although larger size clothing always costs more, petite clothing never costs less. So it also goes with glasses.
Politically, the country is revolting and three are too many stupid people living in it. They are busily trying to take away the few things that are keeping us alive.
I’m curious about what they think they will do with the vast majority of aging baby boomers if they take away Medicare, Medicaid, low-cost senior housing, food stamps, et al. We’ll have entire cities full of grumpy, pissed off sickly boomers mugging you. Not for your wallet but because they are in a really lousy mood and they don’t like your face.
I’m not sure what is going to finally kill us. It might be keeping the house, trying to get up the stairs, a stroke, heart attack, cancer. Who knows? We’re all going to go sometime. Most of us would prefer to do it in a heated house with dogs, WiFi and a modern television. And computers, too.
Never underestimate how lethally angry a senior can get. Or how dangerous. We’ve got nothing left to lose except what remains of our crumbling chimneys, so we might as well enjoy clubbing people who think they are immune to “the bad stuff” in life.