BETTER FIREWALLS FOR A BETTER LIFE – Marilyn Armstrong

FOWC with Fandango — Firewall

We’ve got firewalls all over the place. Our modem, our router, Chrome, Microsoft are all busy protecting us. Theoretically, our ISP protects us, too. I think their idea of protecting us is to have such a bad service no one can get through, not even us. My phone blips out a dozen times a day and the computers die with regularity. If other people weren’t having the same problem, I’d think it was us, but I know it’s them.

If you call them, they will deny everything. Lying is a national sport.

Our many firewalls are obviously insufficient to protect us from anything.

I need protection. From life, politics, and the vast stupidity that is closing in around me.

Photo: Garry Armstrong – Downtown Uxbridge, late winter

I need to be protected from $1000 hikes in taxes when my town does absolutely nothing for us. We don’t have buses or taxis or trains. We pay to have our trash hauled. We have our own well and septic system. No one prunes the trees or even sprays for mosquitoes which, as it turns out, is fine because it would probably kill the birds while leaving the mosquitoes. They also didn’t spray for gypsy moth caterpillars.

Basically, we are on our own. Pay the taxes and figure out how to survive. The one time I called emergency services because we’d gotten frozen into our driveway and couldn’t get out, they told us that was a real pity, but they couldn’t help us. They said their trucks don’t have snow tires so they couldn’t help us. If we died in our house, that would be a real pity too. Oops. I wonder if they’d pay for the funeral?

Down our snowy road – Photo: Garry Armstrong

So what am I paying for? So the town can waste money on some other stupid project? A townwide soccer team for kindergartners? We can’t get them to expand the library (who needs a library after all?) … or repair the sidewalks. Or even add a minibus so older people can get in and out of town.

Take a walk along the river. It’s the best part of living here.

So far, the only “famous” person to emerge from this town is William Howard Taft which is pretty dismal. Though I hear his ranking as a Chief Supreme Court Judge was better than his record as President. It is unlikely to be worse. He was a hard tryer, but a big failure. Not a bad description of Uxbridge, come to think of it. Except I don’t think we try all that hard.

I want protection from gigantic rises in the cost of oil to heat our house. I want them to fix the roads so that the repairs last more than the first month of winter.

I want to be firewalled from reality.

Photo: Garry Armstrong

I want some of that money we pay to underwrite the cost of my drugs. I want the town to plow my driveway and clear away the monstrous piles of autumn leaves and other trash that accumulates. I want someone to come by and clean up the trash people throw from their car windows onto our “front lawn,” which is actually a lot of trees that need to be cut down.

I want them to collect the trash and not make us pay for it! You know. Like they do in other towns.

I want them to give us a senior discount on our taxes like most other towns offer.

Photo: Garry Armstrong

If they are going to leave us to decay here amidst the forest, I think they should stop charging us more and more for the privilege of being unable to afford to live here. I could understand it if they actually gave us something for our money, but they don’t. Oh, but they built a firehouse.

So if the place burns down, they’ll be sure to drop by with hoses. At least, in theory. There are no fire pumps along our road, so they better also bring tanks. Do we even have tanker trucks?

Some mornings, life is just too much with me.

15 thoughts on “BETTER FIREWALLS FOR A BETTER LIFE – Marilyn Armstrong

  1. I’ve got no idea where our taxes go either – it doesn’t seem to go to anything useful. I’m not aware of any firewalls over here, though. Great sentiments, Marilyn. And I love that snowy road photo!

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  2. I would not want to move anywhere. Some of my kids and grandchildren are fairly close by. One is ten minutes away.
    Culture in and around Atlanta is pretty diverse. But once you get into the rural areas not so much. Moving in retirement is overrated, I least I think so.

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    • I think most people regret it. They leave everyone they know and while it may be cheaper, it’s often not happier. The kids you moved to see never show up and all your friends live far away. I could live without our winter, but I wouldn’t want to exchange the culture.

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  3. It makes me wonder what your rates are paying for in the way of services. Around here if you are not on town water your rates are less. Some parts of our council area don’t get garbage collection, some do. I assume if you don’t get that service you pay less but I don’t know. Our rate notices are coming out soon and I’ve heard there is a 6% rise coming. Not good but a lot of infrastructures got damaged in the fires and it has to be paid for. At least there are seniors discounts.

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  4. If it’s any consolation, I have to pay a vendor to have my trash, recycling, and compostables collected once a week and I even have to pay for the required bins the trash company uses. And I don’t get a senior discount even though I know we generate much less trash than all of the large families that surround us.

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    • We pay for the bins too. But we did get a (are you ready?) a $2 senior discount. Be still my heart! And yes, we generate a LOT less trash AND we have to push is up that lethal driveway. I didn’t expect to get old. I’m not used to it yet. Maybe next year.

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  5. Last winter, we were enjoying a pizza in Murrells Inlet, South Carolina, chatting with the retired couple at the next table. They were originally from NJ but left because of property taxes. They moved to SC, where they have no snow to shovel and low property taxes to start with and then have a Homestead Exemption for those over 65. As an example, a $100,000 residence the ‘first’ year of residence is taxed at $1,140. After that, the yearly property taxes are $570. Hmm, I wonder why old folks move south. 🙂

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