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Tuesday Doings, Aging Parent Issues, Punky Neighbor Kid

April 6th, 2010 at 05:40 am

My builder Ralph made a surprise appearance yesterday after not showing up over the weekend. I was thrilled. We chatted as he worked to relocate my sump pump outlet pipe for better drainage and to cement off two old window wells where the old window frames had rotted.

In the meantime, I worked to pull out brambles and thorny stuff that was overtaking a large, fenced in garden I have. Last year I didn't touch the space and so these brambles really had a chance to spread. There are quite a few nice plants in there, including 3 dwarf cherry trees, 5 blueberry bushes, wild oats and a bunch of perennials like Jacob's Ladder, hosta, bleeding heart, gooseberry, a Peking cotoneaster, lady's mantle, etc.

He's not quite done so let's hope he returns today.

Had a nice Easter lunch with family and hung out afterwards to show my mom how to create her own blog.

Last week I helped my my mother set up a new exhibit at a local library. It was quite a lot of work as she had about 25 pieces, many of them large, to hang. My mom turned 76 this year and still she insists on booking large solo shows like this that are physically demanding to install and disassemble. It's unusual that I am available to help her; sometimes she relies on others, but it's always an iffy thing.

On the way to doing that, my neighbor's punk son tried to run me off the road in retaliation for my complaining last spring to the town that they were operating a commercial lawn-mowing business from their home, which isn't permitted by zoning laws. I don't think he actually intended to hit me but was trying to intimidate me, so when he saw i had just finished pulling out of my driveway and was headed up my road as he was coming down, he approached in his behemoth pick-up and deliberately crossed over the yellow line a good 3 feet, so he was halfway into my lane, forcing me to pull to the right and brake.

I considered calling the cops but couldn't decide if that move would end up escalating the tensions or nipping them in the bud. And, I figured, maybe he should be allowed to "vent" once. I would be pissed in his shoes, too, but your basic game plan shouldn't rest on doing something illegal, and I also can't stand the noise.

So I did nothing, and headed on to help my mom. If he does something like that again, i most certainly will call the cops becus i don't want him to get the idea he can act with impunity. As it is, whenever he goes by my driveway, he always looks to see if i'm outside in the yard, and if i am, he races the engine becus he thinks that annoys me.

I'm more concerned that he might try some anonymous vandalism, like bashing my mailbox or even destroying my vegetable garden, which is in clear view in the front yard.

I'm curious if he'll continue to try to circumvent zoning laws like he did all last summer, even trying to hide their mowers by parking them at another neighbor's house who lives behind me in the woods. At the time, they didn't know it was me who complained. But they strung along the zoning enforcement officer from one month to the next, claiming they "needed more time" to make other accommodations.

Those big mowers have been sitting parked in their backyard all winter. The place generally looks like a dump, but my main concern is i don't want to deal with the noise. So far, nothing's happened with that since mowing season hasn't really started, but it should in another week or two.

If they start up again like last year, I won't hesitate to call the town. I sure hope he doesn't think that running me off the road will soften my feelings about the matter.

I've got a dentist appointment this afternoon. This is one of the few medical visits I'll do while unemployed. I called to see what the price would be for just the cleaning. $91. Very steep.

Later this week I finish up with 2 of my final medical research studies, both on the same day.

I've applied for a few jobs recently that I think I'm very well qualified for, but so far, no call-backs. Still no call from the Census Bureau.

I painted the sun room floor last Thursday, just one coat of very sticky, thick paint. The instructions on the can said it could handle "light traffic" after 2 or 3 days, but to wait a full week for "heavy traffic." I walked on it twice after 3-4 days and the second time it felt sticky. I looked at my sock and there was paint on it from one of the cracks between the wood panels.

My dad was up the day before Easter with his pick-up, to help me cart all the brush from winter prunings to the landfill. I was glad for the help, but also worried about it all being too much for him. He's 77, diabetic and overweight. We made 2 trips, then had lunch at the diner. He didn't want to stay long after that becus he wanted to make sure he got home before dark. He said the macular degeneration is making night vision difficult, and even his daytime vision is worse.

When it finally progresses from the "dry" stage to the "wet" stage, they will be able, he said, to give him an injection that will halt further progression and salvage whatever remaining vision he has. While I was anxious that it finally gets to the point where he can get that shot, he said he wasn't really looking forward to it and would just as soon it never came. Hey, if i can do an injection every day (for my MS), you can do this one shot, I said. What i didn't know is that the injection is straight into his eyeball (!) and he's understandably feeling very squeamish about that.

I really worry about him driving at all. He made the comment that it would be very difficult the day he has to give up driving all together. I told him it wasn't worth the risk of an accident, and privately felt a little relieved that he at last acknowledged he might have to stop driving some day.

It's really too bad that K. is moving out after 15 years together, 5 of them living together, but I could tell she has really been getting on his nerves. In the past, he never really seemed to want to talk much about it while K. talks about anything and everything, including their relationship, so i was getting a one-sided view of things.

I think they'll appreciate each other more when they're not living on top of each other, but i do worry about his health issues and him living alone now. He's too stubborn and independent to ask or accept help.

A good example: he told me that last 4th of July, he and K. had gone to watch the fireworks outside and were sitting on a park bench. They were going to get up, and he was unable to. He was having a "silent" heart attack and K. freaked and said we've got to get you to a hospital and my dad refused and said "relax." After about 20 minutes, he was able to get up and his doctor later confirmed he had a heart attack, the latest of several. I was kind of shocked that my dad would refuse medical treatment, incredulous, in fact. I wanted to say so, but I kept quiet. You see, K. has a kind of pushy, in your face personality, and that really gets on my dad's nerves. I don't want him to respond to me the way he responds to her. But i am still tempted to say something at some future point in time, like, hey dad, don't expect me to do nothing if you have a heart attack in my presence. I'm not going to ask your permission to call 911.

I was thinking, too, if he has to give up driving due to his deteriorating vision, I mulled over the possibility of my driving the 3 hours down to his place to pick him up, bring him back to my place and let him "vacation" with me for a week or more, then driving him back home. These days, he typically drives 3 hours to come out here and then drives back home the same day. He has spent the night, with or without K., a few times, but when i put my house ont he market 3 years ago, i got rid of the old double bed i had in the spare bedroom, so I don't really have an extra bed here. I'd like to get one so he can feel comfortable to stay over. The last time he stayed over, I insisted he take my bed and i slept on the floor of my office. I was miffed, because Luther chose to spend the night with him!

Of course, having my dad over for longer stretches of time would be more doable if I still weren't working, and I'm not sure how he would occupy himself here while i was away at work. I don't know. I just don't want him to start feeling isolated if he can't drive anywhere.

1 Responses to “Tuesday Doings, Aging Parent Issues, Punky Neighbor Kid”

  1. Analise Says:

    Your parents are fortunate to have such a caring daughter. Although I lost my parent at a young age, my friends with elderly parents have similar issues. It can be unsettling to lose one's independence, but maybe your dad will reconsider living with K as a better alternative to being completely alone.

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