Wednesday, February 03, 2010

Channeling Aunt Ida

I am rapidly turning into somebody's maiden great-aunt. Okay maybe not maiden, but I'm definitely spinster material.

I have been spending the past couple of days wondering what's going on in the unit next door, and whether they are as worried by that faint whooshing sound as I am; and if not, why not? I think they've got a problem with their water. It's running all the time. At least I think that's what the sound is.

And it's definitely coming from over there, not over here. There's a very different sort of sound when the water's in use over here (when the washing machine is going, say, or one of the toilets is filling up). I think it's coming from their kitchen (and yes, I've been putting my ear to the wall in various places in an attempt to pinpoint the source. Pathetic). Or it could be a running toilet, for all I know. I'm just worried they're going to have a huge water bill sometime soon.

See what I mean? When did I start giving a monkey's about the neighbors' water consumption? If they can't sort out a broken toilet without a slight goose from their water bill, is that any of my concern? Next thing you know, I'll be watching the parking lot through a centimeter wide gap in the curtains, waiting for someone who doesn't belong here to park in one of the numbered spots, just so I can chase them away. And give them a good tongue-lashing, while I'm at it.

That is turning into a problem around here (parking, not crazy women running screaming from their houses). I guess one of the boys in the other end unit has a girlfriend who sometimes spends the night, and she either doesn't know or doesn't care about the parking rules, which are: each unit has one space associated with it. That space bears the same number as the unit to which it belongs. If you're visiting that unit and the space is empty, take it. If it's occupied, go park in one of the many unnumbered spaces scattered about the lot. DO NOT park in another numbered space.

I generally don't care if someone parks in my spot, since I have no car. It would be rather dog-in-the-manger of me to demand people leave my space empty, since I so rarely need it and this lot sometimes gets really full. Problem is, folks are starting to act like it's an unnumbered space. There have been times I needed it and it was occupied. Ticked me off a little. When my sister was visiting in July, I set chairs in my space to make sure no one pulled into it before she got here. My roots were showing--I later told someone that I did that, and she told me that's how they do it in South Philly. That's where my Mom's side of the family was from originally.

By the way, the woman I mentioned in the title? Aunt Ida? She was my Mom's aunt. One of the Philadelphia contingent, unmarried, and during my mom's and my childhood she was a bit strict and sour. I thought she mellowed as she and I got older, but once I hit college (long after she'd gone to glory) I realized that "mellowing" was probably senility or Alzheimer's disease. She was turning back into the fun-loving flapper she'd been in her youth.

And for some reason, that brings to mind the "long-term care" insurance plan I just started paying into. John Hancock Insurance just started offering it to all the university's full-time employees this past November, and if we enrolled right then we were guaranteed acceptance without a physical. I looked through the literature, and while it seems a little expensive for the benefits I want ($11o a month), that rate is guaranteed not to go up, and it takes price inflation into account. I guess they compound interest or something. I had this vision of my sister, her husband, and their future children (whoever they may be) sitting around the kitchen table in 40 years talking about What to Do About Auntie Vee. Yeah. No. Let's not put people through that.

I guess what connects Aunt Ida and the long-term care insurance in my mind is that I think there was a similar discussion about Aunt Ida, once my mom and aunt realized she couldn't live on her own any more. They had her put in a home. We would come get her for holiday dinners, and Mom and my aunt would visit from time to time, but she was pretty much on her own otherwise. I don't know where the money came from to pay for the place, if Medicare took care of it, if she had funds of her own or a pension or something. It was all happening way over my head at the time. I was at an age where I didn't concern myself with things like, "how is Aunt Ida paying for her room at the home?"

I think the next time I talk to my Mom, I may just have to ask her that.

In other news, it's been over a month without the cat. I hope the fact that I've gotten a little squirrelly lately has less to do with grief and having no one to talk to but myself (and I do. A lot. Worrying) and more to do with the fact that it's February now and brutally cold. I'm longing for spring in a way I've never done before. I think it has to do with the garden. I want to go play in it and plant stuff. I have all sorts of plans and ideas. One of them involves extending the flower bed a little farther (further?) down the side of the house, sticking a wire thing that looks like an obelisk into the bed and training morning glories or clematis up the sides of it. Or maybe a climbing rose. And I might try to grow some tomatoes. It might work, I think there's enough sun. If I can get sunflowers to grow over there, I should be able to grow tomatoes, right? Oh, so many things I want to do, and so little space to do 'em in!

Well, I think this has rambled on long enough. It looks like it's just about bed time. 'Night y'all.


Rusty's Mom said...

Hey --V,

Maybe you need to make a trip down to the local animal shelter to see if someone there needs a little conversation in their life.


PS. I feel weird saying this, since self promotion is not my strong suit, but I started my own blog if you'd like to check it out.

--V said...

I...don't think I'm quite ready for another pet just yet. Not for a while.

Rusty's Mom said...

I understand. Well, you can talk to us. I'll be reading. E

Thanks for stopping by and commenting on mine.

Anonymous said...

I've long since realized I would not want to "share" (but you're not technically sharing. Just good will on your part) a parking space or, anything else. Knowing myself, I'd be right at the window, nose pressed, beady eyed, making judgements. Holding myself back from running outside to tell "them" that they have transgressed. Not a pretty sight. So, luckily, we're in our own house and not open to that sort of thing.
Sigh. I can be quite nice!!

Reckless Sarcasm said...

Hi ditter! :) Container gardening!
Terracotta pots! Plant grape tomatoes... Easy to grab a couple and not have to cut the whole dang thing. We did that at first and still do that on the deck.
The grape tomatoes tend to grow easier and are less fussy... and with container gardening you can move them around as the weather dictates. Leave them on one side of the house in the morning and move them when you get home.. Just a thought.
We grew bell peppers the same way.

I'm really sorry about Lolly. I gave her tons of love over the holiday and still do send her and Mr. Daggle some love every day. :)

If you want to borrow a headache ahem pet, we could bring Daisy up some weekend. She would love some love.

Also, I've also wondered about how they paid for Aunt Ida.
Good idea taking the LTC policy especially a GI plan. Never know what'll happen and if you get it now it's much less expensive in the long run. Sorry my insurance roots are showing.

--V said...

RS: Last time I talked to Mom I asked her. She said Social Security and Medicare paid for it.

I'll have to keep that in mind about Daisy.

GI? Is that the thing that adjusts for inflation? I forget what it was called, I just looked at a chart showing the difference in benefits in say, 20-30 years, and the gap between the "basic" plan ($20/mo.) and what I eventually opted for and the gap was gihugeant.