Friday, July 11, 2014

The Air Out There & No Sleep

Last night I wasn't able to sleep more than a few hours. I lay awake, just like I did as a sickly asthmatic kid amped up by the multiple times huffing on my nebulizer. My asthma inhalant gives me the shakes and makes my heart pound so I avoid using it. But.. last week I accidentally consumed a peanut in a snack mix that was marked 'peanut-free'. Mr. Asthma has had me in his grips since and it ain't been pretty. Lots and lots of nebulizer use, no sleep for me.

It's been hot and steamy outside, which means my days start with the frantic running of the errands, followed by mid morn laundry and working on NLQ, lunch and an afternoon filled with asthma drugs and a lot of doing nothing. Usually by the time 3 pm hits I'm only fit for the sofa and working on the sweater I'm crocheting.

But it did make me wonder how I was going to sleep when we move in about a year from now. My bedroom in my South Louisiana childhood home faced the Mississippi River, less than a mile away. And following the river at a small distance were the railroad tracks. All night long freight trains would chug past in the distance, a sort of moonlight symphony that's always caused me to feel contented and happy, safe and at home. When I couldn't sleep I'd lie awake reading and listening to the sounds of the trains passing in the night.

Here too in Virginia we live about an equal distance from the major railroad tracks and the nights are filled with the same restless songs of the trains moving in the night. Most nights I sigh, turn over happily in the bed, lulled into a feeling of safety and happiness hearing that old familiar rhythm of the rails.

The last few weeks has also meant we've been making more concrete plans for Jim's retirement. He's been pushing for Costa Rica or Panama and I've been dragging my feet, throwing up objections and not feeling at ease with his desires. I don't want to leave the US, be so far away from my kids and my mother. He made the mistake of sending me a link to a real estate agency in Costa Rica and I looked at the prices, which were nothing like what he'd been talking about for ages! The prices were no bargain~!

I kind of went off on Jim, I put my foot down and said hell no I was NOT going to Costa Rica or Panama at all and I did not care if he liked it or not. I felt like a fool, because all of these long months I've been believing him about how we'd be able to live like rich tourists in Central America on very little money. That might have been true twenty years ago but not now. We've altered our plans, now we're likely to buy a place on the Gulf Coast for cash, there's lots of beach front distressed properties there. We'd be five short hours from my mother, 12 hours from his and a day from the kids. We're going down this fall to look at some of the properties.

Last Sunday Jim had a Realtor he knew stop by to tell us what we needed to do to rent out our house. I was pissed because I knew what we needed to do, upgrade the stove and dishwasher, paint the entire place, replace the bedroom carpets and the roof, plus some trimming of trees in the backyard. The guy picked up on all of this and tried to say that we would have to replace the kitchen floor too, not taking into account that I've been canning and it looks like the Del Monte canning factory exploded in the kitchen. The floor is merely a little less than clean and the Pergo in the kitchen is in the same great shape as in the rest of the house.

What really pissed me off about the visit, beside the fact that Jim gave me no notice so that's why the kitchen looked exploded, is the fact that this guy immediately started pressuring us to sell, sell, sell and we're just not ready to even think about that. House is about a year from the mortgage being paid out, it's in a good neighborhood so we'll get about 1,500 a month in rent. I kept rebuffing his attempts to twist my arm into selling, I'm just not having it because I don't know where we'll end up. What if we get down to Destin or Fort Walton Beach and miss Northern Virginia too much? I want to keep all our options open.

At some point I had enough, and I went into my office to answer emails and write a plan for the next weeks worth of postings at NLQ. As I sat in my office and the guys walked around the yard I clearly overheard the real estate agent start telling Jim yet again that we needed to sell and not to listen to me because I am a woman, irrational and emotional. It took all my cool not to go outside and explode on this guy. Told Jim later there is no way in hell this agent will get a rental or a listing agreement out of me because I don't deal with Chauvinistic pigs.

So every day before I go into 'The day is over because my asthma is kicking my ass' mode I clean and sort rooms in my home that haven't been decluttered in ages. Here's my office now that I'm done...


It's not a big room, but now I've removed everything but what I need and managed to organize it, instead of having boxes of stuff hanging around. I put a ton of things on Ebay. I need to start paring down to just what we need to move. I'm not there yet, but this is only the first round.

One of my worries is what to do with my piano. It's a family heirloom, an upright grand made of mahogany that takes up a large space in my living room. It's over 150 years old, nearly a 100 of those years it's been part of my family.

My kids don't want it, I can't leave it for a renter and not sure I'd get much if I sold it. I can barely stand the idea of parting with the piano even to store it but it's way too large to go with us. That piano symbolizes a lot of different things for me. One day soon I'll share the story of how I finally ended up with it after a nasty tussle between my parents over the instrument and how both of my parents told contradictory stories about what happened, making me lose what little trust I had in either. Getting my piano back was emotionally healing for me. The thought of giving it up again hurts.

So it's been hard to sleep, worrying about the future, not able to get a decent breath and shaking lika chihuahua on crack, even with the sounds of the trains running through town. I think tonight I'm going to try and get in the sack in a few hours with the help of a few chemical agents that should bring on sleep. When I start missing sleep I get really really weird. And I'm weird enough already.

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