Here I am in Michigan. Life has been too busy since Jim retired to do much updating. It's all I can manage to update NLQ daily and keep up with him. When I last posted Jim decided on his first day of retirement to drag out everything in the garage onto the front lawn and then demand I come out and help him sort it. I was steamed, so pissed I couldn't see straight because he didn't plan it, he didn't consult me, he just bullied his way on through. Eventually we did get it sorted, gave away a huge pile of things to Goodwill, threw away others and sorted what was left back into the garage. The hardest task I had to do was save a few of Andy and Laura's childhood toys from Jim's sorting rampage.
We left on Sunday for a week here in Michigan so Jim could do his yearly re connection with his high school buddies. We made a lunchtime stop in Ohio and had lunch withNLQ writer and just general all around good guy Bruce Gerencser, his wife Polly and delightful daughter Bethany. Jim and I enjoyed our stop a great deal and really liked the Gerencsers a great deal! One of the trip highlights so far.
Jim does this yearly, this visit to his old home town and friends. First we spend a few days in East Lansing with his friend Joe. Joe was on the outs in high school, a weirdo avoided by everyone but Jim.The first time I met Joe he kept flipping between porn channels on television in front of my kids and I.
I never particularly liked Joe until last summer when we just clicked, and I was able to finally see the goodness inside of him. Before I was still looking at him with the prissy filter of a evangelical Christian woman who would always look down her nose at people with substance abuse problems who could not keep jobs or conform to Christian societal norms. His porn viewing in front of my kids didn't help.
This year we were especially concerned to visit Joe because he was recently released from the hospital after a bout with pneumonia. It was discovered while he was in the hospital that he has hepatitis C and has likely had it for years. The odds are not looking good for his longevity, plus Joe is refusing to take the medicines he was prescribed in the hospital. He looks awful, the most unhealthy gray pallor along with barely weighing a hundred pounds now. Death not even warmed over.
We've taken Joe to lunch and hung out with him at the video game arcade before taking him shopping. He has to rest frequently lest he get out of breath. I don't mind that as I'm having one of the worst bouts of asthma I've had in over a year. My oxygen levels seem to want to hover between 85 and 91 percent. I'm getting out of breath pretty easily too.
But while in Lansing I've gone out of my way to avoid one of Jim's high school friends, T-Bone. Last year I realized at the high school reunion that the years I've felt sorry for T-Bone for having no luck with women were misplaced. He showed up with a fiance, the fourth or fifth one since I've known him, and she would have been wife number three. T-Bone kept talking horrible things right in her face, like she was good enough for 'right now' until someone better came along. He said things I would have had to smack him in the head for if I had been in Irene's shoes. Poor Irene just got very drunk after lots of begging T-Bone to buy her more drinks. I saw very clearly for the first time that T-Bone uses his big bank account to manipulate women to control them into treating him the way he sees himself as king. I am guessing this wasn't a new behavior.
Add in that no one in Jim's circle likes T-Bone, Jim barely tolerates him combined with his habit of spamming Jim with porn, the fact that Facebook banned him and I really do not want to be around him. One of the things that Jim has complained through the years about T-Bone is that T-Bone insists on everything going his way or else.
Right before our trip into Michigan Jim let it slip to T-Bone that we would be staying in a Lansing area hotel for three days. T-Bone insisted quite forcefully that we cancel our hotel reservations and drive an additional three hours to stay in his lake front home with him and the former fiancee pre-Irene, Miss Doris. He got angry and told Jim he wasn't taking no for an answer. I told him no after T-Bone refused to listen to Jim, because Doris smokes nearly continually, I'm having bad asthma right now, plus I'd prepaid for our hotel rooms to get the best rate and that came with a no cancellation policy. I didn't add that we couldn't stay there because he gives off creep vibes, slavering lusting creep vibes and I'm turned off by his manipulation of women.
Avoid the T-Bone!
Today we're at Gary's house, probably Jim's best friend from high school. We stay with Gary and his wife every summer. Every time in the last four years they've been in a different house. They got caught up in the housing financing mess and lost their long time home and have moved and moved and moved. Now they are in a home they just bought, a fixer upper near a lake that went for a small sum. They've done wonders with this house, removing walls, remodeling the kitchen and baths, installing hardwood floors, tastefully light earth toned carpets, stonework, tiling, you-name-it. It is well on it's way to beautiful. That's sort of where my problem comes in with staying here.
This morning after everyone left, Mrs.Gary for work and Gary plus Jim to a Detroit Tigers game, I was washing my hair in the lone bathroom sink. When I straightened up and started to reach for a towel I saw her, rather her reflection in the mirror showing she stood just behind me. In the seconds before I saw her all the hairs on the back of my neck, wet as they were, started to stand on end and I knew I was not in this beautifully remodeled home by myself as I first thought.
I've not had a good solid encounter with the other side in a few months. I never seek these things, they just happen. They find me. But I do what I can to not encounter them.
I don't know her name, she hasn't revealed that yet, but I'd say she's elderly, perhaps in her mid 70s and boy is she pissed off. She used to live in this house, from the time it was built. She picked out the awful black and white tiles still covering the floor of the still to be redone laundry room. She chose the glaring orangy-peachy paint on the walls of the also untouched basement rec room slated to be remodeled next.
Now she's pissed off that our friends, the new owners, are in the process of erasing her stamp on the house. She hates the new kitchen with the trendy deep black sink and marbleized countertop. She's angry about the carefully taupe carpeting and buttermilk color painted walls. She wants me to tell the new owners that she's unhappy with their renovations of their house.
I am doing no such thing. I've told her this several times now along with telling her she must move along, this is no longer her home and she is dead. She's pissed, stomping around and making noise. The lid of the washing machine had banged down and I hear thumps and heavy footsteps upstairs.
Guess what I'm doing this afternoon? If you guessed spiritually cleaning house here you'd be right. I have my supplies out. This is so not what I wanted to do today. I was planning on sitting around on the deck reading. But she needs to go. Now if I could just get T-Bone to leave me alone at Saturday night's class reunion this easily things would be better.
The existence of the paranormal is the real reason I cannot totally toss God out with the fundie bathwater. I've seen evil, I've seen that consciousnesses survives the death of the body so I cannot totally rule out God.