Friday, July 06, 2018

Winds of Change

I overslept and had barely opened my eyes when I heard the phone ring. It was Rose, calling to tell me she was almost ready to come over. That didn't give me a lot of time to get ready. I rushed around, dressing and eating a quick breakfast. I'd just finished eating and was reading when my sister knocked on the door.

Basically, what Rose said is she and the family are going to chip in for an air conditioner with an Energy Star rating that will shut off when it gets cool enough in here or when I leave the house. It'll save the McHughs money and keep the place cooler than my current unit can. My air conditioner is about thirteen years old. It has knobs and dials, and I have no idea what the Energy Star on it is, if it even has it. Plus, while it was fine for my tiny Wildwood apartment, it's really too small for this one. (I'll still buy a second fan to help with air circulation when I have the money. I live in an attic apartment with no ventilation. Air does not circulate well, especially in my bedroom.)

We also discussed what the McHughs have and haven't done for repairs. Everything they've done up here, they only did because it effected Charlie too. While things like the aging windows aren't life-or-death situations (I can move them up or down - they're just old), the porch/roof is sagging and has insufficient and splintering railings, and the path to my side of the house is uneven and doesn't go all the way to the street.

For every two things Charlie's actually done up here (like replaced the roof and door and fixed the plumbing), he's done five things to the apartment downstairs and front yard. I have no doubt the apartment downstairs and the porch needed copious work and tons of things replaced...but Charlie did not need to add all the extra landscaping, the dogs' enclosure with the fountain and the toys, or the fencing in the side yard. For all his fussing about the trees in the back, he'd be better off clearing out all the junk he has back there, including piles of bricks, a kayak I've never seen used once in the two years it's been here, and those weird cowboy and horse silhouettes. He could put a really nice larger shed for the bikes, bricks, and his tools in the place where the boat and bricks are now.

And while he hasn't complained to me about the noise in over a year, he must have complained about it to his mother. I'm sorry, but this house is old, and the carpet Miss Ellie and her family laid before I moved in is cheap and thin. Footsteps are going to magnify no matter what you do. It's not like I make a lot of other noise. I'm usually sitting down at midnight on a laptop, not doing calisthenics, and I hate loud parties. It works both ways; I can hear him when he curses his brains out and does his own stomping in his place. I understand he's getting his stress out in the best way he knows how, but must he go on and on about it? (He has yelled at the dogs less in the past few months. I think another woman who owns dogs moved down there and may have called him on it.)

Also...while I was able to pay my rent and bills this month, it drained me financially. I'm broke again. Rose said that while they don't mind helping me with vacation this year, I should either find another way to finance my trip next year, or just not take one. I wish I could make her understand how important this is to me. I don't really go anywhere else or do much of anything. Lauren and her parents really look forward to having me.

As it turned out, Miss Willa wasn't home. We both called her, but she must have been at work. Rose said she'd call her later and write her a letter detailing our solution to the air conditioner problem and my complaints about Charlie's potty mouth.

I went on the computer after Rose left and spent the rest of the morning and early afternoon writing. A freaked out Bodhi takes a hard right turn, landing everyone in each other's laps...including Harry and Leia. Harry's thrilled. Leia, not so much. Charrel and Luke tell them to quit flirting (even if they hotly deny it).

(Miss Willa did finally call back while I was on the computer. I told her about Rose's visit and directed her to call her, as Rose told me to do.)

Had a quick lunch, then headed to work. Of course, a light shower started just as I was leaving. It slowed down even as I arrived, and I walked in damp but not soaked. Spent the first half of my shift mostly organizing candy and the second cleaning the bathrooms, doing the inside trash, bagging, and gathering carts. It was off-and-on busy and the lines did get long a few times, but they'd vanish a few minutes later. With one of the managers' help, I even managed to finish not only all the new candy in the carts, but put out even more candy that there hadn't been room for before.

My schedule next week is actually pretty decent. Only complaint is my hours went down slightly, but that's probably to be expected the week after a major holiday. Otherwise, I have three days off and one early day on Wednesday (but not an eight and a half hour day, thank goodness).

It's just as well that I really didn't need much at work. Skim milk was the big thing. They're having a lot of good produce sales this week - picked up grape tomatoes and just-in-season peaches. Restocked yogurt, breakfast bars, and chocolate pudding. (Forgot relish - I'll have to pick that up tomorrow or Sunday.)

There was a message on my answering machine when I got home. Rose had finally gotten through to Miss Willa. Both women had agreed to replacing the air conditioner; other demands would be discussed later. They also agreed that any problems with noise were going to have to be worked out between Charlie and me.

Relaxed with leftovers and Lego Clone Wars. Finally got through two more of the bounty hunter mini-games - found Padme and Yoda. Picked up two more pieces on "Storm Over Ryloth" and completed "Liberty on Ryloth."

Finished the night with one of my 20's CDs while I was online to pick up the mood. My favorite number from the 1920 CD was the Eddie Cantor classic "You'd Be Surprised." I also liked Paul Whiteman and His Orchestra's rendition of "Japanese Sandman" and a couple of the Billy Murray novelty tuns, including "Marion, Will You Be Marrying Me?"

And I can't believe how nice the wind feels. I turned the air conditioner on briefly while I was at home because of the humidity, then turned it off when I went to work...and just left it off when I got home. While still a bit humid, it's much cooler. The cool wind feels great coming in through the one window on the porch I can get open.

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