Friday, September 10, 2010


I remember when my parents' washer died.  I'd call it "our washer" except when I moved out, I discovered it wasn't "our house" any more.  Like Adam's room upstairs.  It's still Adam's room, but the next time he comes home from school he's going to notice some changes.  The furniture has been rearranged and some new stuff has joined the picture, including my Kurzweil keyboard.  I'm having trouble resisting the view from his front window, so the things that make up my fairly mobile "office" may end up there soon.  I'm reminded of the time I thought "my things" could take up space in my parents' shed forever.  They asked me to take them to my house.

As for the washer, they didn't rush off to Lowe's to buy a new one, not because there wasn't any Lowes (there wasn't) but because they had to save money first.  It seemed like a long time to me, I was just a kid earning about 4 bucks a week delivering the Toledo Blade except when its staff went on strike.  Perhaps I missed my steady income, but I remember enjoying the vacation more than anything, like being able to waste time sleeping until 7 or 8 on weekend mornings.  Once when I complained about having to get up so early, my dad settled me down with, "you shouldn't worry about that at your age; if you get tired you can take a nap."  Nap?  What was that?  I might spend an afternoon lying on my bed, but most likely I'd have an open book and a bag of fresh applesauce donuts bought for 60 cents a baker's dozen at the downtown bakery, which hasn't been there for a long time.  Now we have to make our own.

Sometimes I regret not pretending that we had to save for things like washers and dryers.  Our son probably figured our credit card drew from a bottomless pit because we paid it off every month and used the frequent flyer miles to visit places like San Antonio, which I discovered on a business trip, back in the late 80s when Texas real estate dipped in value.  Think I'm kidding? The past couple years talking heads have been insisting the current financial crisis was caused in part because real estate values fell, something that had never happened before.  I went down to San Antonio to help with some litigation involving badly appraised loan collateral.  One house had a hole in the yard, partly dug by a swimming pool contractor who must have not have realized the owner wanted a pool liner.  I had returned home with rave reviews about the Riverwalk.

"You're rambling," says Virginia.

Sometimes I like to ramble.

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