Monday, November 17, 2014

When It Snows, It Pours

I was expecting a larger paycheck last week, since I’d worked the Saturday before. The extra day must have put me into a higher withholding bracket, though, because it wasn’t that much bigger than normal. Since then, a couple of unexpected expenses came up that took the extra and more besides. Before I left work Friday, I called my wife and she told me she’d just learned that her oldest brother had died the day before. Cold winds and snow caused a lot of cancelled hauls today (though there was no accumulation), so the dispatcher sent about half of us home after trying for three-and-a-half hours to drum up some business. Looks like a short pay this week, since we may have more bad weather yet.

We’ll slide by with what funds we get, since we have no reserve and became pretty good at pinching pennies during my long stint of having no work. I used the time off today to go get my winter tires put on the truck. At least they were already paid for and in storage.
My wife isn’t going to her brother’s funeral, since funerals are really for the living and most of the living siblings have decided that they don’t like her Christianity. They’ve been giving her a hard time about it lately—trying to make themselves feel safer in their own beliefs, no doubt. I’m sure that the fact that they were raised by an abusive father, who professed to be a devout Christian, had no small influence in them adopting atheism over the years.

Her deceased brother supposedly accepted Jesus when young, before losing his right mind, the latter due either to having a nervous breakdown from the abuse (my suspicion only) or from lack of blood to the brain during a surgery for a bleeding ulcer. He died twice on that operating table, when a teenager. The bright, pleasant, artistic protector of his little sister became a mix of schizophrenic and autistic. He became ill-tempered and unpredictable, and that’s how he’s remembered by the siblings younger than my wife.

She, on the other hand, recalls the times that the two of them arose before daylight to run barefoot around the farm and through the woods on childhood adventures. She prefers to remember him during those times, and as the brother who once saved her from being gored by a mean dairy cow, though he was little bigger than her, despite being two years older. She very much regrets that he wasn’t able to lead a normal adult life, but she believes that he’s with the Lord and that she’ll see him again, when the time is right. I hope she’s right.

In the meanwhile, we’re enjoying a rare normal-length evening together with the dog and the TV. © 2014


buddeshepherd said...

I know how you feel. I'm sending out my bills. It is a bit depressing. Sure I did twice as much stacking, but I did almost no planting, my hay was down 20 percent in yield, I have to pay trucking, so it went from a good year to a bad year and then back again almost a good year, then back to not so good and now it is at a real solid I don't really know year... Life tends to be a bit of a struggle. I think driving dump truck would be fun. I still have my CDL. I have no idea what else to do in life...

Gorges Smythe said...

I like the work, Budd. But almost nothing pays enough to live on these days. But hey, that's all part of "their" plan.

deborah harvey said...

your brother in law is perfect in health and will rejoice to see his little sister one day when 'time is no more'.
their plan is working. if you read the survivalist blog [m. d. creekmore] today there there is one of the clearest explications i've seen, very interesting.
deb h.

p.s.God recently gave us enough unexpected money to pay off 2 debts. several more to go but
he has lightened my burden considerably. praise God!!

Sixbears said...

I can't believe where all the money has gone this month -and there's a whole heck of a lot of month left. On the bright side, I've aggressively paid down debt -maybe too aggressively, but what's done is done. I "should" be in better shape in a month or two.

There are projects I've been hesitating to start in on due to the fear they will grow beyond their budget.

Everything has about a half inch of ice on it this morning -including the snow we got yesterday. Very glad we don't have to be anywhere until the afternoon.

Harry Flashman said...

Sometimes you just have to ride out the heavy rolls. I think the vast majority of the working class in the country is having a tough time of it. What's left of the working class, anyway.

JMD said...

Better days hopefully are ahead for the two of you and the rest of us. I am pinching the pennies until they scream. There are bills to be paid. We all do the best we can.

Sorry about your wife's brother. I agree about the funeral assessment. They are for the living.

Take care.

Gorges Smythe said...

I'm glad the Lord gave you a hand, dh. As much as I complain, I still have to admit that He's given us many blessings, too.

I think this early bad weather caught a lot of us a little by surprise, Sixbears.

Well, their plan IS to destroy the middle class, HF. Guess we shouldn't be surprised.

Chickenmom said...

Our condolences to your wife, Gorges. I'm glad she chose to remember the good times with her brother.
Ah, money! There is never enough of it is there? It's always something. We had scrimped and saved a little bit and then we had the septic problem. Now we have to start all over again!

Mamahen said...

My condolences to your wife for the loss of her brother. I know only to well the pain of losing a sibling. I wondered how this weather wwas affecting youf work. Staying one step ahead of the bill collectors is the name of the game these days it seems.

Penny said...

What do they say? "Life comes at you." Sometimes it comes at gale force, right? I think you handle it admirably. Condolences to your wife, as well.

Grandma Yellow Hair said...

Very sorry for your loss. It's a sad story to read. It's a too common story of child abuse and the horrible long term consequences on the victims.
You are a strong man and like you I know how hard it is to do penny pinching so hang in there. Wish we both had money to fall back on in hard times.

Angela said...

I'm so sorry about your wife's loss of her brother. I understand why she only wants to remember the good times. There have been a few funerals that I haven't attended because I just didn't want to see them that way. I wanted to remember them the way I last seen them healthy and enjoying life.

Gorges Smythe said...

Thanks, Cm. And that's the way it is here, too.

Thanks, Mh. The Lord keeps looking after us; I shouldn't complain.

Thanks, Penny.

Thanks, Maggie. None of us get out of this life unscathed, I guess.

Thanks, Angela; I don't think some of her relatives agreed, but they can do as theyn choose.