Finally out of the house yesterday; all items meant for Goodwill stashed in the garage, all items meant for other people also duly stashed in the garage, all items destined for storage stashed in the garage, and while the garage was completely full, that meant the house was empty.

So the reno crew came in to get the place ready for sale — without a new floor in the main bedroom and new carpet upstairs, the house wouldn’t sell for ages — so they were really necessary. Fortunately, their fee comes off the final sale price so I don’t have to go to my rapidly-thinning wallet.

The first thing they did was rip the bookshelves off the walls in the den and dining room. Three days of backbreaking work for Connie and me to build and install the things; ten minutes and they were down, destroyed.

I had to leave at that point. I know: intellectually I could see that what sells a house is bare walls so that the new owners can put their imprint on the place, just as Connie and I did; emotionally, all I could see was one of our favorite projects reduced to splinters and our house being turned into someone else’s home. So I fled.

Fortunately, Doc Russia was available (night shifts this week) and as always, he had the right answer: “Lunch with booze, at an establishment which features scantily-clad women.”

I was so distraught I let him take me to just such an establishment, and yet another sign of my distraction was that I ordered a salad. [pause for gasps of shock to die down] Okay, it was a steak salad with avo, bacon, blue cheese and blue cheese dressing but honestly, it’s probably the first time I’ve ever ordered a salad as a meal in a restaurant. A tall mug of draft Shiner Bock (too fizzy, of course, but okay-tasting), a waitress of extraordinary loveliness (tangential thought: why would such a pretty girl resort to working at a place like that?), and with the wall-to-wall TV screens showing everything from fishing to football (both kinds), my mood turned from bleak and miserable to if not Happiness Stan, at least away from Blubbering-Sorry-For-Himself Kim. (Another tangential thought: on one of the TV talk shows, some guy was being compared to another guy, and I realized that I’d never heard of either of them. I am really out of touch.)

And as always with Doc, the conversation was all Guy Talk: guns (duh), hunting, cars, women and sports — we both turn off the TV when it’s people talking about a game versus people actually playing a game.

So the meal was done, and the music was making us both jittery (final tangential thought: when did rap music become acceptable in a sports bar?), so we left. When we got back to my new home, Doc got ready to go to work and I started unpacking the few paltry possessions I’ll need as a house guest: clothes, guns, books, my laptop — you know, the bare essentials.

And then to bed. For the first time since Connie died, there were no dreams, no nightmares; I slept all the way through the night and I didn’t wake up dreading the day to come — also for the first time.

Today I’ll be back at the old homestead, supervising the demolition of the workshop side of the garage and the clearing up of the backyard (which until recently looked like part of the Amazon forest had skipped over the border and established itself firmly in my little plot of land in N. Texas). A couple-three trips to Goodwill, a trip or two to the storage unit, and that’ll be it.

I don’t think I’ll go back inside the house. Not for a while, anyway.


  1. When I visit my home town, I sometimes stop at the empty lot where my maternal grandparents house and garage stood. I spent a lot of my formative years in my grandparents’ company and it is always a bittersweet experience.

  2. Great to have found you blogging again. Say hi to Doc Russia for me I very much enjoyed his blog as well.

  3. “Blubbering-Sorry-For-Himself Kim” Yeah, I wouldn’t beat myself up about that, either. When you’ve lost someone dear to you, the one who has your back, self-pity is completely understandable.

    I find that shooting is a good distraction.

  4. Amigo Kim, re not knowing sod all about talking heads on TV – consider that a blessing and continue to ignore that medium to the maximum extent possible. It has become so corrupted by uniparty groupthink that nothing of much value to the rational is to be had there. Between slowly incrementing hearing/comprehension loss and the absolute drivel that is 95% of what is offered, I for one have pretty much ceased watching other than a few automotive, pickers of old things and the occasional (infrequent) real scientific interest programmes. Even PBS has gone by the wayside, it is no longer digestible. Just returned from working in DC for 4 days, they are so far gone down the rabbit hole in that town that I truly begin to question not if but when revolution 2.0 over state rights and the need to diminish central authority will turn from smoking tinder to a full conflagration.

  5. Full conflagration is looking inevitable, only question is how much longer. States rights, sure – liberty moreso.

  6. Stay out as much as possible. I don’t even visit old homes I’ve lived in…far less the house I lost my parents in.

  7. Don’t argue with Doc Russia, his prescriptions seem spot on to me and it seems to be having a good effect.

    As for rap in a sports bar, why in hell that garbage plays anywhere is beyond me. Ugh.

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