Posts Tagged ‘family’

Wow! What a Summer.

It’s been quite the summer. It felt almost non-stop for the past few months even though it hasn’t been quite that bad. I just haven’t had a lot of “down time”.

I never got my comic going and online by the deadline that I had set. I now have a very nice drawing table, but have yet to actually use it even once! I have 2 logos that I’ve been trying to work on, but haven’t had the time to sit down and work out the details so they’ve been set aside for far too long.

However, my brother moved back to the area, my best friend is finally married to a very wonderful person, we managed to have at least one BBQ (our now annual shindig), and…

The Ring

All in all, I think it’s been one heck of a summer. ^___^

So How Old is “Old” These Days?

My brother recently turned 22. While wishing him a happy birthday he said “Yeah, I’m now officially old.”

Orly? I thought I was officially old this year? His response? “That’s a whole new level of old.” LOL!

Life is good

Things are going really well. My brother appears to be settling in well in his new place far from “home” and even making friends. His job is sounding like it’s requiring less travel, stress, and hours, and he’s even taking kung-fu classes!

My job changed, and I should be getting the full details of my projects tomorrow – I’m very excited. No more on-call. Yay! I have a life now. Yay again! I’m getting out and walking with the dog (it’ll be more often once it gets warmer outside). I’m working on a website with a friend for our favorite local restaurant in exchange for food. I have a growing list of design projects for another company to work on. One of the projects is a new logo design – and I think I’m finally on to something that will fit well. These projects will also help finally pay off some debt. Our taxes have been submitted and accepted – and are really nice this year because we bought the house. That should help give us a small buffer as well as catch up on a couple of things. I’m also actually making decent progress on my school work as well!

It’s amazing what some “spare” time can do.

Now to make progress on redoing the master bedroom. Ha!

Funeral

I went back to LA to visit some friends and to try to get away from work for a few days. I saw my friends, but wasn’t able to stay away from work much unfortunately. The day I returned, I received a call from my mom telling me that my father had died.

Most everyone who knows me well, or even not-so-well have not heard me speak much of my father. For a good majority of my life I had grown up in either a single parent household, or with my mother and ex-stepfather. I haven’t seen or heard from my birth father in almost 2 decades. I knew very little about him. It’s sad that I learned quite a bit about him just from reading his obituary – which I couldn’t even find initially because all these years I didn’t know how to spell his name correctly…

At first I wasn’t even sure if I should go to the funeral or not. I was tired, seriously stressed and jetlagged so it was hard to fully comprehend it. Initially I thought, should I even go to the funeral of a man that I didn’t know? Would I even be welcome after all these years? But after a short time I decided that I wanted to go. It would be good for me. Perhaps I could even learn a little more about him. And I knew that if I didn’t go, it would be something that I would regret.

My father was not a perfect man. As far as I know, he was not a model citizen by any standards. But I learned that he was not entirely a bad man. He was trying to clean himself up so that he could take care of his mother. He loved to write poetry – and was apparently very good at it. He was always reading and was intrigued by all kinds of strangeness. He seemed to like lots of little trinkets – you’d be amazed at all of the little statues of dragons, angels – even little ducks – that he had collected.

I met my grandmother – who I quickly learned is a great and amusing woman. She’s a hysterical old lady with plenty of wit and spunkiness still in her. It’s a shame that I only just met her. Apparently my father was taking care of her because she’s dying…

He bought a bus – literally a school bus – that had been all decked out by some racing fans that would follow the Nascar races all over the country with it. There’s miniblinds in the windows, with little checker curtains, and Nascar stickers everywhere. There’s a little eating area that looks like a diner, a couch, a kitchen area, some bunkbeds, and a little bathroom area. So it’s pretty much a school bus made into a Winnebago.

Just a week ago he was out painting up the tires (coloring in the Goodyear letters and such) and starting to clean up the inside of the bus. He told everyone that he was getting ready for his trip. The plan was to take care of his mother, and when she passed, he would take the bus around the country. That sounds like something that I would probably do.

I met a lot of members of his side of the family. Some of them were… interesting. Some of them, like grandma Sophie, were very cool. I even met my half-sister. She’s a gorgeous girl. Just graduated high school and engaged to her boyfriend. I wish for the best for them.

I was sent home with a list of names, numbers, and addresses. It’s amazing how this group of people could get so attached to a stranger. They were adamant that I keep in touch. My only fear is that I’ll sink into my own little world and lose track of time, and I won’t see them more than once every few years like I do with my mother’s side of the family.

Assistance wanted

– UPDATE –

Apparently my uncle’s neighbors and our family gathered a bunch of stuff for him and his animals. The Red Cross gave him some money to help out for now. One of my aunts are contacting the United Way to try to get his medical bills taken care of.
Things are looking much better.

——————-

It’s a little after 3 am and I just got off the phone with my mom. When you’re woken up at 2:30am on a weeknight by a call from your mother… that’s never going to be a happy phone conversation.

Apparently there’s been an accident – my uncle’s house caught fire due to a lightning strike. My mom wanted to call to let me know that everyone was alright because she figured I’d see it all over the news and get worried. Since I don’t typically watch the news or read the newspaper, I hadn’t heard about it. I had to go and find it myself. I was only able to find it here – and it doesn’t say too much about the fire.

Apparently, my uncle, his family, and a friend were at his place when a thunderstorm hit. Their friend ran outside to get the horses in the barn and away from the lightning. In the process, their friend was struck by lightning. Thankfully he was close enough to the metal fence to draw the current away from him in time to save his life. Unfortunately for my uncle’s family though, the spark or the surge made it’s way to the house and started a fire. My uncle had a bad mixture of things in his garage (directly under his apartment) – hay for the horses, and flammables for his welding and for his car, etc. That apparently caused a huge explosion which drew firetrucks from all the surrounding towns. Thankfully – somehow everyone managed to get out just in time.

No one seems to know how their friend is still alive. We’re amazed that my uncle was able to get down the stairs and outside before the explosion because of his broken leg and arm.

It sounds like my uncle’s had a streak of bad luck recently. He’s recently unemployed and I don’t think he has medical insurance. He doesn’t have a car at the moment. He was in a car accident and his car is still in the shop being repaired. A little while later, he was trying to repair his roof when he fell and broke both his hip and his arm. And then yesterday, his house and barn catching on fire. Most everything is burned. He doesn’t have power – so he has to stay at the house to keep an eye on the horses because the barn burned down and there’s no power yet to power the electric fence. He lowered his house insurance to the minimum because he couldn’t afford it with his house taxes and needed save up and fix his roof. Now the insurance will only cover the structural damage – it doesn’t cover replacing any of their stuff inside.

He has no blankets, beds, clothes, etc. My mom brought over some towels and clothes, etc – whatever she could. Family and friends apparently went down to the local Wal*Mart to get donations to help. I’m going to try to get some gift certificates so they can get some food and clothes.

If anyone has anything they can spare, please let me know.

Thank you.