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Thanks for the Advice

October 1st, 2017

The Opposite of Nostalgia

Today I was thinking about all the problems I have. I still have a bunch of big trees to cut and move. We are having a mosquito plague that beggars description. I still have to get my machinery moved from Miami. I have to get a house down there fixed up and rented. I gave myself a sunburn on one wrist and one leg using the welder. I added all that up, and this was my conclusion: I HATE MIAMI. THANK GOD I’M NOT IN MIAMI. I LOVE IT HERE.

So things could be worse.

I remember what some people said to me when I used to criticize Miami. “If you don’t like it, leave!” Sometimes they said, “Get the f___ out!”

I did! I left! Great advice! Muchos gracias!

People thought I wasn’t serious about leaving. Yeah, okay. They don’t know me very well. I’ve been trying to get out for years.

“Get the f___ out!” Always nice to get polite advice from good friends.

What do I miss about Miami? Still nothing! Nothing, nothing, nothing. Not the traffic. Not the rudeness. Not the ethnic tension. Not the near lack of seasons. Not the perpetually moldy smell of the air. I don’t miss paying ten bucks for a McDonald’s breakfast. I don’t miss having my unpleasant neighbors right up my nose as soon as I walk outside. I don’t miss not being able to shoot without driving for half an hour and paying a fee to be monitored by killjoy range officers. I don’t miss having a tiny, cramped workshop. I don’t miss not being able to talk to people because they’re too lazy and selfish to learn the language of the generous country that saved their lives.

I have two friends left in Miami. Two, after decades of living there. Guess what? They hate it. They hate it so much they want to move all the way to Virginia.

I know other people there, but we have drifted apart. Not including the couple I mentioned above, I don’t know anyone who wouldn’t be surprised if I called.

Well, I do have my house sitter. He has to stay there for another year because he’s in college. But he hates Miami, too.

Last week a friend had to go to Cudjoe Key to check on a rental house he owned. I let him sleep at my dad’s house in Miami, and he brought me a lot of stuff the movers left behind. I have my Rockstar beverage fridge! I have a guitar amp! My sawzall is here! I have my compressor hose reels! I even have one of my big soup pots, plus my huge pressure cooker!

I still have no steam iron, but that’s okay, because I hate ironing.

Yesterday Amanda and her kids came down for a visit, and I made collards, ham hocks, neckbones, hoe cakes, soup beans, and sliced tomatoes and Vidalias. We also slapped together some oatmeal cookies, from the recipe in my book. It turns out the book is wrong; they’re only supposed to have about 1/8 teaspoon of nutmeg in them. Anyway, it was a great feed. First real home-cooked meal I’ve made in months. Sometimes you need a big pot.

My laundry facilities are better than hers, so I told her to use them when she needs them. In return we get some company.

There are some things I had to replace after I moved. Example: my old-man tweezers. When you hit a certain age, hairs sprout all over you. You can either pull them out or watch them take over. I don’t mind buying tweezers, because tweezers are among the products we make a whole lot better than we used to.

It’s a good thing we got out when we did, because my dad’s condition worsened abruptly after our offer was accepted. It would have been a lot harder to move, had we waited. Now he has a big bedroom suite and a living room all to himself. He has a safe place to do his daily walking. His quality of life is much better. He isn’t tempted to drive. Looking after him is way easier here, and when things get worse, we’ll be surrounded by people who are experts at caring for old people. And they speak English.

He has started having false memories. The other day he told someone we had taken his boat to France and Italy, with extra diesel in drums on the deck. I sat there hoping no one would ask me about the trip.

Dementia is very strange. Dealing with a demented person is like walking through a house that has been hit by artillery fire. Some parts are totally sound, and others are just plain missing. Depending on what you talk to my dad about, you may be able to get very reliable input from him, but if you enter one of the damaged areas, the floor collapses under you.

Up here, he’s relatively safe from telemarketers and other swindlers. He doesn’t have to worry about close relations showing up on his doorstep, making wild accusations and demanding money. He’s less likely to be preyed upon by financially shaky, morally flexible middle-aged ladies who have suddenly found themselves drawn to octagenarians.

The weather has changed. I think. The forecast for this week is running seven to ten degrees lower than last week. That should make tree clearing easier. I’m told we will get bug relief after the first cold snap. That will be nice. Mosquitoes hate me, but there are so many here right now, even the outliers that find me tasty are able to cause problems. And because of the heat, sweat has been washing the repellant away.

Weather sites list the mosquito outlook as “EXTREME.” I would go along with that. And it makes sense. There is still standing water from Irma.

I can’t wait for better weather. The outdoor work has to be done.

I’m considering getting weights for the tractor. The guy who sold it to me left a bush hog on it for weight, but the bush hog gets beaten up a lot while I drag it around. It doesn’t lift completely off the ground. It would be a pain to switch weights for the bush hog, but it might be worth it. I would have more maneuverability, and the bush hog could be tucked away in the goat shed to rest.

A 1000-pound set of weights runs about a grand, but there is probably someone around here who has an old set to sell.

I had to weld the bush hog again. The welds I put on with a stick electrode broke when I hit a stump. They were really bad welds anyway. I fired up my generator and used the MIG to replace them, but I’ve had some problems. For one thing, the generator surges for some reason, and that makes the wire feed switch on and off. I may need a new torch cable liner to reduce resistance.

I don’t know what it will cost to get real 220 installed in the garage, but it’s a must-do.

That’s all I have right now. I am still here. I am still very, very, very glad I left. Hope to post more photos in the future.

6 Responses to “Thanks for the Advice”

  1. Stephen McAteer Says:

    Good to hear it’s working out for you.

  2. Ed Bonderenka Says:

    I know it is not your intent to inspire jealousy in others…. 🙂

  3. Ruth H Says:

    Find everything that might hold a drop of water for mosquitoes and put BT in it. That stuff works, but I think they breed in the grass and weeds. It won’t work there.
    We are getting a nice check from Texas Windstorm insurance to cover our Harvey problems. Thankful I got one of those good appraisers. Now to find the people to do the work.

  4. lateniteguy Says:

    When you wrote earlier that Miami was a festering rathole I thought that the rats might protest the association with Miami!

    Also, tractorbynet.com forums are supposed to be the ar15.com of tractor forums, and I think that they have a for sale forum or two. Weights, used, are cheap. Unfortunately, they might be across the country, which just means that you need an airplane.

    I am really happy to read how much you like it. Please be careful with the heavy equipment, fires, and so forth!

  5. Ken Says:

    You can add water to the rear tires and gain 700 pounds back there.It’s a $15 adapter between a garden hose and the schrader valve.

    Then if you feel you still need more weight, you only have to buy a couple of hundred pounds instead of a thousand….

    220 is an easy install, either overhead or buried. Educate yourself how to do it, or pay an ‘electrician’ $5000 for $300 in materials and 8 hours labor after the trench is dug. Your local building dept will have info on homeowner installations, if they allow that. Most do.

    I dug a 1000 foot trench, electric company installed the wire I bought from them, they got the wire up to the transformer and left it long at my house. Bought a 200 amp meter/breaker box and did the hook up on my end.

    Inspector looked it over and called the electric company to finish hooking it up to the transformer and set a meter. Also had the phone line in the trench….that was 28 years ago…

  6. MikeC Says:

    Another thing to consider as a counterweight is a box blade. They don’t cost that much and you will find a million uses for it. It’s way better than navigating that bulky mower behind the tractor.

    Mike

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