It could be worse. I could be watching my children starve to death in front of my eyes because there isn't enough food to go around.
On the van thing, it's probably time to start looking for another one. The last one we found via the Internet back in 2000 or 2001. Back then it was actually easier to find used vans adapted for use by people in wheelchairs. Or, perhaps I should say, easier to find reasonably priced used vans adapted for use by people in wheelchairs.
On the plus side, automobile reliability greatly improved in the 2000s. So a ten year old van purchased today will likely be far more reliable than a ten year old van purchased in the early 2000s. On the down side, programs like "cash for clunkers" cleared quite a bit of used inventory off the market. This decreased supply at a time when it seems that demand is surging. More people with disabilities are getting jobs these days than back in the early 2000s.
So the current strategy is to have this repair done and hope it lasts six months or so, giving us time to find another van at a good price.
In commencing the new search, I've found some silly things. For example: the most absurd adapted vehicle system I've ever seen.
What I'm hoping to find is something closer to a Toyota Sienna fitted with a wheelchair ramp. The price on that one actually is pretty decent. But it's also out of our price range.
I've been meaning to write up the weekend we spent in Baltimore at a conference for the scholarship program my youngest daughter is in. There were some pretty interesting things going on there. Perhaps the most interesting of these was meeting this guy from the Dakotas that lives off the grid. He has no electricity. He does have a generator that he runs once a week to operate their washing machine. Him and his family generally watch movies then. The rest of the week, no power. So no cold storage. No electic lights. No internet.
A good deal of their food, his family gets by foraging. He was pretty knowledgable about the local flora and described to me how to find and dry all sorts of roots and what not. They also grow some maize which they dry for the winter. For meat, they take down a buffalo or antelope and dry it out. Most of the winter they survive on stews made from rehydrated meat and root vegetables.
Three weeks ago, I was finally starting to get my mojo back after being sick. I was back up to running four or five miles each day after almost two months of effort. I could do three full circuits on the weight machines. Then I got sick again. This time, it was only a minor ailment that passed in just a few days. But being full of snot and having a headache demotivated me from running, so I didn't. This set me back a few weeks. I'm back up to four miles per day. Or was, until this splinter.
I get splinters in my feet all the time. Most of them I don't even notice. They either come out on their own or get absorbed into my body. But about once a month or so, I get one that hurts enough that I notice and need to extract. This is one of those.
So today's the day I celebrate having been alive for four decades. I find it odd in some ways. As a teenager, I never really imagined surviving to adulthood. As a young man, married at the age of 19 (almost exactly one month before my 20th birthday), I've never imagined reaching a point where I've been married for half of my life.
I don't have any special plans for celebrating. After an irritating weekend, I'm in kind of morose mood.
After an hour of soaking my feet in epsom salts, the splinter took one look at my trusty razor blade and practically leapt out of my foot.
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