The fairly tight knit circle of friends we had back in Cincinnati five years ago became strewn to the four corners of the world. Well, not really the world, but at least the four corners of the US. Something similar had happened when we lived in Dayton, OH. The only difference is that in Dayton, we were the last man standing. In Cincinnati, we were third to last. But the last two moved shortly after we did.
That move we made, which was almost three years ago, (with 'we' being me, my wife, and my two daughters) was from Ohio to Maryland just across the border from DC. In fact, on my morning runs, once I'm one block south of our apartment, I'm in DC proper.
My eldest daughter is about to go off to college.
My eldest daughter also hates me and everything I stand for. Or maybe not. Depends on which day it is. Or maybe which hour of which day it is. Most of the time I find this amusing. It's pretty typical teenage angst. Her hate and anger, at least as expressed, seems pretty mild compared to what I remember from those awkward and awful years. Being a teenager is hard stuff. You've outgrown most of childhood but you're not yet an adult. Consequently, you're kind of stuck in limbo and have a hard time relating to anyone, especially your parents.
My youngest daughter is about to hit high school. She's just starting to develop that snarky teenage attitude that her sister has had going on four years or so.
I'm not the sole bread-winner anymore. My wife, formerly retired on disability, now has a full time job. (For those that don't know, she has SMA Type II, a form of muscular dystrophy. She never walked and is technically a quadriplegic. She does have limited use of one arm. After the birth of our first child, she spent three months in the hospital, most of the time on a ventilator after getting a tracheotomy. After that she was prone to pneumonia and kept missing oodles of work. Finally, she gave up on the work thing, filed for SSDI and did the stay at home mom thing for fifteen years.) She rides the para-transit to get back and forth from work. You can catch the more amusing of her tales at her blog: My Life on the Short Bus
It's been almost three years (pretty much the exact amount of time that we've been in Maryland) since anyone aside from our nuclear family has lived with us. In a way, this is liberating. I can walk around in my shorts and a wife-beater with impunity. In another way, it makes our home seem rather empty. I find myself daydreaming that we'll win the lottery so that we can afford to buy a small house.
Speaking of houses, five years ago I was paying mortgages on four different properties. Two of those, I had inherited (jointly with my sister) when my father died. One was the first house my wife and I had ever bought. One was the house we lived in. Two of those houses are sold, the ones jointly owned with my sister. One is sort of sold, we're playing bank and holding a private mortgage to a couple that would not qualify for any sort of mortgage in the commercial world. The other we still own because we can't get rid of. All of which are money-losing propositions, at least once one considers the amount of time and materials I've poured in.
And that just about covers it for changes that can be publicly discussed. As mentioned in this comment, I'm no longer absurdly miserable in a ludicrously unsustainable fashion. But why I was miserable and why I'm no longer miserable in such a fashion probably isn't something I'm ever going to put up in the blogosphere.
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