I made it safely to Maryland, my Maryland, and there is just so much to say about it. Let’s keep organized with a bit of a task list. We must talk about:
1) My crazy ass in-laws.
2) Not seeing my grandma.
3) The stupid house.
4) 700 followers!?!?!?!
5) What happens next.
Augh, my in-laws
Can I tell you, when we arrived here to Maryland on Wednesday, we walked into the biggest fucking mess you’ve ever seen. My brother- and sister-in-law are here too, with their two boys (2 years old and 3 months). Whenever I pack for trips, I’m very meticulous about making sure that we’re conscientious about what we bring and where we put it. I have specific bags for specific functions and everything has a place. I really, really work hard on making sure that we don’t take over my mother-in-law’s house with all our crap. Tell me why my brother- and sister-in-law have left their shit alllllllll ovvvvveeeeerrrr this house. Not just baby stuff– shoes, headphones, computers, wires, random books, pacifiers, diapers, clothing, sippy cups, toy, toys and even more toys, bags… everything except for the kitchen sink. They even have a big flat screen television here. For seriously, I’m not kidding.
and then tell me why these two have been up past midnight talking like no one is sleeping, then sleep the night and don’t wake up until 10 in the morning. What time does their toddler wake up, you ask? Oh, you know, 7… when my boys wake up. So we’re sitting around responsible for their child, feeding him, changing him, keeping him entertained, while those two idiots sleep in without a care.
And my mother- and father-in-law say nothing of it. Nothing about the mess, nothing about the mornings… nothing. We’re just gonna let all of this fly. Believe me, I’ve been giving my brother-in-law funny looks since I walked in here.
and did I mention that their toddler had a runny nose? Did I mention that? DID I MENTION THAT!?!?!?! If my boys get sick while we’re at the beach, I’m going to find a witch doctor and order up a plauge upon their household, I swear before the Lord almighty.
Being in this house makes me want to punch 10 people.
Outside of the world of adults, the boys are actually having a grand time. They love playing with their cousin, they love how big the house is, and my in-laws have filled this house to the brim with every toy vehicle they could get their hands on via craigs list, yard sales and church fundraisers. Their glee is a welcome sight, though it is a bit loud. And, of course, there is no such thing as nap time around here. That’s fine, because when it’s bedtime, they go right down!
What is life without disappointment?
A major part of this trip was taking the opportunity to say goodbye to my paternal grandmother. I don’t know if I’ve mentioned this before, but she is in her mid-80s and she is suffering from Alzheimer’s disease. My grandmother retains all of the dignity of her youth, continuing to hold a regal way about her that I’ve remembered from my childhood. However, her memories are gone and she often looks at us as if we are strangers. I haven’t been able to see my grandmother in person in a very long time, and when I heard that my aunt, who takes care of her, is moving to Florida and is taking my grandmother with her, I felt a huge since of urgency to see her one last time. I don’t know if I will ever have the opportunity to see her alive again.
and when my aunt told me that they were flying out of Maryland first thing yesterday, so I’d only be able to see grandma on Wednesday afternoon, I moved heaven and earth to make it happen.
So we did the drive from Boston to Maryland, going through our usual routine of leaving at 5, stopping twice, and getting here at 2. We unpacked the car, I changed clothes, I got back in the car and got in contact with my Aunt. “I’m here, where can I meet you?”
“Oh, well, the movers had issues and we have these cats and we can’t find a hotel where we can stay with them….” yadda yadda yadda yadda. Bottom line “We should be leaving for Glen Bernie in about 20 minutes. We’ll call when we are on our way up.”
Perfect, because I was starving and I needed to get something to eat before I hit the road. I told her I’d get food and make my way to Glen Bernie (which is just outside of Baltimore). I was heading to Baltimore anyway to spend the night at my Uncles’ place.
“And you know, I know what you are doing this, but you should know that this isn’t the last time you’ll ever see her again. Besides, she doesn’t remember you.”
This isn’t really about her. This is totally about me.
Here’s my thing. I don’t actually know that this wasn’t my last opportunity to tell my grandmother I love her. I just don’t know that–we never know that. When my grandfather died a few years ago, I was a second year teacher and I was between two vacation weeks. I was told that my grandfather was sick, but I was told that he was sustaining. I told everyone I’d get there as soon as school vacation week started. I’d taken off an entire week for my honeymoon before and I didn’t have the days to get down there to see him. I prayed that he would wait for me, so that I could see him and say goodbye.
Death doesn’t wait for school vacations. He passed before I could make it back to Maryland. I cannot tell you how much I regret missing that moment.
and I refused to miss that opportunity this time.
So I got some (really, really bad, why did I ever eat this stuff?) Taco Bell, pumped up the tunes on my phone and hit the road. Afternoon traffic was picking up, but I got there in pretty good time (about 50 minutes after I got off the phone with my aunt). I pulled up to a not-so-sketchy hotel with a fairly-sketchy parking lot and sat back to wait. I called my aunt. No answer. Awesome.
I took out my moleskine and did some writing–I still had a piece and a half to write of next week’s posts. After 15 minutes, I called auntie again. No answer. Awesome.
It’s now 4pm and I know that Baltimore traffic is going to pick up soon. I look around and start to ponder my options. Then go back to writing.
After 15 minutes, I call. No answer.
And then I get a call from my Realtor. We’ll get to that in a second.
at 4:30, I gave up. I left a message and sent a text. We’ll have to try again. another time. At least let me call next week or so.
I get a text back 5 minutes later. “Oh, I’m sorry, we got bogged down… we’re still far away…” yadda yadda yadda.
My efforts were wasted, my opportunity passed. My grandmother boarded a plane to Florida yesterday, and I didn’t get a chance to see her and say goodbye.
I’m proud that I made the effort, and I know that the effort means something. However, I failed to do what I wanted and needed to do, and I worry that I’ll have the same regret that I do with Poppy. I hope I do have another opportunity to tell my grandmother I love her.
That stupid house
“So the selling family has decided that they don’t want to pay for the pipe that connects the septic system to the house,” My realtor informed me on the phone.
“Yeah, they say that has to do with the indoor plumbing and they don’t want to be responsible for the indoor plumbing. I told them that they have to be responsible for it because it’s part of the septic system but they say that don’t want to do it.”
“Uh huh… so does that mean that the deal is dead?”
“Well, I called my plumber and I called the company that drew up the plans for the septic. They said that if they have to change the elevation of the pipe anyway, they’ll just replace it. If they don’t have to do that, you can just pay for it. It should be that expensive.”
“What’s ‘shouldn’t be that expensive?” Can you blame me for being dubious?
“Well, I can’t give you an official quote, but my guys are saying between $300 and $500. You just cut it, collar it and connect it. So, $300 is holding up this deal. What do you want to do?”
“Fuck it. Just, yes. I’ll call [The Husband] and let him know.”
“I’ll call the seller’s agent.”
I call the Husband.
“Why wouldn’t they want to pay for it unless they know it’s expensive? That doesn’t sound right,” my super smart husband says.
and he’s so freaking smart. Of course he’s right.
“Well, I mean, it doesn’t sound like it’s that much… and they might have to just replace it anyway…”
“Well, I don’t know. That sounds funky. I’m going to call the realtor back.”
Mind you, this is all while I’m sitting in a sketchy parking lot outside of Baltimore.
So after another few phone calls, Maryland to Maryland, Maryland to Boston, Boston to Maryland… we all figure out that you can’t get the proper clearance from the town and state without replacing that pipe. Supposedly the seller isn’t excited about spending that money. So they are getting quotes to find out exactly how much it costs.
So here I am. I’m on vacation, but not really on vacation until tomorrow, and I’m waiting for the yay or nay.
Why or why am I still in purgatory? I hate purgatory!
So any hope of getting anything signed and sealed is gone at this point. Everyone is going to have to wait until we get back now.
I told my husband that if they break this over the money then come crawling back again, I’m going to make a hard demand of $200k… maybe $180k. No need to do the septic, just give me the damn money. I mean, at this point, I’m wondering just how much my time is worth.
No seriously, I can’t believe it! I don’t know who you are or what you find so interesting about me, but hello and welcome!
What Happens Next
I told you on Monday that I was really inspired last weekend, and I was able to write three (fairly long) but personal pieces that will pop next week. I don’t know how they will land, but I’ve written them and I’m happy about them. I hope that you will enjoy these three personal stories and I hope you’ll leave me a little feedback about them. If you like them, you’ll have to thank my friend, who also inspired this blog. I’ve got to convince him to write a guest post some day. Another project for another time.
I usually leave you on Friday with Quiet Thoughts, but there is simply no such thing in this house right now. Know that when funny things happen, I’ll be taking notes so that way I can share when I return. If you just so happen to be up at dawn and you turn your face to the east, know that I’m looking in that direction, too. I plan to be up at dawn every single morning next week, thinking, writing, and dreaming.
Thanks for reading. I’ll be back soon! I’ll miss you while I’m gone!