Posted by: Marie | July 4, 2014

(947) Lessons in renegotiation – Part 3 of 7

Post #947
[Private journal entry written near bedtime on Saturday, September 1, 2012 – continued from previous post]

As I was packing the cooler with drinks and food for myself (Melodie had already packed hers), I was standing in the kitchen area, thinking about what all I would like to take. Melodie asked me what I needed. I told her I was thinking about what drinks I should pack. She opened the frig and started telling me what I should pack. When I told her, “I got it, I really don’t need help with that . . . ,” she acted offended.

When I was packing my bag with stuff like sunscreen, a comb and hair band, etc., she did the same thing . . . she tried to help me pack. Again, I declined her help and she again acted offended.

And she announced that she was going to drive the first leg of the trip . . .

It is her car . . . I can’t really argue with her decision . . .

I just took some more deep breaths . . . patience . . . patience . . .

And then . . . well, first, a tangent story . . .

About five or six weeks ago, I developed a mild rash on one of my calves. I’d get it almost healed up and then it would come back a little worse . . .

As of about two weeks ago, I thought I had it conquered for sure. But then, a few days ago, it came back with a vengeance.

I hate going to doctors. I have to be about dead before I’ll go to one. I don’t trust most of them to be holistically responsible with the application of their medicinal efforts, and I usually don’t have enough spare money to afford to even walk in the door of a doctor’s office, and I don’t have health insurance.

Now back to the present-day story . . . I was trying to hide the rash from Melodie because I knew she would preach to me to no end for not going to a doctor about it yet. I didn’t want to deal with her preaching. I did my best to keep it hidden. But, of course, she noticed the rash this morning when I was in the bathroom changing the dressing.

She started asking me a million questions and she chewed me out up one side and down the other . . . she told me that I HAD to go to the doctor as soon as I got home and she told me what kind of doctor I should go to and exactly what I should say to him . . . I told her I’ll decide for myself how I handle it . . . and that set her off again . . . I finally got her off the topic by keeping my responses to a minimum.

But, I’m aggravated that she cannot respect the choices I make around health care . . . I am my own person and I do things differently than she does them . . . but she is not willing to allow me the autonomy to make choices that are right for me . . . if I don’t handle things as she would have handled them, then, in her mind, my choices are obviously wrong.

So, anyway . . . all of that occurred within a couple of hours this morning . . . yikes . . . it was a tough start to the day . . .

The good news is that it did get better . . .

We were nearly ready to go by 8:00am. Since we were concerned about time, we thought we’d call Ardis and see if we could visit the schoolhouse at 8:00 rather than 8:30. She didn’t answer her phone, so I left a message saying that, if we didn’t hear from her by 8:10, we’d just do the tour later. We didn’t hear from her.

So, we managed to get on the road by 8:15am (an hour ahead of schedule). We headed south on Highway 181 through a lot of wide open country and a few small towns . . .

Kansas

Around 9:45am, we came upon a tiny town named Hunter (population 57). As we passed through the single city block and five or six buildings that defined “downtown”, we noticed there were a couple of really cool old, abandoned commercial buildings. We decided to stop and check them out. We pulled into one of the diagonal parking spots in front of one of the few in-use buildings.

There was a newer, large metal building across the street from where we parked. Its sign announced that it housed the library and community center. Since we were in need of a restroom, we decided to see if there was one in the building we could use.

The main double doors opened up into a small lobby. The restrooms were straight in from the main door, and there was a secondary door on the left that led into the library. The secondary door on the right led into the community center.

While Melodie was using the facilities, I wandered around the lobby and read the signs on both secondary doors . . . both the library and the community center were closed due to a funeral.

As we headed back outside, a fire truck pulled up and parallel parked, straddling a handful of the diagonal spots near our car. Two men got out of the fire truck – the driver, who was maybe 55 or 60 years old, and a passenger, who was maybe in his 20’s. We exchanged greetings . . . and then we visited a bit . . .

They said that they were from a different fire station – one in a nearby town – and that they were covering for the firefighters in Hunter because the funeral was for one of the Hunter firefighters. These two guys were covering the fire station so all of the Hunter firefighters could be involved in the funeral.

They went on to say that the Saturday prior – a week ago – one of the younger fire fighters had died. They thought he was around 30 years old. He was a passenger in a boat. The driver of the boat tossed a bottle of liquor back to him. He didn’t catch it and it landed in the water. He dove in after it. Because he was intoxicated, he drowned. The guy had four kids. So, it was a tragic event, and the whole town had turned out for the funeral.

They continued visiting with us and told us a bit about town’s history. Then, we told them we probably should get going since we had a lot of ground to cover before sunset – that we needed to be to my ancestors’ gravesites by 8:15pm since the sun would be setting at 8:30 . . .

The firefighters headed over to the community center, and Melodie and I started walking along the front of the abandoned buildings . . .

Through the plate glass windows, we could see that one building looked like it had been a hardware store at some point. We could see a bank of drawers running from the floor all the way to the high ceilings. The drawers were the old fashioned wooden drawers. Then, there were ladders on rollers that could be moved along the front of the bank of drawers (like what you see in the library in upscale homes). Each drawer had a card mounted on the front with a hand-written description of the drawer’s contents (like 2″ brass nails, ¼” washers, etc.) and the unit price.

We tried the door to see if it was unlocked . . . it was . . . we opened the door and cautiously stepped inside . . .

[Continued in the next post . . . ]

(018)


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