Dearest Rachel –
Well, you know the punch to that line; I hardly have to recite it to you. The weird thing is, for the last week and a half, I’ve had the exact opposite problem – we were down to our last two or three checks. So how are we going to pay bills from this point on? I was even worried about paying Kris or Jan this week, and wound up pulling cash out of the account by ATM in order to pay them that way.
Well, problem solved. After telling me they were going to do so for the last two weeks the bank finally got around to sending another book of checks (and no, I’m not going to take a photograph; there are some things you just don’t put out over the Internet). So we’re all good to go.
I know, I know… I really shouldn’t worry as much as I do about making sure that I have these sorts of things. After all, I did have a few checks left, and most of the bills I pay online these days, anyway. But it’s human nature to worry about running out of this or that. And in any event, it’s not like you’re not familiar with the emotion – whether personally, or by blood.
You had told me several stories about your mom‘s mother, and when your parents picked her up from her home in suburban Cleveland to take her to live near you and your family. Apparently, she had begun hoarding toiletries in bulk amounts, like toilet paper, toothpaste and soap. Ah, yes, the soap! As I remember, I think it took your family ten years to work through her supply after they brought her home.
And those were just the non-perishable items. I don’t remember the specifics, but I believe you mentioned certain foodstuffs she had stocked up on as well, all of which served as an indication that she couldn’t take care of herself anymore.
Your parents continued the tradition of storing more than they needed or would use, to the point of having a secondary refrigerator as well as the freezer downstairs alongside the rest of their pantry. Daniel always liked the sound the old refrigerator downstairs made, and missed it when they replaced their upstairs refrigerator, and brought their old upstairs refrigerator downstairs, replacing the old downstairs refrigerator.
Gosh, I think I’ve lost track of which refrigerator I’ve been talking about. Anyway, there were several at a time, for two people.
And of course, the cycle continued to us. I’ve already pointed out the peanut butter – and they survived the purge, because all those jars still have expiration dates in the future. But of course, you’ve already seen the pictures of the kitchen (and pantry) floor, to say nothing of the piles throughout the remainder of the house. We had so much stuff, because “you never know when you might need it.”
And I’m not about to exonerate myself either. My own personal concern is to make sure I fill my gas tank before I get to a level wherein I still have 50 miles worth of gas. By way of comparison, you would sometimes drive your car until the idiot light went on, warning that you were running low. So our concern about running out of things wasn’t even necessarily consistent.
All of which brings me back to the checks, which just arrived in the mail. And now I can make payments without worrying about whether I’ll have enough to write and send to everyone demanding payments from us. At least I don’t need to be concerned about being overdrawn…