Dearest Rachel –
I let the first of the month get past me, but I was otherwise occupied with a houseguest, after all. Indeed, it wasn’t until last Thursday that I realized I had missed my Monday appointment at the mechanics for your car. Oh well, we can try again later this week, I guess. It isn’t as if we used it at all this past week, so it isn’t as if it needs any more work than it did last week.
What with Kris coming in to clean the house, I stayed at home – not so much to supervise her or anything, but I can sort of direct her to the parts of the house that I consider to be more important than others.
Staying home also allows me to focus on things that need to be done around the house, or at least for the household. Bills and the like, you know. It’s the stuff I find myself dealing with at the beginning of every month. For all that I wonder about why you would have been the first to go, I have to admit that from a household management position, the transition is probably smoother by having me still here to deal with those sorts of things. I never thought to teach either of you how to do any of that; if I had gone this early, you two might well have been at sea.
Then again, I left you to do all the legwork on your parents’ estates, and you managed most of that just fine, so perhaps I shouldn’t be patting myself on the back too much.
Be that as it may, there are a lot of payments to be made today. Credit cards, utilities… and let’s not forget paying Kris for her services today, too. It’s a good thing we have something coming into the checking account on the first of the month, every month.
So, well she goes about the house with a vacuum and a bucket of cleaning solution (depending on the room and its condition), I’m busy taking care of bills. Most of them these days can be taken care of online – thank heavens for modern technology – but there are still the occasional bills that require the personal touch of a physical check, that I have to deal with as well.
There are times when I realize that I will soon need to teach Daniel how to do all this for himself. Of course, this will have to wait until he has meetings and resources of his own, but – just like the day came that allowed me to retire as early as I did – we’ll eventually have probate sorted out, and he will have both principal and income upon which to live with reasonable independence. Once that happens, I will probably show him what he needs to do, and then stand aside and let him manage himself on his own. If I have to step in and intervene from time to time to keep him on an even keel, I’ll do that, but for the most part, I plan to let him take care of his own spending and payments.
However, for now, all our resources are either in your name alone, or in both of ours. Which leaves me to do all the purchasing and payments, as Daniel has no control over any of it. All of which is probably just as well, as he currently cannot physically go out and conduct business. Not that he’s incapable, of course, just that he’s not allowed within most places of business, given his… health choices.
I worry about the stigma being placed upon those who for whatever reason choose neither to be vaccinated nor to wear a mask in public. Personally, I’ve gotten to the point where I also consider it to be more theater an actual prophylaxis, but society has begun to systematically ostracize those who make these choices. Given his position on the spectrum, and given that he has me to take care of the sort of tasks that mere existence requires, Daniel has decided that he’s fine with that. I imagine there are others who are not so fortunate. And while I don’t consider either the mask or the jab to be anything like the mark of the beast (that he insists he doesn’t either, but how else am I supposed to take his vehement rejection of both? Can’t he just wear something in public for those few minutes when and where it’s required, just for the sake of politeness and respect?), I suddenly I’m coming to the realization of just how possible that sort of thing could be; until this past year, I would never have expected a nation – or group of nations like the Christianized West – to allow this to happen to themselves. Even the phrase “mark of the beast,” and the number 666 conjure up concepts in the society at large through pop-cultural osmosis that one would expect us to see it coming. And yet here we are; I don’t see the number in this, at least, but I do see where people like Daniel will be locked out of the marketplace and the public square for not conforming, and that’s dangerously close to where the events of the Revelation aren’t nearly as far-fetched as they use to be.
But I suppose I’m getting ahead of myself, and worrying once again about the axe in the rafters. For now, I find myself having to deal with today’s bills, rather than tomorrow’s potential political situation.
With Kris done for the day, and me having taken care of whatever I can online, I need to get out and take care of the physical checks as well. One to the post box, another to Village Hall – where I acknowledge to the clerk that, while I do need stickers for both cars, I no longer will need a license for Chompers, to which she expresses her sympathies. Then on to the supermarket, where I need to use my rewards before they expire on the 15th.
You’d know all about this; ever since the pandemic began, and we couldn’t make our contributions in person, I’d set it up so that we were paying our tithe online through our supermarket credit card. As a result, we would get a whole bunch of coupons to redeem against our purchases there – but they would expire within about two months of receiving them. So I have to make a point of going there on a regular basis, whether we really need anything from there or not. Although, in fairness, I can always find some thing I ‘need’ from there.
While I do still miss walking around with you, going over your list of things we truly needed, the sights that really sting are those of stuff that you favored that neither Daniel nor I had any particular taste for. Those were – are – things that, in our hearts and minds, represented you. Much the way the world at large saw you as “the purple lady,” there were plenty of other, less significant things, that were distinctly yours in our eyes.
I honestly find myself wondering why these things are being offered anymore, now that their best customer is gone.
Then there are the things that I’ve just run out of that need replacement; After nearly nine months, I had emptied the bottle of dish soap that you left maybe about a third full, so I got this to replace it:
And this has its own issue, because what I used it on for the most part were those empty Beneful containers, to serve as containers for Chompers’ MREs.
I’m sure that Kris will be able to use the stuff going forward, though – although given how long it took me to use what you’d left me, that bottle is probably going to keep me supplied for at least five, and probably closer to ten, years.
Anyway, that’s what my Monday was like. I’d ask how yours was, like I used to back when you were around, but I know I can’t expect an answer.
I would love to know what it would be, though.