When it rains, it pours

Those of you who have been around the earth for a while might well remember that the statement I used as the title for this post is a tag line for a very popular product. Do you remember? Let me give you a hint:

Tag line and logo for Morton Salt

When I was thinking about this title, I actually decided that using the tag line for this particular product could be misleading. I suspect most of us keep a few dried pieces of rice in our salt shakers because dampness will make it clump together and the rice absorbs any dampness. Plus, any time we add salt to any broth, etc. while making a meal, the salt literally dissolves in the liquid. So I’m prone to question why rain wouldn’t make the salt either clump up or dissolve, in each case making it unable to pour?

But that’s not the point of this blog post and just an off-sides perception.

When we use the phrase, “When it rains, it pours”, we are not talking about salt at all. For most of us, it’s a way to say that bunches of things keep happening in a quick manner and we find it difficult to catch our breath as we deal with one then another and then yet another. And boy, oh boy, it’s been pouring in my life over the past few weeks!

My car is sick. I adore my car, my PT Cruiser. She’s a 2006 model which I bought used in 2010 and we have had many happy years together. She had just over 40,000 miles on her when I bought her, and I’ve only added another 40,000 miles in the almost 12 years she’s been mine. She was my transportation for all of my annual visits to Florida in the winter, from 2010 through 2015. She was my transportation for all of my trips to the area in which I now live when I would come up to visit this area and spend weekends with my bestie and family. She’s what makes my 2-hour drive each way to see my brother comfortable. She’s never cost me any money other than normal wear-and-tear. Until now… I haven’t confirmed it with a diagnostic test yet, but my mechanic thinks what is probably wrong (something he can’t repair) is going to cost somewhere between $600 and $1000. Here’s the kicker – she’s old enough now that the high end of her blue book value is only $1900, and as fond of her as I am, that doesn’t seem like a wise investment. So, while I can still use her right now, she won’t pass the inspection that’s due in May, 2022, so it’s time to start looking so that I don’t feel rushed into making a decision.

So that’s #1. I recently got a phone call from the landlord for this building to inform me that there is a rent rate increase. I was a bit terse when I reminded him when I spoke with him in January that he was saddling the tenants with the trash bill, something the previous landlord did not do (to the tune of $230 per year) that he assured me that he’d never raise our rates, but that meant that he couldn’t also be paying for everything. We’ve always paid the water/sewer bill.

But here’s the kicker on this… He informed me that he was raising everyone’s rent by $25 per month, from $775 to $800. Hold the phone! I’ve been paying $795 a month since I moved in here, so he’s gotten an extra $20 a month from me for the entire time they’ve owned the property! That really got under my skin – I’ve overpaid $680 to date, and he still wants me to pay a total of $800 per month. So I had to write him a letter and explain that it would take me 136 months, or 11.66 years, to use up the entire credit I should have been given for overpayment of rent, and assured him that if I were still living and living here in 11.66 years, I would increase my rent payment accordingly.

So that’s #2, and while it isn’t going to cost me more money at this juncture, added to the issue with my car, it weighs heavily on me.

I am happy to tell everyone that, after months and months and months of you hearing me complain about not having the kind of service I expected in my doctor’s office, I was ready to make a move when my Medicare kicked in effective July 1st of this year. (Surely, if you follow my blog, you remember what kind of fiasco I had getting a Medicare plan in place!). The front office staff at the doctor’s office suggested I try the newest addition to their staff, and because making a change requires starting over and getting medical records to a new office, I agreed. Well, Ronna is everything that Keith wasn’t! She’s on top of everything I mention to her. Instead of typing everything into the computer as she goes, she makes herself handwritten notes and then apparently does that on her own time. She’s sending me for a large amount of blood tests before I see her again in January. She also wants me to have a vascular screening test done. The good new is that it can be done in the facility across from the doctor’s office. The bad news is that it’s not a test covered by insurance. The total cost of the test is less than $100, and I do understand the reasons that she’d like to have it done, but with a newer car purchase on the horizon, I’m trying to pinch every penny possible.

Because that’s going to cost me money, I’m counting it as #3.

Now, in case that isn’t enough… the project I’m working on with my brother is going to require an official outlay of some moneys paid. I’ve known that since we first talked about taking on the project but… Just minutes after hanging up the phone from talking with my landlord, my brother called me and told me what the requirement for money would be upfront, and I was not prepared to have to come up with that much initially.

#4, as that phone call was, pushed me over the edge and I broke down. I hadn’t mentioned to my brother about my issues with the car and paying for another one, so he didn’t really understand why I was falling apart. I ended up telling him that I couldn’t finish the call right now because I needed time to process what was required (and because I was sobbing at this point and that made it difficult to even talk). I had myself a really good cry, and then I got myself together and wrote dear brother an email explaining everything else that was going on around me of which he was unaware. Once he learned that, he could understand why I was feeling overwhelmed, and we’ve moved on from there.

I used to be the “crier” in our family. If any of you remember back to those sappy Hallmark greeting card commercials, let me just say that 99% of them made me tear up. My parents were always telling me to ‘suck it up’ and ‘quit crying’ and never really understood that my emotional side was always near the surface. And then, many years later, it seems I’d finally mastered crying “at the drop of a hat”. There have been several times over the past years when I was hurting for some reason and knew that if I just had a good cry, I’d feel better. Thinking back to a few really painful times in my life might bring a tear or two to my eyes, but there was no great sobbing release to be found.

And so, the blessing in all of this difficulty is that I had a great sobbing, cleansing cry and felt the release that accompanied it.

Good thing I got that all out of my system, because I found out this week that a friend from New Jersey I haven’t seen since December, 2019 (crappy pandemic) and have only kept in contact because of the Internet passed away at the young age of 35. I haven’t cried about that, though I am very sad. I think I’m still in a state of shock…

We’ll count that as #5 and hope that’s the limit….

Post Script: I kept this in my draft folder overnight with the intent to publish it today. I happened to go back and read my somewhat recent post on “Pain and Suffering” and it reminded me that it was time, once again, to pull up my big girl panties and keep moving forward… Sometimes I do have a moment or two of intelligent advice!

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