“There is no real ending. It’s just the place where you stop the story.”

― Frank Herbert

Saturday, October 3, 2015

A Big Storm and some personal adjustments.

But Mousie, thou art no thy-lane,
In proving foresight may be vain:
The best laid schemes o’ Mice an’ Men

          Gang aft agley,

Robert Burns, To a Mouse, on Turning Up Her Nest with a Plough.


I've been off the air since Tuesday. I'll try to catch up on people's blogs and comments tonight if I can.

My wife has long had some health issues, and they took a turn for the worse this week. It is manageable, but we have decided to make some changes in our plans.  Everyone who knows me knows I am a firm believer in planning. I look at prior planning as a way to stave off most preventable quandaries. But "man proposes and God disposes."  Flexibility is frequently necessary to keep the train on the tracks.

The next few years were planned out to maximize her retirement, and our lifestyle after she retired when we would have greater flexibility in what we wanted to do. However, given the events of the last few days, we have decided that she will go ahead and retire now.

 We will be sacrificing some income, and unfortunately, our health insurance. The income loss is not particularly worrisome, we live modestly and we have enough.  But the insurance she got from her school district will be difficult to replace. In return, however, we will get to spend more time together so I think this modification is to our mutual benefit.

It has been something of a shambles this week though, which accounts for my absence. I didn't mean any rudeness or lack of attention by not responding promptly to comments or emails and will catch up shortly.

On top of all that, the major storm passing through here is really punishing my part of the mountains. For the first time ever, in all the nearly 30 years I' ve lived here, the county emergency management office called us on the phone tonight and told us not to leave the house. There are only two ways out of here, one across a bridge over my creek, the other through the national forest , fording two streams. The fellow who called said the bridge over the creek has been washed out on one side, and no one is allowed to cross it until the storm stops and the county inspector can see if it's safe. Obviously the back way, fording creeks, is not on.

The rain has been pounding down since last night and is still coming down in torrents. No damage here, everything is holding together. Trees down, but the power is still on.  I have diversion ditches I built up slope to funnel water running  down the mountain away from the compound. I cleaned them out before the storm came. I checked them this afternoon, the water was flowing over the top ditch but the backup was catching it and diverting it.

We have adequate supplies, and we have our medications ( at my age, you can't ignore those) so we are doing nicely.  I hope our friends along the path of the storm, and particularly in South Carolina, are ok. South Carolina has been badly hit.

This is just a short post to let everyone know that all is well here, and that my absence was not rudeness or lack of concern, just crisis management on a small scale.


38 comments:

  1. thanks for the update harry. had begun to worry, then thought your wife might be off and you two hqving qa short vacation.
    well, she's certainly been off work.

    one teacher here, ohio, retired young because of ailing parents.
    i believe she was able to keep her teacher insurance, paying for it with her retirement, which she did not depend on because she lived eith her parents.
    don't know if this is an option in ga.

    but worth keeping?

    i think it is good to be closer together.
    if your kids move to asheville you will be able to get together as a family fairly often.

    i have some idea that asheville is both beautiful and safe.but still one must maintain alertness.

    you are both young enough to have pleasure even with some health restrictions.

    seems good.
    perhaps God is protecting you from some other vicissitude? by this early retirement?

    God bless all of you.
    glad to know you are safe.

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    1. It will work out. I'm good at adjusting to unexpected events.

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  2. Well, glad to hear things are under control. Life has a way of throwing even the well planned the occasional curve ball...Glad you are able to manage it, hopefully to your benefit.
    I have a close friend in Myrtle beach. I have heard from him, and they are above water at least...
    Plenty of rain in the DC area, and we needed it. Cold and wet though, and it can pass any time, thanks.
    Looked at Gunbroker at mosins... 29 pages!!! Not that I'd buy one I couldn't put my hands on first, but holy cow!!!

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    1. It's just an adjustment. A little more complex than most because it involves dealing with a bureaucracy but I've gotten it taken care of for the most part.

      I'm sure Myrtle beach is getting soaked. All that mess from Charleston blew right over us, the rain has been torrential and the woods were already soaked. I' d bet even money I have some chain saw work to do before we can get down the mountain once the sun comes out.

      Mosins are still easy to find. There' s a surplus store about sixty miles from here where they sell them in the crate. You can hand pick your gun from the guns in the crates.

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  3. You don't need to apologize for anything! Sorry to hear about your wife, but time is more precious that money.

    Redstone (long time lurker, used to post under a different name at your previous blog)

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    1. Thanks for the good thoughts. I'm glad you are still coming by. The old blog was a lot of fun until it turned into a combat zone, something I've tried hard to avoid with this one.

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  4. I was beginning to wonder if you had lost your line to the outside world due to the storm. I am sorry to hear about your wife's health. Hope it is something that can be mended without too much trouble. Sometimes the best strategy is to slow down a bit and readjust the pace of life.
    On Monday we also got hit by the same storm that got you guys and most of the eastern seaboard. We goth about 6 inches of rain in about 12 hours time. More rainfall than we had all of September. Cars were floating around in downtown Portland as it coincided with high tides. Manholes on the streets turned in to 10 foot high geysers. Half way through the deluge I had to go out and clear the leaves from the storm drains out in the road in front of the house, as we had a 300 yard pool about 10 inches deep and my neighbor's garage was starting to flood. Seems no good deed shall go unpunished. Of course stupid drivers see me in my yellow slicker and goose the car faster through the monster puddle as if intentionally trying to give me a good hosing.

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    1. No, just trying to deal with an unexpected health event in the family. You know how that goes, it tends to be all consuming, and you get tired out.

      I have thought for some time that , given our ages, we were perhaps not making the best decision in her continuing to work at a job that required her to be gone so much. But the insurance was good for the times, and we both have to spend a lot of time at doctor's offices these days. Also, she would have maxed out on her pension in four more years. Be that as it may, it's not practical for her to try to work anymore, she needs to be home and not have any stress. I think we will both be happier , although all the administrative details right now are somewhat stressful for both of us. I hate to do anything in a rush, and I thought I had four more years before having to worry about the financial details, etc.

      There's no accounting for people. I can't imagine anyone being so hateful as to do that , splashing you while you were clearing out the drain. But then, I am sometimes surprised by things people do here...

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  5. Glad to see you back Harry. It's good that you have your wife back too.

    Totally understand the lack of insurance issue. For what I pay for mine it's pretty lousy, but quite necessary. --Troy

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    1. She liked her job, Troy. And she was good at it. But the time spent away from home was a detrimental aspect of it. We were already paying four hundred and sixty five dollars a month for her school insurance, and I expect we will have to pay at least twice that for a comparable policy thanks to Barrack Hussein Obama. It irks me he will never know what he did to the middle class with his "health care" plan but there it is, people like that don't live in the same world as the rest of us.

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  6. Hang in there, Harry!

    Prayers on the way....

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  7. We're fine, Dr. Jim. This is actually a good thing, we should have been less "practical" and more thoughtful about this issue anyway. It's for the best, I'm sure.

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  8. Seems like we can plan down to the last detail and then life comes along and derails that train. Hope that the changes will see some improvement in your wife's health. Sounds like you have your priorities straight. Taking care of yourselves is at the top of that list.

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    1. Life continually throws curves. No good getting all wrapped around the axle about it so we are just making new plans. I am nothing if not flexible about things like this.

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  9. Hey Harry,

    (captaincrunch)

    I was getting worried their for awhile and thought about contacting Kymber to see if she could get a 'hook up' with the Canadian Air Force and dispatch a C-130 for a recon/search and rescue mission.

    Im glad your doing okay. I understand how stressful working in a school can be and not with just the kids but with the staff, administrators, parents etc. School teachers can the some of the cruelest people towards each other that I have ever seen. 'Hell. Isis can take a few lessons from vindictive school teachers.

    Sorry about the roads and stuff. If anyone is prepared out there its you guys. I also read what you said about health insurance costs and how Obama has 'Raped" the middle class.
    I agree. Now its the time for anyone middle class or upper middle class to 'revert back to a working class, lower class and or poor status voluntarily. I think on a national level people that are producers should' Go Galt'

    Let the system crash. Let the Mexicans, arabs, and all the others that are sucking the system dry, suck air when the money runs out.

    On the gun thing. I wish I could have purchased of those Finnish M-39's. Gun collecting, I think will become a thing of the past because at some point it will become so hard to purchase or own guns (regulated to death) that the only thing we will be able to collect is autographed copies of 'Chairman Mao's 'Little Red Book'

    On the good side. 'Ole Putin is taking names and kicking ass in Syria while Obama is standing around with his thumb up his butt.

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    1. captain - i still got friends in the air force and i even have some who have flown the new c-17's - they are really huuuuge! captain if you ever need me to dispatch a plane for a friend like Harry - you just yell and i will do so! there are some of us on the interwebs who have made such good friendships and we'll do anything for our friends. captain if you ever need me for anything - i promise to be there. harry already knows that i will do anything for him. and i will do the same for you captain! i mean it with every fibre of my being! i love both of you! xoxo

      Delete
    2. I like your comment, but I deleted my first reply because I am really tired tonight, and let some guy get to me who left a comment on another blog calling Americans "Nazi's" Normally I wouldn't have cared but I'm pretty worn out, too much time away from home and not enough sleep this week. So I deleted my post I did in response to his comment, and I deleted my comment. One of those occasions where I lost my temper.

      This area is pretty trashed. The scanners are full of problems, but we are secure up here and have not suffered any real issues. The only thing I am vaguely worried about is whether they will close the bridge. This county has little money for road repairs. I can always get out through the forest once things dry out, but it's a long, rough drive and I don't want to have to do that for long.

      You are quite right in everything you said in your comment, CC. I wish I'd written a post that said the same thing.

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    3. I know that Kymber. You and J are good friends. Have been for many years now. I appreciate you both.

      Delete
    4. Hey Harry,

      (captaincrunch)

      Yeah' I understand about deleting the post.

      The main thing is, is that your wife is doing fine. Everything else pales in comparison to family problems.

      I never mentioned this but awhile back I had a problem and a falling out with a friend of mine. I saw him yesterday and he attempted to intimidate me. I ignored him. I don't understand how an adult can act like a 16 boy who had his feelings hurt.
      It angered me yesterday but I did not let it show of course. This guy has anger management problems and other issues.

      Sun Tzu said that if your enemy angers easily. Seek to antagonize him.

      That ex-friend of mine fits that description one hundred percent.

      What I am getting at is that it fits the similar tactic liberals use to attempt antagonize us by calling us Nazi's and whatnot.

      I never really studied Sun Tzu but I would believe a true warrior would contain his anger and use his mind and his intelligence to come up with the best plan to defeat the enemy.

      back to this ex-friend of mine. Sometime in the future some other people that I know will see him for what he really is. If you give a person enough time and enough rope. They will hang themselves.

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    5. Sounds like you are just better off avoiding the guy. Nobody needs that kind of aggravation.

      Your idea of a west Texas ranch way out in the middle of no where, at the end of one of those long ,straight roads that seem to go nowhere, may be the right way to go.

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  10. Harry - i always read all of the comments before i leave a comment - but decided for this post of yours to just comment - i'll go back and read the comments after i finish typing. in our situation, jam and i intended to wait another 5 years after i retired before moving to the island - he was making a killing and we were just banking all of my retirement money. but situations change and as you say, you have to be flexible with plans. your wife's health is so much more important than any money you can bank on and i know that you are a planner and a saver so i am sure that you have many options available - be it staying where you are if the kids move to asheville, or moving to florida if that is a better option. or you, the wife and kids sneaking across the northern border and buying 2 used rv's to park on our land and living here - but remember, you'll have to earn your keep - bahahahah!

    harry - only you and your wife know what is best - so sit down and discuss and discuss and discuss. and make your plans. and do whatever is best for both of you.

    i'm not trying to tell you what to do or anything...i'm trying to lend my support for whatever your family chooses. we'll help in whatever way we can...never forget that ok?

    sending much love as always! your friend,
    kymber

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    1. The only real decision we had to make was whether or not she kept working, or retired now. I guess, Kymber, that the whole family basically felt like it was time for mom to stop. This week threw a scare into all of us, and all I really have had to do is help get her retirement and pension paperwork going, work on when to start her social security so it doesn't overlap her final check, admin things like that. It isn't that big a deal financially, the truth is her actual income won't drop much what with her pension and social security. The big issue is the insurance. We may have to just buy a modest policy that is no good for anything to avoid the tax penalties the federal government imposes on people who don't buy their crappy , useless insurance now.

      In two years we can both get Medicare, and though we will still have to buy supplemental insurance out of pocket it won't be so bad. So really, the whole issue was about insurance, and we can handle it.

      I know you are being supportive, and I wouldn't mind at all if you did say "I think you should do this or that", I always value good advice. Being Canadians, you don't have to carry the great cross of insurance coverage everywhere on your shoulders like we do here, count your blessings there.

      We are doing fine, we are all just tired out and need things to be normal for a bit, and this damned storm is not helping in the least. But it will be over soon too.

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  11. So glad to see you back, Harry. Sorry about your sweeties health problems, but you will see it through and things will settle down again. We could sure use some of your rainy weather. Can't you get disability for your wife and retire with that? Any age qualifies for that until you get social security benefits. Take care.

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    1. The rain here has been pretty devastating. I know from the scanners that there is a lot of damage in the county,and I would guess the surrounding areas fared as poorly. As soon as it's light I want to walk down to the bridge and take a look at it.

      I have always heard that social security disability comes with a lot of strings attached, and usually requires hiring a lawyer to obtain. I am not up for going through all that. It's not that long before we can go through the regular medicare process and I think we'll do that. We are both eligible for VA medical benefits, but have avoided that. Maybe I will rethink it now.

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    2. My husband was epileptic and diabetic. When the frequency of his seizures and the resulting hospitalization made holding down a job impossible, he applied for social security disability as he was not old enough for retirement. It was a bloody nightmare. Mountains of paperwork only to be denied three times. They would not accept testimony from his regular physician who had cared for him for years, but required tests and doctor visits in places that were difficult at best to get to and far from home. He could not drive because of the seizures, so I had to take off from work each time to take him. Finally we contacted an attorney who informed us that we should expect the process to take three years and several court appearances and then there was no guarantee he would ever receive disability. Perhaps others have had a better experience, but his was awful. He gave it up as a lost cause.

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    3. That's essentially why my wife and I steered clear of the VA all these years. Too many roadblocks, too much bureaucracy, and the VA seems to be where the medical elephants go to die. If you are an incompetent buffoon in the medical arena, seems like you are welcome there. They apparently have a three year back up in processing applications for VA medical care anyway, so it's pointless.

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  12. Harry - Apart from the health issues, given the "norm" now of school incidents, it is very wise for the Missus to be out of that kind of situation...

    Hope the health issues aren't too serious?

    Changes in plans aren't always foreseeable, but, a few months down the line, and with a good dose of hindsight, you wonder what took you so long. Things have a way of working out when you least expect it.

    But, I'm concerned about you and the Missus being "marooned" out of town - what happens if there is a medical emergency?

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    1. Dani,

      If we have a medical problem in a situation like this, we are just out of luck. It goes with the territory. There's no way around it. But we've lived up here for more than thirty years now and whenever something has happened, it's happened when we could get out or , on one occasion, when the ambulance could get in. So we will be ok.

      I am ok with my wife retiring. You are right , education is not a place to work these days if you can avoid it. So we will just settle in to being retired.

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  13. Kymber's right, as usual. Enjoy the day you have now, not the one you are planning on getting down the road. I've seen far too many people trying to get those last few benefits ready, then up and die right before the time to retire.

    Per that moron and his comments..... garbage like that is why the number of blogs I comment on has drastically shrunken. I like 'six bears' blog as I do many others but generally refrain from getting too involved. It's not worth the hassle any more. It's a pointless venture, regarding that moron, to cast your pearls before the swine. People like don't need any help exposing themselves for the fools they are. They do just fine on their own.

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    1. I would just like to hold people responsible for their statements. The frustrating thing about the internet is that it prevents you from facing individuals, so they are emboldened and the weaker their nature and the more vile their character, the bolder they become.

      I deleted the post I did and the comments I made because I was really angry and used some language I don't usually resort to. At least on Six Bears blog I was civil. I don't go into other people's houses and act out. It wasn't his fault some fruit got on his blog and ran his mouth, and I wasn't p.o.'d at Six Bears. Just at "Flying Tortoise."

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    2. Understood.... as were my comments here.... just to be clear.

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  14. Sorry to hear that health issues have gotten worse but I'm glad that you were both able to make decisions that lead towards quality of life.

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    1. Everybody comes to the end of the trail at some point. I'm looking forward to a few quiet years without work related distractions. Having a working spouse is as bad as having a job yourself.

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  15. Sorry to hear about the medical stuff. Her retiring now makes sense.

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    1. Yeah. We are both mid sixties now. Inside we still feel we are the same people we were thirty something years ago, but on the outside, we look our age. You get to a point where you have to deal with all kinds of health issues, the longer you live the more there are. I think it's good we are going to both be retired while we can still do things like go to the beach and walk out on the pier, or go up to Ashville and visit the shops. It seems a bit of a waste to spend the days grubbing for some low rent administrators who don't appreciate what you do, when the days you have left are no longer infinite.

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  16. Harry

    I have been off the air for a while, sorry to hear about your wife. You have our best wishes and prayers.

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  17. I hope it's nothing too serious with your wife Harry, loss of health insurance must be a worry but like you said life gets in the way of plans. Retiring should mean you have more time together which is always a blessing when you're part of a loving team.

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