Wednesday, August 23, 2023

Life is what happens while you're busy making plans

 The Gypsy is mildly repentant at how long she’s neglected these pages and thanks her stalwart readers (all three of them) for encouraging her to take pen in hand again.

To sum things up, it’s been a helluva year. Highlights included showing the Red Chaos Goblin. Yeah, he’s still really young and green but I was desperate for something fun amidst many weekends spent doing not-fun things, one of which was cleaning out my childhood home (zero stars, do not recommend). I’ve also been settling my mom’s estate (do not ask about the missing will, just don’t, okay I’ll tell you all about it but not now). And I quit my job (a long overdue decision that came with no regrets).


 New owners bought my newspapers in the summer of 2022. I thought things would get better, mostly because they couldn’t get worse. I was wrong. I still panicked on a weekly basis about filling four papers as the only editor/reporter/photographer/columnist/chief bottle washer on staff. Wait. There was no staff. There was me. Then the new owners bought a fifth local paper and guess who got to be in charge of that one, too? 


 This one-editorial-employee-for-five-newspapers plan was not a sustainable business model. I said as much but it didn’t seem to bother anyone else. That was not a hill I was prepared to die on. Yet. So I kept my mouth shut and worked nights, weekends and holidays and put out five papers a week. Life went on. Subtle clues kept popping up to indicate perhaps after 35 years, it was time to get out.


Life made a lot of decisions without consulting me first. Mom died in October of 2022. I took a long look at my own mental health and decided there was no way in actual hell I was doing this job for any longer than I had to. I quit. Or stepped down. Or walked away. Or retired. Call it whatever you want.


It took about a year of dealing with mom’s estate and getting my financial ducks in a row before I could confidently put my day job in the rearview mirror. Geez. You have to have money for everything. So annoying.


During that time, I emptied mom’s house. If you’ve done this, you know the process of cleaning and sorting and disposing could be a full-time job. I developed questionable (but satisfactory) coping mechanisms involving Mt. Dew, Sterzings potato chips (southeast Iowans, if you know, you know) and setting things on fire. Burning big piles of stuff is very cathartic. Going to the landfill with a hydraulic-lift dump trailer and getting stupidly excited over the scale ticket showing how many pounds of junk I'd hauled out was almost as good. 


Yeah. It was like the above cartoon. Only worse. Not just the garage. The entire house. Basement to attic. Three-stall attached garage. Two-stall unattached garage. Barn. Outbuildings. The experience is a post in itself. Or five. Or ten. I laughed. I cried. I used a lot of four-letter words in creative combinations. Usually “Holy . . .” followed by another four-letter word of my choosing.


In the middle of it, I started showing Raider (aka, the Chaos Goblin) in several different venues. No one got hurt and he was a very good goblin. He grew up kinda pretty, dontcha think? And he has been the absolute Elixir Of Life when it came to getting me through this last year. Him and the Farmer, who is hands down Husband Of The Year for helping with The House.



See you next time. Writers gotta write and the Gypsy is happy to once again have pen in hand.



1 comment:

  1. So glad you are blogging again! I have missed you and feel certain there are many others who are delighted to hear from you and catch up with Banner and Raider. Very sorry to hear about your Mom. Wishing you all the best, Venetia