Tuesday, November 13, 2018


At last the roads are clear enough to get to the laundromat!  It would be simpler to have a clothes washing machine, but getting a clothes washing machine is complicated.  My waste water disposal vents through the shower.  It's not so much about stinky air coming out as about plain air going in so the water won't lock up.  They tell me the reason is that my house is sinking.  Thousands of dollars to jack it back up.  I have enough credit for a washing machine, but not to jack the house up.  Still thinking.

My main thought is that I don't like having a shower instead of a bathtub after all.  I had thought a shower would work better when I was decrepit but I discover that decrepit people like to soak in very hot water up to the neck.  That means a new hot water heater, too.  Hmmm.  Sometimes I consider a sauna.  Maybe even a sweat lodge.  I discovered via Google that one can buy an inflatable tub that goes in the shower, but it's probably only big enough for kids.

The laundromat, "WashaWay" is in Cut Bank, thirty miles away.  It's in Glacier County where all the county "fathers" are Blackfeet which some people claim explains why the county is millions of dollars in debt.  I stay out of it.  There are people in Cut Bank so oil rich that they could write a single check to pay all of the debt.  No chance that will happen.  Don't ask why they were able to get so much of the oil.  We don't talk about that.

This has been a stop-and-start winter to match our stop-and-start summer and we're all getting whiplash from trying to keep up.  A week that hits zero, now two or three days at fifty.  The snow on the roads is about gone except for spots where the high wind is making it blow-across drifts, tricky slush bumps that can send you off the road unless you're watching.  Intermittent sun bounces off the barely cut crops that left shiny gold stubble with reflected blue sky stripes.  The color-wheel opposites create an iridescent sheen across the long curves of land that no painting ever quite matches.

I had a backlog of clothes and bedding, so it took a long time, but it's not a hardship when I'm talking to the owner who plies me with coffee and graham crackers.  (I heroically refuse the Oreos.)  He's 92 and had a little stroke that weakened his grip, but managed the coffee pot okay.  He just can't understand Trump.  And he believes that being a teacher is a calling, very much respected.  More than marrying a famous sculptor or being on TV as an animal control spokesperson or being clergy.  Even I am not impressed by being a clerical specialist for the City of Portland, though that's where a big chunk of my retirement comes from.

The only other customer today was Ernie Heavyrunner, not descended from the famous Massacre victim, but from the other family with a similar name.  Ernie is the son of Jack, the brother of Tommie, and therefore the uncle of Floyd, known as "Little Man," father of Joshua.  All these people I know very well, have worked with or taught.  Ernie is too old for me to have taught him.  He drives a relatively new bright red crewcab pickup.  I suppose you think he rode in a horse?

History diverted us from the news, but the news is hard to avoid or even forget about this week.  After a funk of a Paris visit where NO ONE was nice to him, not even Macron and Merkel, who have tried to be friendly, Trump is busy trying to think up ways to hurt everyone.  They didn't even let him sit next to the love of his life, Putin.  Someone suggested that Trump will dismantle all American institutions.  Luckily, the French Embassy thought to lay a wreath at Arlington, even though Trump didn't.

How does one dismantle American institutions?  The churches are already dwindled or tearing themselves apart, even the Catholics.  Many of the institutions, like the veterans' organizations that used to be a big part of small towns, are aging out.  Banks and grocery stores are so intent on profit that they have become unpleasant to visit.  Schools are scary places.  Hospitals are understaffed, no time to be reassuring.  The main institutions are the two political behemoths who never listen to the rest of us.  If Hillary runs for President again, that ought to kill them both.  Talk about fantasy.

I'd vote for a turnip.  "Turnip" is on Twitter when he/she talks common sense in short sentences.  (in the Valier grocery store yesterday I saw a turnip, just one plain turnip, for sale for more than $3.)

The good news of the day is that I finally figured out how to get money out of an ATM.  You can't get quarters from anyone without cash and I never had any cash until now, because I did everything with checks.  Sometimes, if I can find someone old enough, I reminisce about silver dollars.  You carried a little bag for them because in your pockets they pulled your pants downward.

In spite of the relief of clean clothes at last, I'm still cynical and wondered whether it were because of the moon.  I've had to explain to my doc that old ladies have ghost menses and cycle through the month without blood, only the electrobiochemical come and go that bodies produce.  (I don't think he has many feminists in his practice, or they're too modest to tell him about female things.)  I get very cranky just before the full moon, then am released to optimism when there is no more shadow.  The computer says we're only about halfway to the full moon.  

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