Tuesday, July 26, 2005

Just a new way to whine

Nothing cute or insightful or fun to read here today. I'm just gonna whine. I wouldn't even bother writing at all but I've been sustained lately by reading friends' blogs, so I figured it was my social duty to post on mine, even if it is just blah, blah, blah, think I'll go eat some worms.

The fair is over. I have mixed feelings about it. On one hand it was still nice to wander the fair boulevard and chat with everyone in town and see all the exhibits. I should be really happy about my entries, out of .... I think it was about 56 entries..... I won ten blue ribbons (1st), eleven reds (2nd), and 4 whites (3rd) and Jeff won his very first ribbon ever, a 2nd place for one of the three daylilies he entered. We made $84 total, which paid for all the photos and frames I made/used to enter them in the fair, plus enough left over to pay for my fair week pass and a couple of the Indian Tacos we consumed.

On the other hand, this was the first year I didn't have a big part to play in putting together the textile building and it wasn't my choice. For eight or nine years now the quilt group has been the unofficial designer for the building and two of us have been the main participants. There was a huge changing of the guard this year with fair personnel and board members, and because we weren't officially in charge, we got lost in the shuffle, not phoned, forgotten. All that was bad enough, ouch to our pride. But adding salt to the wound, one of the women who did put the building together this year was a real nutcase and I seemed to bear the brunt of her.... whatever it was - insecurities, anger, frustration. The only salve to the situation, the textile displays looked pretty bad. So I'm being petty, but they really did. I'm not the only one to notice it.

On top of all that William was looking forward to the fair this year but somehow never managed to get the timing quite right with his friends. He had a good time, particularly the last day of the fair when Sam showed up, but not the perfect young-teen-cruising-the-fairground time he was imagining. Plus, trying to diminish my mother guilt at William's misfortune (not that it was my fault in any way, but when did that stop a mother from feeling guilty) I paid for a full day of activities for William, Sam and his buddy Bryan, and that set me back at least a hundred dollars I hadn't planned on spending. Ouch, again.

And last and definitely least, but still annoying, someone pocketed one of my small entries the last night of the fair. I was lucky, they took the top of a flower arrangement, which was just a few flowers, a shell, and a couple of pebbles - and left the art glass it was sitting on which was the only part that I would have been upset had it been stolen. It's still creepy though, to have something taken at all.

Methinks it's the end of an era, the glory years of kids and fairs. But maybe it was simply an off year and things will be wonderful again next year. We'll see.

Of more importance, we've hit some snags on closing escrow on our property. I spent a good portion of the first half of this year looking all over northern California and all of the western halves of Oregon and Washington for property to buy for our future retirement destination. To make a long story short I probably found the one piece of property anywhere in three states that meets (comes pretty dang close too) our expectations and is still in our price range.

We've been stumbling along through a buying process that has been a bit bumpy. The realtor is also the son of the 80 plus old man who's selling this property, which appears to be subdivided chunks of the ol' family farm. There appears to be territorial and emotional issues entangled in the process for the seller/realtor, plus a level of unprofessionalism that makes it hard to feel confident in the situation.

We thought we would finally close on Friday. Got all the papers from the title company and was ready to wire our money until we discovered a) no perc test had been included as promised, b) a second easement cuts across the property that the seller hadn't bothered to disclose, and c) they added a deed restriction at the last moment that is basically redundant to the zoning laws already in place, but pisses me off on principal. Our communications with the seller, via our realtor, have so far met with a "ya? so? I don't care. whaddyagonnadoboutit?" attitude. We could, of course, walk away from the deal. The thought of starting my search over again is enough to send me into the waiting arms of pharmaceutical mood enhancers. Or just a giant salt rimmed margarita. But buying the property and living with the compromises (is it called a compromise if just one side has to do it and you really don't feel you have any other choice?) makes me feel depressed too.

I've spent most of yesterday and part of this morning feeling wiped out just waiting for the process to play out. Regardless of whether we choose to swallow the unexpected issues or not, we still can't sign until we get proof of a perc test. ARGHHHHHH. I want to slap someone! Or at least take my frustrations out on a pinata. Hey! A George Dubya pinata! Now THAT'S a cheerful thought!

Speaking of politics... I bumped into a, to simplify things let's just say liberal, friend at the fairgrounds yesterday. I was admiring both her roses (which I pulled out of the trash can and brought home in a riotous bouquet) and her bumperstickers, which were quite brave for conservative Susanville. One said "Dissent is Patriotic" and the other one said "The last time we mixed religion and politics, people got burned at the stake" I mentioned the peace flag we fly from the eaves of our home. We both talked about how we've really had nothing but positive responses to these public displays and how much it takes someone to speak up and say what a lot of people think but are afraid to say.

I then went on to mention a social group of like-minded folks who get together for potlucks every month or so and how she and her hubby were welcome to come to the next one. "Oh, no," she says. "I'd love to but I have to be really careful because of my job." (she's a teacher) I pointed out this is just a social group, not a political organization. She insisted she has to be careful, living in this community. Sigh. For all her words about standing up for what she believed in, she still felt unsafe doing something completely benign and legal. She felt threatened. She felt something bad might happen to her if she simply ate dinner and laughed with a circle of people who happened to think that politicians should be honest with the people they serve and that war was a horrible thing. It reminds of me of those lyrics in that song.... something like "You have the right to freedom of speech... unless you're stupid enough to actually try to use it." Although I didn't agree with her level of fear, unfortunately I understood it. I walked away frustrated and saddened by what had started out as a pleasant conversation.

Lastly, I'll leave you with how my morning started. Two cats, yakking up two different kinds of cat yak, and Rosie the puppy dragging cat poop out to the livingroom to play with it. I cleaned it all up while the rest of the family slumbered on peacefully.

I'm going out to lunch with a friend for lunch. That usually gets me out away from my pity party.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

I hope everything works out with the property, although if you're really uncomfortable with the "compromises" then it might be wise to rethink the whole thing. If this is where you want to retire, then you'll have to deal with that stuff for a long time. I'm sure you've already thought of all that stuff, though, so this is probably a redundant comment. Hang in there!!

6:01 PM  

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