Riding Shotgun Down the Avalanche

When I was a kid, my family’s house was on two acres of wooded land. There was a creek that divided the land into roughly equal acres. The creek had cut a deep cleft into the land over the millennia, and so I had a deep wooded valley almost directly behind my house to play in.

When I was a kid we had real snow. Not the pale imitation of snow we get these days, that dusts yards and is scraped up by plows and sucked up by snow blowers before it has a chance to accumulate. It was snow past my knees, sometimes snow to my hips, with a crispy surface that held you for several seconds before shattering and letting you fall through to the cold, fluffy accumulation below.

When I was a kid, we’d amuse ourselves by making snow boulders and then rolling them down the hill – extra points if yours made it all the way to the creek AND hit the ice hard enough to break through. Rolling a snowball down a hill isn’t like what you see in cartoons. The result isn’t an evenly rounded boulder (frequently with Wiley Coyote’s or Sylvester’s arms, legs and ear tips sticking out. The end product is more like a slice off a jelly roll, flat on both sides with visible layers showing the advancement of accumulation. Sometimes a stray stick would be sticking out the side, and you could see leaves and some stones caught between layers. Because the compact coil of snow usually developed unevenly, it tended to fall to one side before it ever got to the creek, laying there like a tree stump, with annular rings revealing its age. Only the most fortunate of rolls would result in a snow boulder that would hit the creek, break the ice and wedge itself half in/half out of the water, like a quarter stuck halfway into the piggy bank.

I’m not a kid anymore, but the principle is the same. Life gives a push, and then things run out of control for a while. The job situation remains unchanged. I’ve cancelled my vacation plans for August because of uncertainty and lack of cash. I am committed to driving cross-country to Seattle with a girlfriend next week to attend the AVMA convention, but I truly can’t afford it and I’m going to have to figure out how to reimburse her quickly for the cash outlay she’s made to reserve rooms. Work at least has agreed to pay for the convention itself, since I need the C.E. credits to maintain my license. I’m on my own for the rest of the expenses, though.

And now the Little Grey Shit is in the hospital. Surgery was yesterday to biopsy liver, spleen, stomach and small intestine. I have an obligation to take care of her and make sure she gets the best medical care warranted for her as-yet undiagnosed problem. But I haven’t got the money.

I’m supposed to leave Tuesday evening for the cross-country drive. LGS will probably be released at about the same time. The Prof is going into what he fondly refers to as “hell weeks” during the time I’ll be gone, when summer semesters overlap and he’ll be teaching a double load. I don’t know what kind of attention LGS is going to need, but hopefully she’ll be able to be left alone most of the day. If not, I’ll need to find a place to board her. More money gone, if that happens. More money gone if she’s going to require follow-up therapy.

The water heater has been threatening to die for months. I believe that it made good on its threat yesterday. More money gone. The condo association is looking into deck replacement for those who need it. We need it. More money gone.

I know what the “lucky” snow boulder feels like, stuck half in and half out of the water, like a quarter stuck halfway into the piggy bank.

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  1. Sorry to read about LGS. Hope she’s going to be fine.

    I feel your pain. I just discovered that my garage roof is leaking. I knew I needed to replace it but I was hoping to eek out one more year before throwing a few thousand dollars I don’t really have at it *sigh* The only saving grace is that at least hubby and I can do it ourselves instead of having to pay someone. Oh, yeah, I guess that means we’re going to have to find the time to do it too *rolls eyes*.

  2. Oh, too many things dumped on you all at once. I’m so sorry, especially about LGS.

    FWIW, you’ll be in my thoughts and prayers. I wish there were something more concrete I could do.

  3. I wish I had a magic money machine that I could loan you for a while, but I don’t.

    I was very sorry to read about Gray Menace’s health problems and sincerely hope she will be alright and that it won’t cost a fortune to put her back into the pink. (Gray cats look gorgeous in/on pink! 😉 )

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