The dump runs have been far more than few, way more than many, and have put a slight strain on our relationship. Not a severe strain because we have laughed a lot about most of the low points; that keeps things healthy.
Life-changing events at Chez Timmmay have included moving the long-term tenants to a new, safer, and better place. My mom and dad have resided in an apartment at our house for many years. For a variety of reasons, it was time to make a change.
Their new space is smaller, warmer, and inviting; it includes some services that will work well for my mom and dad. My dad has already started a bible study for other residents; I heard it was well-attended. Once a reverend, always a reverend. He was excited to get back in the saddle. It’s been a few years since he was working a pulpit.
The clean-out of so many years of memories was tough, but my sisters helped tremendously. I just agreed to load the truck and take the unwanted melange of a life well lived to be recycled—in some cases—and discarded in others. Grandkids, great-grandkids, nieces, and nephews had already been in touch with my mom regarding furnishings and dishes they might like. It always works out.
I took my mom out to pick some furniture for the new space. We kept our minds tuned to selecting furnishings of a more compact nature. It was time for some new and more comfortable sitting accouterments.
I won’t rent out the apartment again; people don’t tend to take care of your place as you do— as family does.
The Significant One and I discussed it at length. She determined that my patience in seeking resolutions to tenant problems was left in a common hallway of a six-unit walkup over on Third Street about twenty years ago.
After thirty-four years of dealing with OPP (other people’s problems), we agreed that it was time to let all of that go for my blood pressure’s sake. My parents were easy tenants; how many of those can you get in succession? I’ll give you one guess.
Maybe, someday, if the renter is right, I will allow dwellers to reside there. Who knows? I’ll be happy to shovel only one walkway, plow enough space for just my vehicles, and not worry that someone will fall and break a hip— besides me.
That leads me to my dump runs—I have done so many over the last few weeks it became a blur. The changes in my parent’s place precipitated some changes for me. You see, the SO came home to aid in the transition, but it got her thinking that we have too much stuff too. Of course, she’s right.
Intermingling with other people’s things, my truckloads of stuff included some of my personal belongings. This is but one of the travesties of utilizing dark green garbage bags. I was a party to my own cupboard cleansing. I did not see what I was heaving.
I spent a half hour looking for a thermos I had for years. We finally determined that its tossing was an oversight. The thermos was victim to the frenzy of cleansing. I’ll find another.
My last colossal dump run was today.
I grabbed a coffee and tuned to Seventies on Seven on my Sirius/XM. I’m an aging radio guy; I worked as a DJ for a few years. I love to hear the old American Top 40 shows, and this one was from October back in 1979—the heart of my high school years.
Now, mind you, I like all genres of music, so bubble-gum pop, hard rock, easy listening, and Frank Sinatra can all play in the space of twenty minutes in my Pandora mix. Brenda Russell—number thirty-three, up a few notches in the countdown—was in the queue as Casey Kasem introduced her as an up-and-coming artist.
“So good, So right.” had slipped from my mind completely, but I recalled it then and there like I was driving a 1974 Plymouth Satellite with bald tires; I couldn’t afford to replace them. I only had an AM radio.
What struck me was the clarity of Brenda Russell’s voice. The contrived and controlled recordings of today’s radio favorites can cause a loss in the vocal purity of what we heard in previous decades. That woman has it; she can sing.
The song is a lyrical ode to the love of her life. Listen to it sometime. It’s good music to pass the time and to think about who you selected to take along on this ride through life.
When I got home, I searched through The Midnight Special series on the YouTubes; I found her. She sounded good, but I think she was lip-syncing during the performance. No matter; it happened a lot in the seventies. Milli Vanilli was not the first, FYI.
This essay isn’t about Brenda Russell; you should know better than that. Music rolls through my head, and then I roll through music. There are times when it’s a curse. I find so many fantastic artists on my trips steering a Macbook instead of a Plymouth.
Listening to Brenda Russell led me to a Black Sabbath song in a performance by Charles Bradley. “Changes” was the perfect song for me today. It’s the best version I’ve ever heard. Charles Bradley can make “Happy Birthday” sound soulful and vital to your very existence.
Changes happen constantly, but some are bigger than others. Moving your parents to new spaces, clearing out other people’s memories, watching your kid be a successful cop with a wife and child of his own, retiring, and determining that you don’t want to be a landlord. And that’s just this week.
Sure, I’d like to have that thermos back.
From the Jagged Edge of America, I remain,
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