Posted by wendiwendy
Things seem to be slipping back into a normal routine around here. The Christmas decorations came down about ten days ago, and Paige headed back to college on Thursday. All the big holiday feasts are behind us, Christmas cookies are long gone, and I’ve started thinking about our next celebration: our anniversary, which is just three short weeks away.
Every year we exchange ‘traditional’ gifts, not usually anything big (for ‘paper’, Dave got me scratch-off lotto tickets and I got him a book, for instance). Just something fun to commemorate the day. This year, Dave asked me what the traditional gift for 11 year anniversaries was, so we looked it up together. Steel. Hmmmm.
The first thing I did was crow, “Oooooh, you can get me a knife!” He loves to tease me about the fact that I use my Wusthof chef’s knife nearly every day. I just love the thing. I use it for just about everything except cutting bread. Dave, on the other hand, uses this small paring knife with a wooden handle for just about everything. I don’t know how he can do it – he’ll be chopping up this big-ass onion with this tiny paring knife. Sometimes we’ll switch off when we’re making a meal together and I have to take over from his chopping….I just can’t do it. I have to go get my real knife. He claims this little knife just feels right in his hand; it makes my hand fall asleep, and I feel that my chef’s knife is the only one that’s comfortable to chop with.
So he knows I love my knives…but do I really need another one? (Maybe!) Then we talked about going in together on one gift we’d both use, like splurging on an All Clad stainless steel skillet. We have a whole set of wonderful stainless cookware that was originally my mom’s, but it’s all pots of various sizes and no skillet; we do have a nonstick Calphalon that’s starting to get a little worn out. But Dave eventually decided he wasn’t comfortable with a stainless steel skillet; he’s convinced everything will stick to it. So we let the discussion drop, and now I’m still pondering ideas for a steel anniversary gift.
So as I mentioned, Paige is back in school. It’s really hard for me to get used to the whole college “they’re adults and you are not allowed to have any information” thing. After surviving two kids’ worth of K-12 public education, where parents are expected and encouraged to be heavily involved in their kids’ schoolwork, grades and behavior in school, it’s a major shock to suddenly have no idea what her grades are, if she’s even going to class, and just to have no idea in general about how she’s doing. It’s like adding insult to injury, because you’re already trying to get used to the empty nest aspect (in my case, anyway – Paige is my youngest). Of course, the school has no problem sharing tuition bills (in her name, mind you, not ours) with us. On the contrary, they are very happy to have our utmost participation and involvement where money is concerned. I’d really rather they be secretive about the tuition, and instead share her grades and progress with the same ease they currently share her debt.
This is the month we’re supposed to put the house on the market, or at least meet with a realtor to find out if it’s even feasible at this point in time. We still have a lot to do, though, and I’m not quite sure we’ll meet the ‘end of January’ deadline we gave ourselves. I’m a little terrified to do this, because I don’t want to hear potentially bad news. I imagine the realtor just gasping with laughter when we tell him or her what we need to sell the house for, in order to pay off the mortgage…especially after I check what other houses in our area are selling for. (We still have a lot of foreclosed houses around here that are really bringing down the average ‘sold for’ price in our neighborhood.)
This was so much easier back in 1988/89, when I sold my first house. Back then, there was no internet in which to search and compare local home prices (the realtor did that, in the privacy of her own office) and thus no freaking out on my part because houses in the area were selling for way less than we needed to sell our home. There were no TV shows about house flipping and new home buyers, so I was blissfully unaware that our house was a piece of crap if it didn’t have gorgeous all-wood floors, and granite countertops in the kitchen. We just blithely listed the house for the price we wanted and waited for it to sell, never even considering other houses that might be compared to ours. It is just terrifying to take this leap and wait for perfect strangers to criticize this house, which is the best we can make it on the money we have right now.
On a less stressed-out note, we have finally, finally got a date for the start of Dave’s Hepatitis C treatment ‘adventure’. He has to start with a class (!) on January 31. The nurse who called him to set it up told him to “make sure you bring reading glasses, if you need them, because there’s a lot of paperwork you have to fill out.” I had been telling him all along that I wanted to go, and he wasn’t so keen on the idea. But I happened to be sitting there when he answered the phone, and I pantomimed/signed to remind him to ask if I could go as well. I just know he has a hard time hearing in a group setting like that, and the nurse he’s been talking to has an accent, which makes it even harder for him to understand. I really wanted to be there to take notes and make sure he doesn’t miss vital information, as well as just to hear it all for myself so I know what to expect and what he’ll be going through. Happily (for me, I’m not sure how Dave feels about it!) she told him they prefer people to bring someone along, because it’s a lot of information to process.
We still aren’t sure exactly when he’ll start treatment, but this is the most progress we’ve had in about two years so it’s a very positive step. Wish him luck!