Wednesday, July 26, 2017

July 26, 2017

Life is supposedly a long journey. If so, my journey in the last 6 months has been longer, bumpier, and more painful than most journeys have been. Since I last blogged, I spent a disastrous 3 months in Austin, Texas, working for my old warehouse, getting my old job back- and getting paid less and getting run out of the job after 3 months. I was planning on moving from Texas to either Pennsylvania or New Jersey when the warehouse job ended. Instead, I ended up in Maine with 2 job offers. I ended up working in a warehouse for a well-known Maine company, commuting from my current residence in Lewiston to Freeport.

I also got to visit family I haven't seen in years. I got to see my sister and nephew in Western Tennessee (the first time I've been in that state in over 20 years). I got to see my father's eccentric cousin in Franklin. The only relative in Tennessee I didn't get to see was my niece, who was finishing up her final month teaching in Cheatham County and who will be joining other family in Franklin next month while teaching at a better school. As far as I know, my niece has not experienced the horrors in her profession that most of my teacher friends in New York have (i.e. death threats, abusive students, flying metal trash cans, etc).

I next went to Chambersburg. After my uncle Rodger Barnhart's passing in March and my Godmother/Aunt Sally Bowling's recovery from a life threatening infection in April, I had to visit my surviving relatives. Most of them still remembered who I was. But as I've gotten older, they've gotten much older. It's scary thinking of Aunts and Uncles under the age of 80 needing to be in a retirement community. It's disturbing knowing that several of my relatives are battling dementia. I probably could have gotten a warehouse job in Chambersburg, but I had to at least go to the interviews I had waiting for me in Maine on June 12.

The first interview was a bit of a disaster. The second interview went well. And after spending $200 for 3 nights lodging, I was exploring my only affordable non-shelter option in Lewiston on June 13 when both called me and told me I was hired. One wanted me to start that week, the other started on the 26th. I ended up working for both until the 26th and staying with the warehouse job that was closer to Lewiston. Both paid $12 an hour, a record as far as hourly salary for me.

Now I'm getting used to long rural drives, cheaper car insurance, and wondering how much longer a 2001 Ford Taurus approaching 214000 miles can continue to hold on. It managed to get me from San Antonio to Austin to Tennessee to Chambersburg to New York to Maine over the last 7 months. Now I need the car to get to everywhere except Mass (my current residence is a block from Maine's only Catholic Basilica) and the library.