Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Moving Forward and Reversals

At the time of his death my dad had almost all but given up on his last parenting goal. Some would speculate (incorrectly) that it was a tongue-in-cheek statement but those of us who knew him best knew better. For a long period he was convinced that his grand finale in parenting was going to see if could make back all the money he spent on raising kids through a reverse mortgage on the family cabin, his legacy property.

If he got the buy in from my mother and the rest of us he might have been able to pull it off. Let’s face it he really didn’t spend that much on us growing up. Maybe 8 eight bikes, five beds (he finally reluctantly replaced my childhood bed when I was in grade 11 after the dog’s ninth near miss from a middle of the night collapse), fifty pairs of running shoes (at most) and a handful of cars that got misdirected on the way to the crusher. That’s not much (comparably): no college or university tuition, no rent money, no gas money and no first home down payments. Although I must say dad was very effective in helping us (in his way) in getting those on our own.

The reverse mortgage idea came from one of those TV ads that targets seniors with no money but lots of equity in their homes. I guess what happens is you sign over the title and they make you monthly payments on the house until you croak. Bruce wanted to do that except me and my sibs would make monthly payments to him until he passed.

Outwardly it seem like a cold gesture but all conversations about it were always ended just as coldly by us reminding him that he wasn’t actually on title at the ranch – mom was and she wouldn’t let him do that to us.

At the time of dad’s passing the only thing in his name was a 1981 Yamaha 1100cc motorcycle. Dad liked it that way – he never wanted to be on title. I think owning businesses in the ’80s economy left him a little shell-shocked. Krista won’t let me do that – she makes me put my name on everything.

I don’t believe we got away scot-free through. I think there is “The Curse of the Reverse Mortgage” and so far the instrument of that curse has been the Grasshopper Lawn mower. Again something has gone wrong with that mower and again it is on us to fix it. I have voted to sell it but it seems I’m in the minority this time. We will fix it again this time and it will cost a lot to do so. Damn you, Bruce!

That and this weekend my sibs are tearing up the porch at the cabin. It’s time to address that porch (fifty years of deck board in the wrong direction is enough) and some foundation issues. I’m in Kelowna with Krista and junior this weekend because of a scheduling error in my favor but next weekend I’ll be out at the ranch pouring pilings. We didn’t get away with anything.

Last week I had the privilege of meeting Orest. He’s a long term TR6 owner. He’s had his car since ’79 (I resisted telling him that was the year that I was born) and has kept it up over the years. He commutes in it from Canmore on the nicer days.

Orest tracked me down on the blog and after finding out we worked close to each other convinced me to come over to check out his car. We had about an hour session about his car, dad’s cars and cars in general. I like meeting guys like Orest who, as Jack Kerouac would say: “not only understands… but cares.” But at the same time stops way short of being fanatical about these cars (I don’t think him and his wife have matching Triumph sweatshirts).

Throughout the week and over the weekend I was tracking the parliamentary proceedings concerning the postal strike and filibuster like it was a sporting event. Boy, was that a mess and a pain in the ass. I think we’ll look back on this strike as the TSN (read: ESPN) Turning Point on socialized mail service in Canada. If you were like me you spent that time taking the last of your eggs out of that basket.

The rest of my weekend was dedicated to installing two new hot water tanks. I believe that qualifies as the modern equivalent of wrestling a bear. I only had one crap-inducing moment where I bumped a gas valve on a line that formally connected to a hot water tank, thus now venting some gas to atmosphere. A quick move, a quick girly scream, some swearing and I was close to being back to a resting heart rate. They both work great and when I muster up some more ambition for non-TR6-related tasks I’ll haul out the old two tanks. Right now they serve as a warning to the new ones especially since I roughed one up a bit.

I’m hoping that my headlights and side mirror arrive this week but who knows what will start trickling in and when. I weaseled Shawn into blasting the front grill for me and as of last night I have a coat of paint on it. As of tonight should have another coat on there.

Orest gave me a hot lead on a windshield and installer so I’m going to follow that up this week also. Things are moving again.

Stay tuned...

No comments:

Post a Comment