Wednesday, March 21, 2012

The Whammy!

The Whammy...
Sometimes life just throws you a curve ball. Since mid December I've been fending off the pitches and beginning to wonder when they are going to stop being thrown at me. The same week I was to leave aboard the Coast Guard cutter Stratton my youngest sister had a stroke. There wouldn't be any test results for a week so I went on the cutter. When I came back our family was told she had stomach cancer that was too advanced for any treatment. A blood clot from that actually caused the stroke. Our family made plans to bring her home to my nephews house and provide hospice care for her. I would go and stay down there during the week taking my turn with helping my mom care for my sister. My sister passed away peacefully about a month ago. I am thankful for the time I spent with her and would tell you if you ever get the chance to look after a loved one in the last days of their life to do it. It can be a lot of work but you will never regret one second of it. Having the chance to look after someone you love when they need it most is a blessing and if God ever offers it to you don't think twice.
Incidentally, I came back home after the first week down with my sister and got a phone call from a girl I worked with back in the 80's at Bell & Howell. She was 4 years older than me and became a good friend. Debbie had moved to Mississippi when she married and we still kept in touch over the years. She was calling to tell me that she had been diagnosed with lung cancer and was in hospice care at her home now. My heart sank. My good friend Debbie passed away just over a week after that phone call. It has been a terrible end of one year and beginning of another.

And life goes the last two months it seems anything with wheels on it at our place has decided to break. First, my car has developed a crack in the exhaust manifold keeping it from passing the smog check...that's on hold. Linda's car started leaking water from what looked like a radiator hose so I replaced it only to find out it was a leak in the radiator behind the I put in a new radiator. While waiting for the radiator to arrive we used our truck to get around. The truck soon developed a bad misfire when going uphill. I installed new spark plugs, a rotor and distributer cap....problem solved!
A week later I walk out the door and notice a funny line on the inside of one of Linda's car tires...turns out the tire was showing the nylon cords there so I took it down to buy a new tire. Same day the dishwasher motor goes out...that's on hold.
 Radiator replacement fun. It is a lot easier to replace the radiator on my old van than it is on Linda's sporty little car. I'd have taken pics of all of the other fun stuff that has broken but I wasn't in the mood.

Oh no...not done yet. Two days ago Linda's car door window decides to not go all the way up. The next day the window drops down into the door on it's own! I took the door apart and find it has a stripped nylon wheel the window cables ride on but of course you can't just replace the wheel, we had to go buy a the whole assembly called a "window regulator". I just put that in with Linda's help this morning....and so we go inside to celebrate with a cup of coffee...that's right, the coffee pot is broke. Won't boil the coffee at all despite the lights being on. Drove to WalMart and bought a new one but that was nice since we didn't need to worry about the car door window falling down.

At this point I won't go into the lawn mower bearing going out a few weeks ago...
I woke up this morning and told Linda "don't touch anything!...don't even look at it". We are tip toeing at this point. I love to fix things but this has been like rapid fire lately. Of course, I brought that broken coffee pot to my studio and if nothing else breaks in the next few days I will pull it apart to see what went wrong other than it resides here at our house....where things, lately, have gone whammy.           


Maggie Latham said...

Ron, I am so sorry to hear about your sister and your friend. My thoughts and prayers are with you guys and their families. Too bad about all your mechanical breakages. We only have one car and it’s a 1966 Morris Traveller…a classic we use for running around in…and hubby is always tinkering with that! Have you thought about using less mechanical things? We also don’t have a dishwasher, haven’t done since I moved back to the UK from the States. I just wash the dishes by hand… which I turn into a positive experience, because I get a huge sense of satisfaction and get to think about painting at the same time! Maybe all these signs are telling you to get back to nature more and away from man made mechanical things? I do hope you have time for your painting with all this other stiff going on…Best wishes to you, Ron and Linda…sounds like you both need a big cyber hug!

Mick Carney said...

Your words about your sister and friend are very moving and having given similar support to family members in the past I wholeheartedly endorse your advice to volunteer for such duties.

As to the mechanical world, it certainly seems that there is an inanimate conspiracy out there that selects a victim from time to time. Seems like the family Guthrie are the current choice.

Hope this is all behind you now and you can get back to making your wonderful images.

Ron Guthrie said...

Hi Maggie.....
Thanks for your kind thoughts Maggie. 2 very dear people at the same time....As for mechanical things it's just so many of them breaking down at once. That never seems to happen but it has lately. So far we are dealing with it all. I love those Morris Minor cars!!! My uncle had an old Austin America and an MG way back in the 60's and I thought they were too cool. There is just something about small cars. We sure need more of them over here....and I'll take that hug too Maggie. We both need it here! Thanks!

Hi Mick....
You're very kind Mick, thanks brother! Most of my other brothers and sisters couldn't give as much time because they have day jobs so it was weekends for them. I slept in a cot next to my sisters bed and we had such fun talking a joking like we used to. It was an honor to help her and be there for her.
That conspiracy sure has us in their sights! haha. I have never had such a short amount of time condensed with so many breakdowns. When it all ends the boredom will be enjoyed immensely! Thanks Mick.

Gina Brown said...

Bless you!!! I didn't know you were going through such a rough time. I pray that things will get much better soon!

Ron Guthrie said...

Thanks Gina! everything seems to have levelled off. I'm amazed! Am dealing with the loss of my sister and feeling good. Time will fix all I think. Thanks again!

Marian Fortunati said...

Hi Ron... I knew about the terrible news about your sister. Didn't know about the rest.

Listen my friend... You and Linda need to take a break and just enjoy being you with nothing new needing fixed. I wish I could wave my wand to make it better.

Be well, Ron.

Ron Guthrie said...

Hi Marian,
Nothing has gone wrong lately, fingers crossed, so maybe we are coming out of it. I've actually had time to work on catching up on things. A few shows coming up to enter work so that's next on the agenda.
Thanks a lot my friend!

Christine Brallier said...

That is a lot to deal with at once, and isn't that how it usually happens? Murphys Law or something like that?! Glad things are going better now. More hugs from me to you both (can't have too many hugs!) xo

Ron Guthrie said...

Hi Christine,
Yeah, it really is like that it seems....nothing going on and then it all goes wrong. Just starting another painting so hopefully the swing will now go in the other direction for a change.
Thanks for the hugs Christine!...Linda says Hi!

Dianne said...

I'm so sorry to hear about the loss of two people so dear to you. We never really expect to lose siblings or friends. When we do it's important to know we can rely on Life being eternal, the light doesn't go out because we don't see it anymore.
On the other side of things, it's wonderful that you can find the problems with mechanical things and correct them.
That takes 3 dimensional thinking, I'll bet you'd be good at sculpture too!

Ron Guthrie said...

Hi Dianne,
Thanks for the kind thoughts and comments. I'm sure we continue on our journey and will all meet again down the line.
Sculpture is something I've always thought about. I have sculpture friends and their work always inspires me to want to try it one day.