Change is a good thing, but that doesn’t make it easy. There’ve been a lot of changes going on in my and Lona’s lives for awhile recently, and I figure it’s about time for a proper life update. The question is, where to start.
I suppose the last thing I really talked about was that we had to sell my old Jeep because cost of upkeep and gas made it far too expensive to maintain. We’re still looking into getting another vehicle, and into moving to the Seattle area, eventually. But our time table has been pushed back a bit. See, the company that we both have been working for, me for the last eight years, Lona for most of her life off and on, was named for it’s two founders – her mother and her father. Now, as all of you know, her dad died a couple of years ago. And yes, we are still reeling from that a bit. That’s the thing about grief, you see – it doesn’t last as long or work the same way for everyone. There are days we still cry, and days we’re still angry. I honestly don’t know if that will ever change. But we’re all moving forward now – our eyes are on that distant horizon. There’re just a few bumps in the way.
Anyway, her mother decided recently that it’s time to let go of that name. Tom isn’t here to be the T and the M in the acronym any longer (the M stood for “music”), and the business plans she’d been coming up with to keep the company running haven’t quite been working the way we want them to. So she made the decision to dissolve her partnership with Lona, and let the two of them go at it freelance – the tried and true way that most ghostwriters work. This decision also put the rest of us who’d been working at the company out of work, unfortunately. However, we’re all handling it our own ways. As for me? I’m actually still working from home, as of right now, though I’m looking for an office job while I work. Currently, if you’ll see over in my sidebar, I do guest posts for a couple of other websites: Howtoee.com and DotTech.org. Those are both paid gigs – one is a monthly salary, and the other pays by the article, and I try to do five articles or so a week. On top of that, you’ve probably noticed the Google Adsense widget in my sidebar now. I make money based on people clicking those ads, so that’s bringing in a little too.
Lona’s working on bringing in clients (check out her website – seriously, it’s awesome), and doing some paid blog gigs of her own in the mean time. I hesitated to report on this for awhile (we’ve known this for almost two weeks now) even though the company’s remaining officially open through the end of the year, mostly because I know my mom reads my blog and, well, I didn’t want to freak you out, mom. 😛 But seriously, don’t worry – we’re doing fine and things will only get better.
What triggered me to write this though, is that as a sign of the point of no return, perhaps, last weekend The Van was turned over to the state as part of their vehicle reclamation program. Much like the Jeep, it was too expensive to keep running, and wasn’t doing anyone any good just sitting in the back yard forlornly. What does a 1976 Chevy half-ton van have to do with a company closing and finding new ways to make money? Well…The Van has been part of the family for a long time. Claudia and Tom drove all over the US and Canada when they were performing together – in that van. Lona spent the first six months of her life with her crib bolted down in the back of that van and a mobile swinging from the ceiling until circumstances made them choose between the act or the marriage, and they chose the marriage. Tom spent the rest of his life using that van to cart his equipment to his various musical gigs. That van has been like a pet – a pet that you’ve had for a very, very long time. As proof, check out the picture – that’s Tom, in I believe the mid 80s or so (feel free to correct me, Lona or Claudia, if I’m wrong), and that’s the Van behind him. As you can see, it had a very distinctive paint job. Why do I say “had?” Well…the vehicle reclamation program is only designed to buy old vehicles and get them off the street. For good. The Van has been the vehicle equivilant of euthanized. We all know it must happen to every car and every pet we own, but it doesn’t stop it from hurting when it does – and it doesn’t stop us from missing it when it’s gone.
On the topic of aging pets, one of our cats, Kit Cat, has begun showing his age in an extreme way. From what we can tell, he’s hyperthyroid, and as a result he’s voraciously eating everything, and he’s thin as a rail – though he’s started putting weight on again recently with the change of diet. He also has a lump about half the size of a small egg on his hip. It’s soft, and it moves around, so it doesn’t seem malignant, but as due to circumstances we can’t really afford to take him to the vet, there’s not really anything we can do for him but love him, feed him, give him what naturopathics we can, and just generally make him comfortable. He’s fourteen years old, and I know we’d all like it if he stuck around a few more years. The truth is, all of our cats are seniors. Taru, Nyx’s cat, is a bit older than Kit. Zig, who is essentially my cat, is eleven, Pablo is coming up on ten (despite the fact that we still all call him “Little Baby Pablo”), and Buddy is heading for eight next March. At over seven years old, even our youngest is considered a senior cat, and I admit that’s a little strange for me to think. I raised Buddy from a tiny little baby. That’s him, the little white ball up against Kit, in that picture there. And yes, his eyes are still blue, though his fur’s gotten darker over the years.
Age milestones come for all of us – this December, Lona turns 30. I follow her next February. It feels like this is a big, important thing – and for awhile, both Lona and I felt like we were failing some big cosmic test if we weren’t moved out of her mom’s house by the time we both turned 30 – but we’ve kind of seen the light on that, and talked to Claudia. It won’t do for us to scramble to move out and then be either trapped miles away from her if we need help – OR to end up having to move back because we rushed and didn’t save up enough. So we’re going to do it right. In the mean time, we contribute toward the house all we can, and we continue to stay here. So when we move out, we’ll have our eyes on the horizon with no debts behind us, money in the bank, and a clear future ahead. Some milestones are just milestones. And I’m over the fear of birthdays I had for awhile – yes, I’m getting older. I have to learn new ways to deal with my body and mind, even my soul. But that’s just life and living – and I am a very, very long way from done with that.
We’re doing good. Change is good. Change brings new beginnings. We’re going to be just fine.