tough times

There’s been so much going on in our private lives recently, that both my sweetheart and I find it difficult to focus on the “regular” chores and duties of daily routines.

I’ve already been going on at length about my own family in recent posts, but my sweetheart really has his full share, too.

First, there is his nearly 90 year old aunt, who, even though daily care was organised for her a few weeks ago, has been in and out of the hospital at least three times since. She keeps falling at home, bruising herself severly. But never broke a bone, albeit she looks black and blue, he tells me. Of course, every time that happens, my sweetheart has to go visit, take her home again, see the doctor for prescriptions, reorganise the care people and the food delivery service.

Second, there was everything to be set for his wife’s funeral, which is to be held tomorrow. Meetings with her sister, then look after her house and stuff (the sister and he are sole heirs to everything, but apart from some private items, everything is going to be left to her sister’s son, they both stipulated), talk to the mortician, the mortician’s speaker, some red tape had to be dealt with and on and on the list went. The hardest thing for him was to choose the music to be played tomorrow. The sister had ordered an organist to play, but there he stepped in and insisted on looking for music, his wife actually liked. There will be Tom Waits and Joan Baez played and then some bagpipes with Amazing Graze. This is just one sentence to type, but took him almost a week to find and decide. He had a real hard time doing this. Music evokes very strong emotions.

Third, there is this reconstruction of a flat to be looked after. My sweetheart rents out a couple of homes together with his mom. One of his tenants died of old age beginning of December. Since he had no family, the police sealed the place until a court decides about what was going to happen with all the stuff, this gentleman owned. This legal process took two months, after which time my sweetheart was given the go ahead for just emptying out the place. We decided to modernise it completely. After all, the late tenant had lived there for more than twenty years, so the place is in dire need of some work. I got through with my idea to knock out a wall to form an American sort of open kitchen rather than just doing up the tiny room as it were. Also I won with my argument, to re-colour the oak flooring in the two big rooms and hallway to a dark cocoa shade. So now work is underway, and all the craftsmen and workers have to be coordinated. I am left with the fun stuff: choosing the colour of tiling for the kitchen (I got a cocoa shade for the floor tiles, matching the wooden floors elsewhere, and a light shade of cream for the walls), selecting and arranging new kitchen furniture, appliances and countertops and drafting the look of the bar/eating section reaching into the living space from the kitchen.

Fourth, he and his team had to play in the Bridge League for three weekends in Kassel, ending this weekend for the year. They almost won it, but gave it all away yesterday, losing to their last opponent, thus coming in second. And, of course, he is running for the Presidency of the German Bridge Federation, although he has no time left, to give this process its due attention. All the other candidates already travel the Bridge world to score points. Oh well, if this doesn’t work out, come election day this April, it won’t be the end of the world.

I am not going to say, that I am happy to have all of this going on simultaneously and right now in our lives. But I honestly can’t see us getting through all of it, if this were happening mid summer, when the golfing season is in full swing and I’d have to spend 10 to 13 hours at work. I find it hard enough to focus on my regular job now, during off season, with just 6 to 8 hours a day at work and a regular two days off a week.

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