Monday, September 29, 2008

Oh Well

praying mantis
Originally uploaded by mygothlaundry
Everything is still awful. People are now, I think, afraid to talk to me lest the bad luck and dark clouds fall on them as well. I don't blame them a bit. I wouldn't talk to me either if I could possibly avoid it. There's no word on the house and I've slowly, over the weekend, come to the terrible realization that, yeah, it's fallen through and I'm not ever going to live there. The water's already turned on and the power's on - I need to get them turned off, I guess. I wonder if I'll get my water deposit back? Probably not. I really, really want to sue someone for all this since I'm now in the hole to the tune of about $4000 and believe me, I'm going to find someone to sue. This is some serious bullshit, right here. Bad and serious bullshit.

That's really the least of my worries, though. The main part of my worries revolve around the fact that in one month, I will have nowhere to live and thus, neither will my aunt or my son or my two dogs or my cat. Or my plants, for gods' sake. Homeless plants. It's all so staggering that I can barely take it in, so I canceled my work leave and came back in full time. I mean, why not? It's not like I'm moving right now. I'm just sitting still, planning to call Charter and see if I can get the cable turnoff notice turned off.

Saturday night I ended up staying out at my mother's house with the QOB so A could take a break. Then yesterday, I took the QOB up to Bat Cave to hang out for a couple of hours with A & D & R. It was a lovely afternoon and on the way up there we stopped the car on 74 to let a mom wild turkey and her two baby turkeys cross the road, which was awesome. Much needed rest and recreation.

However, last night all hell broke loose at my mom's, when A heard a huge popping noise and then every alarm in the house, from smoke to carbon dioxide to that I've fallen and can't get up buzzer went off. It turns out that the sound of smoke alarms or other alarms does not alert the QOB at all to get, well, alarmed. She doesn't understand them. This is not good news. Anyway, security duly came down to say that they didn't know what was going on. Therefore, I think we might have been busted for having people living there, which we are not, I suspect, strictly supposed to be doing. Worse, though, is the fact that none of us can stand being there anymore and so we've decided to put all that stuff in storage and temporarily move the QOB in with me for the next month while we desperately search for alternate housing. This means that young M, who, by the way, managed to get himself suspended from school probably because his mother is cursed, doomed and darkness incarnate or just because we all needed the extra stress right now, is going to have to move in with his sister for the time being, since I'll have to make his room over for the QOB.

On the bright side, I've lost ten pounds. Yay, me.

Friday, September 26, 2008

All Hell Broken Loose

You know about that curse? The curse on me that makes my life so fucking interesting and I mean that in the Chinese sense? It's struck again.

Up until yesterday afternoon, I thought I would be going to a real estate closing this morning and buying my very own house. I have movers set to come in on Tuesday and arrangements with my landlord to hand this house back over next Saturday and the water and the electricity and the cable are all being turned off at this house and on at the other house and I changed my address and I prepared the QOB and my friend A drove down from Baltimore yesterday to get to work today on the new house. Yeah. Everything was moving along just fine and dandy until my real estate agent's boss called me yesterday afternoon to tell me that, hey, sucks to be you, but hey, it's all off. She said "Oh, well, if you have plans," as if it was my fault because you know, yeah, I'm going to buy this house but why the hell would I make any plans to actually move into it or anything because I could just do that the same day, right? Jesus fuck.

And that's just not happening. Because the seller had more debt than she fucking bothered to disclose and therefore the second mortgage company who has a lien on that house is not going to release it and there is no clear title and therefore I cannot buy the house right now if ever. It's what's called a short sale and the second mortgage holder has to agree to it and so far, that hasn't happened.

Therefore, I'm totally fucking screwed. Totally. Fucking. Screwed.

Not only am I totally fucking screwed on every level, I'm out a huge sum of money as I beg my landlord to let me stay here and I hope that Deerfield will let us hold on to my mother's house for another month so the QOB has somewhere to live while we figure out what the next step is. Ordinarily I could sue the seller for these costs because she is in clear breach of contract here but given the fact that she's going into bankruptcy and can't come up with the money to pay off the second mortgage, the lawyers tell me that suing her is a waste of time and even more money. Great. I just want to throw up and cry and curl into a fetal ball under my bed. But I don't have time because I have to cancel the movers and wait for my landlord to call me back and call Deerfield and crawl abjectly and figure out how to get the cable and the water and the electricity all left on and whether or not to cancel them altogether at that house.

I got something called a right to possession before closing which would mean that I could still move in but, get this, I couldn't change anything or even unpack. I could just use the house for storage and that gets sticky right there because if the whole deal falls through, which at this point is about a 50/50 chance, I'd have 24 hours to get my stuff out. So I'm not doing that, seeing as how two lawyers now have tactfully advised me not to.

I'm shaking and sick and furious and destroyed. Why the fuck does this kind of thing keep happening to me?

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Huge Thank Yous

Last week my friend G called me and sent me an email saying he needed to see me; it was important. The first thing I thought, because I'm paranoid, was, oh hell, what have I done now? Lengthy thought reassured me that I had, in fact, done nothing. Than I thought, oh hell, I bet Drinking Liberally is imploding and he wants me to help him save it. Lengthy thought on this reassured me that G knows I never go to DL anymore and also am way too busy to do anything about it imploding or otherwise. Than I thought, huh, I bet he's finally running for office and wants me to leak it somehow. This made very little sense but some so I left it at that and we agreed to meet at my house last night at 8ish.

Well. At 8ish G appeared with the other Hooligans, A & F, in tow. This was weird. My house is not exactly up for company right now since pretty much everything is in boxes except for some excess dog hair that isn't packed yet. They filed in and handed me a package.

I opened it. Holy shit. They made me a book.

Specifically, they made this blog into a book and if my camera wasn't at my mom's house (this whole two houses situation, by the way, reminds me strongly of a children's book by Erica Jong, yes, that Erica Jong, called Megan's Book of Divorce which I read many times to my daughter back in the day and in which Megan laments that she has two houses and never knows what is at one house and what is at the other and right now I deeply sympathize with this. ) I would take a picture of the amazingly beautiful hardcover book entitled The Hangover Journals with, oh my god, my name right there on the cover like I actually wrote a book, a real book and oh my gods and small deities, nature storms and water spirits, apparently, I did just that. While I wasn't looking.

This is the nicest thing, I think, that anyone has ever done for me. They dedicated it to my mom, which got me all teary eyed for a moment because I had long had plans to make this blog into a book specifically for my mom but the bowdlerization of the word fuck always got to be too much for me and I would bog down and not get it done. Thus, having the book at last, with Mom's picture in it but no Mom to show it to, made me weep. But happy, sweet tears, because, oh my god, the Hooligans made my blog into a book and gave it to me in memory of my mother and all I can say is thank you, thank you, thank you, y'all are the sweetest three guys in the history of the universe and I love you all. Thank you. I still have no words. I still don't know what to say but that I am honored and humbled and just, well, thank you.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

One Week Later . . . No Change

I'm still too stressed to blog, but here are some interesting observations anyway. What the hell. I'm sitting here in The Dustiest House in the World, in which every single thing I pick up to pack has to be washed first, since it's all covered with a quarter inch of thick brown. . . something and I can't stand it any longer. It's horrible. No wonder we were all sick all last year. Everything is grotty and there is dog hair everywhere and piles of cardboard and oh god, oh god. My car broke down again on Thursday night, by the way. Just, you know, to add to the chaos (also, young M has a sinus infection) and in case that wasn't enough, there is, of course, no gas in WNC. Particularly no high octane gas, which is all my mother's finicky, ancient car takes. Yeah. Things are just fucking nifty. My friend J called me last night and was all, I thought things might be easing up and you might want to go get a beer. HA HA! YES! LIKE I COULD EVER GO OUT AGAIN OR DO ANYTHING BUT PACK AND CRY! NOT LIKELY! Can't figure out why she hung up so quickly.

If that isn't enough to make you sick, try some organic bananas. My brother, all unsuspecting, got a bunch of organic banana boxes to pack things in. Now, experienced packers know that banana boxes totally suck, because they're open on the bottom and also they always have all this weird plastic & paper banana wrapping stuff in them. Well. I have a new reason why they suck and also why there's no fucking point to buying organic fruit and vegetables, ever.

That would be because the boxes and everything in them were liberally doused with seriously toxic pesticide. They might have been grown organic but that doesn't mean they stayed that way, oh conscientious Earth Fare shoppers.

I discovered this as I was pulling the banana packing stuff out of the boxes and stuffing it into large trash bags. I had just finished tossing 9 years accumulation of weird garden chemicals into large trash bags (yeah, I know, they should have gone off to the special hazardous waste dump in proper containers as a good upstanding citizen would not doubt have done but jesus christ, I'm clearing out TWO HOUSES HERE with a deadline of EIGHT DAYS LEFT and HOLY FUCK WHAT AM I GOING TO DO WITH ALL THIS SHIT and, thus, such niceties have long since fallen by the wayside) so when I started smelling what I assumed was wasp and hornet killer, I figured a can of it had landed upside down in the trash bag. Wrong. The pesticide smell, thick enough to hurt the back of my throat and make me dizzy, was coming from the banana boxes. All of them. The organic banana boxes. Suddenly, it was all clear: they spray them on the docks before they put them into boats. Of course they do, because otherwise they'd be full of tarantulas and banana rats. And flying squid.

Okay, I'm making up the squid and possibly the rats but the tarantulas are real, I swear. When you think about it, it makes terrible sense and you wonder why you ever thought that organic food was actually organic. It's not, people. Organic only means it wasn't sprayed while it was actually growing. Once it's been picked, all bets are off and if it's coming from far away, it's been sprayed to within an inch of your life. Yeah. Great news, isn't it? A & I, who cleaned out my mother's entire garage today, which took six hours and possibly years off our life, are just going to drag the boxes to the curb. We're not going to tear them down for recycling or anything. They need to just go away and we want our innocence back.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Too Stressed to Blog

The title pretty much sums it up: I haven't got time to update this blog right now and even if I did, it would be useless, because I've gotten to my stress maximum limit and beyond it. I don't even have time to grieve for my mother, which is supposedly a good thing but which, somehow, strikes me as horribly, horribly unfair. So I'm not blogging and I'm not taking pictures and I'm not working - full time, anyway - what am I doing?

I'm hanging out as much as possible with the QOB, on whom the stress of the emptying house is telling, as she's kind of regressing back to where she was two months ago in terms of spatial and other disorientation. I had been trying to make her meals and also feed my brothers, which meant that my son wasn't getting fed and was actually alone at home most of the time with the dogs. This sucks but I somehow cannot be in two or three places at once, no matter how hard I try. Things were going more smoothly a week or so ago. Now, they are not going very smoothly. This is not making any of it easier.

I'm emptying and packing my mother's house. One set of auctioneers has come and gone with a lot of furniture and most of the art; another arrives a week from tomorrow and will probably take all the remaining furniture. The QOB says plaintively, "Will they leave my bed?" and I say, yes, yes. Although it would be easier if they wouldn't but, hey, them's the breaks. The boxes of clothes go to consignment tomorrow; tomorrow I will finish boxing the books and then take them to be sold on Thursday. I've been through all Mom's drawers and I've emptied all the living room chests and bureaus and cabinets. I still have to to do the kitchen and the garage and the laundry room closets and the closet in the QOB's room and, oh god, I don't know. The moving van is coming two weeks from tomorrow. It's starting at my house, unloading at my new house and then going over to my mothers to pick up every single thing that's still there and moving it all to my new house.

My new house, where we'll all be camping in the basement until the polyurethane on the floors upstairs dries. My new house, which needs paint and plaster and all kinds of things. My new house, which I'm both excited and terrified by. The QOB says she doesn't want to live with me. Great. Actually, it is okay, since she's also now saying that she wants to stay in Asheville, just in her own house. That might be eminently achievable and, given the possibility of a live-in nurse/companion, about the best possible solution for everyone concerned. Then I can rent my spare room to a handsome young man. Just kidding. Not.

Meanwhile, I'm also packing my old house. I haven't got time or energy to do all this and clean as well, so it's gotten really disgusting at my house. And Fang died. He died and I couldn't mourn for him either (well, okay, we weren't that close: it's hard to bond with a fish) or even bring myself to get rid of his small floating corpse until my friend H came over and gave him a calm, efficient and cheerful burial at sea. Yesterday I spent four hours working in the garage - and, why yes, of course there was a dead rat and I shrieked and ran outside and filled my son with disgust at my idiotic paranoia. Oh well. Nothing's anywhere near done and somehow, I still have to do laundry and feed young M and the animals and go to the grocery store and the list just goes on and on and fucking on.

So that's where I am. I'm not very happy. I haven't got much to say. I hope I make it through this and back to the blog but for the time being, y'all, I am going to try my fucking damnedest to write out thank you notes and respond to people's emails and that's about the max I can manage.

See you when the floodwaters recede.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008


I'm cleaning out my mother's house and it's hard. I was over there all day yesterday and most of the day today. There is, of course, no computer there - my mother, the Luddite, never even trusted calculators, let alone computers. This is true: she would always add up everything by hand after she did it on the calculator to make sure the machine wasn't broken. And the phone is attached to the wall, too. Sigh.

Yesterday the nice people from Brunk auctions came and took a lot of stuff; next week the nice people from Wilson & Terry will come and take even more stuff. Last night my friends J & J & I went through my mother's clothes. Now my mother's immaculately organized closet full of perfectly ironed silk shirts, plastic wrapped suits and shoes still in their original boxes is in disarray, with a series of big boxes labeled Goodwill and Consignment and Felicity lined up against the wall where the long table used to be. I'm grateful for my friends, without whom this task would have been unbelievably difficult. As it was, we were able to joke and talk and tease my absent mother for her weird fondness for yellow and those several things that came so clearly from the past that Victoria Principal could have worn them walking into a Dallas living room.
"This might be good for a job interview?" said J doubtfully, holding up one perfect silk blouse.
"A job interview where?" I said. "1987?"

The other J helped me bring down the shoes in their boxes, each pair stuffed carefully with tissue paper and wrapped gently in what I guess you would call a shoe cozy. I've never owned one, of course. Not that my mother probably didn't give them to me - they just somehow never got cozy with my shoes. "MY GOD!" said J, "Look at how neat this stuff is! Are you sure you weren't adopted?"

Monday, September 08, 2008

Non Stop Odyssey O' Fun

Originally uploaded by mygothlaundry
It turns out that if you want the QOB to actually walk, the way to do it is to follow her with an empty wheelchair. Yesterday we took her to LAAFF and she walked through the whole thing as N and I pushed the empty wheelchair along through the crowds like performance artists with the world's saddest imaginary friend. She flat refused to sit in it, saying it would make her feel like a cripple and then, anyway, we eventually made it to an enviable corner table at Old Europe, where we sat for hours racking up a legendary bar tab and watching the festival flow around us. For all that I'm a bit shell shocked and apparently permanently hungover, it was actually pretty nice. There were stilt girls and zombies and all my friends stopped by to sit and have a drink or two with us, which was why we couldn't leave. The QOB had a great time and said that after the while she had spent sitting by the drum circle (we had previously parked her a couple of times, once on the mulch by Broadways and once by Heiwa) she couldn't hear anything anyway, so the punk band of drums and bass was great. I liked them and we all liked watching the street guy get down and funky like a Chippendales dancer fallen from grace into cheap wine and meth (and maybe he was) to the inexplicable mid 90s cover band. Coldplay never sounded so good.

Today I went to work and totally forgot the various things I was supposed to do about all the things that I have to do until my brother reminded me that we were meeting at my mother's bank at 4:00. I headed over there and was about a block away when, suddenly, as I went to down shift to third gear, the gear shift responded with all the alacrity of a stick in a coffee can. There was nothing there. I mean nothing: the shifter was just hanging loose. I had no idea what to do but I steered the car into the middle turn lane since there is no shoulder on Hendersonville Road, turned on the flashers, braked and tried not to panic as I let the clutch go out and the whole thing died. So I got out of the car, figuring that if a retiree from Florida was going to run into it I would rather not be there. Then I dashed terrified across the street to the wonderful, the awesome, the kind and angelic Chambees car wash, where a whole bunch of guys came running out and stopped traffic and got into my car and turned it into the street there by Chambees and then helped me drift it on down the street, where, mirabile dictu, it turns out there is like the nicest garage in the whole world, complete with 2 wildly friendly and adorable pit bulls and many very sweet people who took in my car, figured out what was wrong with it in short order (clutch cable just totally broke in half) and will get it back to me tomorrow for far less than I would have paid the Saturn dealership even to open the hood. And I stood around for a while with them smoking cigarettes until my brother came and picked me up.

Then I went to the Admiral with my friend C who is back in town, thank the gods because I have missed him sorely, and now, sigh, I am home where there are many many empty boxes that need filling and the dogs are getting nervous as they sense these terrible winds of change. Tomorrow a bunch of my girlfriends are coming over to my mothers with me to go through all her clothes. That is going to be hard. Long sigh.

Saturday, September 06, 2008

News From the Front

I have nothing particularly funny to say, which is sad, since actually, my family are probably the funniest people in America and we often say things that are fucking hilarious, but, alas, nobody is writing them down. Thus, the commentary on how if McCain wins we should all leave the country and open a small cafe in some more liberal yet cheap as hell country has been sadly forgotten, as has the suggestion that we all buy an Airstream and become a brilliant air guitar and cover songs of terrible music of the 70s superstar band. Meanwhile, we're sort of soldiering on. My brother N reports that yesterday when he came in around 4 pm, the QOB came out of her room wearing her total favorite pair of sunglasses, the ones with no rims and a rainbow of colors across the lenses. "Good Morning!" she intoned and then turned around and went back into her room.

Yeah. Good morning! I went to the liquor store this morning to get boxes. Turns out that Saturday morning is an awesome time to get boxes from the liquor store and I filled my car. On my fifth and final trip out with the boxes (it's awkward as hell to carry liquor store boxes and a giant purse, I must say) I noticed a young couple with a little girl. I had noticed them earlier, actually, but then I sort of thought, well, probably they're having a party and buying the liquor now. It is, after all, Saturday morning. So I'm putting the boxes in my car and I hear a loud FUCK YOU from behind me. I turn around and realize that it was the charming mother of this lovely young family, shouting at the liquor store clerks.
"But Mommy," starts the little girl as the whole family goes to get into their car,
"Yeah, he was an ASSHOLE, wasn't he, honey?" said Mama. "He wouldn't let you use their potty, what a fucking asshole!" And they sped away.
Let me note that there is a Kentucky Fried Chicken (I'm contractually barred by virtue of extreme age from using the more common acronym for this popular fast food place, sorry) across the street and, having been a mother for 25 years now I have to say that when presented with a small child who needs to pee and the choices on the corner of Patton Avenue and Louisiana, namely, the liquor store, the Kentucky Fried, the Bi-Lo, the K-Mart and a whole bunch of other places too numerous to name, the liquor store would, somehow, not be my first choice for quick and easy kid peeing opportunities. Also, they were browsing for a while first and they didn't buy anything. It never occurred to me to take my kids browsing at the liquor store but perhaps I was missing something. "Look, honey! Stolichnaya has a new flavor! Wahoo! Daddy gonna be happy tonight!"

Yeah. Meanwhile, back at the ranch, I'm trying to pack up houses. This would be easier if one of those houses wasn't my mothers, which means that when I open cabinets and closets I find boxes and in those boxes I find things like never before seen pictures of my parents right after they were married and clipped interviews with my father from WWD in which he says that he thinks of himself as a thinner Ed McMahon (yes, the resemblance was always striking, except that Dad, to my knowledge, never showed up at anyone's door with a giant check, more's the pity) and truly elegant snapshots of my Great Aunt Claire flanked by what might be either a particularly ornate chandelier or possibly a very late model robot and handmade Christmas cards from long ago family friends who moved to Mexico and, least and last, I guess, if you discount the giant pile of precut photo mats from the mid 80s, a xeroxed interview with an unknown third cousin about his time in the Air Force in WWII. So. You see that this is not a quick process and I've left out the poster of marrying circus midgets that my brother N found in a box labeled with his name in the far corner of the garage closet. It's an awesome, if terrifying, poster.

And all of it has this terrible tendency to make me cry.

Friday, September 05, 2008

The Wedge

nat annie and bill
Originally uploaded by mygothlaundry
So the QOB has decided that she loves the Wedge brewery and the River Arts District in general and she wants to live in a studio there and watch the trains go by. That would be great if a) there were studios you could live in for sale down by the river that were handicapped accessible and all that good stuff and b) if we hadn't spent the morning with her case manager and therapists from CarePartners, who stated categorically that she absolutely, positively cannot live alone but in fact really needs 24 hour care. We had suspected as much but having it confirmed by professionals was simultaneously sort of a relief and a total sorrow. We've wavered and gone back and forth and back and forth on this, from well, do we have the moral right to keep her here in Asheville when she wants to go back to New York to, but then, if you realize that sending her to New York is almost certainly a death sentence, is that morally right either? And actually, I don't have the answers to those questions still and part of me just doesn't know if I ever will. In the meantime we're just taking the QOB to the Wedge Brewery more or less every night to drink beer and admire the trains and John Payne's wonderful garden fence.

What I do know now though, or what has been confirmed that I know is that the QOB has something called vascular dementia and that it mostly, but not all, came from the stroke. I know that she herself does not recognize this because she has something else with a long name that means her reality is not what the rest of us humans generally consider consensus reality but instead is a construct of weird flashes where time and space and memory are not the same as they are here on our planet. I also know that she is probably not going to get much better. I know that she cannot really read; she is faking it. I know that she cannot count to three and probably never will again. I know that she is spatially confused to the point where she is unable to find her way across an unfamiliar room. Not building - a room. One room. At the same time as all this I know that she is still charming, still funny as hell, still smart, still sweet and still, sometimes, for an hour or even two or three, pretty damn lucid.

That's a good thing, because she's going to have to live with me. In the meantime, over the next four weeks while I
1) pack up my house and -
2) pack up my mother's house, which also entails getting rid of 90% of her many things and -
3) close on my house at the end of the month and -
4) get my friend A and a crack team of Baltimore construction guys down here to tear out the carpet, put an arch & window in the kitchen wall, build a glass brick fence and a whole bunch of other stuff I can't think of now as well as creating a small apartment for the QOB in my new blue basement, which also will entail figuring out a way to heat it and -
5) move all my stuff and all of the QOB's stuff from New York to my new house and probably also a whole lot of my Mom's stuff and possibly/probably my brothers' stuff as well to my new house and -
6) make appointments for the QOB with the eye doctor and -
7) get her supplementary insurance and -
8) figure out her financial status and talk with an eldercare lawyer and -
9) meet again with accountants and lawyers and financial planners about my mothers estate and -
10) mourn my mother -
we're going to have to figure out somewhere else for the QOB to live rather than in the heart of the chaos with my mother's house being disassembled around her. And where and how that immediate problem is going to work itself out, we have no idea.

No wonder I drink. Good damn thing we'll be down at the Wedge again this evening.

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

picnic table in the fog

Everyone keeps asking me how I am. It's a surprisingly difficult question to answer. I actually have no idea. All through this entire thing, this terrible week, I've kept feeling like I needed a textbook to get through this. And not just a general book, but a really detailed textbook that would tell me exactly what to do, as in, 9:17 am: Walk around in a circle. Sigh. Sit down. Stand back up.Without that level of help, I sort of feel like I don't really exist. It's bizarre. I'm just sort of - not really here. And while I'm being not really here, there are endless, endless things to do.

I've met, now, with a minister and a funeral home director and a lawyer and a financial planner and the smarmy head of my mother's retirement community. I've looked at wills and things signed by both my parents, which makes me turn my head and catch my breath. I have a raft of half completed documents in my purse, emails, 2 packs of the least horrible thank you notes they have at Ingles and an appointment to meet with the accountant. I've woken up at 3:00 in the morning, thrown up and worried for an hour or more over what to do with my aunt, the QOB. I've lost four pounds, cried and cried, spoken with old friends for hours, drunk a lot of vodka and talked on the phone until my ears hurt and yet, I'm still sort of not really here.

I had every intention of making it to work today, for example. I didn't. And those documents are still half completed and the huge, enormous, terrifying list of things I need to be doing right now isn't even being approached while I sit here in pajamas and shoo the kitten off my lap. This isn't okay, I know. I have so much to do and I can't just sit still like this. But somehow, I can't do anything else either.

Monday, September 01, 2008

Thanks to Everyone

my family
Originally uploaded by mygothlaundry
Thanks so much, y'all, for all the kind comments and the sweet emails and the flowers and food and so on and so on. I am blessed and humbled and very, very grateful.

This is, I think, the best of the internet. Without it, I wouldn't have been able to keep in touch with so many old friends and I wouldn't have met so many new friends. I'm deeply touched that you are all kind enough to share your sympathies and thoughts with me and with my family. There's a whole community here and, well, words fail me.

I haven't been able to write much over the last few days; I'm kind of wiped out but I have been reading here and there and, just, thank you. Thank you all so much.