The End of an Era

It was April, 1990. I was on the back deck, like every April, with a letter opener, digging out the accumulated gunk of yellow pine pollen, pine needles, and general nastiness from between the deck boards. The pine pollen, every spring, lay like a yellow blanket everywhere. 

The telephone rang inside the house. 

It was my mother-in-law, calling to say that they had bought a house. But not just any house. A house in a gated community on a gated island. A SECOND house. 

And I was on the back deck digging crud out from between the deck boards. Even though it was an outside job, which Mr. X had claimed responsibility of in 1978, when he said that his grandparents had an arrangement of taking care of household responsibilities that worked well and he would like to employ that method. His grandmother took care of things inside the house, and his grandfather took care of things OUTSIDE the house. This sounded positively ridiculous, and I said, “Then what would you do in the wintertime?”, which was followed with an even more ridiculous response. “Wait for spring.”

This as the kind of twisted logic that I would be dealing with. So, as I squatted on the back deck dislodging pine yuck, I was annoyed and disheartened that I was cleaning up debris that life offered me, while Mr. X was off playing golf or at the gym, while his parents had worked and accumulated enough capital to buy a second home on the beach. 

Fast forward to late September, 2015. Both in-laws are deceased, and the house has been sold. There’s one last task to be accomplished. One last set of bedroom furniture has to be moved out, and it falls to me to make it happen. 

I don’t have a truck, and Ole Yeller can’t pull a trailer because she’s too little, plus I don’t have a trailer or trailer hitch. Sugar has a van and a trailer and a hitch, but this is not his job to clean up. There are no small rental trucks in the several little surrounding towns, only trailers. 

So in a last ditch effort, I ask the big Internet for help, and one person responds. She is the person I would have asked for help anyway, but I wasn’t willing to go to that well one more time. She is the person that always, always helps. Could someone else please help? But no, it seems that it will be the two of us with a combined age of approximately 128 years, moving a set of bedroom furniture consisting of two twin beds, mattresses, box springs, a night stand, and a chest of drawers. 

Sugar is feeling a mite guilty for not helping, even though this is not his circus and not his monkeys. He can’t quite understand my attachment to this family, even though he knows I was married to this family longer than I was a single person. 

He decides to do this thing. 


The ride out to the barrier islands takes about an hour. We have to cross several waterways. 

This takes place a few days after the supermoon, and the tide is coming in. The tide is never this high, not in all the years of crossing these waterways. The water is never this calm. The color of the water is never this color. The clouds are never this majestic. This is a once-in-a-lifetime viewing. 

Sleep well, all. We’re thinking of you. 


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