The other day, it must have been Wednesday, Kara wanted to know if work was starting to interfere with my blogging lifestyle. While that answer is “no,” it does seem like Life itself is messing with my blogging.
Tuesday I started to tell you about our six inches of wet snow and the additional havoc it was wreaking upon our benighted little trees, already severely damaged by the soggy September snow. But then I decided it was probably more important to shovel said snow, and once I started, I didn’t really stop all day, shoveling sidewalks, decks, roofs and driveways.
Whether it was this hard labor after months of very little activity or something else I don’t know, but Wednesday morning I experienced what I believe was a baby migraine, starting with a 15-minute light flare in my left eye during blogger prime time. I didn’t get a crushing headache, just an achy one that left me feeling puny and off my feed for the rest of the day, possibly into Thursday.
And while I dithered about how much enthusiasm I had for Thanksgiving, my lifelong friend Kristi Baril got to spend her holiday in the hospital, where her mother’s episode of severe confusion got diagnosed as her fourth transischemic attack (TIA), or mini-stroke.
Of all the things to express gratitude for, I am particularly thankful that Kristi moved her parents close to her when she did, which is also closer to many more critical care options.
So Kristi was going to have her Thanksgiving a day late, which was the day we learned that in addition to my mom’s brother, a different uncle — this one on my stepdad’s side of the family — is having major health issues of his own. Two uncles and a dear family friend all in hospitals . . . it starts to feel a bit much, sometimes. (None of these involve covid, thankfully.)
And then there’s just a welter of decisions, which are never my best thing anyway, but these days they seem overwhelming, and when Lynn gets exasperated because I won’t tell her what I want for the next meal, it’s because it’s a decision too far.
Some of these are stupid, obviously easy decisions that I still can’t make. Like my old truck that came back to me. It sat in the driveway for a week or so, and then I took it to my mechanic shop, where it sits, waiting for me to make a decision.
It should be a no-brainer: the repair estimate started at $2,000, plus a new set of tires ($$$), then went up another $800 when they power-washed the undercarriage and identified the sources of two leaks. This is all for basic tune-up-type stuff. If the transmission goes, now we’re into serious money on a rusty 40-year-old truck.
But every time I get ready to go talk to Randy, the mechanic’s assistant who has several trucks like mine and would like to add mine to his collection, I hesitate. And make no decision.
Then there are decisions where I figure whatever move I make will be wrong, and all the advice I have received conflicts. For the business I applied for the Paycheck Protection Program, which was primarily intended to be a convoluted grant to small businesses but is framed as a loan.
To avoid repaying the money, which is due some vague date in the future at a low interest rate that starts at some secret time, one must file for forgiveness. First there was one form; then the Small Business Administration changed it; then it added an “EZ,” then an “S”; rumors abounded but have yet to happen that the federal government was just going to forgive all loans under $250,000, or maybe that was $50,000. We were told to wait, but I don’t want to wait too long.
My accountant has been completely silent; an accountant I consulted with feels this money, like some program during the Obama years where student debt was forgiven, will not be taxed; my neighbor Lisa’s accountant had her set aside tax money.
The advance from another loan program, billed as a grant but now considered a loan, has rolled into the PPP and must be paid back; after listening to some SBA official on a county Zoom, whose opacity was beyond Rudy Giuliani’s comprehension, you have to decide whether you were on an eight- or 24-week time frame. If it was before “4 June” (who talks like that?), it’s eight weeks — unless you want it to be 24. And if it was 12, well, he didn’t answer that.
He could not tell me if congress would ever get around to a blanket forgiveness. “Is it Tuesday?” he asked. I’m not sure why all these bureaucrats think their lack of answers is worth joking about.
I guess I will move forward with Form S, but I hold a deep conviction that the minute I submit it, word will come down that the forms aren’t necessary for the small loans like I got, or that additional money will be placed in the accounts of those who have not yet filed for forgiveness, or something that will cause me to go the most painful route possible.
And speaking of painful, I finally decided yesterday that in this screwy year the event that I enjoy most of all, the festive Pat’s holiday party, is causing me more stress than I realized.
It’s been clear for some time that we won’t be having our traditional party, which involves a sit-down dinner in close quarters of 20-30 people and a lot of laughing. And so I debate: try to host something outside in Gunnison in December, which perhaps isn’t even allowed because it would be a “personal gathering” rather than an “event,” or put it on the computer?
While the computer route would allow Pat’s peeps from afar to attend, I worry about it disenfranchising a couple of employees, past and current, who may not own computers and may pay by the minute for their phones.
I worry about where I find the energy to make this a party instead of a sad little Zoom conference call, although perhaps not as sad as listening to an obtuse SBA administrator. I read some on-line party instruction yesterday about finding decorative backdrops and thought, Yeah, that’s not happening.
Skipping the party altogether doesn’t feel like an option to me: we are going to make it to the end of this not-very-good year, which seems worthy of celebration, and we’re going to have some, if not all, the money we need (it depends on how many times the feds are going to change their minds about assistance programs already awarded and those that might never be) to get to next July, which is the goal every December.
But so far my enthusiasm for logistics is failing me as much as my ebullience for Thanksgiving for most of Thursday. Here’s what happened, though: somewhere later in the afternoon Lynn started on a pie and wrapped the turkey tenderloin in bacon while I dug out potatoes and set them to boil while gathering the ingredients for the green beans as specified by our friend Carol.
We didn’t sit down to our meal until around 6, but it all came together and was quite nice. Never really a fan of turkey, I’ve decided the only way to eat it going forward is to wrap it in bacon, because then it becomes delectable.
It’s true: bacon does make everything better. Now I just have to figure out how to get bacon to help with all my large decisions.