My apologies for disappearing again. I had to leave for Florida’s Treasure Coast to help Mum deal with her older brother. He is in a home, and my Mum is the only one who would be his guardian. His children and ex-wife want nothing to do with him. I don’t blame them for not wanting the burden — my Uncle was (and still is) and alcoholic asshole.
Surrounded by the geriatric masses I was freaked out when time and again I was the youngest person in the restaurant or store by 20+ years. No one had wireless, and the Panaera I got breakfast at chased me out because I got my food to go, and there was a pack of Q-tips who wanted the seats near me.
I did see some things that I thought were very interesting:
- I only saw 5-10 Blacks or Hispanic people while there.
- Older people are cheap. Epically so. Talking with a waitress I found out that her average tip was about 8%.
- At a giant flea market, 99% of the vendors were selling stuff you would find here in a strip mall in New England. Barber shops, pet stores, cell phone accessories, clothes, etc.
- The stores and restaurants were all closing down, as 50% of the population is comprised of snowbirds, who are about to migrate north.
- Packing up a condo is a LOT of work. I did it in four 16-hour days. Most was donated to charity.
- People buy the weirdest stuff at yard sales. One woman bought all the half-empty cleaners and such under the sink for $10, and another guy bought a broken digital alarm clock for $1.
- Gas is expensive. $4.26 for premium, $4.11 for the “cheap stuff”
- There is no reason to live in Florida. It’s too hot. Has too many old people. And fifteen miles from the coast I was only feet above sea level.
So I burned all my paid time off for an Uncle who tortured me as a child, because my unemployed brother was “too busy.” At least I got a pound and a half of junk silver coins out of the deal. The Uncle is going onto medicaid, the condo is sold, and all of his assets will be seized. At least Mum won’t have to deal with this crap any longer.
A good friend has a unique perspective on family, as he was adopted. He feels you pick your family, and blood means nothing. He’s done a lot for his family over the years, and his parents won’t drive 20 miles to be part of their grand-children’s lives. He considers me more of his brother, then the brothers he grew up with. These days I tend to agree. My brother is a moocher, and he’s been cut off.
I never hear from my Father’s side of the family. He has been exiled, and therefore I have been too. I guess the moral of this story is you can only count on a few people, and blood relations is not as strong indicator as most think.