The morning started out rough with me feeling like the Human Torch. Tylenol acted as the bucket of water. I resisted filling the Vanco Rx, which was the right decision, so far. I’m feeling better tonight. I spoke to my stomach doctor on the phone today and he allowed me to move up to Ensure, telling me that four of these a day would provide me with the protein and nutrients I needed. (But not much eating satisfaction.) Unfortunately, they don’t come in an M&M’s flavor. So, I had to violate the liquid diet this afternoon and eat a handful, or two, or three of real M&M’s. Though I did chew them up until they became liquid-like.
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My gardener came by in the afternoon. I hired someone else to do some water-saving landscaping. He did a crappy job and I got hosed for over $1,100. I didn’t really complain to my gardener about it. I just mentioned it in a matter-of-fact kind of way. I may have to go to small claims court for the first time in my life and my gardener may get the job after all.
So, there I was mentioning the botched job the other guy did when my gardener told me that he had purchased over 100 acres of land way north of here where he and his family would one day create a farm with corn and cows. And he’d retire there. Watch his kids work the land. Milk the cows. Eat the corn.
That’s really cool, I thought. Really cool.
He needed water on the land to do all of this. Of course. Corn needs it to grow. Cows drink it to survive. Makes sense. So he hired a guy to drill a well, which was going to cost him around 50K. He gave him 10K to start, then inspected the progress which was going fine. He gave the driller another 24K. The work stopped and the lawyers came out and the driller declared bankruptcy. My gardener got a half-dug hole and lost his life savings.
I knew he worked hard for that money, in the dirt. It didn’t come easy.
He wanted me to know because, I think, he, like many of us, wanted to share a painful story. And because he wanted to give me some perspective on what losing real money is like. I didn’t lose my life savings. He did. I wasn’t complaining, but my story triggered his.
When he told me it was going to cost him 25K to fill the hole, well, what can you say at that point. Of course I said something stupid like, can’t you just fill it in with dirt? Wrong, you can’t. According to the government, a 50K hole has a proper way it has to be filled. That put an end to my talking about my $1,100 hit to the wallet.
The situation reminded me of the times over the years when I’ve listened to someone talk about their health issues – they had the flu and had to stay in bed for three days, or they had knee surgery and stayed overnight in the hospital. Of course I’m thinking if you only knew how many days I’ve racked up in the hospital, my friend, if you only knew. But I keep my mouth shut in those situations. And I wish I had today.