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Progress

 

I'd been faithfully saving up aluminum drink cans for quite some time and finally had two big bags full, so this morning I took them over to the recycler, who in turn gave me a voucher for a nearby supermarket. I picked up stuff I usually don't get, including the nice, spicy carnations in the picture (at left) as a visual treat. Such are the simple satisfactions of the low-budget lifestyle. It's a lot like being a hunter-gatherer, except that the prey you're stalking is the exceptional bargain. (The textured green glass vase, btw, came from the 99-Cent store--a cool find for a buck.)

On other fronts, a friend's life seems to be falling apart at the seams, and I've been trying to help in the analysis/bolstering process. Spent about four hours writing a lengthy e-mail back to her today when I should technically have been 'gainfully' employed. Then, on a break, I walked down the driveway to put some mis-delivered letters back in the mailbox out at the street, and on passing the neighbors' house, heard the obvious sounds of loud disagreement/fighting. It made me wince for them.

But it also made me realize how smoothly things have been running here for a number of years now. There was a time, before The Split, that my home felt like a battlefield awaiting the inevitable mortar attack, and the first few years on my own with the boys (14, 13, 9 and 7 at that point) were really rough at times. But we've always gotten along well; the older boys have mellowed and grown, and the younger two have blossomed, and the only loud sound you're likely to hear from outside this house is the laughter. There's a good bit of that.

And that's a very good thing.

 

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