Plot Synopsis (for newer readers): My 83-year old mother has been living with my niece, DQ, and her husband, BJ, and their spawn (17-year-old DQ, Jr. and 4-year-old DQ, III) and feral animals, for three years. The plan was to renovate Mom’s old house – building on an addition for her - in six months. Mom would finance the renovations. BJ would do most of the work. In return, Mom ‘paid’ BJ in advance, with 17 acres of wooded land that allows him to kill deer and turkeys to his little redneck heart’s content.
There was a bit of “requirements creep” along the way. Not just a small apartment for Mom, but also a substantial Master Suite for DQ and BJ. On top of the existing 3-bedroom house. Since Mom set it up so that the deed to the wooded acreage transfers to my niece when she dies? There is little incentive for BJ to finish the renovation. Also very little incentive for my niece and her husband to keep Mom alive – other than the stream of funding they suck out of her to pay their bills and provide a continual infusion of fast food into the household…
Update: Slow progress on renovations (three years so far), despite the fact that BJ has been laid off, collecting unemployment compensation, with plenty of free time to renovate. In theory. Since the last update, heating and air conditioning has been installed. Siding is up. No estimated “move in” date, however, as no one down there seems to understand the concept of a ‘deadline’. Mom hasn’t told them that they don’t get the house if she dies before it’s done – she left that for me to handle after she’s gone.
Although i’ve managed to dissociate myself with much of the horse shit in the familial trailer park, i still call Mom every Sunday night around 10pm. The call last Sunday was particularly frustrating…
daisyfae: Hey, Momma-chick, it’s daisyfae! How’s it going?
Mom: STOP THAT! [sounds of snuffling, growling]
daisyfae: What’s going on?
Mom: GET BACK FROM THERE! That’s not yours! [more snuffling]
daisyfae: What the hell is going on, Mom?
Mom: Oh, that nasty dog is trying to bite me… Hey! STOP THAT!
daisyfae: Hit it with your cane! Jesus, Mom! Do you want me to call you back so you can beat it?
Mom: No. QUIT IT!
Things settled down. She pushed the dog back with the cane, and then hollered for the 17-year-old, DQ, Jr. to come and take care of her dog.
daisyfae: Wait – DQ and BJ left you there to take care of the animals while they went off on another riding* trip? But DQ, Jr. is there on her lazy ass while you take care of her fucking dog?
Mom: I swear, this is the nastiest** dog…
daisyfae: Has there been ANY progress on the house?
Mom: Oh, I guess. Things might actually be worse when we move in there. Right now? They’ll take me with them when they go to the store***… After we move? They’ll probably just leave me in the back room by myself.
daisyfae: Right. You like it this way…
Mom: Who knows what’s… [WAILING in the background] DQ, III? What happened?
DQ, III: MY FINGER’S BLOODY! WAAAAAAAAH!
Mom: Come here – let me look… Oh, that’s not too bad. Go get DQ, Jr. and have her wash it and put a bandaid on it…
DQ, III: WAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAH! It’s blood. IT’S BLOOD!
Mom [yelling down hallway]: DQ, Jr? Come here and take care of DQ, III’s cut.
daisyfae: Seriously. i can call back later…
Mom: No, it’s ok. It’s not a bad cut… [to DQ, Jr.] Did you put Bactine on it first?
daisyfae: So let me get this straight – they left on vacation for the weekend, left the 17-year-old there with you, but you’re taking care of the 4-year-old AND the smelly dogs? Mom? This ain’t right… And why the hell is the kid still up at 10:30pm? She’s FOUR?
Mom: It’s fine…
DQ, III: Granny, is my Mommy coming home?
Mom: Yes, she’s on her way home.
DQ, III: Is it because I got a boo-boo?
Mom: No, they were headed home already.
DQ, III: Did you call her? Is she coming home because I’m hurt?
Mom [sighs]: Yes… she’s coming home because you got a boo-boo.
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* They have no discretionary income. They just bought another 4-wheeler. Mud-hoppin’ dune buggy thing. They drive 400 miles to go play around in the muck for a weekend. Because they need a vacation. Life is so stressful when you don’t money or jobs…
** Another great idea when you have no job and no money? Spend $500 to purchase a dog. Shar Pei. The kinds that are prone to skin disorders and allergies. You know. The stuff that leads to ridiculous veterinarian bills?
*** Because they can just throw a few things in her cart to get her to pay for them… Or maybe stop for food at McD’s on the way back. Or make a quick stop for gas…