Time flies, doesn’t it?
It’s been almost two years to the day since I last published anything on this blog. I heartily regret this in many ways, since I’ve always enjoyed writing for pleasure…I never much cared who or how many might actually be reading what was on my mind, it was its own reward. I have missed it, and I can at least say that I have not been entirely idle in the meanwhile.
My friends may recall that back in 2010, in the same week I was finally confined to a power wheelchair, I moved my mom here to get her out of Mordor-On-The-Potomac, also known as Washington, D.C. I’d long wanted her out of that nest of vipers, but my original plan to help her obtain a small home in Tennessee (in town, but definitely Not-Here) went out the window when disability bit me. In that week in the autumn of 2010, not only did I trade my legs for wheels, but my then-housemate took off for greener pastures…in the process sticking me with three months of her rent unpaid.
It seemed a good idea at the time, as the cliche goes, to replace her with a family member who needed a place to live and was unlikely to stiff me for her share of the expenses.In some ways this worked out as planned, in others…well, not so much.
Suffice to say that my mom was, as expected, of the same mercurial temperament that I’d always recalled from my…let’s call it somewhat unusual…youth, often downright irrational and unpleasant. The next four years were largely an ongoing soap opera of drama and pathos that I really could have done without, to be candid. At the time I was still becoming progressively more disabled, and as many of you recall the summer of 2011 is when I inaugurated my ‘Get Glenn Mobile’ fundraising blog. On top of that, I’d begun composing fairly regular opinion pieces for publication, so I was kept fairly busy, more so with trying to make my mom comfortable and attend to her needs along with the other tasks demanding my attention. Happily, the blog culminated in the last weeks of 2013 in its wholly unexpected success and my acquisition of the modified Honda Element that allowed me finally to board and drive a vehicle while in my power wheelchair…but life was still working some mischief for me.
In the last blog entry, I demonstrated to my great pleasure that I could still operate the X-WAV safely in my condition, as documented here by my account of the two solo road trips I made, with accompanying video. This is where I left off.
Now, I was thrilled beyond measure to have actually succeeded in my quest, and was and remain eternally thankful to everyone who contributed to it, including, I must add, even my mom, whose contribution late in the game was the proceeds of the sale of her decade-old Toyota that she’d stopped driving a couple of years prior to that. I give her real credit for her help, it provided the last couple of thousand bucks needed to complete the deal. However, several factors became evident at this time:
First, though those two road trips were completed safely and successfully beyond even my expectations, the debilitating fatigue that comes with my disorder had also increased significantly over the intervening years. I found to my dismay that after each short trip, all the transferring to and from seats, driving, and enjoying the activities at my destination took an enormous bite out of my energy reserves. I found my body simply unplugging and needing twelve or more hours of sleep, in fact.
Though a bitter pill to swallow, the reality was that even with my awesome X-WAV at hand, my long-hoped-for plan to get out in the world and engage people on a regular basis was shot. It might not have been my fault, but I still felt like a louse, since a big part of the fundraiser’s purpose was to incorporate more chances to persuade regular people outside of my previously limited circle of movement of the benefits of liberty and a truly free market for everyone’s betterment. I’m still dealing with that feeling even though it’s tempered by the plain fact that my fatigue level increasing was sure not my idea or desire.
At the same time, I found to my real displeasure that purposes I felt so vital to me, my desire to write, to create, to reach out to try to get people considering alternatives to the status quo, were all rapidly leaving me.The 2012 elections were over. Ron Paul was retiring after renouncing his bid for the presidency. And on top of that, here was Obama beginning another dismal term where his lethal excesses in the drone strikes and endless foreign wars, collectivist social policies, and destructive economic policies were inflicted on the public afresh. And the hell of it was that so many of the people (though by no means all, thank goodness!) just didn’t seem to care. Like Madeline Kahn in ‘Blazing Saddles,’ I was tired.
Then on the home front, my mom seemed to redouble her efforts to discourage every move I made at increasing my independence and doing things.To tell the truth, all of my efforts only made her angry, almost furious at every turn. I discovered she’d been telling her few friends that she’d moved here not to escape D.C., not to live without its insane cost of living crushing her, but to ‘take care’ of me, of all things. Now, I have no intention of creating some maudlin ‘Mommy Dearest’ type of narrative here, only to convey the basic facts, but to be entirely forthright her idea of ‘care’ was akin to caring for a potted plant at best. Those of you who come from dysfunctional families probably have a better grasp than most on how things were, but the overall effect was yet another sucker punch delivered to me after the others I’ve described, one that simply tipped me over for a while.
My mom passed away in late 2014 from a case of cancer she’d evidently been concealing for years (there’s more of that drama and pathos she loved so well, I’m afraid), and though hardly a large amount, the life insurance benefit she left was enough to have her decently cremated, pay some current expenses, and give me a breather to modify my life to get by with just my disability income fueling it. Maybe I’m a trouble magnet, but for now I’ve had my fill of parasites and opportunists over the past few years sabotaging my life with their toxic antics, so I’m going it solo for now. Probably not forever, my own gregariousness and the fact that I honestly like the company of real people will see to that eventually! In the intervening time, I’ve had gratifying results in cutting my expenses to a bare minimum while still operating at a sustainable level, and even allowing me to enjoy a few of my pleasures and pursuits that have always been a part of who I am and that I’m still capable of enjoying.
In the last few weeks, I’ve finally been able to really relax for the first time in a long time…I may be on impulse power, but I’ve reached a pretty steady equilibrium here. Most encouragingly, I’ve gotten to the point of being under two years from my mortgage being paid off…a powerful motivator, believe it. I find myself looking forward again to what the future will bring, and even resumed my efforts in aeromodelling again by constructing a transmitter for my radio controlled aircraft that I can comfortably use for full control of them with my one functional hand…something that’s been a major obstacle in my enjoyment of the sport for several years.
Even better, I’ve been pleasantly surprised to find that my limited opinion threads on Facebook and elsewhere no longer wipe me out after only a small effort expended. Pushing the boundaries, talking with my friends via IM even for hours hasn’t caused me to nap for hours afterwards…it might not sound like much to healthy people, but you can take it from me, this is a huge improvement from the last couple of years.
First things first. Since I’ve missed the writing so acutely, today I determined to resume this blog, play catch-up a bit, and get it current. And wonder of wonders, I’ve composed this whole post in one sitting but I’m still feeling pretty fresh…hey, that’s Big Stuff for me at this point!
Along with periodic updates, since my former venue for my opinion columns, the American Daily Herald, is likely down for good, I thought it might be useful to re-publish a selection of my previously published essays here as well, on my own. I’ll never forget the help and support from my editors there, Dennis and Denise Behreandt, who first gave me that opportunity, and rest assured I’ll be following their ongoing adventures, but it’s time to get back to being productive again.
And, apart from writing new content as I can, I have business to take care of in other areas. Look for some new YouTube videos as I dig through the recordings I made over a year ago at Nashville’s 5 Spot, where many notables from the liberty community were in attendance for the Music City Friends of Liberty event. My friends like Dan Hagen have already published much of the fantastic music that he, the Furious Primates, and Cat Beach performed that evening, but I think I’m the only one who captured the hilarity of freedom lover Adam Kokesh and the inimitable Austrian economist and karaoke ninja Bob Murphy together onstage…you haven’t lived until you’ve seen these two dueling to out-smartass one another!
I’m back. Alive and thriving, if I may be so bold. There’s more content coming soon, so (man, it’s great to be able to say this again) STAY TUNED!