Yes, I’ve gotten older. But I have no intention of growing up…
Thursday, October 18, 2035
Don’t Have to Live Like a Refugee
Holá — Serena here. Dad overdid it again; we walked him up to the community center and uploaded his vitals to the nurse in town. She had him wait 20 minutes, took them again, and said he was okay, so now he’s taking a nap. Rene and I try to convince him (and Mo-Dad) to pace themselves, but do they listen? Ha. He’s gotten more like Mom since she died, he used to try to slack whenever he could but now it’s like he’s got to take her place and push himself to the limit and beyond. Mo-Dad isn’t much better, but he’s always been like that. Rene says he’s still trying to earn his place here, even though Dad said he’d earned it many times over. Anyway, Dad was singing this old song while helping finish the new apartments, hammering to the beat — he’s always had a weird sense of humor, but I guess he’s right. Our new guests really won’t have to live like refugees, the rooms are almost done and they’ll be pretty nice. Rene and I joked about taking one of the apartments and letting one of the new families have our rooms upstairs, but we won’t do that. We like having the upstairs when Kim and Christina come to visit, the kids sleep in one room and we stay up half the night in the other like we used to.
The people they were supposed to send to do the apartments never got here; they probably drank their fuel, but with all of us working on it we’re about done. All that’s left to do is paint the walls and ceilings, then roll out some foam and carpeting. Two days of work, three tops, and the guests will be here a week from tomorrow. Dad wanted to call it “Stable House,” since it used to be a garage, but Rene suggested “Carriage House” and Dad liked that better. Bobby’s looking forward to having two more kids more or less his age at the manor, and he’s been a huge help getting their new place ready. Big Sister and her family will take over the old “studio” building when they move in, but Pat (their kid) is a teenager and is already talking about more or less permanently camping out in the pasture shelter (not likely). He and Bobby have different orbits, they get along OK but just don’t have that much in common; otherwise we’d offer to let him share Bobby’s room. Big Sister said he’s a lot like Big Brother at that age, although he’s staying out of trouble and mostly keeping up with his schoolwork.
The tide’s starting to come in, a little higher with each high tide, at least on the Atlantic side. Californians joke about how they always expected to fall into the sea anyway, but it’s not going to start affecting them much for a few more months. The surge mostly has to work its way around the Patagonian and African capes, and the Bering Straits will be impassible going north for a long time to come. Ships are having a time getting through Gibraltar, for that matter. Spain and Morocco say they’re working on transfer points for ship cargo, because ships sailing into the Med will be stuck there for a couple of years, along with the ones that are already there, unless they get a really heavy tailwind. I’m working on a new play, about some people on a ship trying to get out of the Mediterranean, but it’s taking a while. I don’t guess it’ll be ready for Thanksgiving. Dad and I will probably do a sketch about something else; I doubt the guests will be in the mood to laugh about being flooded out any time soon.
Christina said people are already moving into the high-rises they converted down in Atlanta for the Floridians. There’s been a lot of grousing about the units, especially from the geezers who Dad says like to complain about everything. I guess some of the friction involves families sharing floors with people who lived in retirement (i.e. geezer-only) “communities,” and some of it’s about all the activities they’re used to doing but can’t now. Some of them want to try life in the burbs, but only people who don’t know what that’s like would consider it. It’s like living here, a bunch of people living together in the houses that are left, and a lot of busy-work to grow food and keep the infrastructure working. I don’t think the burbers would accept a bunch of people who won’t (or can’t) pull their weight. I suppose there are a few who would enjoy pitching in and being part of a productive community, though.
It’s kind of hard to believe our 10th anniversary’s coming up already — end of the month. Just one of those things… neither one of us were satisfied with anyone else we dated, so we finally realized that we weren’t going to be happy with anyone but each other! The parents were all surprised but really happy about it… Dad suggested we get married on Halloween, since it was a scary idea anyway, and we went with it. The surprise for me came when I got pregnant almost right away. I love Bobby, he’s a great kid and a lot of help around the manor, we just weren’t expecting him so quick. Dad said the Big Brother and Sister were both surprises, so even if I’m adopted it runs in the family, ha! I’m glad we’re not like Kim and Christina though… so much drama in that relationship. So much passion. Kim jokes about how they fight just for the make-up sex. I really like it that the guy I love is also my best friend, and Rene feels the same way. But it seems to work for them, their kids (yeah, two, but as smart as Christina is, nobody worries about that), and their work.
Time to start supper here soon; Rene just went out to start the fire in the outdoor kitchen. We’ll probably start cooking inside just before our anniversary, but that’s OK. There’s not as many bugs inside, but there’s not as much room to move around. With the new families moving in, we’ll probably butcher a cow for Christmas. Dad’s stirring, guess I better send this before he wakes up and wants to add commentary!