Archive for the ‘Overextended Family’ Category

Mortality checks

Mr. Yenta’s father did pass away as it seemed he might. We got down to Florida just in time. Mr. Yenta, his brother and sister-in-law and I flew down together, picked Mom up and rushed over to the hospital to say good-bye – sort of. No one’s sure if he knew we were there, but we hope that he sensed it. That was Monday night and he died at about 3 AM Tuesday morning. He was 90 and although he was admitted to the hospital with pneumonia he really died of a total system shut down more than anything. Died of old age is what it really was. He did pretty well. A long life well lived. He was loved by his family and well regarded by just about anyone who knew him. Can’t ask for much more in this life.

Dad was in the news business from the time he was 17 until he retired, about 49 years later, with four years out for WWII. He worked for the same organization the whole time, working his way up from copy boy to senior copy editor of a major publication. At work he came to be regarded and somewhat ferocious. At home – not ferocious in the least. Once in a while, though, he did mention his low regard for graduates from journalism school. He wasn’t a famous journalist, but he certainly was a seasoned one. His death was sandwiched in between two more famous names in different areas of the media.

One the hour and a half drive from the airport to Mom’s place we listened to reminiscences about Jim McKay on the car radio. We all remembered him from Wide World of Sports and various Olympics at the least. He’d died over the weekend. He was a couple of years younger than Dad. All part of the long good-bye to the Greatest Generation.

Upon arriving home we learned that Tim Russert had just died. Did not see that one coming at all. Fifty-eight. Prime of life and, in his case, career. My exact age. WTF, Tim? I’m sorry for his whole family, but especially Big Russ. And Mrs. Big Russ if she’s still with us. We know Big Russ alive and well because Terry McAuliffe had to be corrected on Meet the Press when he made the unfortunate assumption that Big Russ was keeping up with current events from Heaven. Really awkward moment there. Although it’s pretty great to have a son who is incredibly successful and famous and then he writes a book about you – in a good way – to boot, but any father in the world would rather have his son outlive him and give up the rest if he was given a choice in the matter. This has got to be a very sad Father’s Day for Big Russ.

Friday Night Grandkid Blogging

Cowboy Joe

Saloonkeep, gimme another juicebox – straight up!

Happy Mother’s Day

Happy Mother\'s Day

To all of us Moms, Grandmas, Aunts, Older Sisters, Men with some maternal instincts and any other mothers not listed here. Happy day.

Friday Grandkid Blogging

Mr. Yenta and Joey

Mr. Yenta, more informally known as Bapa, and grandson, at the ecology park last year.

Friday Grandchildren Blogging

Shoeless Joey

Just call me Shoeless Joey

Monday, Monday

Well, we’re supposed to be sitting here in anticipation of Barack Obama’s appearance on The Daily Show tonight, but it looks like I’ll have to wake everyone up when it starts. Husband, sister, cats and the dog are all draped around the living room, sound asleep. It’s been a busy Monday.

I left work for a while to go to the doctor with Mr. Yenta. Wives often go to the doctor with their husbands if there’s a possibility of something being seriously amiss. This is not for moral support. It’s because we can never get the exact right information from our husbands. They don’t exactly recall what the doctor said, they’re not sure what, if anything, they’re supposed to do now, except in the most general way. Requests for specifics are seldom satisfied. On the whole, it’s just easier to go along and find out for yourself. In this case, it probably wasn’t necessary because everything was fine. A sonogram had shown something on his one remaining kidney and the urologist had ordered a CT Scan to see what it was. It was nothing. We were pretty relieved. Giddy even. We’ve been through enough tests that turned up Something that we don’t automatically assume Nothing anymore.

Then we got home and the euphoria ended. We learned that the bass player’s (the who lives in our spare room and is in the same band as our son) sister had died. She was only in her thirties so it really is very sad. It wasn’t unexpected. She’s been very sick for a long time. She lived halfway across the country and he’s been going to visit her whenever the band isn’t on the road. Now, of course, the band is going out on tour later this week, so in addition to getting a flight to halfway across the country he’s got to figure out if he can meet up with them in time for the first scheduled gig, which is a situation he really can’t control. The New Yorker magazine has run this boilerplate before their Nightlife Listings for as long as I can remember:

Musicians and night-club proprietors live complicated lives; it’s advisable to call ahead to confirm engagements.

It’s true. It’s not all arrests and rehab, you know. From time to time a venue has closed, or been closed by some governmental agency, for instance. Sometimes a performer gets rushed to an emergency room and fails to regain consciousness in time for load-in. But sometimes it’s just that musicians’ schedules don’t easily accommodate their lives. For the most part, they make that work by not having lives – not normal ones, anyway. They work tired, they work sick, sometimes they work when family members are getting married, having babies, graduating from things. Forget birthdays, including their own or most holidays. But sometimes you just have to show up for family, no matter where else you’re supposed to be. They’ll work this out. It’s all part of the deal.

We’re Number One!

Long Island at top of state’s mortgage crisis

Suffolk and Nassau counties accounted for 33 percent of subprime loans that were made in 2006 in New York State and that are now in foreclosure, according to a report to be released Friday by the Empire Justice Center, a nonprofit law firm that advocates for low-income families.

The analysis, based on data from the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, shows Long Island at the top of the mortgage crisis in the state, the Albany-based center said. The group will publicize the 80-page report, which will show foreclosure and default rates across the state and also talk about solutions and the impact on minority communities.

Long Island’s one-third foreclosure rate equates to 12,936 subprime loans, the report said.

At the same time, Long Island has 30 percent of all subprime loans scheduled to reset before October 2009, according to the study of subprime loans given out in 2006.

The articles cites aggressive mortgage sales and overinflated prices as the prime reasons for Long Island winning this honor. No doubt, but my best advice to avoid this kind of thing is don’t live on an island.  We’re developed from one end to the other now. There’s no longer the option to find affordable housing by moving farther out east, away from NYC.  Leaving Long Island, which a lot of people are doing, involves picking up stakes and changing your job, moving away from family and friends.  Could be that if you’re priced out of Westchester County, NYC’s northern suburb, you can find something in Rockland or Orange County without so much disruption.  And maybe it’s a little easier to find affordable rentals on the mainland. It couldn’t be much harder.

A lot of this is why I believe it might be time to embrace the post-nuclear, multi-generational family, instead of fighting it.  Our kids might not be homeowners, but at least they’re not  in danger of foreclosure and a default judgment on a mortgage in excess of a home’s value. We might not have an empty nest, but we don’t have to leave home to babysit.  Not that a nice quiet condo doesn’t sound pretty good sometimes….