We had a nice day, going into Baltimore to buy some candy at Rheb's. While there, we saw our former neighbor who works in the store. The store is located in our old neighborhood, and we used to walk 1/2 a city block to get there. The candy is really good, and there were lots of people buying their candy today. They are always busy this time of year.
The little candy factory is in the basement of a townhouse on Wilkens Avenue, and the candy is sold in a converted garage made into a store behind the candy factory. One year, they bought out free samples for people who were waiting in line. The samples were quite edible, just not "perfect" enough to make it into a Rheb's candy box.
The factory hires seasonal help to make all their Christmas candy, and the factory is kept busy almost day and night during the days before Christmas.
So, I told our former neighbor we were going down the street to visit her aunt. That small neighborhood houses a lot of their relatives, which is nice.
We dropped in on Sandy, and she was surprised. Of course, she said her house was a mess, but really it was like ours, so we felt at home. She is a bit older than we are, and has 2 grown kids in their 40's. Her mother lives with her, and her husband was off driving a truck. They have a farm in Delmar, Delaware with 50 acres, and an old farm house, where they hope to retire someday, but with the economy being the way it is, they just don't know how long it will be before John can quit his job, and move to Delaware.
They bought the farm back in the 80's, when the price was just $120K. Now it's worth much more than that, because there are people who want to buy a farm with horse stables in that area, and there aren't that many of them available.
John and Sandy are planning to build a new home, and tear down the old one.
Anyway, it was nice to see someone from the old Baltimore days. As neighbors, we shared so many memories.
Then we went to Wendy's to eat. There was a Santa Claus there, but we were the only customers in the place. The real action was across the highway at the new Super Walmart, with a lot of other eateries available. I wonder if this Wendy's can stay in business.
We went over to Walmart, and found it to be busy, but bigger than the either of the 2 Walmarts we have in Frederick. It was nicely laid out, to display all of their pots and pans, and kitchen stuff. I only wish I had a bit more browsing time.
We went from there to my parent's old house, where my brother and sister still live. It had changed, and fortunely, they had taken up the old smelly carpet, and gotten rid of the 2 cats who weren't using the litter box. They did clean up some stuff since I'd seen it last.
My brother was the only one home when we got there, and we had a nice talk. I didn't bring up the will yet, because I needed to feel him out, and find out how his health is, and what's going on between him and my sister. He opened up to us more than he ever had before, and I was grateful he was talkative. It is hard for him, because he suffered a stroke about 5 years ago, and has trouble enunciating his words.
Joe has been paying the utility bills, and keeping Wendy afloat, while she waited for a judgement on a SSI case. She is going to receive a settlement soon, which will help her get back on her feet. She has gained at least 50 pounds, and looks very tired. She is bi-polar, and on about 11 different medications.
Compared to their lives, my life looks like a piece of cake. It did me good to see them, and they were happy to see me. It might have been the box of candy I'd bought for each of them. :D
Just kidding. I know they really love me, but sometimes it's hard to stay connected to your siblings, when life takes you here and there. I found out through Joe that Wendy still has the same boyfriend, the boyfriend who stole money from my father when my father was dying. The boyfriend who is a drug addict.
Well, at least Joe doesn't do hard drugs anymore. I think he just smokes a little weed. He knows better, but only because of that stroke that almost took his life. He told me he does go to the doctors every 3 months, which is good. His right side is numb, so he can't drive, but I think he has a small motorized bike of some kind.
I had a nice talk with my niece Carrie who has taken up residence in the living room as her place to sleep, compute, and watch television. She is looking for her own place, and is working at the aforementioned Walmart.
I told her to look into the Lansdowne Apartments where I used to live. She said they had a 2 year waiting list. That was the same thing they had told me back in the 70's when I phoned to inquire about an apartment. Then, I had decided to go into the rental office there, and ask if I could put in my application.
Well, I was floored when the manager told me there was an apartment available within a month's time. I was happy, though, and the apartment was nice.
I told Carrie to just go visit the office. Maybe she could get an apartment sooner than she thinks.