Like most of my life the past 8 years have had its ups and downs but mostly ups and even the downs turned into something positive!
On July 20, 2008, I went into the hospital to have an aorta valve replacement operation and when I came out I unexpectedly had a 3-4 month spell of depression which I had never experienced before--the doctor, knowing it could happen to all heart operation patients, never warned me--won't go into it because during that period I posted a few blogs so that in the future if anyone wanted to know about it I could refer them to my experience before, during and after. As I said even the downs turned into something positive--on July 21, an hour before I was rolled into the operating room I had my last cigarette and after about 60 years of smoking 2-3 packs a day I stopped and have not had a cigarette for 5 years and have not missed it once and have no problem being with smokers!
On January 17, 2007, Robert Iguizi died. I have written about him in a previous chapter--we had worked together at the Crabhouse and he decided to move back to New Jersey and would come down a couple of times a year. Robert was a big gambler and we would go to the Hard Rock Casino and he would use my machine card so I would get thousands of credits, consequently I would get complimentary tickets to many concerts that continued for almost two years after his death. I got to see: Joan Rivers, Al Jarreau, George Benson, Steely Dan and Michael McDonald, a Doo Wop concert, Rick Springfield, Eddie Money, Loverboy and Scandal, Commodores, O'Jays, Robert Klein and Pat Cooper just to name a few.
Chuck and Terry came down on August 12, 2006, December 18, 2010 and for my Leap Year birthday in February, 2008. They missed my 19th Leap Year birthday but they better start saving their pennies for my 20th in 2016.
I was getting royalty checks for my books plus I was getting 'help' from various sources such as winning $400 from Play4 in June, 2006, and then again in August not to forget 2 years later also in August the 'stimulus check' plus another Play4, this time for $200 but then I had a dry spell until November 14, 2011 when I won another $400 and some royalties started drifting in again. I finally made some money with the Fantasy5 on January 9, 2012 winning $555.
The main thing about money was that I finally, after 70 years (?) learned how to live within my income which still amazes me! I don't use a credit card unless I know I can pay it in full at the end of the month which is a strange feeling. I cut back when I have to but my biggest saving is not having a car which I will get into during the next, and hopefully last, chapter. I do have to start rewriting, editing and adding the X rated material!! :O) And loving to eat out I always look for and clip 2-4-1 meal coupons plus Groupons. If you had told me 30 years ago I would be clipping coupons I would have laughed for hours!
Sadly as one gets older one loses old friends and that was/is happening to me. After the death of Flo in the early 1980s and then the deaths associated with the AIDS crisis I decided not to go to funerals again and I haven't. I really prefer thinking of people being alive and being who they are/were. Anita died on March 23, 2010, Robert Schink, my longest friend in Fort Lauderdale died March 16, 2010, Bernie, who I had so much history with and was a major part of my life, died February 26, 2012, and was buried on my birthday February 29. I could list a lot of people who I miss like Emily who made me special cakes and pies and always said she wish I had been her son--she was about 10 years older than me--and living at Gateway made up mostly of people in their 80s and 90s, death is always around. Some time when I was young I was told that people you love who die become your guardian angels, always hovering around to see how you aredoingandgiving you a slap on the head when you are about to do something stupid! I haven't gotten too many slaps lately so I must be doing a lot of smart things or, at least, not getting into trouble or caught!