Wednesday, January 28, 2015


I was aware at a very early age that there are no happy endings. The fairy tales that we were unwittingly fed as children had altered endings with satisfactory resolutions in order to placate our fragile and yet-unsophisticated minds. Reality has a vicious bite and we weren't yet sufficiently prepared to handle it.

As a diehard realist since childhood, I was convinced that the Big Bad Wolf not only ate Granny, but Red Riding Hood as well. And the only repercussion was some slight indigestion.

Rapunzel, when she let her golden hair cascade down the side of the tower, was cited by the Neighborhood Beautification Committee and forced to get a buzz cut.

 Sleeping Beauty was snubbed by the Handsome Prince. Instead of giving Beauty a kiss that would awaken her, the Prince had his eye on a hunky farmer plowing a nearby field. The Prince galloped over to the astonished farmer, swooped him up, and they rode off into the sunset.
Whether or not they plowed together happily ever after is a matter of vigorous debate.

So what's your point, Jon?

There is no point. You simply caught me thinking out loud.

I had never expected my move to Tennessee to be absolutely perfect, because happy endings have never been part of my repertoire. Things have been going surprisingly well, but there are glitches.

What it mostly boils down to - I think - is that I'm completely exhausted, mentally and physically. The past few grueling years in Texas have finally caught up with me. And the entire harrowing process of moving has taken its toll. Being without furniture for six weeks wasn't exactly pleasant. And now that I have furniture, I don't know were the hell to put it.
Please don't give me any crude suggestions.

I love Tennessee. I love my rural location. I almost like my new house - except for the fact that it's too small. I miss the enormous amount of storage that my Texas house had.

I love the mountains & forests & snow - but somehow the bleakness and frigidity of winter has rendered me unmotivated. I have a million important things to do (I counted them) but all I really feel like doing is hibernating.
Incidentally, winter affected me the same way in Texas. Believe me, it got COLD there on the high plains.

The process of unpacking and sorting my stuff is agonizingly long and annoyingly unpleasant. I'm hesitant to open boxes because I have no place to put things. The garage is extremely damp and bitterly cold. There are hundreds of cardboard boxes and they are getting droopy with moisture.

a glimpse of my garage
Yesterday I got trapped amidst an avalanche of boxes and didn't think I'd ever get out alive. My hands were so numb from the cold that I couldn't move my fingers. My  cell phone (of course) was way over on the other side of the garage.

I eventually dug myself out and the effort wasn't pretty. I'd been working in the garage for over two hours with no coat or gloves - and it was 23 degrees. I admittedly was wearing two shirts and a sweat shirt.

Worst of all - -
It couldn't possibly get worse, Jon, could it?

I was horrified to discover that numerous items are mysteriously missing. I checked several times. I have a lot of stuff - the inventory was fifteen pages. Moving day was completely chaotic and I couldn't keep track of everything. I told the movers exactly what I wanted to take and what I wanted to leave. I trusted them.

There are two absolutes in life:
Happy endings don't exist
Never trust anybody.

Ironically, the missing items are things which I want the most:

My big tool box, which contains every tool that I ever owned - including many that belonged to my father.
ALL of my mother's piano music - which I cherished.
My mother's scrapbook, which contains priceless family photos.
A ten-drawer antique dresser.

and - let's have a drum roll here -
THIRTY volumes of my hand-written journals and diaries. Most of these were written in California and contain details of all of my concerts, love affairs, and adventures. It's a virtual gold mine.

I would willingly give up everything I own to have the journals and piano music back.

This blog post is too long. I'm eating breakfast as I'm writing this. After I finish my coffee I'm going back into the garage to resume my search.

If I'm not back in a couple of hours, call 911. Tell them to bring a defroster and the Jaws of Life.


  1. Oh Jon, I feel so bad about your missing items. Check again, I have a feeling your journals will turn up. Your tools? They're probably gone. I'm still missing things from my move in 2006. Of course I still have boxes (not too many now) to go through and empty in my basement storage room. I do hope you find all of your missing items. And about the "no happy endings." I have to disagree with you on that one. I do believe their are happy endings. For years and years I believed "there was one more big thing that was going to happen in my life." I told that to my good friends Bob Mc. and Ed C. (both gone now) and it has happened Jon. Of course the "it" is Pat who came out of nowhere to complete my life. My soulmate. My other me. And Jon, I am convinced, absolutely certain your "next big thing" will happen. Certain of it Jon. Just be a little more patient. You're in a good section of the country (natural beauty). And even though you're not in a metropolitan location you're not that far away if you want to go somewhere. But I do believe that you will meet someone who will complete your life. This isn't wishful thinking on my part Jon, I know it will happen. Just the way I knew you would sell your Texas house. And you will find those journals. The tool box? Maybe not. The family photos will show up too. The only thing I can't promise you is a Republican president in 2016.

    1. To hell with the Republican president. All I want are the journals and piano music. You were right when you predicted that I would move. I hope you will be right about a happy ending. Your comment is truly appreciated, Ron.

  2. I am glad that you are liking Tennesee so far, Jon. Always one of my favorite states. And being the eternal optimist, I still believe in happy endings :)

    1. Keith, your fairy tale does indeed have a happy ending - - and appropriately, it's in a beautiful part of Germany!

  3. Two things I always told my daughter: you don't always get what you want and liver is not always fair. Could you build on to the house? When we moved, things I thought were missing showed up eventually in another box.

    1. It's very difficult to build on to the house because of the mountainous slope, but I've thought about enclosing my back porch.

  4. remember at the end you were throwing things in boxes at breakneck speed just to get the fuck outta TX? yeah. what you are missing will show up at some point.

    1. I can only hope that it will show up in Tennessee......

  5. Like Ron, I suspect the tools will have to be replaced, but as for your journals and music, probability points to unopened boxes. They would provide no monetary incentive to thieves. This has a ways to go yet or I miss my guess. Is there someone you trust who likes getting into stuff? Not me, someone tidy. Sounds like you could use a friend like that now. Oh, and in all likelihood, the wolf was Riding Hood's granny in the first place. My own wife's granny often ate her young, and looked it too!

    1. Several relatives have offered to help, but I always prefer to do things alone. This intense chaos is too good to share. I've heard rumors about some grannies who eat wolves.

  6. As a Spring project, turn that garage into a more finished living/storage space. Install an insulated garage door, with or without an electric opener. Put fiberglass insulation in the stud walls then cover them with sheetrock, painted. Install a pull-down stairway in the garage ceiling. Sheetrock the ceiling joists then install insulation on top of that. At least partially floor the garage attic with cheap plywood or OSB. That attic will serve as a good storage space. The insulation will moderate the temperature extremes in the garage even if there is no heat source in there. You can install a wood heater in there if you want, in case you want to work in there sometimes, like on a car. That’s what I did. It doesn’t get used often but sure is nice when it’s needed. These are all DIY projects anyone can do.

    1. You've provided me with some excellent ideas, worthy of consideration. Thanks.

  7. I'm officially sick at heart on your behalf about the journals, Jon. Like another blogger wrote, they're of no financial worth to anyone else, so my bet's on them turning up in another box. Meanwhile, I sense you're feeling pretty darn low. Understandable.
    ... and in concert with Ron's sentiments, yes, I believe you've a happy ending out there.

    1. Unfortunately l my numerous searches have been futile, but I won't give up hope.

  8. I hope these lost things turn up. replacing them is impossible, I know. Hibernate for a while. Sometimes accidently purging the things we love the most changes our lives in profound ways.

    1. Your unique take on the situation is food for thought. As a diehard sentimentalist, however, it's difficult to let go.

  9. I agree with the others who already commented. I think your mom's music and your journals will show up. You know we're all pulling for you.

    I believe in happy endings. Always have, and always will. I may not always get the endings I expect, but they usually turn out to be the right ones. And I believe in you getting your happy ending. You're already in Tennessee, so you're off to a great start. And just THINK about how beautiful it will be there in the spring... and in the autumn. You'll get to see all those gorgeous leaves all around you.

    Happy weekend, cowboy! I hope you find your missing stuff this weekend.


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