I thought I’d write about some things that have been happening recently in my exciting (NOT!) life.
Saturday evening I received a call from Chase Bank about one of my credit cards. It seems that someone in California had been having a jolly good time that day with my credit card number – an expensive meal at a restaurant – new clothes from the Gap store – even a charge with a dating service. I was pleased that Chase felt those charges were questionable.
The credit card was cancelled and a new card with a new number was delivered to me by FedEx on Monday. And, of course, I have no liability for the California charges. But in addition to the annoyance of having someone use my card number I was forced to change credit cards for four companies I had authorized to automatically charge the cancelled card.
This is March, which means I get the opportunity to spend lots of money for insurance. My homeowners, flood and automobile insurances all come due on the same day. This year’s total was $4,166.02 compared to last year’s total of $3799.53 – a 9.6% increase.
Also, today cost me more than $1,000.00 for six palm trees. The city of Pembroke Pines is a “tree city”, which requires a permit to remove a tree and requires any removed tree to be replaced by either two shade trees or six palm trees – or one shade tree and three palms. The trees planted must be selected from an approved list provided by the city. The only time that the tree replacement requirements are waived is for trees destroyed by hurricanes.
Back in December I got authority to remove a 40 foot black olive tree in my side yard very close to the house. The tree had been hit by lightning twice, each time losing large limbs. I was concerned for my house in the next hurricane because of the size of the tree and its location. It is not a case of IF a hurricane, it’s WHEN a hurricane. Also, the roots were threatening the house foundation. That was another thousand dollars plus. Ah, the joys of home ownership!! 😦
Oh – – and I forgot that I had intended to present the first annual report of my walking program!! Better late than never.
February 20th was the 365th day of my walking program. In the first full year I walked on 181 days, taking over 1,813,000 steps which I calculate to 892.8 miles. That means that on the 365th day of the imaginary walk from my house to my brother’s house in Rochester, New York I crossed the border from Virginia to West Virginia – It took a full year symbolically to finally leave the old Confederate States of America and enter Union territory.
It is strange – stepping across the border the “War between the States” suddenly becomes the “Civil War”, and beloved heroic Confederate leaders and generals are transformed into evil, wicked, mean and nasty traitors. Yet, today, without a doubt the South is as loyal and patriotic as any part of the country. Southerners are represented in the U.S. armed forces in a higher percentage than the rest of the country. It just seems that they salute the U.S. flag and the Dixie Stars and Bars with equal fervor, and sing the National Anthem and “Dixie” with equal enthusiasm.
However, the fact that the western portion of Virginia chose not to secede from the Union with the rest of the state, and as a result was granted statehood, does not alter the fact that West Virginia is still part of the south. So, in my mind my imaginary trek will not find me truly back in the North, my homeland, until I reach Pennsylvania, another 209 miles.
At first I was feeling pretty proud of my accomplishment – that is a lot of miles – but then I realized that there have been several times in my life that I’ve driven more than 900 miles in one day!