Monday, January 3, 2011

Health & Wealth

I’m not going to dwell on this stuff but since I’ve mentioned it before I’ll update. I’m done with the primary issues surrounding my grandfather’s estate/will. Did I get the full amount I would have gotten if the will of a 104 year old essentially deaf and blind man hadn’t been changed by other people? No, but close enough that a lawyer would have been pointless and I was eager to be done with the people involved, get rid of a lot of anger I carried around for most of 2010, and try to get my debts settled quickly.

The part of the issue which lingers is that the delay kept me from paying the people I actually owed, and now I have to deal with sleazy collection agencies which bought the debt for pennies on the dollar, hoping to make a profit on people’s troubles. I’ve settled with one of the three (none of which had ever been able to contact me as I roamed the country last year). The second suggested an agreeable amount but then hung up on me when I refused to give them payment before I had a written agreement. The third couldn’t find any record of me when I called them. The internet has plenty of similar horror stories about these companies, so the problem may not be solved before I get to Yellowstone, in which case I won’t be able to get to my bank for a cashier’s check until I leave next fall (if I leave then), and may wind up with a frozen bank account. Let the anger go . . .

I left Yellowstone with plans for buying bear spray when I returned there and doing a lot more solo hiking in 2011 and have since read three books on hiking trails in the park. Now I’m wondering if I’ll be able to do any hiking at all without causing more damage. A podiatrist confirmed my diagnosis of plantar fasciitis and threw in flat feet. I also walk very heavily on the outsides of my feet, a condition which seems to have gotten worse in the past few years, so I undoubtedly need custom insoles but for now I bought a $30 pair with strong arch support designed for helping the first two conditions. My feet still hurt but the insoles do seem to make walking feel more natural again. Hiking season is still four months away so I’ll hope for improvement.

When I was rereading The Fool’s Progress recently, there was a scene where Abbey’s character wonders if his old truck will make it across the country, but thinks he’ll walk the rest of the way if the truck fails. “If a man can’t walk he might as well be dead.” Very un-PC (naw, Ed?), I thought, while completely agreeing. Your mileage may vary, as they say. I’ve been walking a long time now, for business and pleasure, and not about to start driving again at this point. So I’ve been considering this future inability to walk (and carry) for a few years now as my knees have been deteriorating. You can be sure the irony of it coming to a head (foot?) as I have 2,221,766 acres to walk around in isn’t lost upon me. Well, I’ll see how the second Yellowstone job turns out this year and if there is health insurance in my future (seasonal employees are eligible if they work enough weeks in a year) and take it from there.

No comments: