When we get heavy rain, Mother's lounge and kitchen lights go out. She resets the circuit breaker after a while and they come back on. Her house was built in the 1940s and the wiring is old and the coverings are crumbling. This all began about a year ago. She called a big company who seemed to make it safe and paid the bill herself. However, he said the house is dangerous and needs rewiring. He quoted $11,000. Mother's children decided we were not paying and she needs to consider her options.
The recent storms and heavy rains have wreaked havoc. She now only has bedroom lights. A local electrician has quoted $9000 to rewire and says the old wire is crumbling. Of course in times of crisis who does Mother call? Yep, R. R then gets stuck in to me to 'do' something. This is unfair. She has four children. Why is it always down to me? Ok, I am the oldest. I spoke to Sister and she said you and I will pay $5000 and our brothers can pay the remaining $4000. I will wear that.
I then called Tradie Brother and said to him, do you still have any electrician mates? Can you seek advice? In spite of the decaying wiring, why can't new wires be run from the sound electric board to the lights that are not working.? Tradie Brother agreed. This could be done, he reckons and he is seeking advice. In his words, we can stick up a couple of fluoros directly wired to the fuse box.
Unlike Sister and myself, Tradie Brother and ABI Brother don't have any spare money, and ABI Brother has already borrowed $1500 from me. I don't have much cash on hand and never have, and nor does R. No doubt Mother thinks, but what has your forthcoming holiday costing. It is a point, but R is approaching 70. He wants to travel now, while he can. He has been generous at times with me and extremely generous to Mother. If R wants to travel, then I will do so, while he still can. It costs big money and that is where our money goes. Otherwise we live quite cheaply.
Mother is 83 and frail and always moaning on about what is wrong with her, but her organs are quite hale and hearty. We, her children, pay for many things for her as she is hopeless with money. Most of her money goes on cigarettes and a huge amount of cures for her diseases of old age from the chemist, even though she pays little for her prescribed medication. She says we will get the money back when she dies from the sale of her house, which her father bought for her. That is not necessarily correct. The money could be eaten up by care at some point. She is terrified of leaving her house where she has lived for about forty years, and I understand this, but she could be living a good life somewhere with house being worth about $350,000. She has options and choices, but she won't take them. We will prop her up to a point but I am not sure about us paying $9,000 for her house to be rewired is one of them. As she succinctly put to R, even if I sell the house, I do need lighting until it is sold.