Katie has her say

Little ones in the “Terrible Twos” ask innocent sweet questions as they learn about life and loudly protest when life fails to go their way – an our two-year-old granddaughter Katie is no exception.

Every day she learns something. She recently saw a picture of her mom Sharon in a wedding picture. “You’re married?!” the child exclaimed.

“Well, yes. Do you know who I married?” Sharon asked.

“I don’t know. SOMEbody!”

“Yeah. Who is my husband?”

“Mmm, Nathan?”

“No, that’s my brother. Who is my husband?”

At that point Jacob, Katie’s dad and Sharon’s husband chimed in, “I’m married, too. Who is my wife?”

Katie looked at them thoroughly confused, “I don’t know!” They told her and now she knows.

Every day she learns more if only because she wants to join every conversation and activity as she tries to catch up with older sisters and brother. She caught up with Eli for a moment when he showed her how to do a goofy chant with a swaying dance. Once she got the beat, Katie eased forward until she swung in front of Eli while chanting his silly song.

She joined the conversation the day her sister Daisy, 6, asked their mom, “Where is your mom?”

“El Dorado,” my daughter answered.

“But my mom is with God,” Katie stated confidently.

“I’m right here,” Sharon replied.

“No. She’s gone. You’ll see her later.” Katie insisted.

Katie may not know everything, but she does know coffee.

Recently Sharon wrote, “At 5 p.m. I had a cup of coffee (kind of my new normal, apparently.) Katie watched and asked, ‘What do you do after it’s coffee time?’”

“I wake up and get going!”

“And then it’s coffee time again?” Katie asked.

In that busy household the answer is ‘yes.’

And then there is the other side of Katie. The side reflecting a toddler in the midst of the terrible twos. Her mom provided the following list of recent reasons Katie cried, screamed or threw a 45 minute tantrum:
1. I won’t let her use my phone while I’m on a phone call for work.
2. She wants her panties and shorts on.
3. She also wants a diaper.
4. She wants her panties inside her diaper…not on the outside.
5. She wants her daddy.
6. She wants her mommy.
7. She wants to go to bed.
8. She wants a different blanket.
9. She also wants the other one she just threw out of the crib.
10. She wants me to go away.
11. She wants me to “sleep with her.”
12. She wants out of time out.
13. …but she wants to be IN her crib.
14. She wants to go to a DIFFERENT church (she thought it was time for friends to be there).
15. She wants to sit with her sister in the same chair, but she doesn’t want her sister to touch her.
16. She doesn’t want anyone in the car to look at her while she screams for 30 minutes.
17. She doesn’t want anyone to help her while she screams about not being able to do something.
“I won’t go on, but I could. I love this child so much. She is a gift. She is also a toddler who is willful and downright ugly sometimes.” Sharon concluded her posting with a prayer, “Lord, help me to love her with your love. Help me to cherish her, especially on the days that I have no clue how to help her calm down. Give me wisdom and grace.”

Amen to that for all mothers of two-year-olds and older.

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Winner, winner

Living in Phoenix, Arizona after arthritis forced early retirement, Rose Corwin had time to go to quilt shows in the area – as long as she had an companion. “I was a fall risk,” Corwin said. When her husband declined to go, she found an escort.

They always have this form to fill out by the American Quilt Show. Every year the AQS gives away a $24,000 quilting studio.” As Rose filled out yet another form her companion asked, “Why do you do that? No one ever wins those things.”

Because you never know. Maybe I will get a coupon.” she said.

Later that year, the Corwins moved to central Arkansas and settled in a small three bedroom duplex in Hickory Ridge. Shortly after moving, Rose’s phone rang. The caller ID said Paducah, Ken.

Rose picked up. A guy said, “Is this Rose?”

Yeah,” she answered tentatively.

I am from the American Quilt Show in Paducah. I am calling to let you know that you are our grand prize winner.”

Rose laughed scornfully.

No. I’m serious. Aren’t you excited?”

Oh, yeah, sure,” she said.

What are you going to do with all your stuff?”

Well, make a lot of stuff!”

Before he hung up, the man said a woman would call in an hour to deal with the paperwork.

Rose figured that was the end of it. An hour later, the phone rang. It was a woman saying, “I need to get all the paperwork done so we can ship you everything for your dream quilting room.”

Are you serious? Is this for real?”

It’s for real. Yes.”

Then, I got exited.” Rose said. She called her Arizona quilt show buddy and said, “Do you remember when you took me to the quilt show? Remember when I filled in that paper work and you said ‘why bother, no one ever wins?’ Well guess who just won the grand prize!”

The grand prize included a trip to Paducah to the annual quilt show where the woman officially presented Rose with the prize.

After the show, the stuff started coming,” Rose shook her head in wonder. The grand prize included a top of the line Janome sewing machine with all the bells and whistles, $3,000 worth of thread, a sewing machine cabinet, storage cabinets for a sewing room, yards of various fabrics in many colors and patterns, quilt kits, quilting books, a big cutting table and more.”

It started coming and I wondered, ‘Where am I going to put it all?” Rose said.

We were okay until the long arm came and then I had to get rid of a whole bunch of furniture. There was no room for the couch. It would only fit into the living room of the duplex.” A technician arrived to set it up and demonstrate the basics. He adjusted it to use sitting down because arthritis prohibits Rose from lengthy sessions of standing.

The $24,00 dream quilting studio took over the duplex. The 10 x 10 foot bedroom became the couple’s living room. Another bedroom had three of the cabinets and their bed. The living room became the quilting room.

Her husband took one room, put his big screen TV, a chair and love seat in it and slapped a sign on the door ‘Man Cave.’ He emphatically said, “’You can’t touch this room.”

When the Corwins moved to El Dorado, they found a triple wide trailer, bought more furniture and again have a living room. The quilting studio fills the spare bedrooms. If anyone asks Rose about winning, she always assures them, “People really do win those things.

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From the ashes

The house fire that burnt Terry and Lori Rigdon’s dwelling destroyed household items that Lori thought she needed. Seeing it all turned to ashes made her realize how easily things can be taken. “Things that once seemed important, we hauled away to the dump in the back of the trailer. Why did we worry about it? It was all gone in an instant,” she said.

After the fire, “it seemed like every time we turned around something we needed to set up house was provided. People were so wiling to help and give to meet our basic needs. It taught us a simpler way – to value the things that are really important,” Lori said.

“The fear of loss does not scare me anymore. During the cleaning up process, there were days we actually wished that it had all burnt down except, then I would have lost the pictures of my children. It was hard to go in there and take out all the charred remnants and clean.”

The fire did destroy the irreplaceable mementos of her parents and her children’s growing up years. She especially missed items from her mother who died years ago. She had stored the totes filled with memorabilia in the shop where the fire started. “I had totes set up with my kids’ school work and baby books and keepsakes from my mom and from Terry’s family. Through the fire, I lost everything that I had of my mom.”

Still, knowing the finality of the fire, Lori insisted, “I just want to go back and find anything I might find.”

“It’s all heaps of ash and rubble. There is nothing left,” Terry told her

She wanted to go, so they went and raked through the ashes of rubble where the shop had been. “It was just black. The walls were gone. Only the pole was left of the Christmas tree. I had to climb over all this to get where the totes would have been.”

Terry started helping her sort through the debris. He stopped and called, “What is that?” He pointed to the corner.

“I saw something white,” Lori said. “I said, ‘Oh my God! It’s a Bible and it’s open. The Bible had been stored in my grandmother’s tote. There were no signs left of the tote or the shelf it had been on.”

“’Don’t move it,’ I have to see where it is opened up to.” Lori recalls having said.

She made her way to the Bible and carefully picked up the wet and charred book. “The blue leather cover was completely charred except the letters ‘Bible.’ It was open to the Isaiah 53 prophecy about Jesus.

“He was there, in the middle of the fire to protect us and provide for us and show us He still is in control.mI opened it to the front. The presentation was in my mom’s handwriting. She had given the Bible to my grandmother. That was the greatest treasure that I found in the ruins after the fire. Only God could have done that,” Lori said.

“We kind of sat and stared at it for a while. We couldn’t stop looking at it. It proves that His word cannot be consumed. I know people will say ‘right.’ but it is true.”

Lori took the Bible from the rubble and had a shadow box built to protect the charred pages. She displayed the Bible in their home with it opened to Isaiah 53. It serves as a constant reminder that God’s word can not be consumed and that His love continues through all circumstances.

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Finding a simpler house after a fire

Twelve years of blood, sweat and tears went up in smoke while Lori and Terry Rigdon celebrated their 25th wedding anniversary at Gulf Shores.

A florescent light in the attached shop shorted out. A son and the neighbors noticed the flames. At first contained, the fire broke out and spread into the attic. Not all the house burned, “but with the smoke and water damage, the insurance company declared it a total loss,” Lori said.

“We were able to salvage all my photographs. If I had lost my pictures, that would have been devastating. I was heart broken to lose my keepsakes: the kids’ baby books and school work.” The rest of the stuff, Lori did not miss. “I quickly realized I had no need for all that other stuff like the dishes. Why get so many, when all you really need is an eight-place setting. There is no need for three sets of dishes, pots and pans or more Tupperware than you use or know what to do with. There was nothing to miss. It was almost like I could not remember what we had.”

Through the generosity of others, “our basic needs were met. The insurance company put us up in a hotel for a month. Then a friend offered us an apartment and we moved in there. The insurance covered that for about six months. We looked all through El Dorado for a new house. The housing market was not that good. Older homes were selling for high prices.”

In the midst of all that, through the loss of the house and most of its contents, Lori realized she wanted a simpler life, including a smaller house. They found nothing so the Rigdons decided to build.

“We can start looking for a property to build on,” Terry said.

They looked and Lori designed a house with an eye to their soon to be empty nest and future retirement years. “One night I drew out a floor plan. This is all I want – a simple square, not a two-story,” Lori told Terry.

“I knew it would be our forever home,” she said.

“We found a lot on the street where we live now. Right there next door to the lot was the house I wanted. ‘That’s the house I want,’” Lori told Terry.

“That house is not for sale,” he said.

“That’s the house I want.” she repeated.

“We continued to look and found another house, that kinda fit our needs with a high price. We made an offer then laid in bed that night hoping it did not go through.”

“Thankfully, the Realtor said someone else bought it for a higher price. We had floods of relief, but we were back to square one.”

“I knew that wherever we went would be our forever home. I did not want to settle. I sat waiting, hoping and praying.”

Weeks later Terry’s sister asked if Lori had seen a certain house for sale.

Lori looked it up. It was the house she had said she wanted.

They went to tour it. “As soon as we opened the door we looked at each other and I said, ‘This is the exact floor plan I drew out.’ ‘Yep, this is your square,’Terry agreed.”

The sellers wanted more than the Realtor said it was worth. “We made an offer and waited it out. Finally they came down to what we offered and we have been here ever since. It isn’t fancy. It’s simple. It fits us. It is a humble gift from God. He really does know our wants and needs.”

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In memory of Chris Qualls

Former co-worker and editor Chris Qualls left us earlier this month. I first met him when he took an El Dorado News-Times feature picture of my toddler and me as we read magazines in the library. Years later I worked with him. Many former co-workers wrote comments about him following a couple Facebook postings about his passing. A select few follow:

Mike McNeil: “Chris was an intern during my second and last summer at the News-Times and was coming to work full time just before I moved to Malvern. He was the core of the news department for three decades. A great loss to all of us who have worked at the News-Times since the 70s.”

Jim Warnock: “I followed high school classmate Chris Quall’s career with interest when he became the religion editor for the El Dorado News Times and later served as their editor. I was always impressed with his thoughtful articles that sometimes gave a hint into his own spiritual journey. He was a kind person and a good friend to all. I’m thankful to have known him.”

Janice McIntyre: Chris was a great lay-out man at the News-Times and a great friend!”

James Patterson: “You are among the kindest, gentlest, purest souls I’ve ever encountered … and more having had the honor of calling you friend. This world will be a smaller, meaner place without you, but I guess this world really doesn’t deserve people like you.”

Kaitlyn Davis: “He was so kind to me and patient with me for the short time I worked with him.”

Lauren McCarn Cross: “Chris was a great boss and such a sweet, happy person. He made my years at the El Dorado News-Times good ones.”

Jim Lemon: “He was religion page editor and night editor at the News Times in El Dorado. When Shea Wilson left for another job, Chris was picked to take over as managing editor. I often gave advice to Chris about how he should manage the department. He, of course, ignored everything I said. He had trouble with anxiety attacks and was generally tightly woven. Chris didn’t have an easy life, I bet that was the reason he was so kind to everyone. You will find a lot of comments about how kind he was to people, that is true not just something people say about the dead. Chris’s father died just a short while ago and since then he has been full time care giver for his mother who is blind. Chris was a very spiritual guy. Chris explored several religions and finally settled on being a Catholic. We shared that in common. I gave Chris a statue of Jesus … in a glorified state. Chris, I bet you look like that now.”

Sara Mitchell: I used to call him “the Pope” because of the religious icons in his office. I loved sharing Catholic stories with him.”

Allison Sims: Before Kevin and I married, I joked with him that he should come to my dress fitting so we could have our “Say Yes to the Dress” moment. We were doing the fitting in Shreveport … when he walked in the shop… He was so much more than our editor.

Brad McLelland: “A good friend of mine and a great man has passed away. Thank you for being such a loving friend and beautiful soul.”

John Worthen, editor of the Pine Bluff Commercial, “For those of you who knew him, you knew he was a very good man. Our 1a daily dedication in The Commercial for Tuesday will honor a former colleague and friend. RIP, Chris.”

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family couriers

As kinfolk to the original Scrooge, you would think we would drive our economical small car on long trips. We can’t. Not when we go to visit family. We are the unofficial family couriers. Before most trips, we load the gas guzzling van with toys, books, tools, furniture and/or gifts for relatives. On the return trip we have hauled bags of goodies from shopping sprees and donated Christian literature.

It’s my sister’s fault that we haul Bibles, religious studies and Sunday School materials for the mission outreach program of Love Packages in Butler, Illinois. Her church in upstate New York had a few boxes of books that they asked us to drop off in Butler on our way home to Arkansas. We did and since then have gathered books to haul there.

For our most recent visit with family in Indiana, my husband loaded shop tools, toys and eight boxes of Christian literature into the van. He shoved in the last box of books and reached for our luggage before he realized he had left no space for the St. Louis grandchildren who were joining us. His shoulders sagged at the thought of repacking all those books and tools.

“Let’s take the literature to Love Packages before we go to St. Louis,” I suggested.

He nodded and never mentioned the increased cost in gas and time.

After we left the books, he observed, “We got better gas mileage with the books.”

“That’s because their weight pushed the car down the hills faster,” I winked. “We need more stuff.”

I quickly remedied that at a thrift store with a heap of bargains such as a large cast iron skillet and a new sewing machine. I didn’t need either one. I have plenty of both. Still at those prices, I bought both. We left all the bargains, except the sewing machine, in St. Louis. I thought some relative or friend might need one.

Someone did. The first day in Indiana a granddaughter said, “I want to start sewing. What kind of sewing machine should I buy?” I grinned, went out to the van, picked up the machine and presented it to her. “I saw this at a thrift store for such a low price that I bought it. You need one; so it’s yours.”

That opened a small corner in the van. That night my husband left shop tools at the oldest son’s place and we finally could use all the van’s seats and pack the kids’ new toys.

Twenty-four hours later, the next son we visited offered us seven boxes tightly packed with CDs, DVDs and the LP records. “Maybe you can find a place to pass these along” he suggested as he helped his dad load the boxes into the back of the van.

“The Hershberger courier service will find a solution,” we assured him.

Before we returned home, the kids played with their toys while we spent 45 minutes re-arranging media and luggage. Observing the final seating arrangements, the grandson who loves cozy corners called dibs on the back, gathered up his toys and sat beside one stack of boxes and in front of another.

At his home, we hauled out their luggage and toys, opening up space for our thrift store purchases. Not even a short visit the next day with my daughter helped much. She looked at our load, saw the cast iron skillet and said, “I could use an another one.”

Thus we ended another trip as couriers. Next time we maybe we can drive the car. All we have right now are a couple dozen books to deliver to Love Packages.

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Vacation from parents

Barely waiting for the car to stop, the grandchildren threw off their seat belts, raced up the steps and burst into their St. Louis home. They had a hundred stories to tell their mother Joy about our trip. Sophie, 10; Sam, 8; and Henry, 5, had accompanied us to visit relatives in Indiana and Michigan. We included a couple fun side trips just for them.

“Lake Michigan is a lot better than an ocean,” Sophie announced. Water time pleases her. The bonus of Lake Michigan comes with its miles and miles of dunes on the eastern shore. Lake adventures come free of sharks, jelly fish, sea shells, kelp or salt water drying on the skin. “I went out until the water was up to my neck,” she grinned remembering small waves crashing gently over her head.

As she told talked about the lake, Sam chimed in, “I made a sand fort.” Henry waved his hands for attention to tell about playing in the sand and waves.

“We ate out almost all the time!” Sophie announced with astonishment. Hmm, I had not realized that, but she was right. No sandwiches in the car. We began with a restaurant located along Route 66. Picky eater Sam did not live up to his name that night or any other.

“Where did the green beans go?” I looked at him in astonishment.

“Into the black hole,” he grinned.

A couple minutes later, I turned from a conversation and his meatloaf had disappeared, “Where?!”

“Black hole.”

“Mashed potatoes?”

“Black hole,” he assured me.

He told his mom about his new black hole and his sister interrupted, “We ate on the floor in the hotel!”

“There are not a lot of tables in hotel rooms,” their mom observed.

“Mom! Mom! Mom!” Henry bounced up and down, “Look at my race track. The cars can bud.”

(Bud? He had repeatedly used that word in the van after he chose to spend the money he earned with his “good behavior on the trip” cash. I think he meant bump.) “Can I take it out of the box? Can I?”

“Just a minute,” his mom said. “Let’s get everything inside first and I want to show you the school supplies and clothes.”

“School supplies!” Sophie’s eyes lit up. “Where?”

Before mom could answer her, Sam pulled out a couple little toy men. He knew exactly what he wanted as an award. Every time we suggested other items, he said, “I am saving my money” until he found the men.

Ignoring him, Sophie peeked at the bags of school supplies, “I have shoes?!”

“Right there, but just a minute before you take the bags apart,” Joy cautioned as they dropped everything and began reaching for the bags of crayons, notebooks and new shoes.

The tidy house exploded with energy, tales of swimming at the hotel pool, and studying maps – a skill Sam discovered after he asked his grandfather, “How much further do we have to go?”

To his mom he announced, “I found St. Louis in Michigan and Missouri on the map.” While the others swam for a couple hours at the hotel, he studied the atlas and found places his Uncle Mark suggested. His map skills soared during our short trip.

Once the energy of reporting slowed, Henry set up his race track as Sophie concluded that the trip was, “our vacation from our parents or maybe it was our parents’ vacation from us.” Whichever, we returned in time for the first day of school so the grandchildren can rush home to tell their mom everything at once about that first day back.

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Jefferson School reunion stories

Old secrets slipped out at the school reunion of the graduates of the high school now consolidated into a larger school. The MC pointed at his head. “You may have noticed, I am missing some hair. When I was ten, my great-grandfather died and his body lay in the farm house for a while before the funeral and family pot luck.”

A cousin who came for the funeral told him, “I heard that you can smoke corn stalks and get high.”

“We went to the corn field. I got a foot long piece of corn stalk. I tried to light. It wasn’t lighting and we were not getting high. We found to a depression in the ground and got a little fire going. I held my big stalk out to the fire and puffed. It never started.”

They quit trying when the cousin realized, “Hey, we have to get back in time for the funeral.”

“We rushed up to the house, went in the side entrance, washed our hands of the smoke smell and then realized our eyebrows and hair were singed. I cut the singed hair off my head and eyebrows.”

The boys declared themselves fit for a funeral. They came down the back stairs and slid into the last row of chairs in the dining room. “We thought nobody knew what we had done. But, can you imagine the smell of the fire in our clothes? No one said anything, but ever since then I have had trouble growing hair up there.”

No one else confessed to any attempts of getting high. Lesser evils occupied the man who grinned, “We had a lot of fun on the bus. Truman and I used to put spit wads in our suspenders and hit the bus driver in the head with the spit wads. We got spanked once for it.”

Innocent fun and memories compared to the story that began, “I remember Jim and me when we were parked on a farmer’s field at the corner of the county roads. There was an open septic tank on the property with its top off. The farmer saw our car parked in his field and came running out the door with a gun.”

One of the guys and shouted, “He has a gun! He has a gun!”

Running away in the dark one of the kids landed in the open septic tank. Taking him home the alumni recalled, “that guy stunk.”

A co-ed from the 60s recalled the year of transition before consolidating the small high school into the larger. “When I was a junior we had to go to [the larger school] for half a day. One day my friend and I decided we did not want to go to class that day. So we skipped school.”

The girls headed to the highway where “We found a cute young Swede guy hitchhiking.”

The girls spent a couple hours driving him to a large city. At three, one girl remembered she had an dental appointment at four.

“The police stopped her for speeding. She didn’t get a ticket, but she told her dad that if a policeman called about her speeding, it was a fake.” In conclusion the former co- said, “With two schools, you can hide pretty well. I probably have the school record for skipping the most days. I skipped 68 days in my junior year. ”

With stories about smoking corn stalks, skipping school, spit wads on the school bus and a stinking night, the alumni rocked the old school one more time before going their separate ways.

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The Brannock Device

Each fall, Mom bought new clothes and shoes for the first day of school. My new dress came from the Montgomery Catalog, but new shoes required a trip to the shoe store with floor to ceiling shelves of shoe boxes and more hidden in the back.

The clerk pointed us to the slick vinyl seats with chrome arms, pulled up his little stool with a slanting platform covered in rubber treads and grabbed the shiny stainless steel measuring device from its hook on the wall. “Now who is getting shoes today?” he asked. My mother indicated her five children.

Sitting in front of me, he slid off my right shoe, and placed the device on the floor, “Stand up and put your foot on this,” he said. I stepped onto the metal tray. His fingers slid behind my ankle verifying that it set snugly in the heel cup. I watched him slide a concave steel pointer beside my arch until it fit perfectly over the bone at the widest part of my foot – he had found the correct arch length of my foot. On the other side he slid a wider plate with numbers until it aligned with a set of letters to find the width. My toes pointed at my toe’s shoe size.

Comparing the arch and toe lengths he announced my shoe size, “What are you looking for today?” he asked my mother. With her description in mind, he began pulling boxes off the shelf. He snapped open the lids, expertly slid them under each box and shoe horned the tight new shoe onto my right foot resting on the rubber lined slide of his stool.

“Try walking in that,” he motioned to the carpeted aisle. I walked. He added the left shoe, felt the shoe for its fit. And my new shoes went back into the box and onto my mom’s growing pile.

A recent estate sale reminded me of that annual fall ritual. In the workshop, midst a table covered with screwdrivers, dremels, hammers and boxes of nails and screws, I found one of those foot measuring devices from my childhood. I had not seen one in years. I picked it up, asked the price and decided I could afford the oddity that I did not need. It’s officially known as The Brannock Device. Mine provides the calibrations for fitting women’s shoes. Men require a different calibration for their feet as do children. The Brannock Company also produces separate devices for children, ski boots and athletic shoes.

It all began with Charles Brannock of Syracuse, N.Y. whose father owned a shoe shop. Charles wanted to fit shoes perfectly every time. According to the Brannock Company website, Charles used an Erector set, to develop a prototype for the first foot measuring device. He used the device in the store. The shop became known as the place for the best fitting shoes. Other shoe stores wanted his invention.

In 1927 Brannock began manufacturing The Brannock Device. Brannock absolutely refused to make cheap plastic devices that would have to be replaced every couple years. He insisted on durable stainless steel.

I wanted to know how to use my new tool. I found instructive YouTube videos emphasizing the importance of The Brannock Device to find a comfortable fitting shoe. I absolutely agree. When all my shoes irritated my feet, I went to a specialty shop. The clerk took off my shoe, pulled out The Brannock Device and said, “Stand here” and began pushing slides. My feet had grown. Fitted with the right size shoe, I am ready for another school year.

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One of Those Days

Some days just do not flow at all. Take today, for example.

Two stop signs away from my 9 a.m. exercise class, I waited on the heavy truck to make the turn uphill onto the street. This was not some hilly road in the mountains but still, for a driver unfamiliar with standard shift and the use of clutch, brake and accelerator moves required to climb a hill, inclines are challenging. I know because I learned to drive a standard on a steep dirt road with a curve to our house. I was not allowed to drive it until I could adeptly use clutch, brake and accelerator.

The truck geared up to turn, rolled backward and braked. He started again and rolled backward again. Still plenty of room between us until he started again and kept rolling backwards. I reached to shift into reverse too late, and the truck hit the plastic bumper on my car. It for sure wasn’t a rubber bumper because that truck’s hitch did not bounce off my car. We got out to inspect the damage.

No one hurt. Nothing to do but wait on the police. Except, for some reason, my car did not have the updated proof of insurance we had purchased. The insurance company sent my phone a picture of proof of insurance. I sighed and began the process of filing a claim.

After I exercised, I tried to make a payment with PayPal. The receiver said it did not go through. They wanted the money immediately. After a lot of interchanges, around lunch time, I concluded the recipient did not realize it can take time for the payment to transfer to their account. It took hours and ultimately, for some reason, the recipient sent it back to me so I could try again with another account, I guess. Sigh. Next time I will send a certified check. If they thought the electronic processing took time, the mail will teach them patience.

I know because two weeks ago I sent four packages. The recipient received two boxes. The tracking information from the Post Office says three boxes made it and the fourth never entered the tracking system. We don’t have them. At 4 p.m. my husband went to the Post Office and reviewed delivering all four packages. I sighed and began the process of filling out a request to find the lost package. Regretfully I remember another package I sent to the same city that also went missing. I am getting bad vibes about that city and doorstep thieves.

So it has been a day of starts and stops. Of trying to follow the rules and discovering even the best laid plans can falter. So it was my turn to have “One of Those Days” and I truly wish it had not been my turn. Tomorrow it can just be someone else’s turn. I have had my fill of it for now. I had many other things I really needed to do today.

I did accomplish one thing. I called up and made reservations for a show I wanted to watch. I even dared suggest we go out to eat. I say “dared” because on too many days like this in the past, I have encountered restaurants where the waitresses forget us, the entree I request has just sold out, or we wait an hour for the kitchen to remember to fix our order. Fortunately, this time “one of those days” only worked from 9 to 5. After 5, everything went as planned and we had a lovely evening with no more exasperated sighs.

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