I made it back to my home desk an hour later than planned. Luckily, I have a thick vacation bank and sometimes the energy to flex an hour or so longer to find a clean place to stop.
Sliding into my seat, I felt the death-glare before I located the source. Gray cat on a gray carpet throwing laser beams. I apologized to HBlu, again, but fore-warned him. “We’re going back. Because, I love you. Amendously.”
While I was trying to figure out a prioritization balance between what needs the most attention and what seems most urgent, my phone flashed in a weird disco-ish way.
Two calls at once. Quite the anomaly for me. Ringer one was a colleague. The other was the vet’s office. I took the coworker call. At the end of our brief check-in, the vet called, again.
The caller asked me to go take a look at Harley Blu’s med that we’d picked up at the visit. She aske if HBlu’s name was on the bottle. It wasn’t. There was name there, but it was followed by ‘canine.’ It had already been determined that the medication contained was the correct one, but I compared it to the pills left from the last Rx and confirmed that for myself, as well.
I was asked if I could bring them back, because one of the prescriptions given was a narcotic and they needed to correct the owner’s names for their dispensary records. I explained that I had been one of the front-row right-outside-the- front-door sitters waiting for a jump and had already dropped my car off to be examined.
Oddly enough, the other car with the canine got my label and I got theirs. Maybe our difficulties were some sort of cosmic delay so that the office could notice their problem while we were still there. If so, the universe failed us, all.
But, that’s not the important part. Or maybe it was, because it became a catalyst for this revelation.
I’ve mostly adjusted to the odd and unusual situations I find myself in.
I think there’s a pre-programmed, mental-shrugging mechanism that becomes active in over-accepting, mid-life minds. I mean, by the time you’ve heaved over the hump, you’re aware stuff goes wrong and freak outs aren’t really worth the effort, anymore.
Quote for the Week:
ps. amendously isn’t a real dictionary word. It is, however, a 100% original Knabbler word.
Surly, I sorely half-eavesdropped on the success story’s parting instructions. Let the car run for x-amount of time to recharge, and it will be fine. Seemed like standard advice.
After sliding the truck back a few feet so fixed guy and his happy car could drive away from our odd little coincidental group, the AAA car-whisperer came back to me. Contemplative, he decided to jump aboard my unrealistic optimism train. As evidenced, the jump box wasn’t the problem. So, we tried again. Cranked, the car weakly sneezed and let out a light aluminum wheeze.
Towman theorized I had an ignition problem or a faulty starter that was de-juicing my battery.
He headed for his rig in search of what I thought would be some other sort of stronger hook-up jumper.
My mind immediately flitted to those pesky ignition-recall postcards I’ve been receiving for about 5 years. The alert cautioned my 2007 ignition could malfunction if the cumulative weight of many keys and an abundance of dangler/flash on a keyring were too heavy. My own personal and very wise car advisor told me not to worry about it years ago, too. He’s super smart and logical, and cares about cars, so I always listen to his vehicular wisdom.
Once my geriatric Pontiac was cabled to the heavy-duty truck’s engine, it slowly woke up and chugged itself into a running engine. Revivification and relief!
After unhooking and putting away equipment, the fixer came back with a clipboard. I’d seen him check the VIN on the car next to me, so I asked if I should get out so he could get in. “Nah,” he replied, going on to infer that it was unlikely after all this time spent together that I was stealing the oldie and someone else’s cat in the back-seat.
“Didja hear what I told that guy?” he asked me. “Sort of,” I said.
“Well, that doesn’t apply to you.”
He advised I go straight home without stopping anywhere, without turning it off. Additional recommendation included backing the car into my driveway or garage, because it’d be easier to hook up if I needed a tow somewhere, later.
I decided it’d be smarter just to take my car straight to Ron’s Garage.
I called, explained my recent car odyssey and asked if I could drop it off. As usual, they gave me an easy ‘yes.’
Incident behind me, conclusion in front of me, I set out on my HBlu-barking trek home. 10 miles later I dropped the little struggler off.
(Correction: someone pointed out that there are four C’s. Ok, fine. Cat, Chiropractic, Car & … Correction or Continued. Or, maybe, Carrots, because I had to toss two wilted ones last week. )😉
In what seems like a significantly too short a time, HBlu is on his way back to me.
As he is being re-lodged in the back seat, I begin my questioning.
“Wait,” I say. “We’re supposed to pick up his thyroid medication. It was ordered last week. Did he get his blood draw to check that the thyroid med isn’t harming his liver? Did he get his steroid shot? How did he present? Did he hiss or flinch when his back was adjusted? Should he still be on the pain meds?”
Yep, I’m that crazy cat mama.
Back he went; back out he came. He was reported to be a sweet boy, still very tight and hunching, but no fussing or hissing. Seems like HBlu reserves that stuff for only me. Blood drawn, meds in hand. Great! Off we go, ahead of schedule.
Or, not. The strangest thing: turning the key released 50 deranged woodpeckers ambushing my engine.
My first thought was, “What? I got here just fine.” Truly, the car started without any trouble at home. I mean, key in, crank, tah-dah!
Ok. Any doors open? Nope. Any warning lights? Nope. In park? Yep. The anti-theft blinking red dot was engaged. Hmm. I locked and unlocked or unlocked and locked the doors and tried again.
The peckers were replaced by a marching band of squirrels made up entirely of cymbals.
Because denial is ingrained trait of mine, I waited about 30 seconds and attempted a 3rd try.
A conga line of long-nailed, tap-dancing vermin-fans of the Squirrel Band partied on behind them.
At this point, second guessing sets in. “What? Did I suddenly forget how to start a car?”
I gave my engine a full 60 seconds to clear its throat, positive it would get a grip on itself and start.
Nope. Same awful ratcheting noise.
One big calming breath later, I pulled out my AAA card and made the call of defeat.
AAA is 100% automated now. But, brilliantly, they will send you a link to click which will help the rescuer pin-point you. Which, 100% beats my, “Um, I’m off US-12, behind a Tim Horton’s, in an office strip mall, in front of a vet’s office” would-be offering.
Appreciatively, the kindly, yet sterile, robotic informed me my approximate wait time would be 1 hour and 15 minutes.
So, I phoned a friend. Chatted, waited. Waited, chatted. Checked the arrival time update and it had moved 10 minutes in the wrong direction. Harrumph, but… Ok.
As it got closer to my supposed saving, I began the pivoting, neck-stretch search. I was watching the driveway entrance and noticed the car next to me had a holographic purple hued blue coat. It was a really pretty and distracting color. I sat there contemplating whether it could be a custom color or if I could get a car like that. Ponderance complete, I glanced over at the driveway.
No savior insight, on my eye-swing back, I noticed that the car alongside me had an agitated driver. On the phone. Staring at me. Or staring back at my unfocused stare. Clearly not amused.
Pondering the next step, well, I decided on the next – step.
Not sure where the idea came from, but I found if I could insert the paper into the upside down punch and hold it firmly enough to flip, I could place it on the floor… and… step on it.
After about 200 of those couch slouch sitting, toe touch bends and leg lift/lowers, my heel got a little sore.
So, I switched. I guess being right-handed’s akin to being right-footed. The left foot was adequate, but the right foot had the rhythm, and later the blues and purple-ish greenies, too..
Tender, bruised heels = my second documented suffering for art. The first suffrage had to do with a v-shaped linoleum cutter across three tips of three fingers leading to the post-healing inability to feel the strings on the electric Yamaha folk guitar I’d won from WINE Radio. Lessons were dropped.
Sure, there’ve been nicks and nail splits, Mod Podge in the eye, hot glue gun burns and other unique displays of self-damage along the way, since then. (Wrong tools/wrong sitting position, mostly.)
I have an absolutely adored hideous collection of paint splattered, glue stuck, ripped clothing. The kind your mother warned you that you wouldn’t want to be wearing if you were ever involved in a car accident. Only outdone by the sage advice that you should always have pristine underwear for the same reason.
Many an undergarment went into the laundry basket on wash day and never returned. I did make every effort to rescue perfectly-worn jeans from the same motherial fate, I succeeded a number of times. I do occasionally dispose of one. Very occasionally. Only if I have a back-up to my back-up.
Anyway, in the middle of semi-concentration required stompage, it occurred to me that I could be pretty specific, if I wanted to. By this point I pretty much assumed I wasn’t going to be making my Sunday afternoon drop.
And, there you go. Add another level of dafter-crafter. Might as well.
So, after stomping enough to cover 34 cards, plus extra because some were bound to be ugly, I spent some time pouring out unnatural leaf shades for known preferences: Purple, Blue, Green, Rainbow. (You know who you are. 😉 ) Drying time required.
Plucking my little punches neatly into smart piles, wasn’t all that easy, either. I mean I made about 275 grouping decisions determining which color dominated the petite pieces of paper. Took a bit of patience and as good bit of time because I got side tracked by, “Oh, I love this one!” and “Oh, I should frame these three,” and “Oh, I saw one just like this a moment ago… wonder which pile I put it in? Orange or Yellow?”
The ‘Easy Horizon’ was in view, at last. All I needed to do was plop 7 or 8 glue-dotted paint chips to each card.
I faltered at the first leaf. Should the one dedicated to the top of the barren tree be hanging down, barely holding on? Should it be lifted up by a strong wind or just standing signifying the season?
For once, I decided not to decide. Sort of. It depended on the randomly selected leaf pattern. Some looked better dangling; others were perkier upped.
As for the other fallen additions, I tried to assembly-line stagger their positions into something resembling a true pile. That’s about as almost-random as this particular run of salutations got.
37 printed, cut, glued and commented seasonal message inserts later, it was time to sticker the backs, stuff & seal, address, lick stamps and apply return addresses to envelopes. Yep, I had enough matter for a solid three more mastered works.
28 dedicated hours later, I can proudly say, I drove off to the mailbox in a daring 5:10 PM dusk, and made it back home before the streetlights even flickered. Easy.