One home safety rule is to never clip your car door opener inside your car (on the visor). I kept mine in the car for many years but I smartened up; it made sense to carry it in my purse. Until I smartened up again.
The problem lies with my purse. One in particular, a soft shelled one, is a problem because at any time it can be bumped (with books, grocery bags, my coffee mug), and the garage door becomes activated after I’m inside the house and I’m none-the-wiser for what just happened. Danger.
Last night, our garage was pilfered. It’s my fault. I’d been out and had returned home around 10:30 PM with no idea I’d opened up the floodgates of temptation to any passerby.
The next morning, my daughter advised me the garage door was wide open when my son-in-law left for work. She also thought she heard something but figured it was one of the girls moving around (in bed). Thank goodness she didn’t investigate. The laundry-room door, which opens to the garage, had been tampered with.
A case of beer went missing as well as some restaurant equipment (my son-on-law works for the restaurant supply business).
I felt exposed, afraid and creeped me out.
This is not my house
In addition, I had an appointment in that afternoon. I couldn’t get my car out of the garage. It was locked somehow, even my remote didn’t work. I tried to contact my son-in-law on his cell phone and ordinarily I would have been able to get through. Just my luck he was off-line, busy training new employees.
I was stuck at home and forced to cancel my appointment. ‘ve never felt so helpless. I apologized for the accidental door opening. It’s unfortunate I was locked in but who thinks of everything when you’re worried about your family? I do not carry my remote in my purse anymore.
If you park your car outside your house, never leave the remote inside. If your car gets broken into, your house is an oyster ready for plucking. Think about it.
Summer weather is coming. While entertaining in the backyard, make sure your front door and your garage doors are locked.
If you had to move to a state or country besides the one you currently live in, where would you move and why?
I would love to live in Spain. When I was a little girl, without knowing anything about it, I’d made up my mind that’s where I would like to live. Even after I was old enough to think about it, it stuck as my first choice. It must have something to do with reincarnation. Go figure.
If you were a car or truck what make, model, year and color would you be?
I would definitely be a Nissan Cube; 2012 model year. The first time I saw one, I fell in love. It’s so cartoon-like and fun looking. I’d be the next best thing since the latest version of the Volkswagen Beetle. Beautiful in white. Just look at my gently rounded silouette. Just look at the Flintstone windows!
What one thing have you not done that you really want to do?
I would like to leave a legacy for my grandchildren. Hopefully, it’ll be something thought provoking and interesting that they’ll be proud of.
Where do you eat breakfast?
I have my breakfast hanging over the morning newspaper.
* * *
You know, of course, that these are my deepest secrets and I would ask that you not devulge this information to ANYone.
You can’t teach an old dog new tricks, eh? Who said that? I’m not an old dog; I’m a wild rose.
This past weekend I had a new experience. Seven women celebrated their 60th birthdays. All were born around the same time. Someone decided to organize one big party at Stonewalls, a neighborhood establishment. The music is good there (I heard). The food is hot and the drinks flow was needed.
In the beginning, the restaurant / drinking hole allocated a space with three or four booths. The number of guests looked to be around 25 people. But that was in the beginning. The invitations said to ‘bring your friends’. By Saturday night, the number had swelled to 60 or so.
Picture this: a bunch of 60-year-olds cramped into a space say 6 ft. by 7 or 8 ft. It made me think of the college or university kids who used to squeeze 50 people into a telephone booth. Remember those days? How about, the number of bodies squeezed into a Volkswagen? Yeah, that’s what it was like except there were no walls or steel frame to hold everyone inside. After all at sixty, you need a little elbow room so you can breathe. Also, not all, but some 60-year-olds (as well us older gals) take up a bit more room than at university or college.
I could hardly make out who was who because the lights were turned down low around 8:00 o’clock. By nine o’clock they were turned down another notch or TEN. Thank goodness all the birthday girls wore hot pink feathered boas. Very helpful for finding them in the dark to wish them happy birthday.
I noticed a lot of groping going on. I couldn’t understand why at first but it was truly innocent. The elder group couldn’t see where they were going so they grabbed whatever they could while fighting the crowd on their way to the bar. It was Saturday night, after all, and super packed. Wall to wall. I also learned it’s hard groping your way back with a drink in your hand. Especially if you don’t want to spill it or you’re ticklish and someone needs to lean on you to find their way back to the table.
Everybody came to hear the band. The misconception was that the band would start at nine o’clock. Wrong. Might I mention it was a YOUNG band but took an hour to setup and stared way after nine. People were looking at their watches. Everyone (those 60 and up) was getting anxious. Ten o’clock came and went. Where had the band disappeared to?
Finally, the music started with a crash of drums and horns and a sax. Those skinny little girls on stage looked no older than fourteen and fifteen. Skinny but with knockers. I couldn’t believe how they could belt out a tune. Wow. They played well and gyrated and slithered better than Cirque de Soleil. And the girls didn’t wear much. I was feeling embarrassed for them.
After one set, the birthday people and their friends disappeared. I hung out with one birthday girl and a younger friend of hers. They wanted to hear another set and we were car-pooling so I stayed too. I admit by 10:00 or so I had started to yawn with the best of them but I’m proud to announce I didn’t get home until 1:30 a.m.
I hoped my daughter would hear me come in and give me hell! No luck.
Yesterday it rained all day. Like a day in late spring, it was also warm (16 degrees Celsius)—hard to get my head around.
This morning, the world was white as alabaster and the trees looked like Christmas. Snowflakes crowded each other as they raced towards earth, swirling downward—huge, fat and abundant.
Because I don’t understand, I’m a bit worried. What the heck is REALLY going on? Some scientists say bah humbug. Others warn us. What’s believable? The saying goes there are two sides to every story. Are there two sides or is there only one? WHICH one? Is this a warning or is it just the weather repeating itself from another time in history—the Ice Age ? After the Ice Age? What? Maybe I’m just scrambling here. . .
I’m no scientist but I wonder if we shouldn’t all be doing SOME-thing MORE. But what? Where I live in Canada, we’ve had an unusual winter (again after 2010/2011). Today, we had icy roads which caused slowdowns and a tri-zillion vehicle accidents following yesterday’s rain and mild weather. Exits were closed because of pile-ups. Traffic crawled because of road conditions. Even the school bus was late—super late. Thank goodness our next door neighbour decided to take his little guy to school himself after we waited and waited for the school bus. Would I like him to take Hanna too? Yes please and thank you! I had another (sick) little one sleeping in the house so I couldn’t make the trek.
This has been another peculiar winter though a little different from last year. We’ve had (less) snow, only three times this winter. The weather’s been so unseasonal again; little green spring shoots were confused and peeked above the surface several weeks ago. With this sudden cold spell, they’re probably done for. Last year we had snow after the robins had already arrived and a couple of days into the new spring. Little green shoots got disoriented then too. With hardly any snow this past winter, what will the ground be like for planting season this year I wonder?
I know that recently tornados have devastated countless communities and reigned havoc on incalculable innocents in the U.S. I tend to believe that there are also more of those than before. Weather has been reigning countless adverse / unexpected changes EVERY-where. Can we turn a blind eye anymore?
Just like misery loves company, this is food for thought. Just saying . . .
When I retired, I thought: I can do what I want, when I want. No more trying to go grocery shopping on the way home from work. Everyone else in the world does that and is in my way. Irritating and slowing me down. Ever try to go to the liquor store on a Friday night? Yep. Same thing all over again. I don’t want my co-workers to see I’m getting my supply of wine for the weekend. My co-workers don’t want me to see them either. Enough said.
At last, no more trying to squeeze all the running around at the end of the workday when I’m tired, hungry and agitated after a long week. All that I need is a sit-down and a glass of wine! Peace and quiet. Perfect.
Finally, I can get away from the rat race—the proverbial hamster wheel. That’s the same reason I didn’t enjoy Christmas shopping. Too many people; elbow to elbow.; crashing buggies with strangers and trying to pretend I’m not bothered. My focus is on just getting the hell out of there in one piece and getting HOME.
My illusion pointed out some bumps in the road.
One of my favourite pastimes in life is grocery shopping. I love comparing next week’s grocery specials. Don’t ask how that happened. Most females love clothes shopping. I have to be different. I’m not a food junkie but I like to see my larder well stocked. Where / how did I become a grocery junkie? For the life of me I’ve no idea.. My mother didn’t head out to the store just because there was a storm coming. She didn’t worry that we might run out of milk by morning (we were 5 kids). Why did I, even before I had a family? How different were the storms then—and now?
Retirement shopping isn’t anything like I had imagined. Great, I thought. I can shop at 10:00 a.m. or 1:30 pm or 3:00 pm before all those poor working stiffs make a mad dash for the supermarket. At first it looked like a shoe-in. I felt so clever and of course my feet weren’t touching the ground yet. The feeling was almost spiritual. Fruit and vegetable aisles were free of traffice and I loved it. In the bread and cake aisle, things were starting to pick up. I had other things on my mind so all I noticed were more buggies in my way.
In the cereal aisle, I had my first breakdown. A buggy stood blockig my way. There were a few items in it so I figured it wasn’t abandoned. Up the aisle, two souls were wandering , as if losts, squinting at labels while muttering. I’m a polite person; well brought up, so I waited for a moment. I breathed in and out. Nobody knew I was alive / or even there. I cleared my throat. Nothing. I tapped the buggy gently. Still nothing. I started to MOVE the obstructing buggy out of the way—oh, oh. . .
“That’s MY buggy,” a squeaky voice reprimanded.
“Sorry, I meant no harm. I’m just trying to get through. Excuse me.” Suddenly, the spouse shows up at my elbow.
“What’s going on here? Are you alright dear?” How sweet. I didn’t even know the old guy and I felt I should show some appreciation for his coming to my rescue.
“I’m fine. I’m just moving this buggy so I can get through. This old biddy thinks she owns the store.”
He’s holding the old biddy’s hand. But I thought . . .
Oh . . . faux pas?
This is only one example of many. Why don’t all people keep their buggies close at hand and remember they are not the only two ones in the store. Would anyone attempt to drive down the middle of the road just because there was no-one in sight at that particular moment? Hmm. I remember when we were about twenty . . . especially if someone can’t see oncoming traffic. Right now, some people could use a booster chair. Maybe two.
PARKING LOTS AND ROADWAYS
I’ve tried backing out of parking spot at the supermarket, the dentist’s, the butcher, the baker, the candlestick maker—who cares where. I feel I’m being followed. I have a cell phone now and CAN call the police.
Nice late model car. Nice body (CAR body). Must have just come off the factory floor. . .
“Hold it buddy!” I screech. That’s weird. I don’t see anyone behind the wheel? That car can’t be driving itself. I’m not stupid. I know there are no remote control cars going to pick up groceries.
Oh—is that a patch of hair I kind of see? I push myself up higher in the seat as I turn to squint inside the car. There IS someone behind the wheel. Man or a woman? A child? Nope, I could be wrong but s/he can barely see over the dash. We’re going to crash for sure and I haven’t even moved out of my parking space.
Crap. Retirement is hell. Who are all these people? Why aren’t they at work? Oh, they’re retired too. Retired w-a-y before me? Don’t they have children who can run their errands for them? Don’t their children care about them?
A SHOULDER TO CRY ON?
One day I just couldn’t help myself. I complained to my daughter how difficult it’s been because OLD people keep getting in the way. I explained about blocking buggies, playing bumper cars in the parking lot, non-existent drivers and kings/queens of the road.
My daughter’s smile was like a Cheshire cat’s. All knowing.
“Mom, you do the same things.”
“What are you talking about? What things?”
“You leave your cart in the aisle as you wander up and down collecting things.”
“How can you say that? I do NOT.”
“Yes, you do and I cringe every time you back out of a parking spot.”
“Are you crazy? I do NOT.”
“Mom, you are just like them—the old people.” How humiliating that my OWN daughter feels it’s OK to say those words out loud and way before it’s time. I want to slap her. I am lost for words.
I’m retired now ( five years) but I don’t know who I am anymore. I’m confused. What the hell has been going on?
Damn it’s cold. It’s Friday afternoon and I’ve errands to run. The weather is nasty and it’s starting to snow. I run into Walmart because it’s the closest store with one stop shopping in my neighbourhood. Saves gas, time and energy. I grab a buggy (a big mistake).
In the card department, I pick out a birthday card with infinite care. This is time consuming. Then I rush over to the cosmetics department for some moisture cream and face wash: both Nivea for Mature Skin. I’ll need some soon anyway so I might as well get it now. There’s the book aisle. I’ve read a borrowed copy of Stephen King’s latest novel: 11-22-63, but I want a copy of my own. I’ll check out what kind of discount is being offered. Forget it; I’ll wait to buy a copy later.
Might as well wander over to the produce department while I’m here. Will there be any blueberries today, I wonder? Oh Great! Three pints for five dollars! Many other times when I’ve come looking for some, there was no hint of any. Then I remember that I‘ll be out of yogurt and milk soon. Look at that. Butter’s on sale today. Good idea to store extra in the freezer at this price. My buggy is starting to look pretty loaded. Better get out of here before I get carried away. I only came in for the birthday card after all so why did I grab a buggy?
While rushing back towards the cash registers, I notice a special on a two-pack of whole chickens for just $12.00. I’d be nuts to pass that up. In the refrigerator unit just around the corner from produce, I notice small plastic containers of baby spinach for only $2.00 each. Must get some for a change up in salad variation. The container says it’s prewashed too. Why don’t I back track to the cereal aisle? Maybe cereal of my sort is on sale? I’m only interested in Fibre 1 or Fibre First. Nothing. Can’t get lucky all the time, I suppose. Still, it doesn’t cost to take a gander.
The lineups are horrendous. When aren’t they, though? The shortest line I can find has people doing comparison shopping. They’ve produced other stores’ ads, which Walmart promises to match. I’m ready to dump the buggy and fly out of here. Wait, the lineup by the whatchamacallit is moving along pretty well. Few customers have overloaded buggies there and the mechanical female voice announces, “Proceed to Aisle (such and such) please,” at regular intervals. So I march into line. Fifty-five dollars later, I’m ready to escape but there’s MacDonald’s right in front of me. Heck, doesn’t that sound like a fabulous idea? A nice hot coffee to warm me in the cold? What, no lineup either? Don’t need to think twice.
* * *
WHERE IS MY CAR? Somebody stole it. It’s only a little Nissan, Cherry Bomb Red to be sure, but why would someone do that to me? How could they manage to steal it in broad daylight without my key? Oh dear. Where are my keys? Here they are. Safe! Sweat breaks out on my forehead.
I wonder around, then stop and slowly rotate. Maybe I’m mistaken. Could happen. Not often but sometimes in parking lots. Especially when I park in a different area / aisle I don’t usually frequent.
Oh, there it is! I’m sure that’s not where I parked it before I went into the store. Consternation.
Winter is officially here but hasn’t made much of an appearance yet. Oh, it made another windblown visit last weekend, but like the wolf that tried to blow the little pig’s house down, soon lost steam. This is the time of year I find it hard to get out of bed. Mostly it’s the cold when I throw the covers off. I shiver till I find my slippers and hope they’re where they should be so my feet don’t touch the freezing wooden floor.
It wasn’t cold this morning nor have I been especially tired lately. Neither was I escaping reality because of what today is. I had coffee with a friend later on who said that it’s Valentine’s Day every day at their house. They don’t need a special day to remember. Neither do I.
No, it was something else. I only read until midnight last night yet slept like the dead. Though I’m supposed to be retired, I set the alarm to get up a little earlier today. I had things to do and wanted to get an early start. I punched my alarm clock half a dozen times when it howled at me, coming closer to the surface each time. But it took an hour to truly wake up. I felt Dracula’s slumber in his crypt as the sun rose.
I think it was the dream. A particularly disturbing one.
An estimate arrived from a garage I’d never been to. Something to do with the electrical system in my car needing repairs. A diagram was included. It pointed out wiring in the ceiling that had to be replaced (ceiling? hmm). It was confusing but the punch line was the cost was a mere $8000.00. Even at $800.00 the whole idea was a stretch. What kind of larceny was this? The overhead light must have some wiring up there but…
While I was mulling over these sketchy threads of surreal chicanery, enter the boyfriend. Boyfriend? Where did he come from?
“What’s the matter? You look confused,” he said.
I tried to make out his face. Who was this faceless wonder? “I got this estimate…”
“Oh yeah. Last week when I took your car out it was acting up. I asked my buddy to have a look at it.”
That’s when the first alarm went off. I punched the snooze button but already I couldn’t get back to the dream. What a way to start my day. Happy Valentine’s Day!
I’ve kept putting off taking my car in for repairs. My muffler has been howling for several weeks, louder each day. A sneaking suspicion that it wasn’t just the tailpipe stretched out my procrastination.
This morning, I finally grit my teeth, grabbed my Visa card and off I went. Since I bought my Nissan Sentra (11 years ago), I have always taken it to the dealer for everything. All maintenance is done by the book and I followed all the rules. This is the first time I’ve cheated on them. OOOooops. My son-in-law suggested I go to an established mufflers only place. Why? Because it’s cheaper. That’s all they do and they do it well and fast. The cheaper part grabbed my attention.
The waiting room was much nicer than the ones I’ve previously visited at Speedy Muffler. And it was full of men. Old ones, young ones, skinny ones and not so skinny ones. A technician was discussing work needing to be done with the fellow ahead of me. The technician, without looking up from his monitor, barked out that he’d be with me in a minute. I politely said that was fine.
The big male being waited on, slowly and nonchalantly (not in my book, ha ha) turned around to have a look at the chick who just said that. Hmm. Maybe I have an attractive voice. That could be it. As soon as I’d walked in, though, six pair of eyes checked me out like I was the new flavor babe of the month. At least I was for about ten seconds. I haven’t caused such a stir for ages. It made MY day.
When I’m right, I’m right! Turned out the whole exhaust needed replacing. We talked chrome and then aluminum. I had chrome to start with so I went with that. Of course chrome will last longer too and costs more. I don’t know what I am if not a BIG spender. I almost forgot we were talking car parts and not something more interesting like kitchen appliances. Who would have thought getting a new muffler could turn out to be such a shopping experience?
The trick was getting my exhaust fixed before it all fell OFF and the treat was I had to pay $560.42. No, wait. The treat was that they forgave me the .42₵ because I was paying cash. No, I don’t carry that kind of money on me. I had to go to the bank because I’d switched credit cards. My old one had already been cancelled and the new one was at home. That’s my Halloween story for today. What’s yours?
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