Monday, September 15, 2014

Day 469

Sept. 15, 2014

Day 469

A little more awake tonight than when I was when I wrote my last post, so, hopefully I'll sound a little more connected!

I had a delightful 3+ hour lunch today with two of my favorite ladies, Carol and Jeanne.  Carol is my mom's age and goes to my church. I adore her - she's so "un-old," Jeanne is 81 and a good friend of Carol's.  I met her last Jan. when her second husband was in hospice care.  Actually, her first husband was one of my professors at Faith 25 yrs ago.  Small world.  Jeanne is going to be a guest speaker on widow issues for a class at Faith next month and it sounds like I may get to tag along for that.  I'm excited!

We ended up talking about  remarriage, though.  Even though I am determined to not date until the three year mark has occurred, the subject keeps coming up with people!  I don't know if it's because I think about it or if it's because I'm past the one year mark and people are just wondering what I'm planning to do with my  life.  But anyway, I was pretty touched when Carol and Jeanne informed me that they are not going to let me make a mistake when it comes to this all-important decision - that they intend to be right there vetting any potential second husbands and making sure I'm not about to mess up my life.  Sweet friends...I appreciate their wisdom and concern for me.

Tonight the boys had their first flag football game of the season.  I had to miss my mom's group to attend which I didn't want to do at all.  I felt so torn.  Will drove down to help coach but ended up playing because they were short a player.  He was pretty tickled about that, even though he's got a bad cold right now that is working its way into his chest.  He was even more tickled when he found his good football in the tub of equipment.  That thing disappeared a year ago but he was positive he had not left it on the field and ultimately ended up replacing it.

Really, though, I'm just thankful I got to go anywhere after the day I had yesterday.  Oh, man...So, Iowa is kind of a big deal when it comes to politics.  Every year Sen. Harkin has this steak fry in Indianola, which is where I go to church.  It's held right off Hwy 92 which where my church is located and the highway I take to go home.  It's kind of a big deal for Democrats.  Actually, it's a huge deal.  This is the last one because after 40 years (! Term limits, anyone?) Harkin is finally hanging up his liberal hat and retiring.  Everyone who is anyone in the fairy tale world of Democrats was to be at this thing.  The Clintons were there, the national media was there, and all kinds of Democratic senators and representatives and people who like to hob nob with the elites paid big money to attend, too. 

I didn't really think anything about it as I pulled out of the church parking lot and onto the highway.  I'm toodling along and soon I realized I was stuck in bumper to bumper traffic as vehicle after vehicle got in line to attend the steak fry.  I just wanted to go home and eat my chicken in the crockpot.  It was kind of interesting, a little bit.  We did see a group of protesters holding up signs asking questions about Benghazi and suggesting that Obama should be impeached.  But mostly, it was all leftist propaganda.  Huge posters staked into the ground encouraged people to vote democrat if they want to solve global warming (eyeball rolling here).  Others exclaimed, "Run, Hillary, Run!" (more eyeball rolling on my part).  There wasn't a thing I could do except sit tight and enjoy the show.  I should have gone up Hwy 69, construction and all and circled back through Carlisle.  Even with the construction delays and backtracking it would have been faster than this circus.

And then, my van died - right in the middle of traffic.  Having a non-functioning vehicle in traffic is right at the top of my THINGS TO WORRY ABOUT list.  In fact, last month when I took my van in for alignment I asked them to check things out to make sure I wasn't in any immediate risk for this very type of event.  They missed something, but we'll get to that later.  Holy cow - what to do now?  There's a car in front of me and another on my bumper.  I put the van in park and restarted it, which it did,  But then it died.  Each time my battery light would come on and the engine would shoot to "hot."  I thought - alternator?  But those usually give you some type of warning they're on the fritz.  I did this twice more before I pulled over to the shoulder.  By this point I wanted to hyperventilate.  Just in front of us on the same stretch of shoulder were protesters.  These ones held up pictures of dead Palestinians and called for the destruction of Israel - or something like that.  The world is truly coming to an end.  Biblical prophecy is unfolding right before my eyes, just up the road from my own church and I have a dead van.  It would have been an excellent time for the rapture!

I called my pastor, who ultimately ended up coming with his son.  I felt so bad later when it dawned on me that it was his birthday and I had just interrupted his birthday lunch!  He assured me all was well, but I still feel bad about that.  I then called AAA but I didn't get very far with them because I couldn't tell the guy where exactly I was.  There were too many people and too many protesters for me to read the street sign up ahead.  In the meantime, David had called Will and described what was happening.  It didn't take long for Will to call back and tell us he was pretty sure my serpentine belt had slipped off.  David jumped out, popped the hood, and sure enough, the belt was not on the track where it should be.  But I couldn't fix that. 

We were waiting for Pastor to show up and pretty soon this long black car with very dark tinted widows pulled up behind us.  My first thought was, "Secret Service - I am in SO much trouble!"  But the guy that got out looked like media, so maybe he just snagged a ride with an SS guy - if that's what it was in the first place.

Eventually, Pastor made it and we pushed my van further over on the shoulder.  We got pretty close to the anti-Israel protestors and I thought it might be a shame if my van tire "accidentally" rolled over someone's foot.  They were fortunate, is all I can say.  Pastor brought me the church van, handed me the keys, helped load the kids up in it, and told me to keep it as long as I needed it.  What a blessing!  Then, he stood out in traffic, held up his hand to stop the onslaught of traffic and I was able to pull out and drive home.  That was my first time ever driving a full-size van, too.

Later in the afternoon, Will came down.  He got some tools, a remnant piece of carpet from our remodeling,  and the hydraulic jack out of the garage.  We drove over there and Will commented that last summer, while working at camp, he ended up working on two vans just like mine, so he had a good idea of what to do (God at work again!).  He took off the tire, removed the cover, and discovered that the tensioner, a piece of equipment that holds the belt had gone out.  He's guessing that when the new belt was put on last month it "snapped" enough for the mechanics to assume it was still working so they didn't know it needed to be replaced.  The past few weeks that belt has slowly been working its way off.

I shudder because I drove to Iowa City last Wed and I'm doing it again next Wed.  Yes, it was rather embarrassing and inconvenient to get caught up in the Democrat traffic jam, but better there than on the highway two hours from home.  Better to do it in Indianola where I have friends that can help.  And how fortunate am I to have a son who knew what to do and who wasn't hours and hours away at college?  All it took was about an hour of time on Will's part and a $43 replacement part.  But, thankfulness and all, I am very happy that yesterday is OVER!

Actually, yesterday's event has caused me to realize that there would probably be some wisdom in beginning to search for a second vehicle now.  I don't have anything else to drive if something happens to my van.  I want to replace our truck, anyway, with a dual cab one that would fit most of us.  David will be driving next summer and I'll need a second vehicle then.  I don't really want him driving a truck for his first vehicle but Will and I have discussed the possibility of having David start out in his car and Will take the new truck.  So, we're going to start nosing around on Craig's List and see what we can find.  As much as I intend to keep my van upkept and road worthy it's just the nature of the beast for things to wear out more and more as they get older.  I need to have a back-up in place for when those times happen.


I am getting another debit card again.  I have been going through those things like candy this last year.  It's really annoying because I have a number of payments that are tied to that card and every time I have to replace the card, I have to notify all those creditors.  I got caught up in the Target breach last winter and was issued a new card.  And then I went and lost that card a few months later and had to get a new one (grrr).  David found it in the van about an hour after I got home from the bank :( And then this summer I bought my lawn mower at Home Depot.  I never shop at that place but they were the only ones who carried the mower I wanted.  And of course the news broke a week or so ago about a credit card breach at Home Depot.  I wasn't surprised when my bank called me late last week and said, "Uh, we're sending you a new card."  Argh!  Seriously?!  This almost makes me see the value of being a cash-only customer.  I mean, I am cash only in that I don't use credit, but maybe carrying around bills with me is the way to go instead.  This is getting old.


I'm going to a concert next month with Will.  He invited me to go as his (paying) date.  He's taking a music appreciation class this semester and has to attend 3 classical concerts.  The Piano Guys are doing one night in Des Moines so he thought that would be a good way to fulfill one of the concert requirements.  I don't really know anything about them so I youtubed one of their performances and enjoyed it.  They have a unique twist on the classics.  Will said a lot of his classmates are going to this particular concert.  And apparently, he's still willing to take his mother, even though he is risking being seen with me by his peers!  I am rather flattered.  I think he's going to surprise Lizzie and take her to one of the other concerts that he has to attend later.  It was my idea and Will was agreeable.  She is going to be thrilled down to the tips of  her toes to do something alone with her big brother!

That concert, though, is the same week as the NBA pre-season game that we have tickets for - being held in the same place, too!  That will be a busy week, that's for sure.


Sara and the girls came down Friday afternoon/evening.  She brought cupcakes and party plates and treats for the Littles to celebrate the girls' one year adoption anniversary (this Friday).  How many people would think to do that for someone else's kids?  She's something else.  We went to the mall, as usual, and  ended up spending quite a bit of time at Barnes and Noble.  I found myself in the magazine section, perusing the selections.  Nothing appealed to me.  And then I realized what I was subconsciously looking for:

A magazine on widowhood

Pretty sure that doesn't exist.  They have magazines about motorcycles, weddings, Hollywood, cooking, travel,  sports, home remodeling, and electronics, but I am fairly certain there are no magazines out there devoted to the subject of death and dying.

Maybe there should be.

When I realized what I was looking for, though, I kind of laughed at myself in a rather sardonic manner.  And then I joined my kids over in the children's section and watched them play with the train set and forced myself to sit down, relax, and enjoy their moments.

They don't need to read a magazine on coping with life after death.  They're living it.  I could take a few lessons from them.
































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