by Valerie Nusbaum

When people are going through a major ordeal, one would hope that the fates would be kind and not pile on more trials and tribulations.  Such has not been the case for us recently.

Does anyone remember that terrible wind storm we had back at the beginning of March? Yes, I know that March is supposed to come in like a lion, but did we really need a whole pride? I remember it, vividly. It was a Friday, and Randy was in the hospital in Towson. I had been staying down there in the family housing, but I came home on Thursday evening because I had an appointment on Friday.  Randy called me early on Friday morning and said that his surgeon was releasing him, and he needed me to pick him up. No problem. I had to drive to Brunswick for my appointment and to check on my mom, and I’d head to Towson after that. I went down to the basement to get some bottled water and happened to feel a draft. I was none too happy to discover that the wind had blown our storm door off the frame and had knocked out the glass panel. The interior door was nearly shoved inward, too. I did the best I could to shore things up, but I had to leave it and head out.

On my way to Brunswick, a light came on in my car, telling me that my tire pressure was low. I hoped it was due to the cold weather, but decided to stop at the garage to check since I had a long drive ahead of me and the wind was trying to shove me off the road. The first mechanic refused to put air in my tires, but he did point out that I needed new ones. Dry rot. At this point, I was ready to sit in a corner and cry, but I still had to see my doctor, get a shot, check on Mom, and pick up Randy. By the time I got to Mom’s, I was a mess, and she suggested going back to the garage to get air in my tires. The lady (and I use that term loosely) at the garage desk was downright hostile, but I had taken my mommy with me and she set her straight. Mom’s friend, Mike, put some air in the tires for me. He also pointed out that I needed new ones. The good news was that Randy was coming home and all the hassles were worth it to get him here, and even though I’m old, and she’s older, my mother still goes to battle for me.

We had some roof damage from the wind storm, too, so we decided to file an insurance claim for the roof and basement doors. The adjuster who worked our case wasn’t happy that we went ahead and had the roof fixed by our own contactor, but we were glad we did because the roofers did the repairs the day before we had the blizzard. Randy and the adjuster went a few rounds, and our claim was eventually denied. Our insurance agent got involved, and we’re waiting for a new claim. I imagine we’ll be waiting a long time. We had our contractors replace the basement doors anyway. It had to be done, and the doors are really nice ones.

The dryer hose managed to separate itself from the dryer and blew lint all over the laundry room.  We’re lucky we didn’t have a fire. I had been telling Randy that the hose needed to be cleaned, so now that’s done. The laundry room is clean and shiny, too, and I’m looking at new dryers.

While our yard was being mowed and trimmed, a rock hit our front storm door glass and shattered it into 10,000 little pieces.  I discovered it when I opened the interior door and a sucking, whooshing sound let me know that something bad was about to happen.  I was able to shove the interior door closed just in time to keep the glass shards from cascading down on me. I had never liked the storm door because it was so heavy. Now we have a much lighter one, and it’s easier for me to get in and out when my hands are full.

We discovered ants in our pantry.  The pantry got a good cleaning, all opened food is now stored in containers and plastic bags, and we have an exterminator on retainer.

I got four new tires and found out that I need new brakes, and that was just after Randy had a flat tire on the way home. He was lucky he wasn’t on the highway. It happened right in front of our house.

My toilet isn’t working, Mom’s oven caught fire, and the last two times I’ve tried to meet my cousin Tricia for lunch, I’ve had to cut it short and go to a funeral.

Honest, I’m doing my best to be positive and focus on the good things. I found eight cents in the parking lot the other day, and never mind that the clerk inside the store was horribly rude to me. What I’m trying to say is that life is all about how we look at it. I’m trying.  Really, I am.

P.S.  Thank you, Barb Barbe!

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