I hope my title didn’t give you cause for concern. The descending of stuff wasn’t outside — snow or rocks or mud. The slides occurred in our freezers. ALL OF THEM — the upstairs refrigerator, the downstairs refrigerator and the upright freezer. Normally I feel the freedom to get rid of stuff when our cash flow is on the positive side. Sadly, at the moment, I’m watching our pennies. BUT being in danger every time I opened a freezer door had the desired effect. I searched through each shelf and discarded items that were really old.
I hate to admit it, but I found one item from 2010. Thankfully it was only one item — most were of more recent dates. I didn’t list everything I tossed, nor did I list everything that I saved. I promised myself that I wouldn’t stock pile as much stuff again. I found many of my favorite proteins that thankfully were still new enough to eat. I found bag after bag of individual bags of soup. TWENTY FOUR servings in all — most were beef lentil or minestrone all from 2017. I vowed that I wouldn’t make any more soup until my stock was down. EXCEPT I don’t have any chicken soup. Evidently, that is my go to when I’m feeling a cold coming on. I found fish — salmon, tilipia, shrimp and cat fish. We are eating more fish, so everything I found was current. Two bags were hidden behind other stuff. I’m glad that they surfaced. I also found fish burgers that I had forgotten about. They were on sale, buy one, get one free. I had good intentions, not great follow through.
I didn’t find any pot roast, nor a stock pile of ground beef. Evidently I use the beef quickly. I found a lot of chicken — whole bird, chicken breasts and thighs except for the whole bird, the rest were boneless and skinless and current. Evidently I also use a lot of chicken.
Now I have room to freeze leftovers from the holidays. I have room to freeze cookies. I have room to add more to my stockpile. I won’t have a landslide each time I open a freezer drawer. Hopefully I will REMEMBER to only buy the supplies I’ve run out of — until Spring comes again and we head out to the camper. Then, unless I have a list — I’ll forget AGAIN!
I have noticed that my memory isn’t as good as it was when I was younger. Either the cracks are getting bigger or more stuff is falling through. I’m in trouble when it comes to money — paying bills, remembering to write down debit charges, etc. I panicked recently when I discovered that I forgot to deduct our insurance from the checkbook. Luckily we had the money in there to cover it.
Balancing the checkbook is always a chore. I have money hidden to cover small mistakes. Recently I had to use some of it and the new balance didn’t reflect the subtraction. I didn’t believe the new amount. Thankfully this month the balance is more in line to what I thought it was.
I’m sure I don’t need to mention all the times I lose my glasses or my cell phone. When I misplace money it is even worse. I write myself notes to help me remember where I have put stuff. Especially if it is something I don’t use regularly. I always remember the old place not the new one.
Thankfully I have “friends in high places.” I don’t depend on them but I’ll yell for “help” if I feel the need. And often they help when asked or when they know I need it.
Yesterday morning — I planned to heat water in the tea kettle for tea. The burner wouldn’t light. As a matter of fact, NONE of the burners on the stove would light. I asked my husband to work magic and fix the stove. Before he did,I asked my husband if he wanted to go out for breakfast. We don’t go out often but it just felt like something to do. I even decided to put on a long dress. I seldom wear a skirt or a dress not to mention a long one. I even put on earrings. Most unusual!
We went out for breakfast and on the way to a hardware store our youngest daughter phoned. “Happy anniversary to you” she sang. WHAT? She was right! It was our wedding anniversary. Both my husband and I had forgotten.
Dressed up — out for breakfast — someone in high places had remembered and HELPED.
Just a note — That evening ALL of the burners on the stove lit.
I knew I had to renew my driver’s license, it had been four years since the last renewal. The day finally came when I received the notice in the mail. I had to take an eye test. When I was younger, the eye test was no problem. I can’t say that now. My eyes have aged as has the rest of my body.
I decided I would renew my license in the country. I wouldn’t have the long lines that are in the city. But I DELAYED going to take the test. First I wasn’t feeling well. I don’t know if it was food poisoning or the flu but my tummy didn’t like me. Then I realized that I was stressing about the test. Parts of my body were hurting. Time at the camper was getting short, if I wanted to take the test out there, I had to do it. Wednesday was the day.
The night before, I misplaced my prescription glasses. I looked everywhere — tables, chairs, bed, bathroom, floor — no luck. They are my reading glasses. As a last resort — I looked in our car. I FOUND my prescription reading glasses. They were sharing a glass case with my husband’s driving glasses which I wear. We were going shopping and I wore the glasses out side but changed them for driving glasses before we left.
Wednesday morning, I walked into a hanging cabinet door and almost knocked myself out. I was so tempted, so tempted to delay the vision test. But if I didn’t renew my license before my birthday, I would have to take more than a vision test to get a license.
I wish I could say the eye test was a piece of cake — no problem. But I don’t like to lie. At first, I tried the test without glasses on — Bad idea. I could read the top lines with no problem — lines 4 and 5 were a different story. My driver’s glasses allowed me to see the letters except for the right side. I had to go to a larger line. Perception test — right from left — oops. I have problems! Finally the young lady asked me to raise my hand when I saw it. I PASSED. Time for a picture — I didn’t smile. HORRIBLE picture! I don’t look gentle — I look mean — don’t mess with me!
I shared my sad story with a friend at the grocery store. He showed me his picture. I shared my sad story with an older woman from church. She had a similar experience but she told me it didn’t matter — SHE GOT HER LICENSE. Lesson learned!
Back in town — I shared my sad story with a couple of friends at the store. I showed them my photo — they got a very good laugh. Photo doesn’t matter — I got my license and shared laughter.
I know I have mentioned before that I’ve been delayed in what I am doing or planning to do. Often I’ve learned that being delayed prevented me from being in an accident or stopped on my journey. Often the delay causes me to think — “Do I REALLY WANT to do or go or spend?” Sometimes the delay causes me to change my plans. Sometimes the reason for the delay remains hidden.
Friday — at the camper — I experienced a delay. It started with a broken pot. I pulled it from the cupboard, the edge struck something and shattered into shards. One of my favorite pots, one I used often — not every meal but more than once a week. Not only broken pieces but shards to pick up. It took awhile, not only were they on the counter but escaped to the floor.
Once I finally cleaned up the mess, we were heading out for breakfast. Except — delayed again — my scooter was returned. The speedometer cable had broken and it had been picked up for repair. It was supposed to be back on Thursday but plans changed. Finally heading for breakfast, a half hour later. I saw an unusual sight outside the restaurant — a bicycle with bags strapped to its wheels towing a small trailer. I was intrigued. The bike belonged to Mr. Alan Thompson, a 68 year man who wanted to ride around the perimeter of the United States. He started in Ohio in 2015, made it as far as Portland when he returned home to rest for a year. He started again in 2017 in Portland and was finishing his ride. It was August but it felt like Fall, the temperature that morning was a balmy 55 degrees. I asked him if he spent the night in a motel to stay out of the cold. Thankfully he did. He was riding for Habitat for Humanity and Save the Children. Both worthy causes.
Next appearing at the restaurant was a group from a classic car club. I started to chat with them but they had only taken a bathroom break and the gentleman was requested to rejoin the group. I didn’t even get a look at their old cars. My husband has an old car and we both were interested in the group. They were the Summer Knights Car Club — meeting at Buona Beef in Glendale Heights, Il.
Next taking a bathroom break was a group of police men and woman. They didn’t stay to eat either. I was glad that the man riding the bike had stopped for something to eat. I really enjoyed hearing his story. He wasn’t accepting money but I could make a donation at his website: usperimeterride. org — his blog or firstname.lastname@example.org.
It turned out to be a very interesting morning.
We have a 2001 Ford Taurus. The mileage on the car is approaching 200,000. And our car is showing its age. Recently the low coolant light came on. We were headed for our youngest daughter’s house — 3 hours away. We bought a bottle of coolant at the gas station and proceeded on our way. We were at our daughter’s for a full week but we don’t have a relationship established with a repair garage down there. My husband thought that if we kept adding water, we would be okay. And we were. We even traveled to horse country — another 60 miles away.
Returning from our daughter’s we ran into HORRIBLE TRAFFIC. It was Friday, the Cubs had a game and there was a festival on the lake. It took over an hour, driving in the city, to reach our house. The low coolant light came on during the drive but the car continued to run, the heat register didn’t go into dangerous territory.
We were going to wait until we went out to the camper — 100 miles from home — to have the car fixed but the problem seemed to get worse. We needed a new water pump and a new hose. My husband thought we NEEDED a new car but he wanted to reach 200,000 miles. In spite of a few bumps and wrinkles, our car was in good shape.
We drove our fixed car to North Chicago, to visit a doctor. NO PROBLEMS. The next day my husband drove to get mulch for the back yard. The car was smoking on the return trip. I was at the EL platform, heading downtown to buy a sticker for our car when my husband phoned and told me not to go. I hadn’t brought my house keys with me. Returning home, I saw him cross the alley as I approached our block.
The NEW water pump put too much pressure on the OLD HOSES. More work needed. Hopefully that is all the repairs our car will need for a while. I’m hoping that it will continue to run well for at least a year.
Although we have many conveniences at the camper, the internet isn’t one of them. My husband has a hot spot on his phone. I tried to connect to it. Unsuccessful — three times in a row. I gave up and said I was going to the Laundromat. There are a few places at the campground that you can connect to the internet. The Laundromat is one of them.
I put our dog Robin in the car and we went for a drive. There was another car in the lot when I pulled in. Before long the person in the other car tapped on my window. “Can I talk to you?” I rolled down my window. “We are new out here and my friend is in a lot of pain. I don’t know what to do? Should I call for an ambulance.”
I’ll admit that I didn’t know what to say at first. I told him that there was a hospital in the nearer big town but suggested that he go up to the gate. They have Emergency Technicians there and they will be able to advise what to do.
He immediately started his car and headed for the gate. I have no idea what the outcome was for them. I finished hooking up to the internet and headed to our camper. My husband was able to connect his ipad to the hotspot that night. When I told him my story he said I lead an interesting life.
Interesting Life continues. The reading in my Inner Reflections engagement calendar reads this week: “So long as we are on stage in the drama of life. We should play our part to the best of our ability …. We must try to understand the purpose of the drama, and why we have our particular role in it. ” Paramahansa Yogananda.
My reading in Queen of Heaven this morning made me laugh. “I thank God who bumps me and prods me and pushes me.” But this evening, as I prepared to write a couple of thought rambles — I was unable to connect to my external hard drive. I didn’t laugh — I cried! All of my thought rambles were on there. Thankfully I always print a hard copy too.
I just celebrated my fifth year writing on Wandering with Spirit. I don’t think I’m supposed to stop but then who am I?
I have to admit that I usually only have the radio on when I’m by myself in the car. Ash Wednesday our son was going to O’Hare bright and early in the morning. I offered to drive him to the train station. I brought Robin along to treat here and allow my husband to sleep while I was gone. I didn’t have time to take her for a walk before I left. Robin would have woke him after I was gone.
I seldom drive in morning rush hour anymore. And that morning the traffic was heavy, After I dropped our son off, I turned on the radio. Maybe because the traffic was so slow or not moving, I paid more attention. I heard an advertisement from one of our grocery stores advertising a special, that day only. Buy one package of Gorton fish sticks or fish fillet and get 2 free. Sounded good to me. Lent was starting — fish or meatless on all Fridays and a couple of Wednesdays. Meatless for 8 Fridays. I could use the fish, I didn’t know if I had room in the freezer.
I was tempted to stop at the store before going home. The stop and go traffic gave me time to think. I decided that I needed to take Robin for a walk first. Since we live walking distance from the store I decided to park the car in the garage, take Robin for her walk, then walk to the store. She wouldn’t wake my husband up after going for a walk. She would be too happy to go back to sleep.
Most battered fish is too high in sodium for me. I got a surprise when I read that FIVE fish sticks were only 250 mgs. of sodium. I could eat FIVE. Of course, stopping after 5 would not be easy but I decided I could do it. It had been a long time since I had fish sticks. The fish fillets were not as low in sodium but I bought them too. WHAT WAS I THINKING? FIVE packages that would have to find room in our freezer. I planned to use the fish sticks for supper. I saved $34. So glad I turned on the radio and LISTENED.