Today was one of those days that we all wished we could just go back to sleep, pull the covers over our heads, and just wait until Wednesday was done with us.
My apartment complex is still in the midst of major renovations and we were all notified several days ago that due to testing, everyone’s electricity, as well as the elevators, would be temporarily shut off twice today: the first time between 7:15-7:45am and then from 4-4:30pm so please plan accordingly.
That was okay with me because I wasn’t planning on going anywhere so not using the elevators would be no hardship. And having the electricity shut off for just half an hour twice today, especially that early in the morning, would have been no big deal ordinarily but Wednesday had other plans for us all.
I had shut down my computer Tuesday night, and along with doing that, had shut down my home phone too. I had already let people know if something was urgent and they automatically were directed to my answering machine, to call me on my cell phone.
I was awakened by the strident rings of my cell phone at 6:45 this morning by my daughter, Tara, and I knew that something was wrong. And it was.
Her boyfriend, Justin, who is a very good and cautious driver, had slid on the icy roads this morning on his way to work and the mini-van had slammed into a curb and broke the front axle. Thank goodness he wasn’t hurt but he was understandably shook up and upset.
Tara’s van was temporarily their only transportation; his own car’s alternator, starter and battery had conked out and they were just waiting for a couple of weeks until they received their income tax refunds to get it fixed.
They are very thankful that they have full-coverage car insurance that will repair the van and give Justin a loaner car in the meantime but for today, Tara asked me if I could take my granddaughter, Evvie, to school, which I was glad to do.
So I was hurrying around trying to get ready while I still had electricity to see with and I figured that if the shut-off schedule was kept to, I would still be able to leave from my 6th floor apartment via the elevators when the power was restored and still have enough time to pick Evvie up and get her to school on time.
But no, the power was shut off 15 minutes early after an announcement over the P.A. system that the elevators wouldn’t be up and running until 9am, too late to get Evvie to school on time.
So I had to rummage around to find at least one of my 3 flashlights but of course, I could find only one and the batteries were dead and I had no replacements. Of course! So with just the very dim dawn light from my windows, I brushed my teeth, brushed my hair and tried to put some matching clothes and socks and shoes on just in case I did have to leave when the power was turned back on.
I had to call Tara back and give her the bad news that I couldn’t get Evvie to school on time so what should we do now? Should I take her in late?
In the meantime Justin had called Tara with more bad news. He had to pay the tow truck cash up front to have himself and the van brought back to their apartment house so that he could get the girls’ car seats out until the car insurance people figured out where they wanted to have the van repaired. He would be reimbursed for that cost but that was money they needed for other bills before he was paid again next week.
Tara heaved a huge sigh when I gave her my own bad news. She jokingly asked me if it was too early to crack open a bottle of wine and I laughed so hard! Tara said that with everything going on, she was just going to keep Evvie home today but she asked me if I could take Justin to get the loaner car whenever the elevators were up and running again and I told her I would be glad to do that for them.
So I left around 10:30am to get Justin because with the icy roads, all of the towing services were exceedingly busy this morning and he had to wait until someone came to get him and the van.
When I pulled into their driveway, I saw a strange truck there also and I briefly wondered if perhaps Justin had already got a loaner vehicle but then an unknown man climbed out and came over to my side of my car.
He asked me if I knew anybody who lived in any of the 3 apartments and I told him that my daughter and her boyfriend lived on the 2nd floor and that a woman with a small child lived in one of the ground floor apartments and a man in his 20’s lived in the third ground floor one but that I didn’t know them at all.
The man was there to replace all of the smoke alarms in the whole house but that the two other tenants were refusing to open their doors even though he could hear that they were home and that he had been hoping that maybe I had keys to let him in because he had an order to get these smoke alarm replacements all done today.
I had to bite my cheek to keep from giggling. What else was going to go wrong today? So I apologized for being unable to help him and he thanked me and went to knock on Tara and Justin’s door.
I called Tara and told her who the man was that was now knocking on their door and she said, “Are you kidding me? I have to deal with this man messing around with our smoke alarms today of all days?!”
So I told her that it probably wouldn’t take too long, that he was obviously sent by the landlord but for her and Justin to ask for identification…just in case he’s not who he says he is. And that if Justin wanted to hold off getting the loaner car until later, I could do that, but I reminded her about the second power shut off later this afternoon that would trap me again in my apartment.
So after about 10 minutes Justin and Evvie came down the stairs so that I could take them to Enterprise Rent-A-Car a few miles away. Evvie had been so excited that Nana was going to take her to school and she had been so disappointed that I was unable to, that she firmly insisted on going with Justin so that she could see Nana.
Justin said that the man checked out okay and that it just seemed best to get the loaner car set up before anything else happened today. So while he put Evvie’s car seat in the back seat of my car, Evvie and I had lots of snuggles and a little chat about what she’s been doing in kindergarten since the last time I had seen her.
I had been so focused on that strange truck in their driveway, I didn’t notice the poor mini-van parked in the ceramics business parking lot across from Tara and Justin’s house. I drove around it and my jaw dropped when I saw how bad the passenger front tire was angled and bent and broken.
I told Justin, “Oh, sweetie, you were so lucky that you weren’t hurt!” He said this morning he saw several cars being towed around that had been bashed up much worse so he truly did feel very lucky, especially when the tow truck driver had told him about some of the accidents he had been called out for.
So while Justin was inside Enterprise getting the paperwork taken care of, Evvie and I amused ourselves playing with her two little big-eyed stuffed animal “friends” she had brought with her and chatting some more about some of the good food, and not so good food, she gets for lunch sometimes at school.
Justin came out with a huge grin on his face and I wondered what had happened to make him smile like that. He got Evvie’s car seat out and I took Evvie by the hand as we followed him to the vehicle that was selected for him.
It was a huge white Chevy Silverado extended cab truck! It was sweet! I started laughing when I told him I was not expecting a big bad-ass truck and he grinned some more as he laughed, “Neither was I! But I like it! I wonder if I can keep it forever?” which made me laugh even harder. I mean, they have the mini-van for its convenience with three kids but what guy wouldn’t want a big truck instead of a mini-van!
It was really nice but the first thing that Evvie said when she was strapped into the extended cab and she had looked around, “I don’t like this thing, it doesn’t have a T.V.” which made me and Justin laugh harder. I reassured her that they would soon have back their mini-van with the T.V. and the DVD player but that she had to be patient until it was fixed because it got hurt. She scowled but she sweetly said, “Well, okay, I will wait.”
Justin and Evvie took off and I decided I had best withdraw some money and get some groceries since I was going to loan Tara my car to take Evvie to school and the kids to the doctors, etc., for the next couple of weeks.
I decided to call Tara to pull a joke on her like she often does with me. I asked her if Justin had called her yet and she said no, so I told her that because of the many car accidents from the icy roads, the only car they had left for him was a teeny-tiny Volkswagen.
She shrieked, “What??? How are we going to fit all of the kids into that toy car? Oh my God, are you kidding me?” So I said yes, as a matter of fact, I was, that he was now driving a big Chevy Silverado extended cab truck and she heaved a huge sigh of relief that I had just been pranking her.
She said she was happy that at least they could fit everybody into it but there was more bad news. I groaned and asked her, “Now what?” Apparently that repairman had not shut their door tight and she was pretty sure one of their strictly indoor cats had slipped outside because she could not find Zep at all. So I told her I’d head right over there and stay with Charlotte, my almost 2 year old granddaughter, while Tara looked for Zep outside.
I was on my way back to their house when Tara called me back and told me she had found Zep hiding under their bed because of the strange man who had been there. Tara said that that smoke alarm man had to go back for some more tools or something and that Justin had just called to say that Evvie and him were on their way back from the grocery store. So I turned around to do my own shopping.
By the time I got back to my apartment complex, it was a few minutes after 1 in the afternoon. I took my Amigo scooter back out to my car to load it up with my groceries, primarily frozen and refrigerated items. I figured I may as well head up in the elevator to the 8th floor to check out the “free table”, where the residents put unwanted items, before taking my groceries back down to my apartment.
There were several issues of newspapers and magazines and while I was going through them to see which ones I wanted to read, the power went off 3 hours early, with no announced warning.
I scootered out to the elevator hallway, pushed the “Down” button and then I heard a man yelling from inside the elevator a floor or two below me. I yelled back down, “Are you stuck in the elevator?” and he yelled back, “Yes! Please tell somebody, please!” So I got out my cell phone and called our apartment complex office to let them know that a man was stuck on the elevator because of the power shut-off that was done 3 hours early. Then I yelled back at that man that somebody was going to get him out of there as quickly as possible and he thanked me profusely for helping him.
So I had to wait for over half an hour for somebody to get the power turned back on and get the elevators running again while my groceries slowly got a bit warm. But since there was nothing else I could do and I had these new magazines to read, I got comfy in my cushioned Amigo scooter seat and had a nice read.
But I kept thinking, “What else does Wednesday have in store for us because this has been one of the weirdest days!” But Wednesday wasn’t done with me, at least not yet.
After I finally made it back down to my apartment, put up my groceries, fed my poor kitty that I had forgotten to feed earlier, and was about ready to feed myself for the first time, the darned power went back off again! No microwave, no electric stove. I heaved a few sighs of my own as I went through my cupboards and scrounged up a few things that would tide me over until I could make a proper meal.
About a half-hour later, Paul, one of our maintenance men, made an announcement that the power, as well as the elevators, would be restored to the entire building in about 15 minutes and that everybody apologized for the unscheduled and un-warned outages. He reassured everyone that we would all have power for the rest of the day after that.
So after I had finally had a nice, warm meal, I turned my computer back on, as well as my home phone, and logged into one of my two WordPress blogs. On my Commonplace Book blog was a message from a person I have not talked to in many years saying that he had been trying hard to reach me.
This person will know that it is him I am referring to if he reads this, and he shall remain nameless, but if this person should attempt to contact me again on my Commonplace Book blog, or on this blog, rest assured that you will get only silence and you will be blocked and reported. And you should know me well enough to know that I don’t bullshit around.
This person is obviously not someone I would have liked to ever hear from again, so I laughingly thought, great, of course on a day like today I had to hear from this bozo.
Things have calmed down and now it is officially Thursday and boy, am I glad to have it arrive. These past few months have been so wild and crazy as well but at least while dealing with it all, we all got a few good laughs out of our misfortunes and that’s the most important thing.
So here’s to a crappy Wednesday now thankfully gone and here’s to a hopefully better Thursday… for me and mine and for you and yours!