Weird Wednesday

Sunrise Thurs 16 June 2011
Sunrise Thurs 16 June 2011

Yesterday started off normal enough.  Snoozed through a couple of alarms.  Woke up feeling a bit woozy, so I took it slow.  I fed the dogs and let them rummage around in the back yard.  I descended three flights of stairs (well, half flights anyway in my strangely split four-level house) and found something to wear to work.   I made sure Terry was awake and ready by six so we could take the Bonneville to the repair shop for an alignment and rotate and balance of its tires.  Then I sat on the front porch waiting to be picked up by my vanpool, having asked the backup driver to pick me up at home so Terry would have a vehicle.

The commute to work was uneventful and I began my workday with a green tea, toasted wheat bagel and banana from the Baristas in the library’s lobby.  Ninety minutes later, the wierdness began with a text from the backup vanpool driver (our regular driver took the rest of the week off to close on her new house and start moving in).  Receiving a text from him is not unusual, but one that asks me to call him at my first opportunity is.  So I called him.

He needed to return to Leavenworth to deal with a family emergency and was trying to find a way to 1) get the van to me so the other two people in the vanpool had a ride home from work (I’m the second backup vanpool driver) and 2) get back to Leavenworth.  I told him I’d call him back after I found my boss to ask if I could help him return to Leavenworth.  My boss, being the awesome guy he is, had no problem with me helping out so I called Jim back and gave him the go ahead.

Another ninety minutes wound by, as Jim wrapped up a project at his work, and we were off on the return trip to Leavenworth.  You couldn’t have asked for a more beautiful day.  A light north wind, crystal clear skies of a vivid blue, no haze or humidity (I could clearly see the horizons, meaning visibility exceeded ten miles or more).  Jim elaborated on the situation at home (which I won’t go into here but rest assured it was not life threatening, just a logistics nightmare for him), when my phone rang with a number I didn’t recognize.  I answered it tentatively and was relieved to hear my uncle’s voice.  The weirdness wrench ratcheted up another spoke.

Ron and his wife Treva were traveling from Iowa to Kansas, about to pass through Kansas City.  Ron was calling for some traffic avoidance tips and a flood update (because he knew I-29 was closed north of the metro area and didn’t know if any of the other area interstates were also affected).   He thought about taking I-635 to avoid downtown, but for some reason I thought I-435 would be better.  Not being a cyborg with a built-in GPS nor owning a smart enough phone to check while riding in a van, I soon remembered that I-35 doesn’t really connect with I-435 on the northeast side of Kansas City (i.e. the Liberty area) so I-635 was his best bet (with a short dogleg on I-29 to get from I-35 to I-635).  Soon after we agreed on this route, my uncle’s cell phone lost service and we were disconnected.  I didn’t attempt to call back, since there didn’t seem to be any point and I didn’t want to bore Jim with more inane family logistics.

I called Terry, who was asleep (nothing unusual about that) and asked if he wanted to pick me up this afternoon from the parking lot.  He said no, groggily.  I asked Terry to unlock the front door so I could retrieve the Firebird keys without digging through the bottom of my purse for my seldom used house key.  Jim dropped me off and I soon followed in the Firebird.  I jumped back in the van, after wishing Jim safe travels for all of his family, and headed back to Kansas City.  My phone rang again on the way back but this time I did recognize the number … it was my mother.  Weirdness strikes again.

I had just seen her the evening before.  She went to Cushing after work on Tuesday to have blood drawn prior to her surgery scheduled for Thursday morning.  She started feeling light-headed to the point of passing out and couldn’t drive herself home.  I was still at work Tuesday afternoon when she called me to take her home.  It takes me an hour to get home and when I did arrive, another roofing contractor was on-site measuring the house for a roofing estimate.  I needed Terry to follow me out to Easton, so I had to wait until the roofer finished his measurements and queried us on our requirements.

So when I received the call from my mother late Wednesday morning while driving away from Leavenworth, I worried that I would now have a huge dilemma if I needed to help her again, since there is no other backup driver for the vanpool.  Imagine my relief when my mom called me from her work to tell me the surgery was canceled because her doctor fell and hurt his back (no, I wasn’t happy the doctor hurt himself, just that my mom was all right).  Surgery would be rescheduled in two to three weeks.  This was a relief to me, since I had several projects I was juggling at work.

I got back to work and parked the van in my building’s parking garage, clear down on the third level (because it was the middle of the day by now and all the best parking spots were taken).  I missed the health enhancement lunch seminar I had registered for because I didn’t get back until 12:30 p.m.  Back at my desk, I continued working on my projects.

My cubemate of nearly fifteen years has a major project percolating this week, with a major software upgrade and rollout scheduled to start after work on Friday.  Adding to her already high stress level, her sister called her Tuesday to tell her their 90+ year old mother’s kidneys were failing and that this ‘was the end.’  So Marge is hoping her mother lasts at least until next week so she can get this upgrade behind her.  Marge’s backup plan for the upgrade?  She asked me if I had an hour or so on Friday to go over her upgrade checklist in case she had to hop a plane to New York for a funeral.  Sure, I said (wincing internally).  Firm-wide software upgrades are my specialty.

The rest of the afternoon proceeded without further weirdness.  I sent an e-mail to the other vanpool riders, telling them I would leave the Plaza at 4:00 pm and arrive at Hallmark headquarters by 4:15 pm.  Just as I was cruising down Grand through Crown Center, my phone rings again.  I saw it was my hubby calling me so I answered it.  He’s calling to ask me when I will be home as the Bonneville is ready to be picked up.  I explained that I still had to drop off one rider in Kansas City, Kansas, but hoped to be back in Lansing by 5:00 pm (when the repair shop closes).  I told him I’d call him after dropping her off with an update on my time.

Dodging traffic on I-70 as best I could in the top-heavy sluggish van, I managed to make it to the Legends (via Parallel) by 4:45 pm.  I called Terry and told him while I might make it to our house by 5:00 pm, he might want to call them and see if he could pay the balance over the phone and then we could just pickup the car after I finish driving the van back to Hallmark in Leavenworth.  Terry said he’d call the repair shop.  I called him again as I was passing Wallula church, the highest point on K-7 that overlooks Lansing and Leavenworth from the south.  He was waiting out by the mailbox and the repair shop said they usually hang around until 5:15 pm or so.

I pulled into our court at 5:01 pm and got Terry in the van and introduced him to the other rider.  I proceed to the repair shop (less than a mile north on Main Street aka K-7/US-73) and dropped Terry off.  Then, finally, I could head to Hallmark and park the van.  I said goodbye to Chuck and hopped in the Firebird to return home.  Terry left the garage door open so I wouldn’t have to mess with the front door.

Since Wednesdays are band practice nights for WolfGuard, I volunteered to cook supper.  We had a couple of minute steaks already breaded, so I quickly fried them and made some instant mashed potatoes.  We had left-over gravy from two nights ago, so I heated that up as well.  We ate a salad and then started in on the regular meal.  Then Terry’s phone rang.  The drummer was calling. Weirdness ratcheting higher yet again.

The drummer informed Terry he was probably moving to New Mexico in July to pursue a job.  Not great news for the band, but not much you can do about it in this economy.  Practice proceeded as best it could, since the lead guitarist was out-of-town for work this week and next.  Songs sounded good, tight and relaxed.  I always enjoy being serenaded with classic rock and metal.

Another roofer showed up just before band practice (second one today and probably the fifth this week) and the Rotts went nuts.  Over their obnoxious barking, I gave the roofers permission to climb all over my house and measure.  Terry spoke to them a couple of times, but wasn’t impressed with their professionalism (or lack there of).  They later called back with their estimate, which was low but didn’t meet our requirements, and will probably not be considered in our final decision.

The band began arriving and I changed into work clothes to mow the back yard.  For the last couple of weeks, a teenage girl has been mowing my front and side yards, leaving only the back yard for me to mess with.  Since rain was forecast for the rest of the week, I needed to get the back mowed.  Besides, I didn’t want to waste time this weekend mowing, when I could be enjoying Father’s Day with my hubby and my dad.

Band practice wound down during the nine o’clock hour.  I read chapters from a couple of books and retired upstairs to sleep.  Terry came up to cuddle for a few minutes and we discussed the roof, other remodel projects, including a call he had with a local interior designer (between roofers) and the band.  Eventually, he went back downstairs and I drifted off to sleep, praying that Thursday dawned quietly.   Less weirdness would be welcome.

Addendum (after lunch Thursday):  I forgot another call I received last night.  Receiving calls is a bit unusual for my cell phone (outside of the ones from Terry of course).  I can go days without my dumbphone ringing.  Oh, actually I forgot another call from the morning.  My dad called me shortly after eight o’clock in response to a Facebook status update I posted Tuesday night.  My status updates can be a bit obscure, but meaningful if you have a couple of key pieces of information.

After I finished mowing the back yard, I attempted to call my daughter, Rachelle, who has been in Boston all week.  The UNT Collegium singers (and the Baroque Orchestra) performed at a music festival there on Tuesday and Wednesday was the sightseeing day.  I wanted to get her impressions of Boston.  She returned my call after I’d gone to bed, just after ten o’clock Central (or eleven o’clock in Boston).  I could barely hear her over what sounded like a riot.  Not being much of a sports fan, I had no idea the pandemonium that had descended upon Boston after the Bruins beat Vancouver 4-0 and won the Stanley cup.  Hockey hooligans aside, Rachelle related the highlights of her walk along the Freedom Trail (all six miles of it), including the old North Church, Paul Revere’s house and the USS Constitution.   She hoped to catch some of the old homes on Beacon Hill before flying home to Texas Thursday morning.