Here’s what has been happening

Decrepit silo and barn

It isn’t often that I can get both a rundown barn and silo in the same shot. I came across this duo on the way home from one of my granddaughter’s baseball games recently.

***

Life hasn’t been all dreary, humdrum days and nights in my personal life lately. It seldom is. But then, I try to look for things to amuse me. You’ll probably think that I’m easily amused when you read the following.

I know that many of us are addicted to our smart phones. I know that I spend too much time staring at the screen as I scroll through the twitter feeds that I follow, or check out the Instagram postings, or read my email, or even play solitaire. So far, however, I have not started texting or taking calls as I drive or walk around town.

A few days ago I was driving home from the library and saw a young man in a wheelchair who was crossing a reasonably busy intersection. He was slightly more than half way across when he stopped and answered his phone. He sat there talking rather than first reaching the safety of the sidewalk. I hope that it was a very important call.

***

I had an exciting afternoon late last week. I happened to look out of a second floor window that overlooks our pool. It appeared that the pump wasn’t causing the water to circulate. That was odd. Now I hadn’t looked at the pool for a couple of days so I decided that I needed to investigate what the problem might be.

Once I arrived at the pool the problem was immediately apparent. Something was blocking the entrance to the skimmer. A closer inspection revealed that the blockage was a drowned squirrel. Oh my.

Over the years I have had to remove a few dead birds from the skimmer basket, but this squirrel was too big to even get into the basket. I was going to have to reach into the pool and lift it out. That was not something I wanted to do. But it was my duty. I could have used the net we use to fish out leaves and twigs, but I knew that if I did so I would not be able to resist the temptation to then fling the squirrel over the fence into out neighbor’s back yard. I like them too much to do that. So I went inside and fetched two plastic bags that I had planned on recycling. I put my right , dominant, hand in one bag and used it to reach into the pool to firmly grasp the waterlogged tail and deposit the squirrel in the other bag. Both bags went into the trash bin.

When I told Cindy about my adventure she asked me if I knew how long he had been in the pool. I told her that I didn’t know that it was a he because I didn’t take time to inspected the slightly bloated body for that type information, and what is more, I didn’t close the staring eyes.

***

Finally, yesterday a dead man called my phone. I was too late getting to the phone before it went to voicemail. It must not have been an important call, because there was no message.

I didn’t recognize the caller’s number, so how do I know it was a dead man? The Internet told me so. I Googled the phone number and it told me that the number belonged to a man who lived in an adjoining county. Not recognizing the name, I performed a further Google and came across an obituary for the man which dated back to 2003. Perhaps he had a son with the same name? He did! But it appears that the son died in 2010. So, one way or the other, I was called by a dead man who was too busy to leave me a voicemail message. I wonder if perhaps he realized that he had reached the wrong number.

Always get a second opinion

Graveyard south of Lafayette

It has been a while since I posted a picture of a grave yard. It seemed appropriate today since I mentioned things dying in this writing.

***

Early this week Cindy took her car in for an oil change. She took it to the dealership from which she is leasing the car. It is a Bob Rohrman dealership, and I don’t think he will mind seeing his name in this blog since he is all over television in Central Indiana and the Chicago TV markets. Of course they check for other things when you take the car in, and among their findings they told her that the transmission is leaking fluid and one of her tires has a nail in it and that the tire cannot be repaired. Of course, they would be happy to sell her a new tire for $370.

She did not have that extra work done, but rather came home to talk to me about it. I’m glad that she did because I was skeptical of what they told her. For one thing, there is no sign that the transmission is leaking fluid. That is, there are no telltale drops of fluid on the ground under her car. She will be taking it to a mechanic whom she trusts to get a second opinion.

I decide to take her car to the nearest Tire Barn outlet and have them look at the tire. I was sure that if the tire was unrepairable I could get a better deal on the tire than $370. I was right. Tire Barn repaired the tire for the grand sum of $17.86. I have to believe that the Rohrman repair people could have repaired the tire but chose to put one over on the “silly woman,” or they were incompetent. Neither speaks well of their business.

Wednesday was a bad day electronically at our house. First the cooling fan in my laptop died. Then our printer died. And my smart phone started popping up a message the The Process System wasn’t Responding. I needed to solve the printer problem first because Cindy had to printing to do for her business that afternoon, so I went out and bought a new printer.

The laptop was my next priority, so the following morning I took it to Best Buy, where I had purchased it a couple of years earlier. A member of their Geek Squad looked it over and declared that it could be repaired but it would cost at least $200, and it was likely that more problems would be found. It was recommended that I scrap the laptop and buy a new one. I demurred for the moment.

Then I took the laptop to a local computer repair shop. They are repairing the it for less than $100. Always get a second opinion.

Quite the evening

Morning on the deck. looking at our open bedroom window.

I took this picture from our deck around 7:30 this morning. It was quiet and peaceful, just me and the birds and a stalking cat. I scared the cat away. May it never return.

***

Yesterday evening, sometime between 5:30 and 6 a friend, part of Cindy’s expanded family, called Cindy to say that she thought she had broken her arm. She had gone to her daughter’s volleyball practice and since she had been a star volleyball player in high school, she was helping her daughter warm up. Well, she was not as agile and her footwork wasn’t quite as good as when she had been in high school. To make a longish story shorter, she fell backwards and injured her arm. She called Cindy to ask her to come and pick her up to take her to Urgent Care. Cindy was, at the time, cooking dinner for guests and asked me to pick our friend up. So I did.

I drove to the high school where I found our friend in her car in the parking lot. She asked me to drive her car since she had her toddler son in his car seat. I agreed and we set out to Urgent Care. When we got there we unloaded the toddler, assembled his stroller, put him in it and went inside. She was told that it would be at least 1 1/2 hours before she could see a doctor (let’s take the urgent out of Urgent Care) and they did not have the facilities to cast her arm if that was needed. So we went back to the parking lot where we put the toddler back in his car seat, disassembled the stroller, and loaded it into the car. We set off for the emergency room of one of our local hospitals. But first we stopped at our house and left the toddler with Cindy and our dinner guests.

When we arrived at the emergency room I noticed that they had a large sign on the wall that said “Emergency Room Welcome Center.” I think the Welcome Center part was supposed to take some of the sting out of the Emergency part. There didn’t appear to be many people waiting, so we were encouraged to think that the wait would not be too long.

Sitting beside us was a woman in a wheelchair accompanied by her husband and three adult daughters. Before long another four members of her family arrived. Our little part of the waiting area was getting crowded.

Did I say our wait wouldn’t be long? We sat there, chatting, for about an hour before our friend was taken into an examining room. I decide to stay in the waiting room. No sooner had our friend disappeared behind a door than one of the daughters marched to the desk and asked why our friend had been taken before her mother. The woman at the desk explained that while the mother may have checked in first, they took patients in order of severity of the injury. The daughter scowled and went back to her chair. One of her sisters asked what the counter person had said. The first sister said that she didn’t know. What?

About another hour passed and the woman in the wheelchair was still sitting and waiting. At that point another of the sisters marched to the desk and asked why her mother hadn’t been seen by a doctor yet, after all they had been waiting for two hours. The counter attendant looked at her computer screen and said, “No, you have been here one hour and forty-five minutes and we see people based on the severity of their…” never making eye contact with the daughter. The daughter said, “HOW CAN YOU…” And at that point her father said, “Come over here and sit down!” never looking up from his smart phone.

She grumbled but meekly returned to her chair. Then she started talking to her sisters, loud enough for all of the people in the waiting area to hear, “How can they tell if one injury is worse than another?” One of her sisters who was dressed in pink opined that her sister was just upset due to pregnancy hormones.

Then the pink sister started talking about her upcoming wedding. I tried to tune her out. It was difficult since she was standing directly in front of me. By the way, I had offered her my seat, but she had turned down my offer. At one point I heard her telling her family that she got nervous when she thought about sex and started twirling her hair. At that point I looked at her and thought she looked as if she had been around the block at least a few times, but that’s just between you and me.

Finally they called the mother’s name and told her she could take two people back with her. Pink sister took control of the wheelchair but her father stood up, put away his smart phone, and told pink sister to sit down. He was taking his wife back by himself. And he did. At that point, five of the seven remaining family members left to eat dinner.

I waited around another half hour and finally approached the counter attendant and said that my friend had gone back around an hour ago and… At that point the attendant looked at her computer screen and said, “No, it has only been forty-five minutes…” I broke in said that I just wanted an update on her condition. The woman never regained eye contact with me but said that I could go back and see my friend.

So I did. I got there in time to see her wheeled away for X-rays. When she returned she had a cloth on her forehead because she had passed out from pain when they were moving her arm around for the X-rays. We were sure that there was at least one break.

After a while a nurse came in and confirmed our speculation. It was a broken radius near her elbow. They gave her some pain meds, waited a bit and then started splinting her arm. After that they put her arm in a sling and sent us on our way. That was around 10:15 p.m.

I have to say that for an Emergency Room, nobody who worked there seemed to treat anything as an emergency. There was no hustle, no bustle, no sense of urgency. Maybe they need to rename that part of the hospital.