Statistically, any day could be a bad news day: the phone rings and a few seconds later your life’s crossed a threshold from which there’s no going back. And, statistically, the older you get and the older the people around you get, the better the odds are that any particular call will be that call.
Lately, by which I mean since Bob died in 2008, it seems I’ve been getting a couple every month and I almost got one today.
The phone rang about 5:30, which was a little unusual in and of itself – my usual crop of politicians, solicitors, and misguided debt collectors only call at dinner time during the week; on weekends they tend to call around eight in the morning. It was my mom. She sounded fine—and sometimes she sounds weary—but she told me I probably should sit down. And I did, though it was more like I contracted into the nearest chair. She hastened to tell me that she was, indeed, fine but that she’d been in a car accident.
Mom and Dad live in a very nice community just off US Highway 441 in Tavares. When they moved there in 1980, you could practically go bowling each day out on Highway 441, but that’s changed now. 441 is six lanes now and while just about every place lays claim to the worst drivers in the country, I think Lake County might actually have them. When Jane and CJ came to visit, they watched as the driver at the next gas pump, dragged himself out of the driver’s seat and down the length of his car, clearly a stroke victim, completely paralyzed on one side—with all that that means for depth perception and peripheral vision. Jane and CJ were agog, but I scarcely blinked—that’s an ordinary sight on Highway 441.
It’s the kind of road that drives you crazy and brings out the worst in every driver – including me and, today, apparently, including my mom. She was trying to make a left, which means crossing the three southbound lanes (never mind that they’re actually going due east), holing up in the median cut, then merging into the northbound lanes (which are going due west…love driving that road at sunset). And, somehow, she overlooked a semi in the outside lane and merged into its second axle – the rear wheels of the cab.
Somehow, she got the car back onto the median (from which I infer that it wasn’t so badly crumpled that its tires were no longer in contact with the ground).
And she’s not hurt. Embarrassed, but not hurt.
And I’m blogging rather than doing any of a great number of things that I’m really not looking forward to at all.
But a semi– The mind boggles, and cringes. I don’t think I’m going to sleep well tonight.
All in all, I’d rather have had a replay of last weekend’s crisis. That was when we lost Jane’s email archive. Seems she’d been archiving all her email (and all the Closed Circle email!) on the server and in the midst of trying to tamp down Carolyn’s spam torrent, I missed the warning messages (assuming there were warning messages) that her archive had grown larger than its server-space. She sent me this very plaintive message—did I have any idea why she couldn’t access her email archive?
I didn’t…until I looked at the server directories, then I did a swift OMG, ‘cause her account was gone, gone, gone. Fortunately, I had access to a full system backup of everything on our server. Once I got it downloaded, I started picking it apart. Ultimately, I found the missing archives and restored them (along with her email account which now has infinite storage!)
But it took a while and while I was working I apparently forgot to move because when I finally stood up I had a stabbing pain above my left hip. Ibuprofen didn’t touch it and I thought I’d done something not only stupid but serious. It’s still stupid, but it’s not serious: I managed to pull a groin muscle while sitting! For several days, I asked myself, How did I do that? all while grumbling to myself that it wasn’t really getting better. On Wednesday it dawned on me (one of those “dawn broke over the universe” moments) that the problem was my computer chair—my beloved Balans chair in which I’ve been kneeling for nearly thirty years.
I don’t know whether the fault lies with the chair or with my body (a bit of both, I suspect), but I rolled the Balans aside and sat myself down in a spare dining-room chair. The dining-room chair brought instant misery to my back, but my groin stopped hurting immediately. So I went on a quest for a new computer chair. I guess I’m glad that there are so many more choices now, but I lost hours figuring out what all the adjectives meant. After sitting in every chair at the local Office Depot, I concluded that I wanted (needed?) a mid-back chair with forward-tilt adjustment and a waterfall seat (waterfall seat??? Who knew???) None of the available local chairs worked for me, so I’ve ordered one from Amazon. It had gotten as far as Jacksonville by midnight last night and should be here, ready to assemble, on Monday.
In the meantime—and for the first time in a long, long time—I’m having ration my at-the-computer time, which meant I didn’t get to alert everyone to the shout-out that Closed Circle got on Tele-Reads last Thursday. It’s an interesting article, worth reading even without Closed Circle. We’ve moved into the next round of the publishing Kerfluffle – now an agent has their authors’ backlists and given them exclusively to Amazon. I’ll have more thoughts to share about this…once I’ve assembled the new chair…