Tuesday, July 24, 2012

A Bad Day

The Mae Flower - gone.
Yesterday was another big day for lessons, it was awful experience but, I had to remember, not horrific. The events made me reassess my spectrum of what constitutes a 'bad day'.

Because The Mae Flower's fridge is leaking ammonia, I had to drive it to Fargo (3 hrs. south) to the dealer to get it fixed. It was a pretty big pain in the ass as it required all kinds of packing up, disconnecting from the sewer and electricity and borrowing Brent's truck for the trip. I was annoyed but anxious to have the problem eradicated.

An awful sight - a empty hole in the yard.
I drop it off around 2 p.m. and am told it will be done in 2.5 hours. Fine. I leave and head to the Old Broadway Grill in downtown Fargo for lunch. I order me up an iced tea, ahi tuna burger and sweet potato fries - DE-luxe!

My phone rings. "You forgot to leave us the key."  Ugh. 'My fault though,' I thought to myself, a frequent thought as of late. So, I ask the waitress to hold my lunch and rip on down to the dealer to hand over the key.

After lunch, I heightened my spirits by tracking down a glorious recycling drop-off location at the edge of a park. Recycling in North Dakota requires much forethought and I had hauled all my aluminum, glass, tin and plastic along for this specific reason.

When I saw all those specifically designated bins, I was beyond happy and texted Kirk with photos.  (He found this highly amusing.) While I was there, dancing around the bins, at least five people pulled up with their recycling, each one looking like they came from Colorado - very fit and bright eyed, with hiking boots, ropey muscles and tan faces. I asked one fellow about the bins and he said they'd been there about 5 years.

Even designations for colored glass! GO FARGO!
My happiness was short lived, however, when I got the call that the old fridge won't fit through the door so they have to replace the cooling unit, which isn't readily available. Thus, the trailer wouldn't be ready until 11 a.m. the next day. WTF?

I was annoyed but tried to quickly work out a lodging plan, one with wi-fi so I could still work. At one point, I actually complained to the person on the phone, "If I had known, I would have brought my toothbrush and clothes with me," not grasping the fact that because I had brought the trailer with me, I had, in fact, brought ALL of my stuff; the Mae Flower was actually one big suitcase on wheels. Duh.

I make a quick stop at Hornbacher's, a big grocery chain, to grab some Parmesan and walnuts for pesto - something they've never heard of in my region. I then get another call from the dealer saying that my trailer is now going to be kept in Fargo 3-4 days for repairs. I am stunned, speechless and emotion starts to creep into my voice, cracking on key words.

I am enraged and make sure they understand that it will be delivered, that I will NOT be responsible for fetching my faulty brand new trailer that I have owned for exactly 6 weeks. I was very expressive with my anger on the phone, to the point that I had to slide in an apology as I was being a monster. "I'm sorry, Becky. I don't mean to be short with you, I'm just very frustrated," I said. This bought me more time before they called security or issued a restraining order.

Driving back to the outlet to pack up some clothes, I called Mama Iva for advice. Should I try to stay with a neighbor or relative? We discuss, in the end, decide it would be best if I stay where we always have, at the Forestwood Inn in Walhalla.

So, the gas down to Fargo was about $100 and the motel is another couple hundred, so getting the fridge fixed "for free" under the warranty is not a truism at all. Not to mention all the ruined food from the ammonia. I guess this is one of those bumps in the road I always hear about. Damn.

By the time I get to the outlet, there are flames coming out of my ears, my teeth are grinding and I'm close to tears. I've had a headache for 3 days and the oppressive heat doesn't help. I grab a cardboard box to hold my stuff, my new luggage for my new uprooted situation.

I walk in and the place is deserted except for one man. He looks at me, half-scared, and says, "Are you the lady with the fridge problem?"

"YES. THE 'FRIDGE PROBLEM' LADY. THAT'S ME," is all I can muster, with big blue icicles hanging off my every word and daggers shooting out of my eyes. A frightening sight, I'm sure.

He takes me in to the shop, apologizes and offers, "I can get you more cardboard boxes if you need them." To protect him, I ignore him.

I enter the trailer and the place is a mess, everything dislodged from the drive. The slide-in has crunched up the space, the kitchen is in tatters and there are toothpicks everywhere. I burst into tears, losing it completely. The idea of packing up my stuff, again, to move to another place, again, is overwhelming. I was finally getting settled and my new 'home' is a disaster. Poor Kirk had the great misfortune of calling me at this moment and I was a blubbering, pathetic, sweaty, angry mess. I wailed to him on the phone as I threw random things in the box.

On the way out, I caught site of the young man, Brendan, who sold me the trailer. I let loose on him. "NOT HAPPY, BRENDAN!" I yelled, as I threw my suitcase into the back of Brent's truck. My rant continued, peppered with some choice F bombs and I stormed off - one of my infamous adult tantrums. (I left Brendan an apologetic voice mail today.)

Meanwhile, the entire day and all through this episode, the inside of my brain is wallpapered with thoughts of Aurora. I found out Sunday that a member of my church, Rebecca Wingo, perished in the shootings. I didn't know her personally but much like the Seal Beach shootings last fall, a national tragedy had, once again, hit too close to home.

Rebecca Wingo
So I kept telling myself that, in light of that terrible event, I could surely see the outrageous difference in a so-called 'bad day' - that one was, at worst, inconvenient, and that the other was a heinous scene of death. Both were borne out of a regular day of living life. I was hoping that this realization would put it in perspective and help me calm down but I think it just made me cry harder. I was now bawling for multiple reasons.
Aurora Theater memorial gathering.
Missing Micayla.
Knowing that Rebecca's two children (as well as all the other victims' loved ones) had lost their mother just made me more angry and my brain more inflamed with rage. Only later did I realize that I hadn't processed the Aurora events at all, which is easier to do when you're far away.

Having been to Columbine High School at the 10-year memorial service and hearing first hand what the community of Littleton had to face, I just couldn't fathom that it was happening again just 13 miles away. (Kirk went to the memorial gathering at the theater last Sunday and took these excellent photos.)

The whole day made me question my decision to leave Colorado as it faced one of its toughest summers in history - the raging fires, the freakish, record-breaking heat and now, Aurora. I felt incredible guilt, the same guilt I felt when I was in Australia during the Oklahoma city bombings: 'I should be there.'

Balloons to honor the victims.
Later, in my motel room, I took solace in the endless hot water but I didn't feel much better. My head still throbbed. My face was still puffy from all the heat and emotion and I had to dig my toothbrush out of a cardboard box. I said a prayer for everyone affected by the shootings, consoled myself with 2 episodes of Downton Abbey and tried to sleep, 11.7 miles from the farm.

Much, much too far.

No comments: