October 2nd, 2004


If This Keeps Up, I May Have to Dye My Hair...

Yesterday, I left the last half hour of papers ungraded and the batch before them unrecorded so that I could make it to Centerville in time to get to an open meat counter. When I got home, I drove the Acura right up next to the stoop to unload, took one armful of refrigerated goods into the house, and came out to find ALL THREE SETS OF KEYS LOCKED IN THE CAR.

Along with the two jugs of milk and three packages of frozen potatoes, a small amount of meat, and fruit. If it froze, I lose the fruit. If it didn't, I lose the potatoes.

Deciding not to call late at night, I waited until this morning to make the 911 call to find out the name and number of a locksmith.

"911; what is your emergency?"

"I don't have one. I just need some information."

Bored voice, "Okay. Go ahead."

"I locked all three sets of keys in the car."

"I won't have a deputy available until mid-morning. You could call the Centerville locksmith."

He reads me two numbers, one of which I write VERY BIG, as the glasses are also locked in the car. Since I was not expecting a second number, I had to write much smaller to get it on the paper in the room remaining.

I called my neighbor with all the farm tools, but locksmithing is not in his repertoire. He suggested calling the police or a locksmith.

The Centerville number did not answer, so I tried to call the cell phone, but couldn't read it.

911 did not crack a smile as he patiently repeated the number for the cell. I read it back.

When it finally got answered, the voice was very faint, and accompanied by a LOT of rustling before I heard any words at all. I couldn't understand what he said.

"I'm out of service this weekend. I'm on my honeymoon."

I bet he thinks some of his good buddies put me up to making that call! I apologized profusely and hung up.

911 will send a deputy out sometime. Even relating the honeymoon elicited no smile. I hope he's just a dour person, not that he's had a rough night.

If the deputy comes too late, I may lose everything that needs to stay cold.

No Glasses and the Long Arm of the Law

At 11:30, concern for the nearly $50.00 worth of groceries still locked in the car prompted me to again try 911 to see how late in mid-morning the deputy would be coming to unlock the car...

Then, as I was dialing, I thought, "No, I should use the regular sheriff's office number. This really isn't an emergency."

So I hung up and checked the emergency numbers in the front of the phone book -- all 911. I was looking up "Wayne, County of" and trying to find the sheriff's office by the difference in the line length between the words "courthouse" and "Lafayette St." and follow it across sans glasses when the phone rang.

"Sandra, we just had a 911 call from your number." Wow! I'm impressed. I'd dialed, then instantly hung up... I knew somewhere back in the back of my mind that they could track 911 calls, but I didn't realize they could track HUNG UP 911 calls...

I had turned on the computer to post this astounding feat of technology when the Acura's car horn started honking insistently. (The computer hadn't even finished booting up again, yet. For the significance of that piece of information to register, you need to understand that I am 17 miles from the town the sheriff's office is in.)

Popping out the door shoe-less, I was amazed to see the sheriff himself, not the promised deputy, had unlocked the car. I had not seen him personally for a few years, so was surprised how gray he'd gotten. (If he had the same reaction to me, he hid it well, as I hope I'd done.) I'd bought hay from him, but he'd delivered it while I was at work. He informed me with a straight face, but a mischievous twinkle in his eye, that the car alarm also worked.

I told him I had called in again because I was concerned that it might be getting too warm for the groceries to still be good, and related the honeymoon story for the locksmith's number. He drove off laughing, after giving me the opinion that the milk would still be good.

As I grabbed the gallons, I felt that he was right. They've been warmer on hot summer days just from the 25 mile trip home.

Yeah! Lunch with MILK!

Telephone Day

Before email, every Saturday used to be "telephone day". I'd get back-to-back calls, then when the option for call waiting came in, overlapping calls all day, until by evening, my ear felt as if the phone were an attachment that would have to be surgically removed.

I did not realize how liberating email is! I can call it up when I feel like dealing with it. Every call I had was a "good" call, either funny or helpful, or both, but by 10:30 pm, I was ready to HANG UP. Guess I'm just not into marathon listening any more.

The last call was from a friend I have not been able to catch at home all summer, but whose home number no longer worked. C.W. had no particular reason for calling, except that on the way home from church, she noticed that my light was on. We had a lovely LONG conversation, in which she'd said she'd like to have me over for supper some Friday night.

Now, Fridays are the most stressful of the week, with me staying until I have most, if not all of the papers graded and the lesson plans handed in. She'd picked that night because she already would have the house cleaned up for their sabbath. I can appreciate that! So, I acquiesced, and suggested she pick a time. When she remembered that my birthday was coming up, she decided that next Saturday would be the day... so, I guess I lied to B. when I told her today that I was just going to ignore it and maybe it would go away. The best kinds of birthday presents are things that were going to happen anyway that are therefore no extra work, but will bring joy to both...