Monday, April 28, 2008

A Very Bad Day

At the risk of sounding like Eeyore, don't bother wishing me a happy birthday, because it is too late; it has already been a Very Bad Day.

It actually started Saturday, when I awoke feeling so miserable, and continued Saturday night when Demetrios had to go back to the store for the second or third time, trying to get the new curtain rods and brackets and sheers just right. (You wouldn't think that would be so incredibly complicated, but yes, I know from experience, it can be!)

It was pouring rain. And he, of course, is still walking with a cane, one of those canes with a tripod at the bottom of it. So of course that's when his car conked out. He couldn't do a thing except sit there in traffic. Twenty minutes later two very nice young men put the temporary tire on for him. (No, he doesn't know how.)

Today the man who was to put up the curtain rods pointed out the problems with what Demetrios had bought. Back to the store yet again, except this time, what he needed wasn't in stock at the nearby store, so he went to South Park Mall, half an hour away. In the pouring rain, again. He was gone more than two hours, because it's all very complicated.

The results were mixed. On the one hand, I didn't get to visit Chris for the afternoon, as I had planned, because Demetrios had the only driveable car. The curtain rod situation is still not sorted out, either. But on the other hand, Demetrios did get out of that mall before the tornado struck it! It's the very same spot in the very same mall another tornado hit some, what 10 or 15 years ago? Just about the time my niece, Tisho was passing by. (Tisho, can you remember when that was?)

Meanwhile Chris called me to say could I pick up a baby raccoon that had been left in a dog crate by its rescuer in a neighborhood very near mine. So I took Demetrios' car, which I wasn't supposed to drive, and drove it and found the raccoon. He was stone cold, but alive, in a dog crate with no door to protect this poor baby from any passing cat or dog. Eyes still closed.

Demetrios returned from the mall, and we decided that while the raccoon was warming up on the heating pad (You can't feed an animal until it's warm.) was a good time to take his car to Pep Boys to have a new tire put on.

On the way there, his car conked out. Fortunately, I was right behind him in my car. I nudged up to his rear fender, very gently I thought, and pushed him the rest of the way to Pep Boys, about half a mile. Now my front licence tag looks like I have been in a wreck. It will need hammering out.

Home again to receive another call from Chris, who said, "The vet called me up because someone had brought him a tiny, furry thing and nobody knew what it was. So I've gone out there to get it and it's just a ____ mouse! Eyes still closed, not yet fully furred."


"So I knew you like mice..."

"They're Demetrios' favorite creature."

"Well, I have it for you, and it sucks, I mean really sucks!"

"How wonderful! I never heard of a mouse doing that. I usually have to dribble the formula onto their tongues."

"Most of 'em won't, but this one just latches right on to that nipple and goes for it!"

"I'm coming right over!"

"Oh, and would you call this number and arrange to pick up the 3-week-old squirrel this lady has and bring it to me?"

So I gathered up my new 'coon, to show her, and Lucky, the flying squirrel, because Kim is going to pick it up from her, and off I went.

Well, it took me a long time to find the lady with the squirrel, far out of my way, and I got lost. But eventually I got it, apologizing profusely to the lady, who had been waiting a long time for me, in her car, in the rain. I was near tears.

I arrived at Chris' house around 6:00. We weighed her four raccoons and put the smallest of them, a girl, in with mine. She weighs 340 grams; he weighs 288. No matter; they seem to have accepted each other very well as foster litter mates. I've named them Rebel and Reba, just because the names seemed appropriate for Southern raccoons.

The mouse's name is Tiki, short for Pontiki, which is modern Greek for "mouse". Her length, not counting the tail, is comparable to the diameter of a penny. Her tail is narrower than kite string. I am not yet even sure if she's really a girl. I think she is, but next time I feed her I shall have to get out a magnifying glass to be sure.

The curtain rod situation is such as requires yet another trip to the store, hopefully the last one. But we ran out of time tonight, as I didn't return from Chris' house until 7:00. So that remains for tommorrow.

So we just went out to dinner, and that was the best part of the day. Demetrios had steak and I had prime rib. Not that I could taste anything. I brought half my meal home in a box.

On the way home, his car, which by then we had picked up from Pep Boys, conked out again, a hundred yards from home. Luckily, though, this time it restarted after several tries.

We heard on the news that another tornado has hit Suffolk, killing at least one, injuring more than 200, and making many, many people homeless.

See? That's a very bad day, not so much for me as for all those folks!

And for me, this is by no means the worst birthday I've ever had, either. Four years ago, it was worse, when I woke up to an empty house, and only an hour later found Demetrios' note saying he had driven himself to the emergency room. He couldn't stop coughing, so he pulled out his stethoscope and listened to his own heart, and the way it sounded is what made him decide he needed help right away. (And sure enough, it would turn out he needed a quadruple arterial bypass.)

The rest of his note scared me to death. It was one of those Always Remember I Love You With All My Heart notes.

So for me, from my own, selfish, individual point of view, this was a MUCH better birthday than that!

Just not for the people in Suffolk...



Elizabeth @ The Garden Window said...

That really does sound like an absolutely action-packed, stressful day.
I am so glad the tornado near you did not cause too much damage, but Lord have mercy on those who have suffered its effects.

I hope the rest of Bright Week is calm, peaceful and blessed, and that you get really well soon. Good luck with the new little critters !!!!

Anastasia Theodoridis said...

August 6, 1993. That's when the last tornado hit South Park Mall.