Timing. Some days it is all about timing.
Hubby was away for a few days and I was to pick him up on a Sunday morning at 12:05 p.m. at the airport. Between waking up and picking him up I needed to go to church and visit my mom. Then we would go to an Adult Education program at 1 p.m. Great plan.
My sweetie said that he would call when he was waiting at the gate for his flight. So far so good because he then talked about airport shuttles from the hotel and who was leaving when and 6:30 a.m. and airport, and on and on. In my head he was taking the 5:30 shuttle and would certainly be at the gate no later than 7 a.m. which would be a perfect wake up call. I missed a cue though because he took the 7:30 a.m. shuttle to the airport and when I woke up at was 8:19, hubby hadn’t called, and I needed to be in church at 9. A church which is, blessedly, 1 mile away.
I can’t be the only one who knows how to make fast decisions as to what is important and what isn’t on a morning when you are running very late. Bed unmade, no coffee, and fast shower. I made it to church at 9:05 in time to slip into a seat in the back.
I left as others got up for Communion, just before 10. Winding my way to the freeway I stopped for a coffee and nosh, and got to my mom’s, 30 miles away around 11. I’d have 45 minutes to visit with mom since when I had checked on hubby’s flight it was on time at 12:05, and allowing 15 to 20 minutes for luggage I could easily visit until almost noon.
But as soon as I walked in the door I saw mom huddled under blankets on the living room sofa, realized the house felt cool (she likes it very warm), and heard, “I’m freezing. The heater isn’t working.” On a Sunday? Come on floor heater, you’ve worked for the last 80-plus years, just keep cranking out the heat. Mom’s caregiver was on overload and didn’t stop talking about not knowing what to do and the heater wouldn’t come on and she kept talking, apparently trying to convince me that she had not broken the heater. 1: keep her busy. I got out the vacuum, and the long hose, and put her to work cleaning the heater. 2: go to the “back” bedroom, which was added on 25 years after the house was built, and be sure that wall heater was working. If all else failed, they could hold up there for warmth until the house heater was fixed. 3: pick up the mail mom sets aside for me to handle. 4: do the normal checking of supplies and fixing mom’s medications for the week. Tasks done and I could focus and plan.
This took a good 20 minutes. Then I helped the caregiver put away the vacuum, held my breath, and turned up the thermostat to where I thought it would make the heater turn on, there being no real on/off switch. I waited and heard nothing. I turned it off again by moving the level to a cool temperature and waited a bit. In the interim mom is both acting frightened at being in a cool house and acting tough saying that the back bedroom would be fine for a couple of days. Me? I’m looking at the clock to be sure I get to the airport on time.
After several tries, each time putting the temperature higher I finally cranked it up to 85 degrees and waited, asking mom and the caregiver to be quiet. After a few seconds I heard it – a barely audible bit of a “thuwmp,” then a click, then the normal sound of the fire coming on. It was working. But the caregiver was still hyper and held her hands over the furnace declaring that it wasn’t on. “Just wait a bit” I said, a bit more firmly than I normally would speak to her. After a long minute or so there it was, heat. As mom heard the familiar popping heater sounds and heard me declare that there was heat she visibly relaxed. As far as I can figure either the caregiver did not turn up the heat high enough to activate the heater, or when she didn’t get an immediate response she gave up.
It was now 11:30. Oh well, I could spend 10 minutes visiting and maybe more. To be sure I checked my phone to confirm flight arrival time. No, it wasn’t 12:05 any longer, it was now an 11:58 arrival. I could just make it if there was no traffic, but any time on a weekend on the 405 in West Los Angeles can be a challenge. Mom got a short visit, a hug, a kiss, and I had to leave. Not the way to make her happy.
In the car I put the GPS on LAX and headed out. I well knew my way yet the GPS would give me arrival time. There was no traffic and I hit the infamous traffic “U” at the airport in time, circling just once before picking up hubby right at the curb and learning that the plane was so early that it was stalled for a bit before arriving at a gate. So far so good and there was just enough time to get to the 1 p.m. event.
We were doing quite well until hubby declared that he was very hungry and wanted to eat. As we got off the freeway for the several mile drive to our location I kept pointing out fast food spots. “No,” “Um, not that one,” “Keep going.” Sometimes you just drive and let things fall out as they come along. Finally, a couple of blocks and 5 minutes before our event the fish sandwich special at Carl Jr.’s caught hubby’s attention. He went in, came out, and we ate on the way, arriving just after the event began and getting the last parking spot.
We took seats in the back and hubby noticed me writing in a small notebook. “What are you doing?” he asked, somewhat annoyed. “This will make a fun blog” I replied.
It can’t be just me. Anyone else have days like this?