July 20, 2021 – On a scale of one to ten.

This evening, the phone rang and I let it to go voicemail. I always screen incoming calls because I don’t particularly like dealing with solicitors and I was unsure of who was calling as I didn’t recognize the number. After the ‘beep’, a female voice started up about animal control and her husband moving out and a number of unusual things to leave on a voicemail message. It didn’t take long to figure out who the female caller was, I recognized her voice. It was the older sister of my best friend ‘M’. At the conclusion of her message, she indicated that she really wanted me to call her back. “Why is she calling?” my husband asked, totally stymied. I didn’t have an answer. She never calls (me). The extent of our relationship is that she’s related to my best friend. That’s it, nothing more. As much as I didn’t want to call her back, I did. And when I did, I think I figured out why she called me (of all people). She was tanked. I didn’t even hear the initial things she said because of a dog barking loudly in the background. But after the dog stopped making a racket, I heard plenty, and none of it was good.

Apart from her being three sheets to the wind (and my name being the first on her phone contact list), I cannot adequately explain why she chose to call me. She does a lot of things that don’t make sense, like having a witch sitting on a pumpkin painted onto her fake eye (which she got after losing her real eye to a couple of ravenous parasites). And I have to tell you, she had quite a story to share! It started out with her having lunch with a friend at a restaurant and being confronted by an animal control officer. According to her, her stepson called animal control and reported her for abuse and was able to tell the animal control officer where precisely to find her because he had the ability to track her whereabouts on his phone. From there, she went on to confide that her husband was moving out and that she had arranged for a couple of people she knew to rent her home while she was looking after her parents. And why did she need to look after her parents? Her sick, pervy (my words, not hers) brother was going to end up in jail after being convicted of multiple sexual assaults, and she was going to have to step in as their caretaker since her ‘s-p’ brother would no longer be able to.

If I had to rate her day on a scale of one to ten, one being terrible and ten being incredible, I’d give it a ‘two’. I’d give it a ‘one’ except I think in order for it to be that low, there would have to be an actual death involved. Since her day ‘only’ involved accusations of animal abuse, getting a divorce, and her new role as a caretaker to her parents as a result of her brother being incarcerated, I felt she qualified for a ‘two’. Two is a pretty sh*tty day. I’ve had some pretty sh*tty days, but I cannot say that any of them ever qualified as a ‘two’, especially today. Today (for me) was about as perfect as they come. When I woke up after a more-than-adequate night’s rest, I made my way to the kitchen where I cooked up my standard breakfast. While eating breakfast, my husband didn’t bombard me with his doubts about the house ever selling. He allowed my brain time to catch up with my body (which I really appreciated). At the conclusion of breakfast, I leashed up my dog, slipped on my tennis shoes, wrapped my coat around my waist, stuffed some poop bags in one pocket and a hanky in the other, and then she and I headed out the door for a nice, long walk.

When we returned home, I was drenched in sweat, so I immediately took a shower and cleaned up (while my dog proceeded to lay on the floor like a sack of potatoes). After making myself presentable, my husband and I decided to run a few errands. Errands + my husband usually ends up in disaster but today proved very different. The whole process could not have gone any smoother. The first errand involved Wal-Mart (of all places). I never look forward to shopping there but I try to make the best of it by doing something entertaining, such as counting butt cracks. Yes, you read right. I said ‘butt cracks’. Ordinarily, I can count at least three before we even enter the store. To my amazement, I didn’t spot a single crack today. I spotted a few other things that made me shudder, but no cracks. The other amazing thing was that Wal-Mart had everything we were looking for in stock (full-synthetic motor oil, a filter, and a handful of other items). They even had the nitrile gloves my husband needed, but we ended up purchasing them at Harbor Freight because they were only available at Wal-Mart in ‘one size fits all’.

Ha! ‘One size fits all’??!! Oh, please! Anyway, from Harbor Freight we went to Auto Zone in order to purchase a gasket for my husband’s truck. It was also readily available and was essentially ‘free’ because I still had a few dollars left on a gift card I bought last year. Since Albertson’s was having their ‘cheap chicken Monday’, that was our next stop. I love Mondays because I know dinner is going to be a piece of cake (or chicken) to prepare. An 8-piece assortment of thighs and drumsticks, some fresh corn on the cob, a can of baked beans, and voila, dinner is served!! The best part about that errand was that the chicken had just come out of the fryer so it was nice and fresh, and then when we went to check out, there were no lines. It was wonderful! Even when we swung by Goodwill to drop off a few donations (after departing Albertson’s), there was no line. How often does that happen?! And if you think I have no more good news to share, my friends, you would be mistaken! As it turned out, once we returned home and put everything away, we decided Mexican food for lunch sounded like a good idea.

When we arrived at the restaurant, not only did we find a place to park right out front, my favorite table (in the far corner) had just become available. On top of that, the wait staff was attentive, our food came out of the kitchen without delay, and everything was tasty. Across the street from the Mexican restaurant was Macy’s, which just happened to be the ‘next stop’ on our list of errands. I had a few items to return that I had ordered online, only to discover that they didn’t fit when I had an opportunity to try them on. Fortunately, it was an easy process to obtain a refund and didn’t take too long. The best part is where we ended up going next because we showed up at the perfect time! Right after we listed our house, our realtor mentioned that the front of it could use a bit more ‘color’ to help with the curb appeal. To me, a great way to add color is by adding flowers and/or colorful plants. Each time we go to a store, I check to see if any of the plants or flowers are reduced in price and I’ve been able to find a few things that have worked out. Having said that, nothing comes anywhere close to the deal I found today!!

Are you ready? For $2 each, I bought massive pots filled with flowers (see photo) that normally cost $30!! I kid you not! For 3 pots which would have normally sold for $90, I paid $6! I practically started shaking when the cashier rang them up! There was much more available but I only bought the 3 pots. I probably don’t need any more plants but I might just swing by tomorrow and see if there’s anything else I cannot live without (blame the hoarder in me). A lot of the plants looked like they were near death, but there were still plenty of healthy ones left (much like the ones I purchased). And, oh my gosh, the plants I purchased at bargain-basement prices look so good and really dress up the front of the house! I am so pleased when I walk up to the front door now, it looks so bright and cheerful. Honestly, can it get any better? Oh, yes! Yes, it can! Because right before we sat down to dinner, I checked my email and got the news I’d been hoping for. It started out with, “Your request to be excused from jury service is granted.” Yippee! I had asked to be excused because of my compromised immune system and they agreed.

It’s a huge relief because I didn’t want to be in a confined environment with a bunch of strangers, worried the entire time that I might catch Covid because so few people wear masks any more. After I read the email, I forwarded it to my husband and added, “The only thing that could make this day more perfect is if our realtor calls tonight and schedules a showing, and then we get an offer for our full asking price.” Wouldn’t it be nice if that were to happen? It didn’t, but that’s ok. I’m still going to savor this day. Tomorrow might be a whole different story, so I want to make sure I fully appreciate and process all of the good things that I was able to experience. It isn’t often that I can go to Wal-Mart, find everything I need, and have zero ‘crack’ encounters, or not have to wait in line at the checkout counter at Albertson’s, or have my favorite table come available at our ‘go-to’ Mexican restaurant, or come across a plant sale right after everything is marked down over 90 percent. No, these things don’t happen every day so I’m going to savor them. Tomorrow, when it’s all said and done, I might rate the day a ‘two’ or even a ‘one’. But for today? I’m giving today a ‘ten’.

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