Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Friday Morning at the Local ATM

Friday morning I was second in line at one of the two ATM machines in town. We rarely have a line, but it was the first day of the month, and many people’s checks are deposited then. In front of me a tiny little woman with her hair on top of her head like Pebbles Flintstone was putting her ATM card in the machine over and over. Her car was too far over from the machine, so she had gotten out in order to reach the slot better. Behind me, a guy sat in one of those huge trucks with huge wheels, not an eighteen-wheeler, just an unnecessarily large pick-up. I knew that any minute he was going to get mad because of the wait. Guys in trucks like that get angry quickly.

The lady at the ATM looked at me and waved, mouthing the words, “Help me.” I thought for a second. Well, I know you’re not supposed to get out and walk around at an ATM. The guy behind me might be a thief or a kidnapper or something like that. (On the other hand, big old overweight ladies hardly ever get kidnapped—ever notice that? It’s just too hard to drag them away.) Oh, well. The Pebbles lady would NEVER get finished if someone didn’t help her. I got out and went up to the ATM. Her problem was that she wanted to get out $600, more money than the machine would give at one time. (This is a safety feature built in because of guys like that one in the humongous truck behind me, no doubt.) Putting her card in over and over was not a good thing. I figured that at any moment the machine would rebel and refuse to give the rest of us any money at all; it IS out of order a great deal. The directions for the ATM were right at her eye level, but I am a fairly patient woman. Lots of people, including the students in my former high school English classes, never read anything, much less the directions to what they are working on. I moseyed back to my van and got in, relieved that no one had mugged me on this lovely morning in a small town in Georgia. I thought about how people rarely get mugged here, even though some people do get annoyed. About that time the guy in the truck ran out of patience and ROARED by Miss Pebbles and me, yelling obscenities as he went by. Yep, could have seen that one coming…

Well, she finally got her money. Miss Pebbles waved “Thank you” to me, got in the car, and headed down the road. The guy in the big truck probably got stopped by the local deputies for roaring down historic Main Street unless he is “kin” to all the locals. I pulled on up to the ATM and took my chances on its recently abused computer brain. Life goes on…

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Falling Walnuts

I know that the season has changed to autumn not when the weather people on television tell me so (after all, they are so seldom right), but when my daughters get out their hoodies and the walnuts begin to drop from the trees in our yard. This morning I looked up while I was walking one of the dogs. There was a cluster of eight walnuts directly over us. Now, these things are falling like bombs from the sky. Considering that neither my dog nor I am too strong in the brain department, I figured I’d better move it on out from under that particular branch a little faster than I usually move. I really don’t think I could explain to the neurologist or the veterinarian that we were hit on the head by a cluster of falling walnuts…

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Is the Library Closing?

The other day I received an email stating that as of the following Friday, our little county library would be closed. Someone had commented that the closing of the library was really sad. Another person commented that anyone needing library services could visit the library of the next county.

“What!” I thought. The closing of a small, rural library might not seem like much of a catastrophe to many people, but chaos was breaking loose in my little household. We are the people who not only have five books being currently read, but at least two overdue, one on hold from somewhere from another library in the state, two checked out and loaned to relatives two counties away, plus 40 cents currently owed in overdue fees. Never mind that I know perfectly well how to use my online library account, which shows me the titles of all my books checked out and how many renewals are allowed on each one. It also shows me the 40 cents I owe. Never mind the email I receive every two weeks that tells me I have books due soon. I want the people at the library to tell me IN PERSON.

I KNOW them. I have been talking to them about books for years, and I even taught one of them English literature before I retired. They know I’ll bring my books back in fairly good condition, and that I won’t move away or run off with the books. They know that I’ll admire the art and read the magazines while my daughter browses, if I don’t need anything myself. They know I think it would be a sacrilege to talk on a cell phone while in a library, but I also don’t mind the noise little kids make when their mama brings them into the library. After all, it wasn’t so long ago that I was bringing my own little girls into the library myself. I DON’T WANT TO GO TO THE LIBRARY IN THE NEXT COUNTY.

Luckily, there was a misunderstanding. The library isn’t closing “As of Friday,” but just closing on Fridays from now on, due to budget cuts. Just one day a week, whew. Still, that’s bad enough.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Sunday Morning and My Husband's Gone Fishing...

I keep waking up at unreasonably early hours on the weekends lately. It's not a school day for my eighth-grade daughter, so why am I up? I make coffee, shuffle around, nearly fall over dog toys, worry about my lack of sleep. Think about my daughter's birthday, the same day as mine, next month. What present will I get her? She was my best birthday present in 1996...Smile as I think about the young man at the hospital desk (he had his feet propped up, and obviously wasn't expecting a very large, pregnant, 40-year-old lady to arrive and say, "The doctor sent me over, my blood pressure is high, and I'm about to have a baby." He moved his feet down quickly...) How did the years pass so quickly?

After the coffee is finished, I get a cup and listen to the noises of the house...
air conditioner
a small cough
a dog shuffling the covers into my place in the bed
the refrigerator
a bird outside
our old dog outside wheezing

Well, I don't really have too many worries, I guess. I'll take a nap later. My daughter will be 14 soon, and she's a good kid. It's peaceful here. My coffee's good, and my husband's gone fishing...