Finding my way

It was unfortunate that I unplugged the refrigerator in our IL home but forgot to leave the door ajar. So then three months later, when I went back to clean for our renter, I discovered the entire freezer had a layer of black mold.   Unknown

Stupidly, I cleaned in out and didn’t wear a respirator mask. So I got a sever bronchitis, and my lung partially collapsed.

The pulmonary specialized told me just to get lots of fresh air and to let my alveoli re-fill.  Unknown-1

I figured since my alveoli have to re-puff, and since that happens with activity, I needed to get going. In my usual extremism, I planned a trip to the Holyoke Mall, 16 miles away, to begin my Apple workshops, where, in my fantasy life, I pictured myself becoming proficient, and even creative, thanks to my MacBook Pro. But, 16 miles stood between me and my fantasy.

Why is 16 miles extreme? Harrowing?

Well, for starters, I don’t do Interstates. I only see out of one eye at a time, and don’t process visual information very quickly, i.e. I enter an Interstate ramp, turn my head left to peruse oncoming traffic, turn my head back to the road (ramp) in front of me, and don’t really know what lane I’m accelerating into for a few seconds. Doing this with oncoming traffic isn’t a good thing.

Try it. Something, possibly less life-threatening. Cover one eye as softball flies at your face. Switch eyes. You won’t know where the ball is exactly. You get close. But, traffic isn’t softball. This is semis and fast cars. Close may not be good enough.

Suffice to say that the seconds finding out what lane oncoming traffic is in, and whether I will collide with them or not, isn’t my idea of a good time.

Once I came to a dead stop, on I-57 in California, in front of a Greyhound bus. It was then, around 1981, I realized I didn’t belong on Interstates. The other convincing came on another ramp, with traffic chomping at my rear bumper and semis wheeling their 18 toward me. I stepped on the gas, lunged into traffic and somehow didn’t die.  Unknown-2

When I told my husband I’d actually closed my eyes and accelerated, he said, “Well, you do everything that way. And. some people have skill, others angels. Either will work if you stick to your system.”
I take surface streets.

Heading for Holyoke Mall, I got to West Springfield, slowly realizing that New England roads are not perpendicular. It isn’t always clear where to turn. And, they don’t believe in signs. That street name on the Google map is not posted on the road, meaning at that bear left thing, you’re not sure it’s the road on the map. Mostly likely, it’s not.

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And, rotary circles. If you haven’t experienced these, you must come visit Massachusetts. One cannot live a full life without this adventure. If you think ramps and accelerating onto Interstates were challenges please picture me circling the rotary, reading signs for multiple spoke-exits, then crossing over four rotary lanes when I do finally locate the exit.

On this Holyoke Mall trip, it was raining; I had to circle twice before I ventured across the four lanes, and before seeing where the 5 N exit was; I couldn’t see signs very well in the rain.  l

I arrived at the mall, rattled, ten minutes late for my 10:30 a.m. workshop. It had taken me an hour and 20 minutes for the 16 miles.
I was there for the “Marketing Your Business” training. The tech tried to volley between me and the other participant, but since I had arrived late, they were at work on her personal project.

I thought I could work on beautifying my blog, since she was working on her blog. I also wanted to learn how to plug in my new microphone, turn it on, and record something.

My microphone didn’t record, had to be replaced, and tapping on the mike, trying to make it work, pretty much took up the last 20 minutes of my time.

What I ended up learning was how to find the place on my blog to add pictures. Not sure that was worth the hour and 20-minute road trip. And, that was only one way.

By the time I got my microphone replaced, packed my things, and looked apprehensively toward the door, one of the lovely Apple techs decided he had better walk me to my car. I wasn’t positive where I had parked it. Armed with a return trip Google map, where I had made clear I needed a route with NO Interstates, and preferably smaller bridges. Gavin walked me to the elevator in the JC Penny store, and attempted to explain to me as we rode the elevator down and then up and then down again, that even though it looked different, this had to be the right elevator. Once he finally realized I had used an outside elevator in the parking structure, before walking across the parking lot to JC Penny, I realized I had forgotten that small walk outside, in the rain.

“Oh yeah,” I confirmed. “Now I remember.”

I felt old; I felt blind; I felt handicapped. But, I felt cherished by this sweet man who implied I reminded him of his grandmother. That’s okay.

It was about 2:30 p.m., the rainstorm worse, the sky dark with black clouds. I was not feeling confident at all.

My return trip involved some surface streets; I got lost and ended up crossing the BIG BRIDGE in Springfield, After a DIFFERENT ROTARY, which dumped me onto I-91, IN THE RAIN, where I almost had heart failure. Thankfully, Highway 5 was only a few feet to the right off the Interstate.    440px-Memorial_Bridge,_Springfield_MA

Not the right route at all. I did the whole accelerate without looking–didn’t close my eyes this time, but might as well have. I really don’t know how I did it, but at least they had lights on, so I could gauge car-length margin a bit better to jump into traffic.
Constant prayer, I arrived back in my own parking lot at 4:00 p.m. I had not shortened the trip and had not shortened my life.

All I can say is those alveoli had better be re-puffing.

 

Originally published on my former blogspot site (www.spinningstrawintogold.blogspot.com) in February, 2010 Reposted here because it was a popular post. For those of you who wish to read all of the Hotel Life stories, please visit the blogspot site. And thanks so much for reading.

Light Green

I have to admit, buying my new recycled stainless steel kitchen utensils, responsibly manufactured from countries around the world, and providing a safe and healthy (it’s really healthful folks) environment, fair labor practices, and environmental protection for those who want to live sustainably (no kidding, this was all on the label) all tied up in those cute little pieces of hemp twine looped through the utensil hanger holes, felt good. I like the little twine especially.  images

Truthfully, I don’t think much about being green, living sustainably and making sure everything I buy is tied to fair labor practices. I mean, it’s not that I’m into destroying the planet or littering, or not supporting farmers or anything.

I just use common sense. And, as we’ve already established, I’m a conservative, in most senses of the word, and especially re-using things, and not wanting to overspend, and getting as much out of a purchase as possible.

But, I guess I am kind of light green when it comes to being militant about this green, saving the planet stuff. I do not think there is anything we can do about any sort of planet warming, and I believe the so-called “research” has been research by press release, mostly for the gain of certain politicians who have hugely profited over the scare.   Unknown-1

It is Biblically prophesied that our planet will someday burn up. So, sorry guys, but there you have it. I seriously doubt you can stop that merely by discarding your plastic in the right bin. And, again, I’m not against doing that. I do it. But, it won’t SAVE the planet. Only God can do that, and He has actually given us the blueprint for that, which I don’t believe included recycling. I don’t think He’s against recycling either. He just doesn’t save us like that.  (The Great Day of the Lord
1″For behold, the day is coming, burning like a furnace; and all the arrogant and every evildoer will be chaff; and the day that is coming will set them ablaze,” says the LORD of hosts, “so that it will leave them neither root nor branch.” 2″But for you who fear My name, the sun of righteousness will rise with healing in its wings; and you will go forth and skip about like calves from the stall.…) Mal 4:1.

On the other hand, why not get into “natural” fibers, instead of manufactured synthetics?

It just feels better. Who wouldn’t rather untie a very attractive hemp cord from new utensils than some plastic wirey tie thingy!!

So, I’m not lobbying for anything here. Just use your own common sense, enjoy the earth, while it lasts, and if it makes you feel better to swing your dollars toward helping farmers in Central America or something, or, hey, even farmers in North America–do it! We all live here, and we can all benefit from anything that makes life prettier, cleaner, and longer lasting.