Thursday, March 13, 2008

Today


See that spot that the arrow is pointing to? That is what I discovered when I woke up this morning--about fifteen minutes after the alarm was supposed to wake me. I had opened one eye about half an hour earlier and read the time on the clock radio. The clock radio does not wake me on work mornings. It wakes my husband--or doesn't, as the case may be--he's retired. And it wakes us both up on weekends--or not, as the case may be. It is, after all, a radio, and music soothes the savage beasts.
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The battery alarm clock wakes me up for work. Or at least it does when it has a battery in it. Where is the battery?
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arrrrghhh!!
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Do you suppose that should have been a sign that this was not going to be an ordinary day? Should I have rolled over and said "NO! NO! NO WAY!!!"
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I had been asked yesterday when I was going to retire, and gave the standard answer--when my car quits taking me to work, so either in two weeks or when I am 112. That is my answer because I have no answer. I am not ready to retire and I don't know when I will be ready to retired. It is also my answer because of this:

I took this picture a couple of months ago because I liked the palindromic nature of the odometer reading. It has occurred to me since then that the odometer reads as a palindrome about every hundred miles or so, then skips a bit because the thousand changes, then goes every hundred or so again for a while. It has been a palindrome about twenty times since I took this picture. It was a palindrome again today, but I've quit taking pictures of my palindromic odometer. BTW, I did pull over to take this picture. I was not going 70 mph down the freeway when I took it.
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But the point, you see is that one day, either in the next few weeks or when I am 112, this car is going to quit taking me to work. At over 300,000 miles, it could be sooner than later.

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But it took me to work this morning, and it did not object at all, and I thought things were back on a normal plane.
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Is there ever a normal for a school teacher--especially a school librarian? This week has been book fair week, so there has been nothing normal about it.
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But even for a book fair day, there were some strange occurrences.
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As I was bringing my library cart back down the hall from visiting a class, a glance in the art room and--Sh. helping with an art project. This volunteer no longer has kids at the school, and I hadn't seen her in months. It seems strange to see her at the school today. At least I thought it was strange. After school, with the library full of last day of book fair shopping kids and parents, things slowed down for a minute and I look across the room and there was Sa. Last year in the fall, Sh. and Sa.'s mom had been my book fair volunteers who planned the whole thing--all I had to do was show up. I thought it had been strange seeing Sh. But Sh. still lives in town. Sa.'s family moved away last spring...
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to Pakistan!
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Yikes!
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I didn't say everything was bad today. Just everything was--well, pretty intense. You see, after I had seen Sh. and before I saw Sa. there was recess. A dozen little kids were back with their zip lock bags full of coins to see if they had enough for just one more--whatever--from the book fair. So I was ringing up one such sale on the cash register provided us for the fair, and got an error message, and eventually figured out that it was out of paper, and I loaded the paper. Well, first I pushed every button on the machine, turned it off and on a few times, and said one or two things but not aloud.
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arrrrgh!!
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I then cleared the room. There is absolutely nothing you want to do less with an audience of first through third graders than figure out a frozen cash register.
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Three different people at the book fair company told me how to load the paper. I had done it right the first time. Then one of them gave me the number of the cash register company--where they told me how to load the paper. Thank you. When I assured them that the paper was loaded and it still didn't work, that it didn't even light up any more, they asked me if I tried another outlet.
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arrrrgh!!
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I guess I shouldn't expect them to understand how old the building is and where the outlets are and why I have to string a long extension cord over the door to the counter to run this thing in the first place. Can you try another outlet? Well, to do that I will have to take it somewhere. I looked behind the book fair cases and decided that the easiest way to check this for them--because after all, I knew that my outlet/extension cord/power strip arrangement was fine but they would not tell me anything else until I had checked--I took it to the art room and tested it.
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No. It doesn't work in the art room either.
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Sounds like it's broke.
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arrrrghhhhh!!!
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So they told me how to get the drawer open mechanically and I did and eventually shook all the coins out of there that had gone to all sorts of strange corners of the machine when I turned it over to find the release lever. And I went and borrowed a cash box and a couple of calculators and made copies of the tax chart and all of this was done before all the kids got out of school and they and their parents and grandparents and uncles and aunts and little brothers and little sisters and a few teachers as well arrived to do their last chance at this year's book fair shopping. And one of my sale volunteers even showed up. And it was all over but the shouting when the packing up volunteers came and we had everything ready to go back to the warehouse in less than an hour.
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Sigh!
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And I even got to talk to Sa.'s mom, who told me how they had organized a book fair at their school in Pakistan and it was good, and the kids didn't want to go back and she'd be really happy if they moved back here and that Z. (Sa.'s brother) says this is the only school he ever wants to go to.
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And when all the money was counted up and the library put back into not quite itself but a good facsimile and everything was ready for the truck to pick up in the morning and I went to put the money in the locked cabinet, I had lost the key to the locked cabinet again.
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Sigh!
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It was the fourth time this week. And the only time I ever lock the cabinet is when there is book fair money in it. And I couldn't find the key at all.
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Sigh!
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So I give up and head out to the car and open it and put some things in the back and some things in the front and some things in the trash and WOW!! I get to go home! So I reach for the ignition and there are no keys. And I search my purse and empty it and I search my basket and empty it and I search my pockets, and I search the ground and I search the car and I search....
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Arrrrrrrgggggghhhhhh!
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And I searched all these places again and I searched them one more time and I did pray to St. Anthony BTW early on in the search and later in the search and in between the searches and I knew they had to be within a few feet of me. And I gave up. And it was not the first time today that I was ready to cry.
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I took my purse, and closed the door to go ask Mr. L if I was nuts, and


I looked there. Really I did. Three times.

9 comments:

WillThink4Wine said...

Sometimes I run around like a crazy woman looking for me keys, and My Dad says "Isn't that them in your hands"? Good Lord.

CrazyCath said...

Katney- this is the first time I have read about YOU and what your life is like and not just looked at your talented photographic skills. You explain it all so well. I so feel for you. I have had days like that too. You just relate it really well. I think you coped admirably.
Great post.

david mcmahon said...

Yep, I can identify with most of that, Katney!!

Terrific narration.

And yes, you;re absolutely right on the answer to my Formula One question!

Carver said...

I can identify with this post so much. I'm so sorry it was one of those days but I'm glad you spied your keys. I hope you have a great weekend to make up for it.

Inland Empire Girl said...

Ah... our lives in a school building... I understand about book fair and I am not even the librarian! I have so many lost key stories I could fill up my blog. May your Saturday be peaceful and calm!!

Paulie said...

I was feeling so sorry for you and almost in tears over your book fair problems. . . and then I started laughing out loud hilariously! I have done the same kind of things about keys. {{{{{Kathy}}}}}

John-Michael said...

I am sending a link to this to one of my dearest of long-time friends ... who recently retired from her post as School (elementary level K-6) Librarian (which is no longer what they are called. now it is 'Media Specialist' [bogus!! Librarian it will forever be to me!]) She will SO identify with EVERY part of your beautifully described experience. I had a great time here. And will certainly be back.

Daryl E said...

Oh Katney! What a day you had .. I personally hope you work til your 113 .. as for those keys .. in my experience keys have a invisiblity cloak they put on when someone is looking for them .. really .. I know this .. from my own key searches...

quilly said...

I slept soundly all night, woke in the morning and couldn't find my keys so I could lock the house and go to work. Finally, I decided there was nothing to do for it but go to work, leave the house unlocked and spend the day praying ...

I opened the door and there were the keys in the lock -- outside ....