Monday, June 15, 2009

When Nothing Seems To Go Right

It seems almost foolish to ask if you've ever had one of those days when nothing seems to go right. I have never met a person who could answer truthfully, "no," to this question. I had one of those afternoons Sunday.

It wasn't even a day, the morning started out great. We had our annual outdoor worship service at the American Legion park in Mandan. The weather could not have been more spectacular. The sound system I was in charge of worked perfectly except for the tripped circuit breaker occurrences, due to all the potluck crock pots being plugged in. The service went off without a hitch and was followed by an amazing lunch with my favorite type of grilled bratwurst and some excellent potluck side dishes.

Then things started going downhill. I get headaches when I'm outside without my sunglasses. Sometimes I get headaches even when I have my sunglasses. It started marinating as a dull thud when I was sitting reflecting on the excellent lunch I just ate. The thudding began to grow in frequency and magnitude as I started loading the speakers and other equipment into the van.

I loaded up the kids and headed back to church to drop off the equipment, looking forward with eager anticipation, to an afternoon nap with a cold pack on my now throbbing skull. I got all the stuff unloaded and put back in its proper place only to find out I locked my keys in the van. You may remember if you've read the "Deer Me" series of my blogs, I am extremely prone to locking my keys in vehicles. One of the reasons why I keep a spare key in my wallet. Only I was driving Deanna's vehicle due to hauling the sound equipment.

The evil gremlin in my brain switched his ball-peen for a full blown sledgehammer and continued trying to batter the inside of my skull. I took a deep breath, prayed for some more patience and told the kids to go back in church and sent them promptly to the youth room. I got on the phone and started making phone calls to see who could give me a ride.

No one was answering. It was around 12:15 so I expected most of my contacts were out enjoying lunch so I took my shoes off and crashed on a couch thinking to try again later. I couldn't sleep, couldn't get comfortable, and had no access to a cold pack, nor the desire to fabricate one of my own from the kitchen. After about 30 minutes of agony I did manage to get a hold of my saintly stepfather who had just gotten home from his church's board meeting. He had no problem getting me back home, and I would come back later to get the van once Deanna got home from work.

Thinking at last my day might be taking a turn for the better, I got the aforementioned cold pack from the fridge, warned my kids to be quiet on penalty of death and dismemberment (I tend to exaggerate once in a while, please don't take that literally). And headed to bed.

I did sleep but the evil gremlin still wasn't through with me and headed downstairs to start supper as Deanna was on her way home. Dee's uncle has been very successful with fishing this spring and very generously had given us a supply of fresh walleye, the fillet-mignon of North Dakota fish. So we were going to have some fried fish and potatoes and onions.

I opened the fridge and realized we had forgotten to resupply the potatoes and there so there was very few left and the bag of onions had molded and rotted so we didn't have any of those either. OK, I said, I would stretch the potatoes by leaving some of the skins on and get creative with onion powder and other seasonings.

Then the frustration turned to horror when I realized we forgot to take the fish out the freezer. So I had an ice chunk instead of several tasty fillets. Now, Deanna, my wonderful wife, who has been blessed with more than her fair share of common sense, would have just given up and thrown a frozen pizza in the oven. I was not given my fair share of sense, or perhaps I was blessed with too much stubbornness to let something go, that overrode whatever common sense I did have.

We have this fancy automatic defrost setting on the microwave that I thought I would use. I found out it was totally worthless as after 15 minutes I still had an ice chunk with fish that was starting to cook around the edges. By this time Deanna, the voice of reason, had come home and convinced me to give up the fight before the fish was totally ruined.

I surrendered, put the fish in the fridge and started preheating the oven for our frozen pizzas. Deanna told me go lie down. Did I mention how much common sense this wonderful woman has? All's well that ends well, we had an OK supper. Frozen pizza isn't one of my faves. Went back to church to pick up the van, I drove my own car back home and Deanna went to get some groceries. The fish will hopefully keep in the fridge until we can have it this week.

I try to always have a point in my blogs. So hear it is. How do we deal with bad situations? It took a lot of effort, but I was impressed that although I came close, I didn't lose my temper and I didn't lash out at any loved ones. (at least not excessively, and the kids had it coming anyway) I had to keep reminding myself that things could be worse, it wasn't the end of the world, and any tantrums I would have had would not have helped my headache or make the circumstances any better. I tried to be hopeful, prayed for God's assistance getting through the deplorable events, and woke up this morning to a much better day.

Plus I've learned from this experience, after posting this I'm headed over to Guardian Locks to get a van key made so my other wallet-key will have some company, and hopefully this is the last time I get caught locked out. And maybe to always consider alternative meal choices when a planned feast starts to go awry.

Again and again I will say a happy and satisfying life does not depend on the events in which we find ourselves, but our reactions and attitude about them. I hope you have a wonderful week with as few problems as possible.


Steve at Random said...

I feel for you...if I get a headache, a couple of aspirin or Advil do the trick. But I have a niece who suffers from migraines. Also, the music tonight was was the rain after the concert. Grandpa and I were soaked by the time we made it home. Then the boys took off for work in Bismarck. Belinda is staying at the hospital until it lets up. I saw your mother-in-law after the concert. She was singing your praises and you deserved every word. Great job in the dixieland quartet.

randymeiss said...

Thank you my friend, I poured my heart and soul into that song because it will probably be the only time I get to play it this year. Next week they'll probably do the "Closer walk with thee," in which another of our fine trumpeters will get the limelight. Then I'm off to Canada for the magnificent Meissner fishing expedition. It should be a great time but I'll have to miss our last 3 performances.

I'm glad you enjoyed it. I was bummed I couldn't hold out the high B-flat at the end as long as the conductor wanted, but the rest of the song was easily the best I've ever played it.

What a storm! I'm glad you made it home safe. After trying two routes and finding them blocked with cars stalled in the flooding and rescue vehicles preventing others from doing the same, we camped out at mom and stepdad's place until things drained away a bit.

AZJim said...

I know what you mean with the headache due to the sun. I get the same ones. I blame my mom cause I inherited from her so you can blame me. You are right about the frame of mind also. Like Abe Lincoln said,"People are as happy as they make up their mind to be."