Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Of Karma, Temper Tantrums, Southern Gentlewomen and Smileys

We have been hit by the karma fairy over the last couple of weeks and evidently, judging by the number of things that went wrong or broke, I am currently paying back wrongdoings over the past two or three lives.    

It started with the air conditioner shutting down on one of the hottest days of the year, continued with toilets that made your heart stop when flushed....

....kept going with a  faucet  that leaks water from the hot side handle ... and sending my irritation to new levels was my old Sonic toothbrush with a new mind of its own motor.

The breakdown train rolled on with never-seen-before error messages from the digital camera and I felt my stomach turn over after biting into a pear resulted in a tooth breaking  off.

It truly hit a high point when it was discovered during a weatherization check-up that my furnace is showing signs of a carbon monoxide leak . . .

I won't even go into the little things that happened in between the big things...

Like the lettuce and tomato planter mysteriously being toppled off my patio ledge, destroying most of the plants. . .

Now, I admit to having my moments throughout my life and I've never claimed to be an angel but the problems, breakdowns and possible hazard to my health was making me reconsider the pitchfork and horns approach.
(Of course I would look just like her - wink, wink)
Foul of mind and mood, I headed out to my car. At least the air conditioning isn't broken in the grocery store and I was out of milk.  Pulling into a parking spot, I was mulling over how much food I could buy without overdrawing my account  when I saw a small sedan clip the side of a grocery cart and send it sailing into the side of my car.  Grabbing my purse and my temper, I hopped out of my car, ready to do battle with the owner of the car.

The car's door opened and out came this teeny tiny woman of indiscriminate age with an obvious hunch and almost translucent skin---she reminded me of my grandmother in her failing years. She turned toward me and smiled. And like a cheerleader facing the losing home crowd, her bright and happy face took the anger wind right out of my sails.
Smiling back at her, I found myself following her into the store.  She had me the moment I heard that sweet southern accent ask me to help her with the electric cart. Her name was Rose, she was a widow living with her busybody son and still missed her truck driver husband -- passed on some years ago.

For the next hour and a half, I listened to stories of this couples' adventures on the highways and roads of this U.S.A. 

I became lost in her tales and adventures and enamored of her life. Forgotten were the battles of the last few days, replaced by visions of endless countryside, snow mountain peaks, out-of-the-way diners with fabulous pies, and homes filled with people who still didn't lock their doors at night. 

It was a country I had dreamed of discovering and a secret I kept mostly deep down inside.

Finishing up her shopping, we grabbed my milk and cereal and headed to the check-out stands. Standing silently beside her, I felt an overwhelming rush of thankfulness for a wayward grocery cart and a woman whose vision probably should have kept  her out of the driver's seat. 

I turned to tell her of my gratitude and humbleness but she grabbed my hand and squeezed. It  seems she saw the look on my face after the cart had careened into the side of my car and knew that I was a woman on my last nerve.  Experienced with a life that had thrown some lemons -- and some days, an entire orchard of 'em -- she had sidetracked my day and reminded me of the good things that are still out there, waiting to be rediscovered. I hugged her and we headed for our cars, knowing that life had put us together that day.

I watched as she disappeared inside her car and smiled just a little at the image of the driverless car heading out of the parking lot. Gosh, she sure was tiny.

Sighing to myself, I started the engine of my car, ready once again to take on the little battles waiting for me at home.

As I opened the front door to my condo, I felt strength and obstinacy return to my soul. Turning to face life once again, I held out my hands, turned my palms up and said to an empty room, "Bring it on Karma Fairy, bring it on."

Sometimes you just have to blast back at life with guns a-blazin....

Why are the clothes still damp in the dryer?

And sometimes, you just call your best friend and say, "Sandy, I'm feeling a need for a happy hour beverage and my friend. How fast can you get dressed?"

Hopefully, the camera will be fixed in a couple of days.
Aren't you glad this posting is over?

So we can go back to regular pictures and makeovers?