Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Going,going, gone....

Sitting here at work, finishing out my last 2 days.  The past couple of weeks have just been a blur, and yesterday was just....surreal.  More on that later.  :-)  Starting to say my goodbyes, slowly, but surely, and adding to my itinerary.  Danced my last dances with the local square dance clubs this past weekend.  What wonderful friends I have made there, and what a joy that "exercise" is, especially hot hash at VA and NC state conventions.  Sunday, some of the girls from work and their families and I went ice skating.  So glad I got my skates sharpened in preparation for the cruise, which has an ice skating ring on it!  Tomorrow will be hard, saying goodbye to the wonderful and loving family that is Albemarle Square Family Healthcare as I work, and then afterwards at my going away party.  It will be a great year, with lots of exciting things planned, and I have moments of sheer joy and excitement, and moments of sheer exhaustion between getting things done to leave, and looking at the (rather long) list of things still left to do.  Thank goodness I have a full day off before taking off Friday morning.  First stops are a couple of places in NC, then heading down the OBX, Charleston, Savannah, and down to FL.  In FL, I have a number of things planned.  There is a winter square dancing festival going on, so hope to catch some dancing there.  Several of my VA friends are down there right now for the winter dressage festivals, so hope to catch up with some of them.  And then, I pick up my mom from the Ft. Lauderdale airport, and we head off on our 7 day Western Caribbean square dancing cruise.  From there on to Texas, and then Hawaii (yeah, I will have been to all 50 states!), and then the West Coast, and then Haiti (hopefully) and then the Appalachian Trail and then, and then, and then...... :-)  There will be much joy in this journey, so stay tuned for updates, and pictures, and.....

Yesterday was a monster of its own, that started off with a bang.......literally.  But, honestly, it was one of those days that, at the end of the day, you couldn't help but laugh.  I pulled into a shopping center on my way to work, looked down to check the time, and looked up in time to watch in horror as I completely hit the curb and went sailing.  Ok, maybe not sailing, but it wasn't a smooth ride, either.  :-)  And, of course, I killed the tired.  Well, replacing the tires was not necessarily on my list of things I wanted to spend a bunch of money on right before leaving, but I figured, it was good to have new tires on anyways.  Having changed many a tire, I took out all the things in my trunk (I was meeting someone who was purchasing some exercise equipment from me), dug out the spare and the jack, and went to work.  Got the old tire off, needed some more room to put the spare on, so continued jacking up the car, and then.......*BAM* off the car went off the jack.  No, I didn't have the emergency brake on, but neither had I the previous 20 times I'd changed a tire (sure will next time, though!).  So, the front of the car is now on the ground, and the jack will no longer fit under the car.  Well, that's what roadside assistance is for......Took out my (already dying) phone, and called.  ETA: 910 AM.  Current time: 8:45.  Well, no since going to work if it won't be that long, so sat around and waited.....and waited....and waited.....Received phone call from USAA to see if help was there yet...no.  They will call back after ETA.  They don't call back.  It's 918.  I call them.  They call the company.  "He should be there any minute".  3 minutes later, I receive a call from the guy.  He's still 10-15 min out.  I call USAA back and complain.  Should have just gone to work.  Lights were apparently all green, because 5 min later, the guy shows up in a Jeep.  He is a big guy.  He can barely get down to the ground and back up again.  The back of his Jeep is full with soda bottles and pizza boxes.  No, I'm not kidding.  "Um....I don't think I have anything that will help with this." Great.  He starts pulling jacks out of his truck.  Nothing doing.  Asks for mine again, which I have since put away and loaded the car back up, thinking the help would have the actual equipment needed.  He tries my jack.  Nope.  Still doesn't work.  At this point, I am beyond frustrated, and need to pee, so go to use the facilities at the Burger King.  I come back.  My car's there, the assistance guy's car is there, the jacks are scattered all over the place.  No guy.  I look around.  Nope.  All of a sudden, he comes out of one of the buildings in the shopping center.  "Hey!  I'm over here!  I'm trying to get some help so we can lift the car."  Right.  Like THAT's going to happen.  Eventually, some people come out of a building and agree to try and help.  There are a total of 4 people (I am not one of them, I am not injuring my back before taking off on a cross country road trip) trying to lift a Prius.  It moves 1/4".  I call USAA and tell them to send a tow truck.  "Will you be with the vehicle when help arrives?"  NO!  I should've been at work 2 hours ago.  ETA on tow truck: 1108.  Current time: 10 AM.  Whatever.  I'm not waiting, so they can take their time.  15 min later, I'm at work.  The tow company is calling.  They have just arrived on scene, over half an hour ahead of schedule.  "Tell me what happened."  So, I go through the whole story.  Get to the part about calling for help, and they (who have seen the name of the company on the Jeep still parked next to my car) say, "And they sent some idiot who didn't know what they were doing."  Exactly.  10 min later, my car was on the way to the shop.  This afternoon, I will be able to pick it up.  Besides 4 new tires, it also had to have some repairs due to hitting the curb and falling off the jack, but all will be well.

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