The Greater Good

It was the car’s first oil change and checkup. A cold front came through–rare for September. Skies were deceptively blue and beautiful.

Sterile customer waiting rooms typically had libations, pastries, and uncomfortable chairs. It was rare, for me anyway, to strike up conversations, while waiting. Today was different.

Ben, a personable young man, was a rock-climbing instructor. His family was stationed at the nearby, Navy base.

Donna, was an assistant pastor at a local church. Her responsibilities involved church education and outreach.

The thrust of our conversations revealed commonality–we’d all belonged to organizations–church or military, past or present.  Sometimes, bonds formed were greater, than family ties.

Through our collective experiences, we’d learned to get along with others of different backgrounds; because we were part of something greater than ourselves.

“What was it like experiencing a hurricane?” Ben asked.  “It was hectic. Frightening–even.  Evacuations were tense, unpleasant,” I answered.

Gasoline prices spiked the past week, and were still climbing.  Hotels in Northwest Florida were filling with hurricane evacuees.  Bottled water was scarce in local stores.

“Why were hurricanes named after bad people?” Donna asked.  “Ivan, the hurricane, was terrible–like its namesake.”

The name Irma, would forever have bad connotations–just like Katrina.

“If there was ever a hurricane Adolph, we resolved to leave immediately–no questions asked.”

 

 

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Nothing To Say?

I’ve always got something to say. Just don’t want to give opinions on some things.

National and international news has been dismal of late. Trying to take the high road–not add to the divisiveness.

Love bugs seem to be back early this late summer. Weren’t they supposed to show in September? Maybe they will leave early?

Why are love bugs important? They’re not if you don’t live in the coastal southeastern United States–or, if you go on vacation to this part of the country. Their acidic dead bodies, can damage paint on the front of your car, if not removed promptly.

It’s been awhile since I’ve been without a car. No worries, I can bum rides from neighbors. till the car is released from the auto body shop.

Isn’t it crazy how all the tasks requiring an automobile flood one’s mind. So, I mowed the lawn. Now, I’m too exhausted to think about it..

Special Elections/Frog Stranglers

It’s primary election day. There were a slew of senatorial candidates for both parties.  If there was no majority, a runoff will happen in September.

It didn’t take long to vote, since the polling station wasn’t crowded and the ballot was short.

Ballots for regular elections are so long, I think most people grow weary after voting their choices for federal offices. Paging through various district judges, referendums, state constitutional revisions, local issues, crammed at the tail end of the ballot–most don’t understand the issues and are tired at that point.

The good part, I did my civic duty before an intense rainstorm hit–a real “frog strangler.” Speaking of frogs–my dogs and me were watching little frogs on our flooded patio, swimming for their lives.

Signs, Signs–Everywhere Signs

Early Sunday morning at a familiar chain restaurant famous for pancakes.

Signs were there–everywhere. This place had changed since our last visit.

Half the floor space had been partitioned off. A new entrance added, with a for lease sign in the front window.

There weren’t many diners in the place. Yet, it looked like some had left in a hurry. Tables hadn’t been cleared. Trashed littered the floor. Where were the worker bees?

The waiter/manager/greeter was in a snit over making change for the customer in front of us in line. Had he been given a large denomination bill?

“He’d left his wallet at home, and thank goodness, his brother worked there–otherwise making change would have been impossible.”

Other customers lined up behind us.  Grumbling began among the ranks.  Why was it taking so long?  Were we waiting to pay or to get in?

How could a restaurant, that offered good service in the past, go downhill so quickly?

Last summer, with a group of visitors, service had been slow–otherwise not too bad.

There was the morning when this same restaurant ran out of coffee.  Plenty of the de-caffeinated variety; per the manager stock hadn’t been reordered.

That time, after complaining on their website, we were given a certificate for a free breakfast.  I’m not complaining this time–because I don’t intend to ever come back.

The “signs” suggested, detour; avoid this place; go elsewhere.

 

Editor’s Note:  My fingers fumbled and published this prematurely.  I should have added, that I  had no qualms about visiting other restaurants in this franchise.  The local one was the problem.

Transportation Department

For some, cars were mere transportation appliances–devices to transport people and cargo from one point to another.

These are the folks that sat on car hoods. Piled groceries on their car’s hood or trunk. Their steel-bodied pack mules sported faded paint, unrepaired scratches, dents, and dings.

Cars at the end of their planned obsolescence, purchased on the cheap.  Picasso would be proud of mismatched doors, temporarily bracketed headlights after minor parking lot accidents.  Just enough to keep on the right side of the law.

Sometimes due to financial constraints, there wasn’t a choice.  During my teens and early adulthood, I drove some very flawed automobiles.  Now, that I have a choice, I no longer choose to do so.

What I do understand, is it doesn’t bother the person driving the old clunker, already covered with dents, when another dent occurs, as much as it would the person with a newer car.

It may be a sickness, but automobiles for some of us, are part of our egos.  We spend hours keeping The Silver Flash or Old Betsey shined and polished.

The wealthy individual that recently wrecked his new 288,000 Ferrari, shortly after purchase–I’ll never understand.

Old clunker, or shiny new “Chromemobile?”  What’s your pleasure?  Did you have an interesting hand-me-down first car?