Come Saturday Morning…


I confess, I am happy this week is almost over. It’s been long. Work was frenetic on Thursday. Students adding, students canceling. Parents coming in, going out. Meetings, marketing, scheduling, teaching…

Someone found a debit card in the parking lot and gave it to me. I called the 800 number on the back of the card and they locked it. Poor guy, I hope he had some cash.

And then Jamie showed up at the office looking rattled. “My car is dead.”

It can’t be but so dead, I thought, you know, it was running in the parking space at the front door. I could see it. Running. But she looked overwhelmed, so I asked what happened.

“Well, I pulled up to the stop sign and had my foot on the brake. I put my foot back on the gas and my car backed up. I was in drive. I finally got it to go in low and drove here that way with my flashers on.”

I looked out the door, and sure enough, as if in confirmation to her story, the flashers were on. Ok. This sounded bad. Her car thinks drive is reverse. Now, I’m not a mechanic, but I know a car that has one working gear and confuses the rest is probably beyond any sort of practical help.

We paid $2500 for that car six years ago. I drove it three and then Jamie drove it three more. We had gotten a fair return on our investment. It wouldn’t be worth putting a new transmission in it.

Ok. I drove her to work. I called Chris to see if he’d pick her up. He was coming into town to work anyway – and he informed me that his car wouldn’t start, dead battery. Cool.

So, I worked until 8, drove the 20+ miles to Chris’ house. Drove back into town, dropped him to do the little job he needed to do. Picked Jamie up. Picked Chris up. Drove everyone home.

I thought, ahh, car drama over. A good night’s sleep and we can go car shopping tomorrow (which is yesterday now). I got my oil changed Friday morning and learned that before my car is safe enough to drive to Baltimore (on Monday evening) it will need 2 tires and rear brakes.

Awesome. Jamie’s battery will fit in Chris’ car, because, you know, that car won’t need it again. The machine formerly known as Jamie’s car was towed home. And we found Jamie a new car. New to her. It’s not here yet, but we found it.

Throughout the day Friday, I followed a discussion on my Facebook about politics and Unions. We tracked news about Japan… All on my cell phone. I remember a time, in the not so distant past, when I didn’t know what Tsunami meant. I remember looking it up in April ’09. Are they happening more often? Seismologists would tell you no. Am I more attuned to the news? I don’t think so. But the world’s getting smaller—the news travels faster. And it becomes harder and harder to get out of Mother Nature’s—Earth’s way.

There were pictures of hundreds of cars swept aside, on fire, bobbing and floating in the pooling sea water. Airplanes were strewn about like toys cast aside by careless children. Whirlpools that looked like something manufactured in Hollywood made for epic–probably award winning–photographs. News anchors commented “Something’s creating a vortex there.”  Well, duh! The Japanese coastline has moved eight feet. A thirteen-hundred mile coastline shifted 8 feet. Sounds like a vortex to me. Mother Earth is angry.

Google’s people finder is listing 46,400 posts. People missing people, people wanting others to know they’re safe. There’s been an explosion at a nuclear plant.

If ever there were words that shouldn’t be in a sentence together, it’s explosion and nuclear plant.

Somehow, transportation issues seem small. We’ll band together, juggle schedules. We’ll do what we always do. Make do.

I am proud of the people who had a political discussion on my Facebook page yesterday. They were respectful and well-mannered. Communicating their differences; each trying to bring the other understanding. They sought common ground upon which they could have footing. They walked softly – which is a good thing. Yesterday we were reminded (again) Mother Earth is angry and has a big stick!

Word Count: 713

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4 thoughts on “Come Saturday Morning…

  1. Mel,
    For some reason, reading your blog in the wake of all the awfulness that is going on in Japan makes my heart hurt less. The healing we all need begins in the small gestures and simple actions we take for those around us like speaking kind words, giving car rides, praying, listening. The world needs big healing, of course, but if each of us does our part, it changes. Olam Haba.

  2. The main image stuck in my mind from the horror in Japan, is the scene of the tumbling cars being swept over some bank or ledge in the rush of the rogue wave. The eye follows a blue van as it rolls over the fall and is consumed in the torrent. One hopes the passengers somehow evacuated it in time, found high ground. But, much like watching the events of September 11, 2001 unfold, one knows lives are being lost before our eyes. Other cars tumble and slam together, then a light-colored car rushes into the foreground, into the “mosh”.

    I’d seen this clip several times already, and the scene hadn’t stood out from any other until this time around. This time, I focused on the car in the foreground: The occupant is visible now, trapped inside, tumbling with the car, hands against the window, the ceiling, the head rest; I see their face flash behind the glass, panicked
    and terrified just before the water prevails. I gasped, horrified, suddenly swept away. Memory seared.

    I watched the second airliner crash into the north tower. I watched the bodies falling through the sky, having surrendered their fates to the pavement below instead of the hellfire behind. Images that stay with a person. Now, this lone Japanese victim of a tsunami. It brought the entirety of their devastation, down to its most vital element.

  3. Sorry about the car, but as you say you’ll make do and move on.
    The Japan situation will take years to get back to normal. Many years. In my classes, I have a wide variety of ethnicities, many from Asia, 7 from Japan. They were the first thing I thought of when I heard of the quake. They have a lot more to worry about now than school work.

  4. I, too, was horrified by the images coming out of Japan. It is times like these when politics , left and right, become petty and helping people in such situations becomes a common desire. I pray for the people effected by this and for the nuclear reactors put in danger by the loss of power. I am glad that this happened in an advanced society, the devastation in a poorer country would be increased by a magnitude unimaginable. I am sure the US will do it’s part, like we have in every disaster since I was a child. We help because we care.
    I am glad you were able to work out the cars and get everyone where they needed to be and hope you have a safe trip to Maryland on Monday. I also enjoyed the discussion yesterday as I do all of those discussions.

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