Sunday, June 27, 2010

Journal of a Living Lady #374

Nancy White Kelly

Some weeks are normal and other anything but. Recently Buddy and I took a rare visit to our respective hometowns in Tennessee and Mississippi. We had nice visits with our siblings and extended family. We are all obviously aging and in that inevitable transition from children to senior adults.

While visiting my brother Charles’ farm, Buddy got his first opportunity to try out the miniature video camera I gave him for his birthday. I told him that at age 78 the best was yet to come and to capture it for posterity. His most prized clip so far features Charles’ jackass enjoying a carrot dangling from Buddy’s lips. And to think I used to romantically kiss those same ancient puckers.

On the way home, we passed a serious wreck on the interstate near Chattanooga. It is doubtful that the driver lived as the over-turned jeep poured ominous black smoke which could be seen for miles. We doubled-checked our seatbelts.

Coming down Cohutta mountain, we were stopped around a blind curve by a host of state troopers. Thankfully we had made sure we had our registration and insurance papers in tact before we left. From the looks of the line of other cars parked to the side, many others had not.

We were delighted to find Sam, our Siamese cat, alive. He eagerly greeted us in the drive-way. When we left, he had been gone for two days, neither normal nor unusual either. He has a harem somewhere, but doesn’t understand he is forever fixed. Fortunately the church lady who was house and dog sitting our dachshund Patch kept hearing meows. She did some sleuthing and found him locked under the house. Obviously he snuck in behind Buddy when he inched his way in the dirt basement to check the water heater before our trip. Other than being tired, hungry, and thirsty, Sam was okay, just mad.

Immediately after we fell in bed on Sunday evening, Charlie called and needed a favor. Could we babysit Tuesday so Tori could go with him to the Braves game as he was tapped to drive the church bus? As she would be returning the next day from a week long mission trip, he and she would like some time together. No problem. We don’t need much of an excuse to visit with Micah and Noah.

I spent Monday catching up with laundry, bills, and grocery shopping. Buddy cut the ever-growing grass. After bedtime, I got the munches and decided on a bowl of cereal. Big mistake!

Even before the alarm sounded, I awakened with a severe headache. Nothing helped. I walked the floor. With no relief, I ran water from the sink hose forcefully on my throbbing brain. Then it got worse. My intestines grumbled for attention. Minutes later I was violently barfing, almost wishing to die or at least black out until the misery passed.

There wasn’t much Buddy could do to help, but he tried. He shook me every ten minutes to see if I was still alive after such violent vomiting. He offered me a variety of belly-soothers: water, tomato soup, and even a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. All I wanted was to be still and quiet.

I hated disappointing Charlie and Tori. They don’t ask for help often, but there was no way I could delightfully entertain a three and five year old in my state of being. I looked more like a wild-haired monster than their Granny.

I chalked up the illness to a nasty ole stomach virus. For a whole day I was most miserable. It was also lost day for my customers of the Ye Old Coin Shop, many who had patiently awaited my return from our mini-vacation. Buddy told them that they would have to wait a little longer.

What I soon found out was that this wasn’t a virus at all. According to the press reports, there was a recall being made of sugar pop cereal from a major company with the same initial as my last name. Seems a certain packaging held the innocent-looking, but villainous food.

As soon as my eyes could focus well enough, I checked the UPC symbol. The code matched. I had consumed the product that was being recalled.

What is the value of a lost day of your life? What is a day of “wish I were dead” misery worth? What about the ancillary losses to my husband, son, daughter-in-law, and grandsons? Some friends have half-teasingly asked if I planned to sue.

According to my research, it wouldn’t be worth the time to pursue the matter. I did contact the company. Their response was for me to send them full contact information and the recalled product codes. Then they would gladly send me a coupon for a replacement box of cereal.

Thanks, but no thanks.

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