Tuesday, August 22, 2017

A Blog Post

I pondered whether to write a funny or emotional post today. I'm still not sure which I'm writing yet.
But I will tell you that when I got up this morning, I saw the cat on my laptop.
"Get down!" I chided him.
When I sat down at the keyboard later, I realized he had turned off my wifi connection and turned on airplane mode.
I tried to move my mouse and realized he had also turned off my keypad.
As I began grading papers, I saw that he had taken my one-page grading rubric and turned it into a 791-page document.
He's more prolific at writing than I am!
For some reason, I thought I needed to delete those 790 pages and get back to my first page. After several minutes of highlighting the pages from the end, I realized that I could just spike that document and start a new one. I'm not letting a cat outsmart me!

That was such an easy dilemma, compared to what we went through on Monday.
Tucker and two friends had driven to New York City to visit his former roommate then the four of them went camping in the Catskills. On Sunday, they drove back into the city, planning to drive home Monday.
At 7:10 a.m., I received a text -- "On our way." It's about an 8-hour drive, so he should have been home by 3 p.m. An hour later, he called. He was at an auto shop because his battery light had come on. The mechanic said he needed a new alternator.
"Get out of the city!" my husband urged. 
Meanwhile, I called the mechanic who had changed Tucker's oil and put new brakes on just the week before. He called back and said that the battery was new, but he hadn't changed the alternator on the 2002 Subaru. So it could need a new alternator. 
But he hypothesized that if Tucker drove home without lights or windshield wipers, the battery might just last. 
Tuck and his friends searched for a Firestone as they drove down the New Jersey turnpike and found out the price was higher than it had been in the city.  They stopped at an Autozone and bought a new alternator, with Tucker's friend installing it, before hitting the road again. Then they called from the Pennsylvania turnpike. They had broken down when it started to rain, and they turned the windshield wipers on. After 30 minutes on hold with AAA, a turnpike worker came along and ordered them a tow truck. 
Of course, the entire ordeal was dotted with phone calls and texts and dying cell phones -- along with attempts to check out the eclipse. 
The tow truck driver told them that Autozone had a history of selling faulty alternators, so, for $68, he towed them to Autozone, where they found out they had the wrong alternator for their car. So an even exchange, a new alternator and they headed toward home again. 
They had had to pay $22 when they were towed off the turnpike halfway. 
After they drove the remainder of the turnpike, they couldn't find the card they received from the toll booth attendant, so they had to pay the entire amount, $44. 
What an expensive lesson.
The entire day, I just thought how much easier it must have been to parent before cell phones. Then I might, or might not have gotten a phone call to say that he had broken down, but he would have had to handle it. 
I love when a series of misadventures turns out okay, and you know that it will be a story he'll tell someday about the fun time they had camping in the Catskills.  

9 comments:

Anonymous said...

Glad your stories had happy endings. I was afraid the cat story was going to end up with all your work lost. My kid has been writing a story, and it's surprisingly good. And it was getting quite long. About a week ago, though, it was accidentally deleted. We tried to recover it, but didn't succeed. What a blow. I don't know whether it's been rewritten, because it's a very touchy topic. Lesson: back up your work.
Your son's tale also turned out fine. They do learn lessons from these mild mishaps--didn't we all go through similar things? It's good for them to see that they have resilience within them.

Just Me said...

Loved the post, your humor, attitude and pictures. All smiles.

Paulita said...

Francetaste, Losing your work is heartbreaking. Hope your kid has the stamina to give it another go. I use Carbonite, which backs up everything on my computer -- pictures, documents -- everyday so if my computer dies I can always go and get them from Carbonite.
I know the kids are learning lessons, I just wish I didn't have to be so involved in the process. I'd rather know it at the end after it all turns out all right.
Just Me, Anything to make you smile.

Jeanne Washburn said...

Guess with 12 and 15 year olds, I have a long way to go. What a fun read...glad for the happy ending. :)

Noreen said...

Picture me shaking my head with a look of disbelief on my face. Your life is never boring, is it? I feel fortunate that you are open to sharing it with all of us : )

Paulita said...

Jeanne, The fun is only beginning for you!
Noreen, Of course, I've never been one of those to pretend that things are going perfectly in my life. I do skip some of the more dire, more personal things.

Jeanie said...

That darned cat! Well, I'm glad all came out well in the end. But I imagine there were a few jumpy moments!

Paulita said...

Jeanie, Yes, mostly me cursing myself for not closing my laptop.

koi seo said...

I have a long way to go. What a fun read...glad for the happy ending. :)


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