A few days ago I wrote a blog post called Foggy to Clear that expressed some relief about turning a physical and emotional corner in the challenge that has been 2012. That night I realized that my work obligations had been met and that I could award myself a 24-hour “vacation” that would take me from Wednesday morning to Thursday morning.
Oh, the joy of it. I sat in a cafe with my journal and coffee. I met a friend for a “lunch” of Coffee Lover’s Delight ice cream at Coldstone Creamery. I sat in an easy chair in Starbucks and became absorbed in reading Chasing Sylvia Beach by Cynthia Morris. With a rainstorm looming, I walked home and decided to nap through the thunder and lightning.
When I woke up the rain was still coming down hard. I went into my kitchen to cut up a gorgeous fresh tomato when I realized it sounded like it was raining inside my apartment building. My heart beating fast, I opened my apartment door and it was pouring rain into the hallway. Just torrential, crazy downpour into this four-story building.
I closed the door and made a flurry of calls to the landlord and 911. What a relief when the (OK, nice looking) firemen arrived and took over. With a team effort, we got all the proper people contacted, keys found, and a plan was in place. The building inspector shut down the electricity for the night, so we had to evacuate. The firemen found a tennis ball lodged in a drain pipe, an unlikely culprit.
You remember this was a vacation day, right? God’s sense of humor at work.
I went to spend the night with my gracious friends Kathi and Doug a block away, so relieved to have them in my life. This morning I went to the gym for a mini workout and shower and then my neighbor Rich and I sat on the porch and chatted while we waited for the owner, architect, electrician et al. Rich and I are, as we found out, opposites — he glass half-empty, me glass half-full — so I laughingly tried to explain the concept of holding consciousness for a positive outcome.
As the day went on and people did their jobs to help keep us in our homes, more graciousness. My friend Susan came by to lend moral support. So did Doug. Kathi kept in touch most of the day. My neighbor Terry proved pivotal to moving things along with her ties in the community.
Our electricity is back on, but somewhere along the way my cable box decided to die. I called the cable company and the helpful gentleman tried to take me through some seemingly simple steps involving wires and placement. But with my iffy knee, I couldn’t kneel and follow what he was trying to tell me.
This was, finally, when I broke. Ever so close to tears, frustration just overwhelming me, I took a deep breath and explained to him that I couldn’t do it. Still, he was pretty convinced the box was dead, needed replacing, and a repairman would have to take care of it anyway. We set that up for tomorrow.
My friend Doug, in his understated way, said, “You’re having an interesting year.”
I nodded. Because, really, let’s look at this. The roof caved in. Hello, metaphor, yes? But here’s the interesting part, the gleam of light. It only damaged common area down the middle of the hallway. No individual apartments. As I write this, there are some big-assed contraptions pumping out water just beyond my door and precautions are being taken for mold and mildew.
It all feels like a test. God knows there’s a part of me that wanted to crack. Why now? Seriously? Are you flippin’ kidding me?
But right on a plaque in my home it says that peace isn’t the absence of conflict, it’s the ability to cope with it. Go within, baby. You’ve got this. You have got this.
No TV tonight. Not a real problem.
The roof caved in a bit. You’re sitting at your computer writing about it. Making sense of an episode unleashed by a tennis ball.
Lots of people have your back. No pity party, just support. Sweet support.
The trick sometimes is to find the joy in that.