Posted by: Marie | July 8, 2014

(951) Lessons in renegotiation – Part 7 of 7

Post #951
[Private journal entry written near bedtime on Saturday, September 1, 2012 – continued from previous post]

As we were driving the last mile or two to the cemetery, Melodie’s husband called her cell phone. The bluetooth kicked the call into hands-free mode, which allowed both of us to talk with him. He asked how we were doing . . . and what we were doing . . .

When Melodie told him we were closing in on the cemetery, he said, “Oh, you’re out in the country? On gravel roads?” Melodie answered affirmatively. He responded, “I hope you are going slow!” I assured him I was, and that I was being very careful . . .

Anyway, we finally made it to the cemetery at 8:30pm, just as the sun was setting. We were easily able to find the graves of my great-great-great grandparents (lived early 1800’s to late 1800’s), and their son (my great-great-uncle). The headstones showed that their son, Joseph, was married to Mary J. That confused me . . . I thought Mary Jane was his sister – and she is my great-great grandmother. Surely he wasn’t married to his sister . . . ??

We dug through the notes that my mom had made, but I couldn’t find anything that explained the mystery . . . oh, well.

So, we got back in the car, successfully found our way back to the highway despite the near-darkness, and started the hour-plus leg of the trip that would take us back to Red Cloud.

The temperature began dropping once the sun disappeared, so I didn’t need the air conditioning on so high. I reached down to set the temperature for my side of the car to a couple degrees warmer. For the twentieth time, Melodie asked me what I needed . . . what I was looking for. I told her that I was just adjusting my temperature . . .

For the eighth time, she explained that each side had its own temperature control and that I could adjust my temperature by adjusting this particular knob . . . and she adjusted the temperature on my side to a warmer temperature . . .

Without saying anything, I reached down and put the temperature back to the temperature I had selected just a minute earlier . . .

“Why are you putting it back?”

“I had already adjusted it to where I wanted it, and then you adjusted it more, so then I put it back to where I would like it to be.”

“But you said you wanted it warmer!”

“Yeah, but I had already moved it warmer. I didn’t need for you to move it warmer still. I had already done it.”

“Well, I was just trying to help you.”

“I know, but I didn’t need help.”

“Well, I figured that you aren’t familiar with this car, so I’m just trying to help you with the controls.”

“You’ve already explained it to me several times today . . . I got it . . . I don’t need you to help me with it any more.”

(Sarcastically) “Well, Miss Independent! I can do it myself! Leave me alone! I can do it myself!”

Patience . . . patience . . . praying for patience . . .

It had been such a good day on the road . . . we were having an enjoyable time together . . . but it had been a long, hot day and I was tired . . . I didn’t want to have to fight battles around my personal space . . . please . . .

As we got into town, I mentioned that I needed to check my email . . . I hadn’t checked it in 48 hours. As we passed by the coffee shop on Main Street (it has free wifi), we looked to see if it might be open . . . of course not . . . not at 10:00pm on a Saturday night on a holiday weekend . . .

But, on a whim, we decided to see if we could get a wifi signal from the parking spots in front of the coffee shop . . . and, yes! We could! But, surely the connection would be password protected . . . but, no! Melodie was able to get on the internet with her laptop.

But . . . the battery on my laptop is so old that it doesn’t hold a charge. So, I’m not able to use my laptop unless it’s plugged in . . . and the only outlets were inside the coffee shop . . .

Except . . . Melodie showed me that her fancy new car has a fancy electrical outlet in the console . . . I was able to plug in my laptop and I was able to check my email . . . Yippeeeee!! I was very happy! I told Melodie that we’d better stop by the coffee shop in the morning and buy something so that we couldn’t be accused of stealing the signal . . . she laughed . . .

I had quite a few emails and it took me awhile to get through them. While I was doing that, Melodie was looking up my family tree on to find an answer to the Mary Jane mystery.

I kept saying how nice it was to have access to the internet . . . she took it as an opportunity to give me a hard time . . .

“Well, look at you, all addicted to the internet! Gotta have your fix!”

(Making a face) “What do you mean? I haven’t been on the internet for two days . . . how am I addicted to the internet?

(Mimicking me) “Gotta check my email! Oh! Gotta see who sent me an email!”

(Becoming indignant) “I’m running a business, and Friday was a business day, so I have a responsibility to check my email . . . so I hardly think that is an addiction.”

(Laughing) “Yeah, you’re addicted to it and you know it!”

(Getting pissy) “I don’t think you have any room to talk . . . you are on the internet with your phone every hour or two . . . every time you get a text or an email, your phone dings and you have to go check it immediately . . . so just get off my back!”

(A bit taken aback) “I was just giving you a hard time . . . “

“I know . . . but I get tired of it sometimes.”

She dropped it . . . we both went back to our respective internet activities . . .

About the time I was finishing up the last email, she announced she had figured out the Mary Jane mystery . . . Joseph had a wife named Mary Jane and a sister named Mary Jane. So, there you go! Mystery solved!

Anyway, we then headed back towards the cottage. As we passed the farm owners’ house, we noticed they were sitting outside on their patio. We were surprised to see them sitting outside at 10:30pm as they are around 80 years old . . . but they are quite spry and active for their age . . . I guess we shouldn’t have been surprised . . .

They waved for us to stop . . . so we did . . . they said they had been getting worried about us . . . we assured them we were fine.

Their son was with them and so we got to meet him. We sat and visited with the two men for a few minutes . . . then we talked to Ardis about touring the schoolhouse. She asked us why we hadn’t shown up for the tour this morning at 8:30. We told her about calling her and leaving a voice mail . . . she told us that their phone had been down most of the day so she didn’t get the voicemail. She said that wasn’t our fault . . . no big deal . . . and we again made plans to meet her at 8:30am . . . and then we got back in the car and headed up the driveway to the cottage . . .

It had gotten up to 103 degrees (39°C) today and the air conditioner in the cottage had been off all day . . . the windows had been closed up tight . . . and it was still 97 degrees (36°C) outside when we finally walked into the cabin (it still is that hot, right now, at 11:00pm as I’m writing this) . . . and it was about 85 degrees (29°C ) inside the cottage when we walked in (it’s a few degrees cooler than that inside now) . . .

It’s just stinkin’ hot.

Oh, and . . . when we got back to the cottage and opened the door, we got hit with the most disgusting smell . . .

The chicken we cooked last night and this morning came packaged in those styrofoam trays with the paper-towel-looking stuff on the bottom to absorb the excess juices . . . I had thrown those away in the trash . . . and the trash had been sitting in the very warm cottage all day . . . need I say more . . . ?? Oooo, yulk!!!!

So, anyway, we are relaxing and trying to cool down . . . trying not to sweat all over the furniture . . . trying to not smell the chicken smell (we took the trash to the dumpster, but the smell is still hanging around).

Melodie is on the phone with her husband (since we had to cut his last call short because we were approaching the cemetery), and I’m decompressing by journaling . . . I’m amazed we survived the road trip . . .

I’m beginning to think that she gives me (and other people) a hard time about things as a way to be funny . . . to live up to her big, jolly personality. I think she doesn’t know any other way to connect with people, so that’s how she does it all the time . . . and that gets old fast. I wonder if she knows that about herself. I wonder if it is my place to tell her.

I don’t know.

Okay . . . time to go to bed . . .


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