Vexatious Issues

When I first started working outside this past spring, it felt as if my yard were an extension of my house — an outdoor room, perhaps. Now the outdoors feels hostile and alien, a place that I cannot control, at least not in the way I can control the “climate” inside my house. We can’t control the inside one hundred percent, of course. So much is still out of our control, such as bugs that find their way inside, appliances that go wonky, as well as any number of things that can go wrong. But at least inside (so far anyway) I don’t have to deal with searingly intense and dangerous heat, slime molds, dead birds (well, one, anyway — I found it on my front lawn when I went out to mow today), clouds of grasshoppers that chomp on non-suspecting plants, grass that turns brown and desiccates overnight.

The past few days, dealing with all those vexatious issues, I haven’t even felt like sitting in my gazebo to enjoy a few minutes of rest after my hard work. I’ve just gone inside, closed the door, and felt glad to be in a more familiar place.

At least for a while, that is, until the phone rings. And oh, does it ring! In the past couple of days, I’ve received maybe forty calls from entities with names like “Spam Risk,” “Haitian Chick 5,” and “Telemarketer.” I don’t answer (well, I do, but I hang up immediately; if not, the calls go to voice mail, and then I have to delete all of them) so I don’t know if there are real people behind the calls or if it’s all robots. But it doesn’t matter who is calling — the ring always startles me, though I have it on low. And I turn the phone off at night to keep from being awakened.

Apparently, after the slowdowns and shutdowns and sheltering-in-place during the past couple of years, the telemarketing machine gave us a bit of a break, but now it’s going full bore, trying to make up the money they think they lost. (Though why, with all warnings about spam and identity theft and fraud, people are still buying into these scams, I don’t know. They blame the “old people,” but my generation and even the one before me are tech savvy and wary. Or so I thought. But maybe we’re losing what few brain cells we have left, and what we once knew we no longer do?)

But luckily, it’s cool inside, so there’s that. And I have books to read and food to eat. And, if necessary, I can mute the ring so I don’t hear it at all to give my poor frazzled nerves a break.

Even luckier, I was able to leave all the rest of my vexations outside where they belong.

***

What if God decided S/He didn’t like how the world turned out, and turned it over to a development company from the planet Xerxes for re-creation? Would you survive? Could you survive?

A fun book for not-so-fun times.

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