Today has been a day of waiting. My car was supposed to have finally been made road ready by this evening, but even after a day of waiting — another day of waiting — the car still isn’t finished. It started several weeks ago when I took the car in because it kept bucking and stalling. It turns out that the spark plugs had burned out way too fast because of a leaky carburetor. (Too much air in the gas makes the engine run hot.) He ordered a carburetor, which took a couple of weeks. When it came in, I made an appointment for my day off. He likes having the car all day, and he leaves in the evening before I get off work, which pretty much limits his ability to work on my car.

When I showed up for the appointment, he couldn’t work on it. He was backed up, and because of the heavy rain, I didn’t mind waiting another week.

So the next week when I took it in, he changed out the carburetor, but didn’t have time to adjust the valves, and without that adjustment, the car runs like an old rusted out truck that hadn’t been maintained for decades. So, another appointment for today.

And I’m still waiting.

Luckily, he was able to put the car in a bay for the night, which not only protects the car but makes sure it’s at the head of the line for tomorrow. Keeping my fingers crossed!

I don’t know why a day spent waiting feels any different from any other day. I mean, I did the same things — read, play a game on the computer, take a short walk, wander around my yard, talk to neighbors. Oh, and I took photos of my tulips!

I guess it’s more that I don’t have my normal sense of untimeliness when I’m waiting because waiting for something almost by definition indicates a timeline.

I should be used to waiting by now, considering how sporadically anyone comes to do work on the house. I’ve figured out the problem — the same problem a lot of people around here have. The jobs are too small for a contractor to use a full crew, and many workers can’t work without supervision, so it’s hard to split crews into smaller groups. Or something like that.

Not that it matters. If I weren’t waiting for any of these jobs to be done, I’d be waiting for others since there always seems to be something that needs to be fixed.

Meanwhile, there are tulips.


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.

Click here to buy Bob, The Right Hand of God.

A Better Mood

I was very discouraged yesterday, not just because of the fiasco on facebook (not a typo, it doesn’t deserve the respect of being capitalized) and being banned for unfairly and untruthfully being labeled abusive, but because of several other issues too, the main one being my car.

I had a tune-up toward the end of last year, including replacing the spark plugs, and the venerable 49-year-old VW bug sailed along as if it were a youngster again. Within a month or two, I started having problems with the car bucking. At first I thought perhaps the choke wasn’t working due to the frigid winter weather, because everything seemed to work better once I’d been driving a few miles, but when the weather cleared, the bucking got worse the more I drove.

So I took it back to the mechanic, and he discovered that those new spark plugs had already burned out. At the same time, he found that a part in the carburetor wasn’t working properly, and it was letting too much air into the engine. I’m going to have him replace the carburetor, but those spark plugs burning out so fast sure worried me! After a bit of checking on the internet, I discovered it was due to the engine running hot, which was due to a lean fuel mixture (too much air in the fuel), which was due to the carburetor not working right. Who knew? Well, any mechanic or mechanically inclined person would know, just not me. Now that I know that the spark plugs won’t always be burning out every month or so and that the car can be fixed, it makes me feel a lot better.

At least about that.

I still feel discomfited about the whole FB thing: that people would on purpose sabotage me and that there is no recourse, but I’m gradually finding my way back to a better mood, especially since there’s nothing I can do about the ban. In the long run, I suppose, it doesn’t really matter. With as much as FB is changing, and with as many “friends” who are voluntarily leaving, I have a hunch the site wouldn’t do book sales much good anyway. (I tell myself that because if I really thought it was hurting me as an author, I’d be furious, and I don’t want to be angry.)

I’d considered signing up for Instagram now that I have a phone that is powerful enough and big enough to edit photos and to handle the site, but Instagram is owned by FB, and I don’t see any point in rewarding anyone who treats me badly.

The one good thing that happened yesterday, besides finding out that my car can be fixed, is that while I was outside town test driving my car after I picked it up last evening, I was able to see the sun setting and also the moon rising. By the time I could stop to take a photo, though, the moon had shrunk somewhat. Still beautiful, though!


Pat Bertram is the author of Grief: The Inside Story – A Guide to Surviving the Loss of a Loved One. “Grief: The Inside Story is perfect and that is not hyperbole! It is exactly what folk who are grieving need to read.” –Leesa Healy, RN, GDAS GDAT, Emotional/Mental Health Therapist & Educator