Putting the Brakes to Monday

It seems as if it’s been only a couple of days since I wrote about the pattern of my Mondays, yet here it is, Monday again. And the pattern remains the same: I got up, did my knee exercises, made my bed, folded my quota of origami cranes, dealt two cards for a simple tarot reading, checked a few things on the computer, then drove to the mechanic’s shop.

The difference between this Monday and the previous three or four is that instead of chatting with the mechanic for a few minutes while we rescheduled the appointment for the following Monday is that he wasn’t there to chat with. The shop was closed, which didn’t surprise me. The poor fellow is dealing with some post-Bob issues, and even all these months later, isn’t back to his normal healthy self. In fact, the last time I talked to him, he hadn’t been doing well at all.

I’ll check back with him in a few days to see how he is doing and to reschedule an appointment to get my brakes fixed. They seem to work okay, but the brake warning light comes on when I depress the brake pedal. The problem could be one of the brake cylinders. Three were replaced, but the VW parts place sent the wrong part in the right box, so that fourth cylinder has to be replaced as well as — perhaps — the master cylinder. Because my brakes seem to work for the light driving I currently do — a few miles out and back on the four-lane highway outside of town — I can wait a while longer. But eventually, the brake work will have to be done.

As on previous Mondays, after I left the mechanic’s shop, I stopped by the library and got a stack of books. It’s really nice not having to lug a satchel full of books on foot, so I indulge myself on Monday and get plenty to read.

I hope these books are better than the last batch I got. Those were all recently published books, and the good guys weren’t readily distinguishable from the bad guys. I’m all for a bit of ambiguity in books, but a couple of the authors went so far as to make the story so ambiguous that I had no idea if the good guy was the bad guy or the bad guy was the good guy or if both were reprehensible. A couple of the books used the cliché of multiple personalities (Dissociative Identity Disorder). In one book, the good guy was also the bad guy. In the other book, we never find out.

I don’t need truly heroic characters, though I do like them, nor do I need characters I can identify with, though it does make a book more personal, but I do need characters that I don’t mind spending a few hours with.

I’m hoping at least a couple of characters in this current batch of books will be worth getting to know, but if not, well, the library is just a few blocks away. I don’t have to wait until Monday to replenish my stock, I can go any time.

Besides, one of these days, I will be putting the brakes to my Monday pattern because the car will be fixed.

At least, that’s the plan.


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

Standing Still

For lack of a better topic, today I’m going to write about . . . me. That, of course, is a joke because all I ever write about is me, in one way or another. Writers are often told to write what we know, and pretty much all I know is me, at least to the extent that any of us know ourselves.

Oddly, I seem to be standing still, always in the same place, waiting for workers to come on Friday, waiting for my brakes to be fixed on Monday. I’m not sure what the problem is with the workers not showing up — probably the contractor, as always, is way behind, and so has no one to send over here. Getting the brakes fixed is a different story every week — either the part didn’t come in or the wrong part was sent or the mechanic is dealing with lingering “Bob” issues from his very bad bout with the virus or . . . something.

And so, once again, I am standing in that same place, where the workers are supposed to come on Friday and I’m supposed to take my car to the mechanic on Monday.

On the brighter side, one of my new day lilies has bloomed!

And one of my original daylilies has bloomed again.

Surprisingly, my cherry tomato plants are fruiting. I didn’t really expect to get any tomatoes; I just planted them because I could. There aren’t a whole lot, just a small handful every other day, which actually is perfect for me. Never having planted tomatoes of any kind before, I am amazed at how big the plants get! I might need to invest in tomato cages next year to keep them contained because stakes and string don’t really do the job.

Despite these small successes, I seem to be standing still in regards to my gardening, too, always planning for next year — what to try, what to do differently, how to battle the ever-encroaching weeds.

I suppose standing still isn’t so bad. At least I’m not running in place, wearing myself out, and getting nowhere.


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