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


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.

Garage Update

It feels as if it has been months since the men were here working on my garage, but it hasn’t even been three weeks. Wow, time sure goes slow when one is having fun — or not!

There have been a couple of things stalling the work — one is that although the lumber yard ordered my door and opener over a month ago, they haven’t had anyone who could deliver it. Something to do with The Bob. People laid off due to falling revenue or out sick or some such.

Another reason is that although the contractor can do the electrical work and in fact had included it in the overall labor cost, the county demands that the work be done by a licensed electrician. I’m not exactly happy about that since it will be adding tremendously to the cost of the garage, but perhaps it won’t be as much of a financial burden as I fear. I can only hope for the best (and hope that the contractor will be able to work out a deal for me.)

There is only one licensed electrician that would agree to do the work and would agree to coordinate with the delivery of the garage door. The last I heard, they will be here Thursday. Or Friday. Or . . .

It’s interesting to me how so much of the work I need done is dependent on other work being done. For example, I need a stoop level with the back door so I can actually use the door as a door. (That extraordinarily deep step up and done is what destroyed my knee, so I can no longer go outside that way, though it’s only me that has a problem. None of the workers have any difficulty going in and out that door, but then, they are all a lot younger and stronger than I am. And anyway, I’m the one who has to live with that hazardous step so it’s my ability or lack thereof that counts.) But that can’t be done until the concrete for the garage apron and the sidewalk from house to garage ready to be poured, and of course, none of that can be done until the garage is finished, and it can’t be finished until I get the door installed and the electricians here.

Nor can I do any landscaping or have them work on the house foundation (fill in some cracks and coat the concrete to protect it) until the garage is done and the old carport removed and . . .

You get the point.

In other words, there is no garage update because there has been no more updating the garage. But soon!



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.