with Lorelle and Brent VanFossen

Almost Worst Day of My Life – Day from Hell – Greensboro, North Carolina

animated clockStill with me on my day from hell? I drove the truck to the front of the shop and waited. The manager and the other mechanics came out to move cars around, working on one and the next, waving to me sitting in the hot truck, trying to relax. Five-thirty. Traffic is heavy as it passes by me. The radio tells me that they are finally cleaning up the accident blocking the main road where I had been earlier. Any minute the man of my dreams will arrive to rescue me. I kept wondering if his friend would be arriving carrying Brent on a white horse. Six o’clock. Okay, maybe just a white car. Six-fifteen. Traffic must still be heavy. Six-twenty. I’m only a few minutes from the airport, right? He probably had to finish up a job. I’ll wait until 6:30.

Six-thirty. I went inside Firestone and called Brent at work. No answer so I left a message. I ask the manager for the phone book and look for a restaurant so my loving husband can rescue me to some good food. I ask the manager, "How long does it take to drive here from the airport?" "About 15 minutes. Your husband works there?" "Yeah. He’s really late." "He’ll be here, don’t worry."

Right. It’s now 6:50 and I’m panicking. The manger comes out and tells me my husband is on the phone. I rush in. Brent informs me that he called the eye doctor and they told him I was fine and had left. He had called Firestone TWICE and was told each time they told him I had driven off ages ago. He’d been waiting for me to pick him up. He’d had a friend wait until 5:15 PM and then sent them home, confident in what the manager at Firestone told him. Totally pissed off at Firestone and Brent, I got in the truck and drove to the airport.

I was angry and freaked out because I just know something MORE bad is going to happen. It just has to. I’m not three for three, I’m batting zero, with a patriotic eyeball, red, white and blue, staring at the fast hard ball of my day. UGH.

I battle the traffic which is swearing around car parts still on the main road and hit the highway. As I accelerate, the truck starts squealing like a stuck pig. The fan belts are loose. I scream and start crying, pounding the steering wheel, a dangerous beast on the road. GAWD, this is all just too much. I look down at the steering wheel and see that the plastic cover for the horn is cracked. Did I do that? No, I remember Brent mentioning that it had cracked, probably from the heat, when we were in Florida. But I want to now claim responsibility as I am just now seeing it for the first time and this day has just been too much.

I arrive at the airport, safe and sound but loud. I barely hit the parking brake before bolting out of the truck and threw my hysterical sobbing self into Brent’s arms. He said all the right things, "I’ll make better. Brent is here to fix. Don’t worry. It’s okay now. It’ll be all better now." It sends me off into a screaming rampage. "It’s not getting better! It’s getting worse!!!" I screamed about the fan belts.

He managed, as he always does, to calm me down. Hold Lorelle, kiss Lorelle, feed Lorelle, basic needs are all fulfilled. I gave him the address for the Olive Garden, barely able to see out my poor swollen eyes and bloody eyeball, snot dripping down my face.

He wipes my nose. I finally stop sobbing and clean myself up a little as we drive, the truck squealing loudly. We walk into the Olive Garden, Brent looking like his usual fashion model self and me, blood shot eyes with one patriotic one, grease and coolant stains down the front of my shirt, sweat stains everywhere, and had a wonderful dinner. Through dried up tears, and a few laughs, now that it was all history, I told Brent about my "day". He couldn’t believe it. But then, he knows me. So he can believe it.

I told him I felt like a walking soap opera, except in my case, a week’s worth of trauma got all condensed into one day. I had a drink and some wine with dinner, so I was feeling much better by the time we got home. We put on our favorite music and danced in the trailer and then I showered and he put me to bed. I was unconscious before I hit the pillow. Toshi, relieved at finally getting back in the trailer, curled up against me.

The next day I slept in, as best I can, then went for my morning walk. I only did two laps, totally exhausted from the day from hell, but it is now over and today is a new day. I do an email run, explain my eye to the campground manager as I pick up the mail, and come back to the trailer to get some work done. Around noon the phone worker arrives and starts work on the phone. I stay inside out of the heat, finishing up articles, starting new ones, and trying to find my way around with a sore body and tight muscles.

I think about yesterday and realize that no one wished me a NICE day. They all wished me a GOOD day. Is this a new trend? "Nice" always seemed better to me than "good", but then I’m sick to death of Kmart’s "have a nice day" requirement. But good, well, it just isn’t "good enough." Why didn’t anyone want for me to have a "nice" day, as an improvement over just a "good" day? Probably because I was having a horrible day and "nice" might have been too much of a positive stretch. I don’t know.

About two in the afternoon, I see some guy gawking at the anti-smoking signs I put up on almost every window in the trailer. NPR reported that morning that the Florida state justice system had found Brown and Williams Tobacco Company responsible for a smoker’s death. RIGHT ON! Being in tobacco central country, I put up orange paper signs with bold type saying, "Tobacco Industry Found Guilty in Man’s Death. Charge them with murder!" A little on the restrained side for me and my intense hatred of cigarettes, but I think they made my point.

I watched the man staring at the signs. When he came around to the door, I was ready for him. Want to talk smoking, I can talk the talk. Want to argue that there are a lot of 90 year olds still smoking and I’ll hit you with the 30,000 children who die each year from second hand smoke. And let me add to that number the 400,000 people who die every year from smoking related diseases. More than who die from taking drugs or from handguns. I was ready to vent some of my anger about smoking and what was left over from yesterday’s frustrations.

I stepped out the door and he asked if I was "Laurel", which I hate. I correct him and tell him yes. He told me to wait then returns to his car. I’m ready with my anti-smoking campaign as he leaves me on the doorstep, fuming.

Animated white flowerHe returned with a huge handmade basket of really unique flowers, big green leaves and lovely oriental things everywhere. It smells heavenly. I’m stunned. I open the card. It says, "I love you. Brent."

Do I have the best husband in the whole world or what????

Greensboro, North Carolina

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