the small car, the smaller phone

Dear friends

So our small car broke down a couple of days ago.  It’s legally my car but my dear husband uses it to get to work – I use it when I’m chauffeur (for the children) and to get to/from church on Sundays (or another day if necessary).  Last weekend, when I noticed something electrical not quite work … maybe the interior lights – and I said to the children – I hope this doesn’t break down on my shift!  Fortunately it wasn’t.

My dear husband drove to work in small car, dropping off in town myself and our daughters for work and school respectively, and all seemed well.  The day before I had noticed the car not start first time when I was driving back from early morning seminary with Daur1 who mentioned, “sometimes it does that with Dad.” [Me] – ” Really?  He’s not said anything to me.”

However, after the design team meeting I returned to my desk and almost immediately my private mobile rang – it was my dear husband.  Since I was still speaking with a colleague I picked up the phone, ready to go out to call back, and he rang back again, and again.  Sensing some urgency, I headed out to the main stair and called back.  (I really need a new phone since the person at the end can’t hear me unless I put it on loud speaker and I’m not doing that in an open plan office!)

Did you get my messages?  The car won’t start – I’m getting a taxi to the [girls’] school, the girls [our daughters] are still there!

My response (as I notice 3 or 4 text message notifications…)

Oh, sorry, no.  I’ve been in a meeting all afternoon.  My phone was on my desk.

There was some discontented words about how I can never be reached via my MOBILE phone in an emergency.  I felt that was a little unfair since if I were a surgeon, in an operation, I would not be expected to pick up a call.  Also, what could I actually do, except maybe, go to the school now and pick up the girls.  My dear husband’s feeling of being unable to communicate with the women in his life at such a crucial moment was further compounded by the fact that Daur1 has mislaid her (well, my husband’s) old mobile phone.  So, they were also incontactable!!  (is that a word?)

“I’m sure they’ll wait for you,” was all I could say and he rung off.  I called Son1 at home to let him know why they all weren’t home, in case as a 17 year old boy he was concerned for the whereabouts of his sisters (!) – [Son1] “Oh yeah, Dad called.”  {As it was, a neighbour friend whose daughter attends the same school saw them waiting and brought them home – and contacted their Dad to let him know, that must have been after we spoke, but I didn’t know that until I reached home}.

You might be beginning to get the sense of how laid back the rest of us are, compared to my dear husband, about the need (or not) to have a mobile phone permanently fixed to our bodies so we can be contacted every minute of the day.  This is one of the areas of opinion that my dear husband and I do differ on – why not keep it in a pocket?  I don’t really have pockets in my skirts/ dresses/ trousers!  I thought it was a generational thing but we’re both of a generation to remember when mobile technology of any sort was not ubiquitous… after all, we both pay phones during our university days.  Maybe it’s actually a gender thing… mmm… in which case, there’s little hope for me!

The small car is still sat in a school car park on the other side of town. 😦  It’ll be safe, I’m sure.  Fortunately, I did renew the corporate car recovery service at the start of the year and I’ve emailed the number to my dear husband since he will take charge of its recovery!  I was told they tried to jump start the car, but nothing.  We’ll see if the school has activities on Saturday morning so we can call the RAC out – what fun! – that’s probably a new battery or some other part to be bought.

We’ve begun making contingency plans for Sunday – I should check the weather, maybe we can walk home from (my dear husband always has to stay later than us at church for commitments after the meetings and lessons finish), it’s less than an hour and downhill all the way – we’ve done it a few times before when we were not fortunate to have a car, let alone two cars – the children are much bigger and it’s not fast Sunday!  Time for me and the children to bond!

outnumbered: days 1 to 5

Dear friends

No, I haven’t abandoned you all.  I’m on my own. My husband has left for an overseas trip to visit family – my mother in law is well into her 90’s – so I’m alone with our four dear children, aged 7 to 16.  And, I’m weakening… It’s day 5 of 10 in my minority position…

Day 1 – dear husband had not even reached the airport, I’m persuaded to purchase not 1, not 2, but 3 DVDs.

Days 1-5 – with permission from his father, our youngest son has decided to sleep in our bed. I’ve been kicked in the night, moves constantly (OK, that’s an exaggeration) and I think he’s fallen out of bed twice; he constantly pushes the covers off, and I’m a covers woman; I’ve left the windows open in the (vain) hope that he finds it cold; it’s ridiculous how uncomfortable it is sleeping next to a 7 year old boy! And it’s a king size bed!!

Day 2 – a quiet one, the Sabbath; home made pizza & ice cream sundaes!

Day 3 – a bank holiday, so I was home; we began clearing out the garage. Why!? I hear you cry. Because these last 10 years in this house I’ve got the blame for the state of the garage – it being (apparently) full of my journals and memorabilia… And I’d promised my husband earlier this year. I can work better on my own. I made 3 trips to the city recycling centre/ household waste.  I’m determined to finish it on day 7 when I’m next off work. And our eldest daughter repainted the front fence – our side and our neighbour! Her next goal is the front porch – I need to buy her paint!

Day 4 – had to go round to Mum’s to help with shopping… via the ‘self absolutely everything’ store to pick up some paints for our youngest’s Titanic model project. Did I mention it’s school half term break?  We ate takeaway chicken and chips (fries to my US readers) and I was persuaded to watch ‘Inception’ – bought alongside the paints… – fourth DVD bought in as many days!

Day 5 – I took up the hall carpet. We’ve spoken about it many times so despite the dismay of our dear children, I feel I’m doing my husband a favour and speeding up the redecoration programme!  I cooked tonight – chicken and rice – in between ordering the children to clean up paint pots, the Titanic model is in an embryonic stage – painted pieces hung to dry, the four red and black funnels identifiable.  Our eldest son cooked lunch today – (chewy) burgers and chips was the description I received on arriving back from work. I learnt a DIY fact – stick a match into a hole where the screw has worked loose… Yeah! Our dining room door is back on it’s hinges!!!
I’m exhausted and ready for a run tomorrow morning. Bring on day 6!  This is a very apt verse – Alma 58 verses 10 to 11 – not that our children are my enemies but I am outnumbered!!

Therefore we did pour out our souls in prayer to God, that he would strengthen us and deliver us out of the hands of our enemies, yea, and also give us strength…
Yea, and it came to pass that the Lord our God did visit us with assurances that he would deliver us; yea, insomuch that he did speak peace to our souls