18 July 2013


Recent days have been chapters in the book Be Careful What You Take For Granted.  For example ~

Transportation.  Last week, for the fourth time in nine months, my truck went on strike.  The engine would turn over, but refused to start.  One of those incidents caused me to miss an important appointment with a neurologist, which had to be rescheduled.  My limited mechanical knowledge suggested that it was likely a problem with either the electrical system or a clogged fuel line.  A friend helped me narrow it down to the battery.  Though it appeared to be supplying juice, I was astonished to discover when I went back through my receipts that I'd bought it new in 2008.  Five years is an impressive lifespan for a 12V battery that sits outside during Montana winters.

To tide me over (and as future insurance), I bought a portable, rechargeable battery jumper.  A new battery is in the offing.

Communication.  A few days ago, my landline telephone and internet service went dead.  We forget how much we depend on our devices until they -poof- disappear.  Thankfully I keep my cell phone charged, but it took a full half hour of negotiating tech support menus, being cut off in mid-conversation, and penetrating each person's recital of his/her script to get my message across.  It turned out that a trunk DSL line had been damaged, with repair taking six hours.

Power.  At 3:45 this morning, I awoke to the sound of silence.  My subconscious had been stirred by the sudden absence of fan or air conditioning sounds, and the lights were out in my entire apartment complex.  I opened windows to admit cooler night air (and its cargo of traffic noise and rail yard sounds), and once more resorted to my trusty cell phone to call for repair.  More menus, more tech scripts, more waiting.  I fell into a restless sleep, awakened too early by my hungry cats.  The electricity didn't return for seven hours, and when it did, I felt like I could breathe again.  I wasn't looking forward to baking in daytime temps in the 90s, nor to the boredom of having no Internet, radio, or TV.  Besides, I had laundry to do and dishes to clean.

Health.  Yesterday I kept an appointment with my dermitologist, a regular visit to check for pre-cancerous growths on my skin ~ the legacy of too many days spent sun-bathing under the southern Arizona sun when I was young and stupid.  I've become more attuned to which skin formations are a result of simple aging, and which ones might become melanomas.  Caught early, the latter can be treated by freezing with a jet of liquid nitrogen.  This visit there were only six, and only one of those was even mildly advanced.

Cancer is something I assuredly do not take for granted.  Life's other conveniences and necessities do become easy habit, until they decide to rattle your cage with their absence.

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