News From Terre Haute, Indiana

January 6, 2014

Liz Ciancone: When it couldn’t get any worse

Liz Ciancone
Special to the Tribune-Star

TERRE HAUTE — We all have our “why me?” days. I’ve had what I hope is my yearly quota, beginning with Thanksgiving.

I know you are not to tinker with the calendar, but whatever mischievous force decreed three major holidays in less than five weeks should be required to channel Mr. Scrooge and be boiled with his, or her, Christmas pudding.

I do not number in the top 300,000 of the world’s greatest cooks; any holiday meal is a trauma. It has helped that sons Number One and Number Two actually do like to cook and have lifted much of the labor. Thanksgiving and Christmas have become pitch-in meals, but it will be months before I want to bake another pie.

I don’t list Christmas shopping or cards or decorating. I simply didn’t get around to cards this year and did not haul out our traditional décor. I didn’t even put up a tree. I bought a pine wreath and hung it over an inside door with the gifts beneath.

So maybe it wasn’t just the holiday. It was the other stuff. We couldn’t have known that the $20 bill we presented to pay for breakfast would be a bogus bill. Fortunately, we were regulars and had another $20. We took the phony bill to the bank, they took it to send to Washington, and we were out $20.

Maybe I was already addled, but for whatever reason, I lost my credit card. This entails long-distance calls, remembering your Social Security number and all sorts of other information. It took a week, but the old card no longer applies, so if you find it, don’t bother sending it back.

But the coup de grâce occurred the other night about 3:30 a.m. Awakened by a tapping noise, I was about to rise and see if someone was at the door. Then came a pop, and all the electricity went off. That’s all the electricity, like no heat, no light, not even a way to nuke a cup of leftover coffee. Nada!

Duke Energy was on it by about 5:30 and replaced the faulty transformer by about 10. By that time, it was cold in here. Fortunately, the management sent transportation, fed us — all before noon.

I guess the moral for this chronic optimist is to keep the faith. The little stuff is annoying, but there is always a helping hand somewhere. I guess I’m ready to pardon the calendar screw-up.