For many, the month of June conjures lovely memories...Weddings, Graduations, the beginnng of school vacation and the promise of a glorious summer ahead...
For me, the month of June always makes me grateful that my life turned out the way it did. For it was the month of June, 6 years ago, that I thought, "THIS CANNOT GET ANY WORSE."
If you have read any of my stories, or have known me for any length of time, you know that I often experience crazy, sometimes stupid situations. Whether its a nutty deli owner that lays on the floor, covers himself in vegetables and asked me to "straddle" him to take his picture for the paper, or the recent pedicure that went terribly awry and I ended up with a bejewelled, glittered Georgia O'Keefe mural on one toe, complete with pollen and what looked like a marijuana plant, and a blue gemstone in the middle of a flourescent pink "daisy." (This of course was due to the significant language barrier, and the fact that the mural would have spanned BOTH feet, had she not rolled over my foot when going to sit under the dryer, smudging the intricate work of art she had painstakingly created, while I looked on in dismay...)I digress. This story will be for another blog...
Now, where was I? Ah, yes...June.
Just when you think things are going swell...Sh#$ hits the fan and it rolls downhill from there.
I had been in my new home for almost a year after my divorce. It was exactly what I wanted, and needed for myself and Nick. It was a safe neighborhood, I had a little yard, Nick had a cool bedroom, and I got to live there happily, peacefully.
Financially, it was a bit of a struggle, but I was determined to make it work. I can usually make things happen, and I knew if I kept working hard, I would be able to build back a nest-egg, and everything would be fine.
Things were not perfect, I obviously had to deal with "divorce" stuff, I hated the time without Nick, work in radio sales was up and down, I was a single mom and dating was the last thing on my priority list. There was a bit of pressure from many directions, but someone once commented that I had a KEVLAR heart, and I would survive whatever the world had in store.
It was one sunny day in June, that gave the term "bad day" a new meaning.
It was the Friday before Fathers day, in fact, and I had planned on heading to Jay to visit with my family for the weekend.
I got the mail that day, disheartened again at the stack of bills. I would have put the pile away for the time being, and almost didn't open a letter from my mortgage company, as I had just paid my mortgage and assumed it was some refinance offer.
I don't even remember why I opened it, but I did, and glanced at the content of the letter, not really interested, it looked like another standard customer service letter...
I had promised Nick we would go to AMATO's, and was looking forward to one of their famous "ITALIANS." (LoveLoveLove the pickles).
We drove the 1/2 mile into town, picked up our lunches and headed back to our cute little yellow house. We were going to have lunch on the back deck, maybe take a ride to the beach later...
He settled in to eat, I begrudgingly picked up the pile of bills, the opened mortgage letter on top.
I read it.
It basically said that my current mortgage payment was going to increase about $800 due to a property tax adjustment.
"This must be a mistake." I said out loud. I left my sandwich on the table and picked up the phone.
After several "may I please speak to a supervisors," and "I'm sorry I can't help you-s," I hung up, and slumped into the chair.
There was no way I could afford that payment.
For the first time in more than a year, I cried.
Not only did I cry, I sobbed. I sobbed so hard that I threw up.
Poor Nick was so worried.
"Mama? Whats wrong?"
"Nothing, Honey. I think I ate a bad pickle."
(To this day, Nick always points out that pickles make me sick, and be careful when I eat them. I love pickles. Someday I'll tell him the real story).
So, like I always do when things start going to hell, I called my parents.
I still couldn't believe the situation. I was going to have to get another job! This was a nightmare.
My mom calmed me down, and insisted that I come up early. We would figure something out. But I was (and am) stubborn, and accepting help was out of the question.
Meanwhile, Nick's plans had changed and was now spending the weekend with me. That, was at least, a bright spot for me.
So I hastily packed a bag, put Nick's bike into the trunk and sped off to Jay. I already felt better, just getting out of town.
When I arrived, it was early evening. Nick was excited to show Nanny and Bup his new bike-riding skills.
What happened next led to a domino effect of crazy, horrible events, that now...I laugh about.
Nick was MAMAMAMAMA-ing me to get his bike out, while I tried to explain the mortgage thing to my parents. I can't really remember how or why this happened, but I think I pushed the trunk button, set my keys down (somewhere)and pulled the bike from the trunk. Then I am pretty sure I shut the trunk.
So started the quest to get the keys.
I had a JETTA. Loved that car. It had that flick-y-Star-Trek-key that flipped up. What it also had was automatic locks and windows, so that when TRIPLE-A showed up to assist, I was S.O.L.
The guy was nice enough, but ultimately, he left. I was keyless.
So that meant one thing...I would have to go back to Gorham, break into my house, and hunt for the spare set. I had NO idea where they were. I mean, I had enough on my mind at the time...where the little black key was-was anyone's guess.
It was late at this point, so the hour trip to Gorham to bust into the house would have to wait until the next day.
Sleep that night? HAHAHAHA. Nope.
The next morning I jumped into my Dad's (newish)Jimmy. Yes, the one that I almost delivered Tyler in...I refused to let anyone come with me...I needed to do this alone.
I arrived at my house, still feeling sick. I got into my house through the screen door in the back. Damage? Can't even remember.
I started ransacking my house, top to bottom. That key was not in there.
Sweating, cussing, cussing, sweating. I was the picture of the woman I had NEVER wanted to be. Desperate, Confused, Frightened. What the hell was I going to do?
Then my phone rang.
"WE FOUND THE KEY!!!!" It was my mom.
"It was under the back of the car near the tire!"
It must have fallen when I put it down to get the bike.
SWEET RELIEF!I was saved.
I was so happy about the key that I had almost forgotten about the mortgage issue.
I hopped in my dad's vehicle and headed North, once again.
Guess what. I got stopped for speeding. But I did NOT get a ticket.
When I got to Auburn, I swear I was even singing. I knew so well the number of stop lights, and how long each was. I drove that route so often.
At the last light, I slowed cautiously.
What the hell was that?
There was a truck ahead of me, what the hell had I run over?
The light turned green...
What in the world?
I noticed the truck in front of me had an old trailer for a boat or whatever that extended from the back...did I? NAH. I drove ahead...
I stopped at McDonalds to pee and get gift certificates for my Grandfather(love you, Grampa)for Father's Day.
And went about my trip.
When I pulled into the driveway, there were my parents and Nick, happily riding his bike.
I jumped out of the truck, but the look on my Dad's face stopped me in my tracks.
"What did you do to my truck?"
"Huh?" I really had no idea what he was talking about.
Then I remembered, the truck trailer and that noise.
The front of my Dad's bumper was totally dented and scratched.
I felt the pickles coming up again. It was the last thing I had eaten, why not?
VEEERRRY long story short, I somehow got my mortgage payment fixed, I got two new sets of key made and my Dad forgave me for busting Jimmy. (oh, a Father's love).
Okay. Thats the end of the story. Nothing else happened that weekend. I mean, what the heck else could? But I learned some very valuable lessons.
Never believe for a second that life won't throw you a curveball once in a while.
It's okay to ask for help when that happens.
If you pray for strength, look for it in the events that occur in your life. The strength you find to survive could very well be the answer to that prayer.
Oh, and stupid things happen.
That's why I write this blog.
P.S. To all of the 2010 Graduates and your families, Congratulations! Life is tricky...work hard, live honest...that is the key to success.
P.P.S. The other key was in my purse the whole effing time.
Thanks For Reading.