Some of you know that me and my family used to own a carnival. While we don’t have any rides any more, we do still have contracts. Basically my dad built the kind of reputation that makes people want to continue using us. We still have a few festival and fair contracts that we fulfill by subcontracting with friends and family who are still in the business.
Two weeks ago was one of those weeks. My mom Patsy, brother Patrick, and Nephew Seth took off to manage the carnival area at the Newton County Fair in Newton Texas. This left me and Miss Penny here by ourselves.
Since I started working to help people sell amusement equipment, I prefer not to go with them to events like this. The truth is I never enjoyed watching other people make money. And it would mean a week in a cramped motel room with terrible wifi and my poor doggie penny in a kennel.
And with the news stories about this new mysterious respiratory disease called KIRD I was not thrilled with the idea of putting my buddy penny in with a bunch of strange dogs. I know at that time the illness was concentrated in Illinois and Indiana; but there had already been one case in Georgia. And most of us don’t take chances with our kids or pets. So we prepared for the week.
They did all the usual things washing clothes, packing their sales booth, buying me groceries. They loaded up the truck and took off on Tuesday Morning of that week. They left and like a good boy I locked the door and turned the dead bolt as they left the driveway.
So, I was looking forward to a week of peace and quiet. I was planning to get a lot of work done. Yes, we all tell ourselves that when we have time with no distractions or responsibilities. And things started off well.
The trouble started
The trouble started and the challenge began on Wednesday. Tuesday night I microwaved something. I forget what it was, but it was something that took five or six minutes. I was working on something, so I left it in the microwave until I was through. Then I thought I’ll heat it up a little. And nothing worked. No matter how many buttons I pushed, nothing.
I should mention that I do all my cooking in the microwave. Its easier on me, and it gives them peace of mind. I’m sure you have been there. No matter how old you are, no matter how self sufficient you have been or can be; your family will still worry about you.
I can cook on the stove and have often. But I know it would worry them to know I was doing either while they are gone. So, I respect their fears and their wishes and stick to the microwave.
So, a broken microwave is a big deal especially when we did our shopping based on the expectation of having a working appliance. I actually had to convince them I would be okay. Naturally, they didn’t listen.
Checking to make sure I am okay
My aunt and uncle came by to check to make sure it was the oven and not the electrical wiring. I will be honest enough to admit that knowing this made me feel better.
My dad always told me if something electrical doesn’t work its probably the wiring. And you hear about fires that are started inside the walls of a house or apartment due to faulty wiring. So, knowing the electrical was in good shape was a big relief.
The next goal was how to manage the week knowing that I didn’t have the funds to purchase a new microwave or to buy more groceries. And I wouldn’t have had someone to take me if I did. My aunt and uncle might have if I had asked, but they do so much for us; that this wasn’t really an option either.
They did leave me a nice salad and some beans and cornbread. They have recently become vegetarians because they researched it and found that cutting out meat would improve their heart condition and give them a better life expectancy. So, I wasn’t quite sure what to expect. 🙂 The food was good. It was weird having tomatoes and other vegetables in my pinto beans taking the place of meat for texture; but I really did enjoy it.
Taking an inventory
So, I took an inventory to see what I had. I like salads, and we had purchased four pre made salads from the grocery store. So, each time I ate one I mixed a can of tuna or salmon in with the greens. It gave me the protein I need as a gastric surgery patient and made them much more filling.
Next, I found a couple packages of ramen noodles and a couple cup of soup packages that my brother or nephew had bought for themselves. They aren’t really good for you, but they taste good. I was happy to find them.
I cooked them buy running the water through our coffee pot. I had done this before during my college days. But back then coffee pots had heating elements under them. I wasn’t sure if it would work with a k cup machine. I had to run two cups of water through the machine but they turned out just fine. I had them with crackers and milk and felt like a king.
I also found three cans of campbells chunky soup in there. We occasionally buy them. I didn’t remember putting them on the list. I chose to eat them cold, but they weren’t that bad.
Using the stove
I told you it was my goal to make the week without using the stove. But I had to finally draw the line with two items. I had to use the stove for some eggs and a can of ranch style beans.
I was in the boy scouts and I have eaten beans cold or hot, but after a few days of salads, sandwiches, yogurt, and string cheese; I was just not up to eating cold beans.
Since no one expects me to use it, our stove doesn’t have any braille labels on it. So what I did was to turn the knob to half way. I then put my hand above the burner and felt to see what the temperature did when i turned the knob. I then set it to its lowest setting and gradually increased it until I felt it was on the right setting.
Gaining confidence from warming up some beans I decided to scramble some eggs. My family is more partial to fried eggs, using olive oil of course; but I like mine scrambled. And that’s the way I do them when its just me. I decided to use more caution than i would have if microwaving the eggs, so they were a little under done. But you know how it is everything tastes better when you feel like you took a risk making it.
Iphone makes ordering delivery easier
I also got a chance to test out my new iphone. I had kept twenty dollars with me letting the family take the rest of our funds with them. They were going to be out on the road where anything could happen.
I decided to treat myself and order some food delivered. I know the number for pizza hut, but I didn’t really want pizza. What I wanted was chinese. So I said hey seri is there a chinese restaurant near here that delivers. It said yes and then gave me the details including asking me if I wanted it to call the number or not. I ordered two lunches that lasted me a day and a half.
This was impressive because where we live there are lots of restaurants. I could have spent lots of time searching online or calling directory assistance with no guarantee of finding one that would deliver or more importantly that would deliver to my address. So it was so cool having the iphone to make this simple. And the food did turn out pretty good.
I feel pretty good about how I did. I hate to worry the family, so I made it harder on myself than it should have been. Now, some of you are probably wondering about Miss penny.
Penny is AWOL
You see its her job to look after me while they are gone. At least that’s the way they tell it. But she was absolutely no use to me this time. She spent the entire time outside. I had to beg her to come in and eat.
One night I had to take the can of food out on the porch and open it so she could see it before she would come in the house. Of the last four days she came in for maybe a half hour. And as much as I complain about having to pet her it would have been really good to have her to comfort me.
But I can’t get mad at the poor doggie. You see its spring and there are lots of young critters around our house for her to play with or chase after. We have some baby bunny rabbits that were probably let loose after easter. And the other day my brother caught penny frolicking with a baby deer. I like to believe that she would have protected me if necessary.
Jehovah’s witnesses are people too
I did make a new friend while they were gone. I heard a knock at the door and thought it might be the UPS driver. My nephew seth is always getting stuff from amazon. I went to answer and nope it was the jehovah’s witnesses.
For those of you who know me, you know I believe every encounter is an opportunity. They could have come at any other time, but they happened to come when I was by myself and trying to make the week until the family got home.
We talked for a while. They were very nice people named Casandra and Kyle. We talked about the bible and how blind people access the internet books etc.
Casandra told me about the church’s website, and I told them about me the midway and the blind blogger. I gave her my email address. And before they left she got penny to come in to the house by whistling something that no one else can get her to do.
Just this week I got an email from her. She is interested in me and my activities. she has ordered audio cassettes and plans to drop them by when they come in. She already brought me one. They have stories of faith and overcoming obstacles through it something I can really understand.
So, in the last year I have made friends with someone in a doctor’s office waiting room and the jehovah’s witnesses. Life is full of opportunities to connect with good people if you just keep your heart and mind open to it.
Well, when the family got home I was very happy to see them. They went out for pizza and we had a great meal together. The next day they went out and bought a new microwave. It has a touch screen, but I’ve already figured out where to press to make it work.
I know this wasn’t a major adventure. I was at my home, and I was never in any real danger. There was no chance I would actually starve. And I know there are lots of people in America and around the world who live on much less than what I had available to me. But I do feel pretty good about myself.
This just shows that we all have the ability to do more than we think we can. We can find a way to overcome whatever obstacle is in front of us. And once done it prepares us for even bigger challenges.
I know that the Lord is preparing me for an amazing adventure. I don’t know what it will be or where it will take me; but I know it is coming.
I get up each morning hoping today will be the day that I find out what it is. So far, I’m still here behind the laptop doing my best to help people. Sometimes that means helping people to sell amusement equipment. Other times it means encouraging, inspiring, and motivating others to step out on their own journeys. I’m here if you need me.
Sharing is caring
Well, I hope you have enjoyed my story. If you did, then you can best show your appreciation by sharing this with your friends, family, coworkers, and social media networks. And even better be sure to share your thoughts by leaving a comment. I always do my best to reciprocate them.
Remember that I’m always here for you. I am a great listener, and I don’t need to offer solutions unless you want me to. And if I think your problem is beyond my ability or will take more time; then I’ll be honest and let you know. I hope that some of you will become clients and I can help you to really go after that big dream or goal you have for your life.
And I’m always up for meeting new people, making new friends, and learning new things. So don’t feel like you have to have a reason to contact me. I look forward to hearing from you.
Until next time thanks and take care out there, Max