Saturday, March 26, 2011

For Every Action, There Is a Reaction

The last few weeks have reminded me that for every action there is a reaction. I’m not talking about Newton’s Third Law or even writing advice I’ve received over the years. No, I’m talking about everyday common occurrences.

Since I live in the country, I may be a little closer to nature than my city-dwelling friends. Last Saturday, I looked outside to see five cows grazing in my yard. I’m not afraid of cows, but noticed one of the “cows” was actually a bull so I stayed inside until the bull decided to butt my satellite dish. I reacted by yelling in my no-nonsense  voice, “Get out of here!” The big guy turned toward me and gave me a look that indicated he wasn’t scared of me at all and didn't budge until my brother-in-law chased them away.

A few days and a few cattle visits later, one-half of my satellite programming quit working. It seems that half my programming is on one satellite and the other half is on a different one. My luck, the half that was working had C-Span and info TV, and the half that was out of commission carried American Idol.

For $98, they would look at my dish or I could purchase a service contract for $6 per month with a five-month obligation. I agreed to the service agreement. My daughter-in-law walked in while I was finishing my conversation. She went outside and looked the dish over, tightened up a few loose screws and the TV came back on. “I don’t know how long it will last,” she said.

I couldn’t see cancelling the appointment so I asked about upgrading to DVR. I had wanted to do this for months, but hadn’t done it. The technician not only upgraded my system, he programmed in American Idol so that I didn’t have to miss it while I was at the Alzheimer’s Walk meeting that night.

He planned to come back Wednesday to bury the cable and mount the dish on a pole. Wednesday morning, I turned on the water to take a shower and the lukewarm water quickly turned cold. The water heater had quit. I called my service provider and they said they could come Monday. Monday? No hot water until Monday?

A friend of mine came over and pushed the reset button for the water heater, which was all it needed the last time, and sure enough, it started working again. In fact, the water was boiling hot. Apparently, the service company reacts more swiftly to boiling water than cold water. They agreed to come the next day.

The dish man hadn’t showed up by almost ten, so I called the 800 number to see what was going on. While I talked on the phone, I headed down the hallway and almost stepped on a snake. It didn’t matter to me that it was a harmless, ring neck snake—a snake is a snake. My reaction: I screamed, backtracked, and started telling the guy on the phone and my friend that a snake was IN MY HOUSE. If I’d been by myself, I might have just moved out until the snake was removed. The way it was, my friend put his foot on the snake to keep it out of the nearby bedroom, and I brought him an oven mitt to pick it up.

“How did he get in here?” I asked.

“Probably that little crack under your storm door.” I had left the entry door open. Oh, yeah, Jim installed that storm door after he had dementia. He wanted to angle it slightly, but couldn’t understand that he was angling the bottom of the door the wrong direction. I finally convinced him to leave it straight so that we had a small crack instead of big gap.

It’s been quite a week, this week. A lot of action and reaction going on, for sure. Today, I’m relaxing and watching the snow come down. It’s hard to believe I was wearing summer clothes earlier this week. My reaction to the snow? At least a snake won’t be out in this kind of weather.

Copyright © March 2011 by L. S. Fisher
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