I heard it outside my window. That unmistakable and unwelcome sound, metal hitting metal. I live on a route to the Minnesota State Fair. A gorgeous, sunny Friday morning of the last weekend of the second largest state fair in the United States. Texas has bragging rights to the biggest — well, enough said. The traffic in front of my apartment building had been non-stop since 6 a.m., and it was now 11.
My initial peer out the front window showed that the front of my car looked fine. (We don’t have designated parking here.) The maroon SUV, stopped in the middle of the street, did not. But I did wonder where the other car was. Two men were talking, civilly enough.
But my curiosity would not be denied. I went out the front door and traversed the little walkway between my apartment building and the adjacent one. (Our steps to the street are temporarily gone due to a city plumbing update gone awry.) The next building’s steps brought me right to the rear end of my car.
The fender was completely severed. The exhaust was on the ground. Broken plastic and glass formed a car-shaped outline. My car had sustained a fatal blow. A little circle of people had been milling around, waiting to see who owned the gutted gray car. Curtain up; it is I.
The 80-year-old driver and his wife were nice enough. They stayed — as if they had a choice. Their car wasn’t drivable, either, and the wife was tottering her way around with a walker. Out of town and on the way to the fair, the wife saw something on the right side of the street. “Oh, honey, look!” She pointed. He looked. As they say in the racing world, the car goes where your eyes go. In this case — into my car.
But they were insured. I’m driving a rental, thanks to their insurance. The payout’s fair (pun intended).
Three days later, my laptop fan started making a disturbing tweedle. The tweedle morphed into a warbly rhythm: tweedle-whop, tweedle-whop. Like the whoofer noise that rock-and-roll guitarists in the 1960s would generate from their amps. Shutdown-and-restart didn’t resolve the matter. A trip to the Geek Squad and their initial effort to clean the fan couldn’t fend off the tweedle-whop, either. The laptop, new in February, is now “off to the shop,” compliments of the service plan I bought.
So — I’m sure my horoscope shows that the machine stars were not aligned for me last week. It all distracted me from writing my doula goals — and from working on my book.
The good news: when I moved to Minnesota in 1975, I came here alone. Knew not a single soul. But I stayed here, remarried, and had two sons. Both are grown and married; one lives here in Minneapolis his wife. They got married last July. This blog entry is coming to you compliments of my daughter-in-law, who is loaning me her laptop while mine is at the doctor’s.
As I was driving over to pick up her laptop, I realized how much my life had changed. Over the years, I have often said, “I have no family in Minnesota.” Make that past-tense: I had no family when I came here. But I grew one, a pretty nice one, truth be told. One son bought me a business book to start my biz; the wife of the other is loaning me her computer. I have family here.
Despite the hurdles, I composed the Facebook page for my doula business. Last spring, one of my clients had sent me a thank-you note addressed simply to “Paula the Doula.” I think of my services as simple — I focus on what the mother is needing so that she can find her own strength. I’m not the magic; the whole birth process is. So the simple “Paula the Doula” it is. After that, I created a profile on “Doula Match,” a website where moms can peruse the profiles of various doulas to see if there are a few they want to interview. (Pretty fancy for the likes of me, but I’m willing.)
My next task is to figure out just where on my flash drive my revisions chart is for my book. I’m taking lessons on revisions, and I have an assignment due a week from tomorrow. I may have to write my chart all over again.
But that is the stuff of another entry.