Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Lunch at home

Yesterday the rain gently fell. It's been a long time since this has happened here. The earth was parched and fissures large enough for a toddler to drive his big wheels into began appearing. The rain was definitely welcome. At least before lunch.

My husband is the kind of guy who doesn't brown bag his lunch. I'm not saying he won't, just that we've been married over thirty years and he hasn't yet. This last move from OH to SC, we bought a house so close to his office that if traffic is light and he eats fast, he can come home for lunch. Not only is this a cost effective measure (as I see it), it has the added benefit of better nutrition as well and no one is arguing about that. It's just a fact and we both know it. It's pleasant too and kind of breaks up the day for us both. He's not able to come home every day, but he does when he can and yesterday he did.

I have no idea what we ate, which seems odd since it was only twenty-four hours ago. I do know we were eating watermelon when we heard the first loud boom. Boom! Bang, bang, bang. A limb from a tree fell, not remarkable in itself since we live in the woods, but worthy of note because it fell on Jerry's car. We didn't see this but we heard it and knew at a glance what had happened. The limb wasn't large - the diameter was about the size of a lady's forearm but it did a lot of damage. The point of impact is unclear, but the roof is smashed in, the windshield shattered and the hood and the side panel over the wheel are all dented pretty badly.

A tree limb altered how I spent my afternoon. Instead of doing laundry, I called my insurance agent, filed an insurance claim, talked with an auto glass repair shop, conversed with our assigned insurance adjuster and made an appointment with an auto body shop. I was assured that this claim wouldn't significantly raise our insurance rates, since we haven't had other claims with this company and they consider this an act of God. I prefer to think of it as an act of Mother Nature rather than God. In my mind, God isn't spending lunch hour throwing branches at cars, but, of course, I cannot be certain.

Today (instead of doing the laundry) I spent the morning at the auto body shop getting an estimate. This shop has insurance people on staff, so my claim was expedited and I now know that the repairs for the vehicle will run $2,005.00, which means the insurance company and the Zimmermans will split the bill almost 50/50 because we have $1,000.00 deductible.

While the gentleman was appraising the damage, he point out to me that the car had sustained significant hail damage somewhere along the way as well. There are tiny dings everywhere. He said that these can be fixed using some paintless procedure but that it will probably cost in excess of $2,500.00 and it is a separate claim, thus necessitating another $1,000.00 expenditure on our part and, of course, if we file another claim so soon, it will raise our premiums.

I'm not quite sure what I am going to do with this new-found knowledge on hail damage to my husband's car. He hasn't noticed these dings himself yet. Jer's pretty fond of his vehicles and I think if he knew, it might drive him nuts. Nuts!! That reminds me! The adjuster said the damage might be caused by nuts falling out of trees and bouncing off the car. If that's the case and we get the car fixed before all the nuts fall....

How many lunches could a person buy for two thousand dollars? Maybe it's not so cost effective to serve lunch here at home after all.

Friday, September 3, 2010

Phantom Phone Calls

Late last night my husband and I were sitting at the table talking when his phone rang. He looked down to see who was calling him and it was.....me. Unbeknownst to me, my phone had called him from my front pocket. We were both kinda surprised because we knew he wasn't even the last phone number that I had dialed from that phone. How did this happen?

To place a call on my fancy phone, I have to touch a button to turn the screen on, slide my finger across the screen to unlock it, press the phone icon and then either dial a phone number, push a button to see recently dialed calls and choose one or scroll through my phone book. It just amazes me that even with all these safeguards, I still am able to accidentally automatically call random people and not even know it. Once - and I swear this is true - it was nearly midnight when my phone that was sitting on my nightstand just dialed a friend. I could hear it ring from the bed. I picked the phone up just in time to hear her answer in her sleepy voice. I panicked and hung up on her. How stupid was that? All cells have caller id. I had to call her back, explain and apologize.

As uncomfortable it is to make these types of calls, it's even worse to receive them. The moral dilemma is how long do I listen before I hang up? Anyone who has ever met me knows I am in love with the spoken word but to be an unknown presence privy to a private conversation creeps me out. I have a powerful whistle, but even whistling at top volume won't alert the speaker to my hidden involvement in the conversation. The only thing to do is to hang up and do it fast. And yet....

Our son called in the middle of the afternoon (that alone should have been a tip off). When I said "hello" I heard what I thought was him finishing up a conversation to somebody else before focusing his attention on me. While I waited, I half listened to his voice and eventually I realized that he was talking to a couple of residents about a patient's diagnosis. It was kind of like an episode of ER and I was mesmerized. Still, I waited patiently to hear why he'd called me until it finally dawned upon me that he had "butt dialed" me. It was "take your mother to work day" and he didn't even know it! 

I hung up and called him back. He didn't answer of course.  He was at work.