Tag Archives: desperation

Monday Moans: It’s About Time!

Easy as A, B, C . . . from BB

How annoying is it to wake up on Monday morning and find your whole world has been turned upside down?

I forgot to change all my clocks.

Over the whole weekend!

In the kitchen my oven and my microwave always disagree. And they change their minds: the oven is two minutes faster than the microwave; then the microwave catches up over a few days’ time and is three minutes faster than the oven.

In my bedroom, the TV doesn’t agree with the dead land‑ line clock/ radio, which I use only as a clock. The “land‑ line” is purposefully set about 3 minutes fast. The TV changes, I think, with the weather.

In the garage, the Cooper doesn’t agree with the Subaru . . . and both of them are wrong anyway. And I can’t remember how to change the one in the Subaru. You know, “my” car. And I’ve NEVER known how to change the Cooper, “his” car.

Neither bathroom has a clock. But there’s my phone. Well, “there’s” my phone, when I can find it. When I can’t, I have to find “his” phone and get him to “call” my phone‑‑‑because he’s got a smart phone and I’ve got a dumb (and lost) phone.

From “time” to “time,” I rush‑‑‑ in desperation‑‑‑ for the sun room. My FAVORITE room in the house. My “new” office, since I remarried and gave up the “extra” bedroom to be “his” office.

At LAST, I know what time it is: this is an ATOMIC clock. Whatever that means. I keep hoping I don’t get some dread skin‑ disease from it, or have one of my limbs fall off.

OK. It says 6:05. But . . . does it change automatically when we lose or gain the hour in spring and fall? I’ll have to check one of the other clocks that changes automatically. But which one (or ones???) do that?

I can’t remember.

And it did no good to check my computer which DOES change automatically: it died last night.

I forgot to plug it in.

And the battery’s totally dead.

See you day‑after‑tomorrow for Tuesday’s Tutor!

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Saturday’s Softcover: My Mother was an “Elizabeth” Too!

Easy as A, B, C . . . from BB

My mother was named Margaret Elizabeth, but I never knew her to go by Margaret, or any of its wonderful permutations: Maggie, Meg, etc. In fact, she didn’t go by any of the changes to Elizabeth either—it was always full throttle: Elizabeth. And she loved movies. She felt very connected to two famous Elizabeths: Queen Elizabeth, who named her son Charles—my brother, almost exactly the same age, is named Charles. And she loved Elizabeth Taylor. So, when I saw Lu Ann Brobst Staheli’s book entitled Just Like Elizabeth Taylor, I knew I “just” had to read it.

The book is tender, frightening, angst-filled in part, funny, and ultimately— mostly—very happy,81N-fns-EuL__SL1500_ though I was in tears at the end.

Liz, named Elizabeth for the movie star, becomes Beth when she runs away from home. How will this young girl, not yet a teen, make her way on her own?  Actually, a lot better than she can do at home where her mother is too weak to give up the boyfriend who beats her, and Liz cannot fend off the boyfriend’s loathsome son.

Plucky girl that she is, she steals some money from the “boyfriend,” and runs away—but only as far as a fairly nearby town. She finds an abandoned shack at a winter-deserted K.O.A. place, where she manages to have bathroom/water/ electric amenities, ekes out her meager “savings” with school lunch and occasional lunch leavings from other students.

As the school year draws closer to an end, “Beth” must find a way to make a friend, save a lunch lady, let her mother know she is still alive, find a more permanent home, and bring justice to her “real” family, while maintaining a decent GPA so she won’t be “found out.”

At every moment, I was aware that the author had taught junior high school for years: she knew the angst, the failures, the desperation of some, the heartlessness of others, and the pluck of the brave. Just before the ending I was in tears: not because it was sad, but because I was so angry at what happened to “Beth” next: pulling all the threads together, the horrific scene had me crying for the unfairness, the drive, the caring this young girl exhibited. It was a fitting triumph, finally.

I know Liz, the lost girl. I know Beth, the loner. I know Elizabeth, the winner. I’ve taught those high school, junior high school and middle school kids too. Read it, and you’ll know them as well!

 See you day after tomorrow for Monday Moans!

A1YSS+kQ4cL__SL1500_BTW, the prolific Staheli also has a book, A Note Worth Taking, about “best” friends, surviving lost friendships, making new friends—you know, all those things we suffered in junior high or middle school. I’m reading it next—you should too: it’s on sale at Amazon for $0.99 through the end of July.

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