I’m going to tell you about my day of woe, as a holiday gift. Feel free to gloat, and be glad that you did not suffer such a day.

It started innocently enough. My husband, Paul, took our Prius into the tire shop to have snow tires put on. I was at work at Hussey Elementary School when I received a text from him, saying the job was done, he had left the car in the school parking lot, and he was walking home, a few blocks away.

Moments later, my cellphone vibrated. Now I was irritated, as I had to leave the library to answer it. It was the tire shop. There was a problem that they supposedly hadn’t noticed before Paul drove off. Could I tell him to call them?

I need to back up. Life had been going south for a couple of weeks by then. First, our telephone’s landline died. We’d already endured two weeks of no landline or wireless earlier in the fall, because the line bringing service to our home needed to be replaced by Fairpoint. Now we had no phone service again.

The initial problem in September prompted me to buy Paul a “real” cellphone for his birthday in late November. He’d had a TracFone for a while, but it finally died. I thought he needed to have a smarter device. Paul was enjoying his new phone when he had the snow tires installed, but he hadn’t memorized the number yet. So he gave the shop mine.

I wish I could say I was making all this up, but, alas, it is all true.

I returned to the library and resumed my activities. My phone vibrated again. I glared at it. It was Paul. A tire shop employee had backed into the car while it was parked at the shop. There was a huge dent in the driver’s door.

Oh. My. God.

A few hours later, I left Hussey to drive over to Lincoln Elementary. My heart sank. The dent was such that, if one of us had been in the driver’s seat car when the accident happened, we’d have been severely injured. I was almost equally upset that I had to drive the car around like that. It made me look like a loser.

The tire company’s insurance will pay for the repairs, as well as a loaner. We received a refund for the tire job as well. The bad news is that we can’t get the car fixed until the end of January. I guess I’d better get used to feeling pathetic.

I had a bit of time after school to have a cup of tea and calm myself before visiting the podiatrist. I’d had foot surgery in late September. I’d healed up nicely, except for my second toe. My doctor had warned me that “Clyde,” as I’d named it, would remain swollen for awhile. However, by November it was still super-sized. So off I went for more X-rays. On this less-than-auspicious day, I was going to find out what Clyde was up to.

As the Morton Salt company has said for 100 years, “When it rains, it pours.” The X-rays were remarkably clear — and horrible. In October, the implant that had been placed in my toe to keep it straight looked fine. In December, it was broken.

How this happened is anyone’s guess. Although my 85-pound lab, Quinn, steps on my feet from time to time, I have a hard time imagining he could break a titanium-nickel alloy gizmo that had been placed within a bone.

My doctor said I didn’t necessarily have to have it removed, but he recommended it. I didn’t have to think twice about it. I hated the idea of this broken thing in my toe.

So, in late January, I will be repaired about the same time as the Prius. Who says life can’t be naturally ironic? It won’t be as bad as the two weeks spent off my feet in October, followed by four more weeks in a surgical boot. But I still have to have surgery to remove the “Smart Toe” implant and place a pin in Clyde, that old devil. I’ll still have to hobble around in an ugly stiff sandal for several weeks. I’m sure that’s when we’ll start having blizzards.

I was in a dark mood when I returned home. But it’s hard to stay down during the holiday season. Even though I don’t get all joyfully silly at this time of year, I do take pleasure in denouncing my least favorite Christmas carols (“The Little Drummer Boy” — yech) and skewering materialism at every turn.

My motto: When life gives you lemons, take a bite. You’ll survive.

Liz Soares welcomes e-mail at [email protected]

filed under:

Augusta and Waterville news

Get news and events from your towns in your inbox every Friday.


  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.