Tag Archives: trials and tribulations

Tuesday:) Trials and Tribulations

17 Apr

“When life sends you trials and tribulations, try and count your blessings. If that doesn’t work, go to lunch, dinner, and a movie.”

~Toni Armenta Andrukaitis

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Yesterday, I had stopped at Towne Creek to drop off some sandwiches for Miss Nelma. I didn’t stay long because her nurse was there visiting and changing bandages, so I didn’t stay long. Helene was with me, and when we got back into my car, it wouldn’t start. It churned a little then, nothing, nada, dead. I waited a few minutes, then tried a few more times. It finally started, but it made me nervous. The Honda dealer was just a few blocks away, so we drove over.

The nice rep there said they were closing in 15 minutes, and asked if I could leave my car. NO! I said I’d be back in the morning. So, I left the house at 9 a.m. This morning and drove over. I was happy the car started. I knew it wasn’t the battery because it was replaced just a few months ago. Jeremy took my info and said it was going to be a while, so I walked a few blocks away to Plaza Thrift then Whataburger.

A couple of hours later, Jeremy called to say after an expensive exhaustive diagnostic and checking everything, it “might ” be the starter. They weren’t positive. So, I said, OK, fix it, to the tune of well over $700.

Next trial… they didn’t have the part and had to order one, so I could either get a loaner or come back again. I chose the loaner. I walked back and started the paperwork. Next… my proof of insurance wasn’t current because I hadn’t printed out a new card for my glove box. So, I had to call my insurance to have them text me a copy of my updated card. The lady said fine and she would text it right away. I waited 15 minutes, no text. I called back. She said she sent it already. A minute later, I received a text from my son in Chicago asking why he got a text of my insurance card. I called her back, and we straightened that out.

Next trial… I get this beautiful new 2019 Honda Odyssey with all the bells and whistles. The man gave me the key, we had to walk around it together to make sure there were no scratches, then I signed the papers. He said it was similar to my car, just no shifter, it was all on the dash. I hopped in the car, buckled up and… where the heck was drive? It was already running, but I couldn’t figure out how to drive it. I had to run and find someone. OK, figured that out.

I drove over to visit Miss Nelma again. She was feeling a little better. While I was there, Helene texted around 2, asking if I wanted to see a movie. I said sure. The movie “Us” was playing at 2:30. I didn’t know anything about it, but it got good reviews. I hugged Miss Nelma and went down to my car.

Next trial… I couldn’t figure out how to get the darn car into reverse. I depressed the brake and pushed the R repeatedly. I turned off the car, and started again. After about the 10th brake and push R, I noticed under the R was a lever. OH? I had to pull the lever down for reverse, not just push it. They didn’t tell me that. Why didn’t they tell me that? I drove off finally, only to be just in time for McKinney High School to be dismissed. I was in line with a hundred or more anxious teenagers escaping school. It took 15 minutes to go less than one mile.

Next trial… Helene was at the theatre and had gotten me a ticket. We just missed all the annoying previews and in time for the movie, “Us.” We sat through 15 minutes of a really awful movie. It was dark and scary. I don’t do scary. I checked my phone and found that the movie, “Unplanned” was playing in 5 minutes. They had been talking about it at church. We scooted over there. It was a good movie, but it had some very explicit scenes of abortions. I just closed my eyes a lot.

Next trial… after the movie, Helene asked if I wanted to get some dinner. We decided on Pepe’s Tacos Y Mas. Here’s the trial. I had a big lunch, so I just ordered nachos. It was a half order so I figured it would be small. Oops! It was huge and delicious. Result…now I have a belly ache and a big belly.

So, after all my trials and tribulations, I am counting my blessings. It was a good day.

Tuesday:) Trials and Tribulations…And the Social Security Office

4 Oct

“In life we all go through trials and tribulations. So now tell me, will you pass or will you make a mess?” ― Jonathan Anthony Burkett

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I went to Zumba this morning with the neighborhood ladies. It was so invigorating and fun. I was wiggling and jiggling and sweating up a salsa storm. When I got home, I went for a walk, umbrella in hand, with a threatening drizzle.

When I got back, I decided this was the day I was going to bite the bullet and go over to the Social Security Office. I called first and asked if I needed an appointment and also what I needed to apply for Medicare and check on my future social security benefits. I explained my situation. I didn’t have enough quarters of social security on my own, but would have to apply for services under my ex-husband’s record. After thirty-nine years of marriage, that’s the least I’m entitled to. Thry said I just needed his social security number to access the information. I knew the number by heart after all those years. I packed a lunch.  

The parking gods were with me and I found a spot right in front. Good sign, right? Other cars were double parked and off on the street in a long line. I walked in and went to one of the two computers to sign in and get a number, but the one I went to was en Español, and I couldn’t figure out how to get it to English. I asked the nice man standing next to me. He tapped a couple of buttons and, voila, English. I was D79. There were a dozen or more people behind shuttered windows assisting people. How long could it take, right?

It was 11:27. Well, I was excited when D79 was called at 12:15. I explained my situation to the clerk. He looked up my social and said I wasn’t eligible for Medicare on my own. I had to use Mr. Ex’s info. Bummer! I could not  fill out any paperwork online either. I had to talk to SS clerk. He said he’d give me an appointment for November because there was a long wait. I said, “I’m here. Can I see someone today?” He told me I could, but it might be a 2 1/2 to 3 hour wait. I said that would be fine. After all, I packed a lunch. (Not really. Just some nuts in a baggie and a bottle of water.)


I sat down with about fifty other people thinking, this is going to be a long wait. Then, I had a brainstorm. Pat Lobe Toyota was just a couple blocks down the street. I’ve taken my neighbor there  many times for service. I walked down the street, parked myself in a comy faux leather chair in the pretty air conditioned waiting area, and made some phone calls. Beats the stuffy, packed, dreary SS Office. They have a coffee machine, soft drink dispenser, etc. I didn’t partake, feeling guilty enough for pretending to be a customer. I hung out there for about an hour and walked back.

By now, the place was standing room only. I did find a place to sit, and I told myself, “I will be patient. I don’t care how long it takes. I have nothing to do until 7 pm.” They close at 4. I talked to a few poeple sitting next to me, and spent time reading my CRHP handbook and I had my Bible and read the Scripture passages for out group meeting tonight. (And a lot more) 

By 2:30, I started to worry that maybe they called my number early when I was at the Toyota place. I got nervous. Had I sat there in vain. Finally, around 3 o’clock, the board lit up and someone called out D79, window 10. Yay! I walked down the long aisle and spoke to a very nice lady. I explained my situation, she took my info, and social security numbers for me and EX. GUESS WHAT? I didn’t have all the necessary paperwork. I had a copy of my divorce decree, BUT, they needed an original copy with the official county seal and stamp. I didn’t have one. I needed an official stamped marriage certificate. I even asked, “Why would I have a divorce decree if I wasn’t married?” 

She was very nice, but long and short, I have to go back again another time when I get all that official paperwork, and start all over again. Bummer! But you know what? I just smiled and said, “Thank you very much for your help.” I walked in with low expectations and the patience of Job, and walked out half a day later with a smile and a list of things to do. 

Do you want to know my SECRET? I watched “The Secret” last night before I went to bed. Otherwise, I’d be spitting nails right now. 



It’s been one heck of a journey so far. I’m ready. Where’s the finish line?

Tuesday:) Trials and Tribulations

11 May

“Life is hard and unfair. It is cruel and heartless, painful, trying, disappointing, unapologetic, and frequently downright awful. But that’s not important. What’s important is that through it all you learn how much you need your Heavenly Father and how much your friends need you.” ― Richelle E. Goodrich, Making Wishes: Quotes, Thoughts, & a Little Poetry for Every Day of the Year

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We’ve all had our shares of trials and tribulations. No one knows better than I do that friends and family are vital to get through the tough times. I’ll take a minute here to thank all of you, too many to list, for being there for me.

Another aspect to being thankful for your blessings is to help others through their trials and tribulations. Kelle knew that I’d write about our adventure today. She even said, “I’ll probably read about this tonight on your blog.” Yep!

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Those of you who know me already know that I stay up way too late and get up way too early. When I finally fell asleep around 2:30 this morning, my alarm was set for 7 for Zumba class. My phone went off and I thought, “Dang, it’s 7 already?” Well, it was my phone ringing.

“Hi Toni, it’s Kelle. Sorry to wake you up, but I was wondering if you could come over.” 

I was more then half asleep when I asked, “What time is it?” When she told me it was 5:30, I sat up and tried to listen more closely. She said her bathroom sinks were clogged and backing up. She knew what to do to fix the problem, but with her left hand all bandaged up, she needed…”a hand” removing the p-trap and plunging the sink. I said that I’d get dressed and be right over.

I typed her address in my phone gps to talk me to her house. I’m directional impaired, to,say the least, and it was dark and I had no idea where I was going. After I arrived, what followed was more like a “Three Stooges” episode, minus one stooge. We plunged, and removed p-traps, and bailed water. When it looked clear, she turned on the water, and it backed up again. She tried putting a little more Drano, but the container was almost empty. “We need to go to Walmart!” she suggested.

I said I’d drive so she wouldn’t have to change clothes or move cars. I still had no idea where I was, so she guided and told me where to turn. The sun was up now, making it a little easier. BUT, when she said, “Turn left here,” on a divided road, I turned…GOING THE WRONG WAY ON A ONE WAY STREET!” Kelle screamed bloody murder, I slammed on the brakes and the cars coming my way stopped in their track, thank God. I made a clumsy u-turn, and we proceeded to Walmart, alive, but shaken…not stirred.

I went in, picked up the bottle of Liquid Plumber, ran to the check out way across the building, then realized she said Drano, so I called her in the car and asked if that was ok. She said, no, it should be Drano, because that is what was already in there. I ran across the entire store to grab the Drano. More fiasco festivities. We got back to her house, then she discovered that she left her keys in the house and the door was locked. We both were still half asleep.  Yike! By now, it was just getting slap-happy silly. Thank goodness she had a garage keypad and a spare key in the garage. We poured the Drano, and Kelle had to hurry to get to the dentist, and I made it home in time to change for Zumba. (After Zumba, I took a long nap.)

Now, that I’ve written a long short story, the moral to the story is…sometimes you have to get up at 5:30 in the morning to help a friend, because someone was there for you once. Sometimes you drive the wrong way down a one way street because you don’t always know where you are, but you know why you’re there. 

Kelle, I hope the sinks are doing ok. (I’m turning my cell phone off tonight.) Just kidding. I was more than happy to help.

“Through trials and tribulations strength is found.”