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It Was That Kind of Day

August 28, 2021

Another Way for week of August 20, 2021

It Was That Kind of Day

It was our third day without a TV, waiting for the new box for our satellite hook-up to arrive, after several phone calls to service technicians failed to make things work. We’re not sure if lightning hit it or if it is just old. I don’t mind being without TV—I watch very little other than news and Jeopardy. (And of course I’m especially missing Jeopardy these days with Matt Amodio’s winning streak.)

So I’m canning tomato juice and oh no, one of the smoke detectors starts chirping every minute or so. That gets the dog upset right away and she wants to hang close to me with every move I make in the kitchen. She gets extremely nervous with the annoying chirps because one time when we were gone, she was stuck in the house with that annoying and nerve-wracking beep. My husband tries to track down the problem alone because I’m feverishly trying to get the tomato juice in the canner before it rains. We use an outside portable propane tank and burner to keep the heat of canning out of the house.

Rain!! We’re elated that it finally decided to rain here—after about a month of very little rain. I want to dance, we’re so so thankful, grateful, awash in heavy rain drops and almost tears. So that makes it a good day in spite of the minor first-world problems I describe above.

Husband gets on the phone with a technician from the smoke alarm people. He tries to be very polite but it soon escalates into her (the technician) yelling into the phone and him yelling back. For a half hour or more she gives him instructions and finally, finally, they trace down which detector it is and she gives her word that they will send a replacement detector because it had a ten-year warranty and we’ve only had it seven years. Finally, there is peace in the house for the dog and us.

I pull some corn for supper. How easy summer meals are for me these days: settle on a meat, pick some sweet corn from the garden, slice some tomatoes, cucumbers and green peppers and that’s dinner. Almost every night, unless I get tired of it. My husband rarely tires of summer suppers. I pull some extra corn and ‘maters and cukes to share with our neighbors, who are happy for the fresh goodies.

Meanwhile, around the world, Afghanistan is falling apart, people in Haiti are not only recovering from another earthquake, but (on the day I’m describing) a possible hurricane was heading their way. Droughts continue unabated in hot spots the world over and I feel more kinship for their dead, dried fields and baked earth. Elsewhere, floods in Europe that are receding leave wet, muggy, dirty homes and basements that must be dried out and clean water found. People the world over are trying to live within the confines of the pandemic, with new surges and patient counts and bickering and exhausted loved ones dealing with masks and covid tests and shots.

After supper I head out to the garden—before it happily starts raining again. My goal is to pick the dreaded nuisance bean beetles we’re assaulted with every stinkin’ summer. I could do without them. But somehow it is peaceful in the rows of pole beans and I’m thrilled to see ripe beans and new fresh leaves sprouting from all the rain.

By the end of the day, the tomato jars have all pinged their joyful news that yes, they sealed just fine. My husband will have plenty of home canned juice to enjoy all winter.

I don’t mind a quiet evening at home—no TV—and we spend it together in the living room: me typing on my laptop and him entertaining himself with YouTubes and news reports on his laptop.

How is or was your day here in late August?

This morning this is how our corn looks ….


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Another Way is a column by Melodie Davis, in syndication since 1987. She is the author of nine books. Another Way columns are posted at a week after newspaper publication.  

  1. You have a moveable feast with such a fruitful garden. I’m envious!

    Oh, how I can relate to the lengthy and tense phone calls with technicians. I have a theory that there is a huge turnover with tech people, and those that step into our homes to fix things may not be properly trained. Phone calls are equally maddening.

    Such are the days we must count our blessings, as you did with the refreshing rain and the canning jars that pinged. 🙂

  2. I know you count your blessings on a daily basis. You are one of my blessings! Thanks for being there and I hope you had a good weekend and restful Sunday. 🙂

  3. Sometimes it’s hard to tell what kind of day it is. It all depends upon the place we look. To the succulent garden produce — or to the bugs in the beans.To the technicians who yell or to the quiet at the end of the day. A good day can be a bad day redeemed by a ping in the kitchen or the quiet in the evening when the TV is not on.

    We too have a mixture of good and bad. A stuck drawer, frozen veggies in the fridge, the little problems that have solutions. But take time. I am grateful for Stuart, who finds the solutions to so many of these gremlins.

    • Love your reflections here, Shirley. I can now tell you that the new DirectTV box arrived at just the right time, when youngest daughter was here to help install it. The blown over corn was still very edible and we enjoyed an out-of-the-box weekend with our daughter’s in-laws. The bean beetles are still out there but at least now we don’t have to water the garden!

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