Posts Tagged ‘rant’

Spring in our house means one constant, consistent thing … pool repairs!

This is our ninth spring in this house, and every year we attempt to open our in ground pool only to discover that another something needs to be replaced, fixed or upgraded … and I begin to contemplate moving … to a home without a pool.

Oh, I know, after the broken parts have been fixed, after the chemicals have done their miracle and changed the waters color (like a mood ring), when the heat of July and August arrives, I will be diving into that pool with great thanks that we live where we do. For now, I anticipate yet another bill, and wonder just how many hours I have to work to pay it off.

If you have been to our home for a cool dip on a hot day, you might not believe my reference to cesspool. Check out the photo to the right … This dastardly pool not only had a part on the pump that needed to be replaced, but it currently more closely resembles the swamp outside of Shrek’s home than a refreshing, crystal clear place of recreation and rest.

This is the way of owning things … they end up owning us.

I remember, years ago, Bill Cosby had a comic sketch about our ‘stuff’, and how it leads to needing places to store our ‘stuff,’ and how we need to get insurance for our ‘stuff’ in case something happens to our ‘stuff’, and on and on. I now am starting to understand what he was talking about.

Most days I feel as though I am owned by my ‘stuff’ and it is controlling every important decision that I have to make.

If we own a vehicle, we need to maintain it, repair it, protect it. All of that takes time and money.

If we own a home, we also need to maintain it, repair it, protect it. All of that takes time and money too.

So then we need to work more (our time) to make enough money to cover the costs of the ‘privilege’ of having ‘stuff’, and we need to use our ‘free’ time to look after this ‘stuff’ (I personally spent over eleven hours, on a delightfully sunny Saturday, working on our yard and pool ‘stuff’).

In the meantime, as we work to pay for, and work to maintain what we have, we need to remember that our ‘stuff” is not as valuable as the people in our lives. In the spring, we slave for as many hours a week as we work our jobs, to maintain the home and pool that we have so that our children can enjoy these things, and so that we can enjoy our time with our kids … in the summer. All the while, we are presently not with our kids.

I wonder what they would choose? Would they choose big yard and pool over time with mom and dad on a more consistent basis?

It makes me wonder … is it worth it?

Even in the Bible, in Ecclesiastes, it says, “all things are permissible.

It also says, “but not all things are beneficial.”

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This one has been coming for a long time … a rant about traffic controllers (aka ‘flaggers’) …

Before I rant, let me just say that I do respect the individuals, and the dangerous work that they perform on a daily basis, with little thanks and far too many close calls.

So, there is a bit of roadwork being done in my area of the woods, and the place is crawling (well, the cars are crawling … slowly) with people dressed as aliens from some 1980’s neon world. Their attire is very eye catching, in shades of neon yellow and green, and safety vests in a shade of red that is so bright, it could be identified as orange, with a reflective ‘X’ in the middle.

I remember  w  a  y  back when I was a kid, and all that distinguished them was a yellow hard hat on their head and a stop sign in their hand (and often a cigarette in the other hand … and, come to think of it, short shorts, and a shirt tied up much higher than their waist … kind of Daisy Duke style … ).

As I have been driving this road construction route, and others over the past few years, I always seem to end up pondering the same question, ‘what the heck is taught to these poor people in traffic control courses?’

When I was a new, teenage driver, I do not ever remember being confused when directed by the person holding the stop sign. The worker was usually a homemaker, looking to make a few bucks while the kids were in school, or a teenager who was smart enough to realize that there was much better money, and a better summer tan, in directing traffic, than working at a fast food establishment.

There were no courses to successfully complete, and be given certification, before being allowed to hold the stop sign. You just had to be available, and (literally) street smart.

Today there are traffic control certification programs. They include in class as well as practical training, and a final exam.

I am afraid that whoever established these courses forgot to educate the drivers on what form of sign language they are trying to communicate with.

I just cannot tell, when a flagger hold their ‘slow’ sigh up and kind of keeps pumping it up continually, if they just want to be seen, or they want me to drive slow, but not as slow as I am going.

Then there are the hand motions … was that a motion forward, or a motion to stop?

And when they are in the middle of an intersection it would seem very clear that not one of any four drivers understands what the flagger is, non verbally, trying to communicate, because all four are constantly looking from the flagger to each of the other four drivers to try to figure out what to do.

I remember a particular time when I was driving along with my kids on a country road, and we came to a lone flagger. He was holding a stop sign and pumping it up to the sky, so I figured he thought I was not going to stop, so I stopped immediately. He then pumped it higher and harder, with an angry frown on his face. As a people pleasing person (I love alliteration) I knew I had blown it, so I started to motion forward again. Then he yelled and pushed his stop sign towards my vehicle. I knew I had done wrong, so I halted immediately … and felt the frustration rise in my face. Finally Mr. Flagger seemed to be motioning me forward. I was nervous, and did my own hand signal to ensure that my moving forward was not going to cause him duress, he nodded affirmation. Since my natural (and chemically enhanced) hair color is blond, I decided to pause when I got to him. I rolled the window down, and apologized profusely for my negligence. I wanted to ensure that I said it all in my sugary sweetest voice possible. He seemed to be empowered by my humility. Then I rolled my window up, and slowly, cautiously, moved forward … then my kids heard a word they do not often hear from their mother’s mouth. GRRR!

Personally, I think that since ‘flagger’ schools have opened, their ability to communicate effectively has deteriorated immensely.

Glad I got that off my chest!


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