I’ve experienced a series of mishaps lately, which brings out my superstitions. Is it a full moon? Should I get home before anything worse happens?
They’ve been small inconveniences and scares. Last week, A., C. and I flew to North Carolina to see A.’s parents who moved from New Jersey into a beautiful newly-built house outside of Winston-Salem. We ate barbeque with lots of slaw, went on a hike, played tennis and visited with family. It was a quiet few days sitting on their plush couch in their sun-room, enjoying the green of the east coast.
We flew home on Sunday — a 1 1/2 hour drive to Charlotte, a five-hour flight to Vegas (someone said to us, “Whatever you do with your toddler, you should patent it.”) and then a (usually) four-hour drive through Death Valley. Little did we know that it had rained (rain in the desert?) and the pass we normally take was closed. Orange cones blocked the way and a sign said, “Panamint Valley closed due to flooding.” It was 8 p.m., we had a sleepy C. in the back seat, my body ached from driving, my stomach growled. And on we went, toward the mountains, winding through deeply dark desert roads. In my haze, I missed a different turnoff and added yet another half hour to our drive. Our trip turned into sixteen long, tired hours.
Then, yesterday I took C. to the bookstore, his request since the library is closed on Mondays. He loves to push a used pink doll stroller through the store — even though one of the white wheels constantly pops off. Whenever we go, I keep my eye on him, loosely. This time, he wandered into a back room, and I was about to follow him when I heard a loud crash and a wailing C. I ran in the room to see C. underneath a six-foot mirror, his feet sticking out like the wicked witches in the “Wizard of Oz.” Horrified and shaken, I picked him up, his face red and scrunched from crying, but he was unscathed thank GOD.
Today, I got a call from an “unknown” and Wanda on my voice-mail told me that I’ll be served today in the “first of three attempts” and that if I had questions I could call my “case manager.” Of course, I called immediately, my heart beating loudly (what could this be about?), and the woman told me that I had a $2,897 outstanding Mastercard bill and haven’t responded to multiple notices.
“I’m sorry,” I said, “But I’m pretty sure you have the wrong Erin.”
“You live on North Broadway, right?” she said.
“What city are we talking about?”
“Nope, that’s not me, I’ve never lived in New York.”
After giving her the last four digits of my social and my birth date, we determined they had the wrong Erin and she said she would close my file.
In the past few weeks, I’ve been ultra-domestic. I’ve made four batches of muffins (apple spice, pear banana, sweet potato cranberry and lemon lavender). I’ve been completely engrossed by fiction: Jesmyn Ward’s “Salvage the Bones,” “The Twelve Tribes of Hattie” by Ayana Mathis and now “Gone Girl” by Gillian Flynn. I’ve bought baskets to organize odds and ends and new PJs for C. I crocheted my first blanket (I’m moving up, people!). And I haven’t been feeling guilty or anxious about not working (a big deal for me).
Yes, I’ve been quite content, besides these scares and inconveniences. So I’m hoping this three-day string of strange luck is at its end. OK, universe? Hey, thanks.