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Did you ever have one of those days?



Well, I'm sure you have. But I just had about three of them and well, it sort of messed up my plans for the weekend (including our first Author Forum meeting). Let me explain...


On Thursday morning, I noticed that our refrigerator wasn't actually cooling things. I had put some Sprite in and after a couple of hours, it was still warm. This was obviously cause for alarm and so, I sent a note to my landlord to let her know that this was happening and that it was likely that I would need a new fridge soon. Like within the next few days. Being busy with work and other things, I didn't think too much about how quickly things could deteriorate from that point, so I didn't stress the urgency. By late afternoon, I hadn't heard anything from the landlord and things were considerably worse inside the refrigerator. At that point, I turned the temperature to colder and hoped for the best. My landlord responded late in the evening and said that she hoped that turning the temperature down would help.


When I awoke the next morning, I checked the refrigerator again and still, nothing was cooling. Even at the coldest setting, nothing changed. I texted the landlord and told her that changing the temperature hadn't helped overnight and she texted back and asked me if the freezer was working or if the whole thing was acting up. I told her that at this point, it was just the fridge. She said she would get back to me ASAP. A bit later she let me know that she had contacted maintenance and she would again get back to me. A little after noon, she asked if I would be home that afternoon and I told her that I would be gone for an appointment but would be right back. She said that they would be coming to take the old refrigerator and that a new one would be brought in about an hour later. Okay, this sounded great! So, I decided it wasn't a total loss. After all, I still had all my frozen food and I would only need to replace the stuff in the fridge. Silly me. I shouldn't have been so optimistic.


She texted me shortly after and said there had been a change of plans. She would be sending a guy over to look at the fridge within the next half hour. Okay then. I waited and let him in, and he looked in the freezer and quicky determined that the problem was that I had too much stuff. I didn't actually have too much stuff. I keep things stocked so that in case of an emergency, I will have food on hand. So, it was a bit full, but not as tightly packed as he thought. Since I had turned the temperature down, a very thin strip of frost had set up on the door, but that was all of the ice that was in the freezer. His advice was to remove everything from the freezer, turn the motor off and leave it to defrost for about five hours. Well, I didn't have a cooler handy so there went my frozen food. Although I didn't think it would help, I did what he said to do and left the motor off and the freezer door open. There was virtually no ice, so the melting that occurred didn't even warrant wiping up. I had put all of my food in the sink and was hoping that the collective cold would help keep at least some of packages on the bottom of the pile cool. After about five hours, I picked the items out of the stack that were stick pretty much frozen and stuck them back in, closed the freezer door, and then turned the motor on. Fingers crossed.


During that time, I stepped out to go grab a bag of ice so that I could at least put a couple of bottles of pop in a small cooler bag that I have. I texted the landlord and let her know that I had done what the maintenance guy said to do and that I would let her know if it worked. By the time I came back with the ice, I came home to find someone parked in my parking spot. Where I live, the spaces are assigned, and it is clearly marked in front of each spot which apartment owns a particular parking spot. At this point, I had really had about as much silliness as I could take. I put my car in park and walked up to the apartment where the door was open, and I could see that there was some kind of party going on. I knocked and a girl came to the door. I asked if she was the tenant there and she said she was (she actually was not) and she proceeded to get snippy. This was the wrong response.


I asked if the owner of the car was in there and told her that they needed to move from my spot. She said, they would move it in a minute, (and she seemed like she was really put out by my request), so I said to her, "We're not starting out very well here." I said this because at this moment, I felt a bit snippy, and I was tired of attitude, ridiculousness, and disrespect. A young man came out and told me he was sorry, I told him it was not a problem as long as it was moved. I also said that I understood that he may not have seen the mark on the pavement indicating that it was my spot because it was dark outside. He was very nice and moved his car immediately. The girls, however, decided that once I got out of my car after I moved into my spot, they were all going to come at me and give me grief. One of them even said that I could have parked somewhere else. To this, I said, "Oh no, dear. I pay for this spot and no one else is supposed to park in it. You aren't a tenant here, so you need to take that mess somewhere else." We went back and forth about things for another twenty minutes or so while she claimed that they had come around earlier and let everyone know they were having a party (I confirmed with my neighbors later that they had not) and that they couldn't find me to tell me. Mind you, I'd been home most of the day as I work at home.


She said a few things, I said a few things. I threatened to call the cops. She said more things. I told her to go back in and enjoy her party and let me get into my house so I could be done with this mess, but she kept talking. Eventually, she went back in and just popped out every few minutes to say other stuff. Not sure why she wouldn't just go in, but I was still talking with another young lady who was trying to smooth things over, and this fool kept trying to pop out and stir the pot. After about twenty minutes of this, several people came out and went to their cars and left. Within another five, everyone was gone. I went in my house and sat down thinking about how stupid my day had been. It was obvious that they hadn't had permission to have this party. The landlords here aren't that flexible, and they would never tell you that you could have people parking anywhere but the visitor lot. One girl had said she just move in a few days ago, another girl said she had lived there three months. Mind you, I never see anyone there and hardly ever see any cars parked in their assigned spots. So, I'm not sure what shenanigans were taking place, but lots of lies were being thrown around.


After I had sat down for a bit, I checked the fridge again and found that it still wasn't working. So, I went up to go to bed and within a few minutes my daughter says she smells something from downstairs. We went down and found that the refrigerator smelled like it was getting ready to catch fire. So, we gave up. We unplugged it and went back up to go to sleep. It was late and I couldn't bring myself to put another thought toward this particular problem. I was extremely done with this day. I texted my landlord the next morning (today) and told her that the refrigerator was worse and that it would, in fact, need to be replaced. I've been working most of today to clean out what was left of the fridge contents. I salvaged what I could but ended up throwing out 95% of the food I had. It's about 5:15. My food is all gone. My refrigerator is dead. My landlord hasn't said anything for several hours. But I do have a cooler now and I'm going to get some ice and a few things to keep us going until we get this fixed.


I said all of this just to say that even with all of the things that happened, I'm actually not angry. Things (yes, even stupid things like dealing with appliance failure and fighting with your "neighbors") happen every day and we have a choice each day as to how we handle them. Today, I was really disgusted that I couldn't have my coffee and eggs while I tried to work on things, but I recalled a time when things were much worse. I thought about times when the issue wasn't that my refrigerator was broken, but that I didn't have a refrigerator or money for food. I thought about times when my family didn't have a true shelter to stay in and when we had no electricity and had to rely on a wood-burning stove to heat up water so that we could bathe and fix meals. In all those things, we were always okay. We were okay because God was always with us, even when the devil was fighting so hard to derail everything we tried to do. As with the angry neighbors and the party guest, demons will flock to you and try to knock you off balance. But if you stand your ground and keep reminding them who you are and that He is in your corner, they have no choice but to flee. And flee, they will. They may come back a few times, but eventually they'll move on, and you will be able to fix all that is broken and get back on track.


So, I'm heading to the grocery store now. Time to start putting things back together. God bless!


Rebecca Benston is the owner of Higher Ground Books & Media and the author of over twenty titles currently available through Amazon and other outlets. Her books include a mystery series (The Rona Shively Stories), empowerment resources such as Wise Up to Rise Up, Don't Be Stupid (And I Mean That in the Nicest Way), and From Judgment to Jubilee, children's books including Grumble D. Grumble Learns to Smile, All the Scary Things, and See How Strong You Are. Benston lives in Springfield, Ohio with her awesome daughter, Mya and enjoys traveling, reading, writing, and telling it like it is. She enjoys being able to help other authors get their stories out there through Higher Ground and has recently expanded her freelance services to offer more extensive guidance as a writing coach and social media manager. For more information, you can contact Benston at highergroundbooksandmedia@gmail.com.




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