by Valerie Nusbaum
I can’t wrap my mind around the fact that the holidays are almost here. A few minutes ago, we were sweating and wishing for a break from the heat, and now we’re thinking about Thanksgiving dinner and what to buy Uncle Frank for Christmas. Still, with Thanksgiving approaching, I should acknowledge some things that I’m thankful for.
Randy and I do a little traveling in the fall. In recent years, we’ve done mostly day trips. Though, things don’t always go as smoothly as we’d like. One night, I glanced out the window and saw Randy’s truck pulling up out front. The door flew open, and I looked up to see a scowling, fuming man.
“When did we change our PIN for the ATM?” he fired off.
“We didn’t,” I replied.
My hubby had gone out to run some errands around town, one of which was to get us some cash for our trip to Pennsylvania the next day. He went on to explain that the ATM had spit out the card twice, with the message that he was using an incorrect PIN. He ranted that for the last twenty years, he had been using the same number and now that number wouldn’t work. I asked what number he’d used and he rattled off four digits ending in “9”.
“Well there’s the problem, dear. Our PIN ends in “3”. You just had a brain freeze. Happens all the time to me,” I laughed.
We argued for a while, with each of us sticking to our story; however, in truth, neither of us could say for certain what our PIN number really is. I went upstairs and searched through our old rolodex in the hope that years ago I had written it down. I couldn’t find it there or in the file cabinet. Then my brain turned on, and I looked at Randy and blurted out the correct number. Both of us had been wrong before. His face cleared up, and he agreed that I finally had the right number. We eventually got the mess straightened out.
I’m grateful that our memories aren’t totally gone, that we’re still able to get around, and that the ladies at our bank don’t judge us.
Perhaps we should just give up on using the ATM; on our next outing, we stopped by the bank for some cash. Randy was driving my car. He got a little too close to the building and scraped the tire. I bit my tongue and glared at him. He scowled back at me and proceeded to drop the ATM card out the window. He couldn’t get the car door open far enough to retrieve the card, and the swearing started. There was a car behind us, so we couldn’t back up. I got out, walked around my car, wedged myself between the car and the bank, and picked up the card. I called Randy a bad name, and I apologized to the person behind us. That person shook his head and did not look happy.
We got our money and then drove over to McDonald’s to get some drinks for the road. Randy ordered two senior Diet Cokes. When he pulled around to the window to pay, the young lady took his money and said, “You don’t look like a senior, but ok. Congratulations. You’re doing well.”
Randy spat out, “What the heck does that mean? Should I have said, ‘Why, yes, I’m upright, I’m mobile, and some days I can make water!’” I just looked out the window, hoping that our day would get better. After all, the young woman at McDonald’s hadn’t told me that I was doing well. Evidently, I do look like a senior citizen.
I’m grateful that we’re able to take these trips, that we have a little cash in the bank, and that some businesses give old people a discount.
I am also grateful for MapQuest and GPS, even though Randy often argues with them and tells them how wrong they are.
A nice lady (whose name I didn’t catch) visited us in our booth at Colorfest. She saw our names on our tent banner and wanted to know if we were “that” Randy and Valerie from The Catoctin Banner. I’m always hesitant to admit it until I find out if I’m in trouble, but this lady said she enjoyed reading about us. That same day, a nice gentleman named Russell visited us and told us that he, too, likes reading my column in The Banner.
As always, I’m grateful and amazed that anyone wants to read the things I write, and I’m grateful for my relationships with The Catoctin Banner, Catoctin Colorfest, and the Town of Thurmont.
I’m grateful that my mother and my in-laws are still with us, and I’m thankful for the years I had with my dad. I appreciate my friends—old and new—and I’m grateful for family near and far. Food on the table, clothes on my back, freedom to come and go, and so much more, are things I’m grateful for. Most of all, I’m grateful to have a partner who muddles through life with me. And, of course, I’m thankful for Bill Blakeslee.
Happy Thanksgiving, everyone! I hope you all have much for which to be grateful