Sunday, August 30, 2009

Jonah Days

Anne, by what somebody has called "a Herculaneum effort," kept back her tears until she got home that night. Then she shut herself in the east gable room and wept all her shame and remorse and disappointment into her pillows. . .wept so long that Marilla grew alarmed, invaded the room, and insisted on knowing what the trouble was.

"The trouble is, I've got things the matter with my conscience," sobbed Anne. "Oh, this has been such a Jonah day, Marilla.”

Marilla passed her hard work-worn hand over the girl's glossy, tumbled hair with a wonderful tenderness. When Anne's sobs grew quieter she said, very gently for her,

"You take things too much to heart, Anne. We all make mistakes. . .but people forget them. And Jonah days come to everybody.”

And come to me they did over this weekend. It actually started with my last post and the ambitious effort to go to bed early. My lights were out and eyes closed by 10:15 on Wednesday night, only to be awoken shortly after midnight to the insanely loud claps of thunder and lightening outside my window.

Fun. Thursday was actually lovely complete with darling students and the happy sounds of indoor recess. I love indoor recess.

The theme of Friday was sneezing as my kiddos routinely “achooed” in bunches of four or six at a time. By the end of the day I realized that three years out of the classroom had pretty much demolished the five years I spent building up some pretty stellar antibodies. The utter exhaustion of the first full week and elementary school children’s germs pounced and claimed me as their victim.

Did that sound as dramatic as I meant it to? Yes? Good.

I promptly put myself on complete bed rest and stocked up on Airborne {a teacher’s best friend!}, Cold-Eez and any other form of vitamin C I could find at the drugstore. Without shame, I barely left my bed yesterday. I figure that as fast as the pace of life is these days I should take full advantage of the two days I have to lounge and recoup my energy.

But the Jonah-est of the Jonah days kicked in this afternoon. After taking Knox to the dog park for a much needed romp {poor neglected thing}, out of nowhere my car seriously overheated on the way home. I’m talking steam coming out from under the hood, temperature gauge past the “H”, weird smell wafting in the windows kind of overheating.

Thankfully, I was about a hundred yards from a repair shop {which shall remain nameless because of their attempt to fleece me} and the problem was diagnosed as a busted hose running from my heating block to the radiator. Their estimate to replace multiple hoses was ridunkulous and my neighbors suggested that I try to get my car to their more reasonably priced and trustworthy mechanic. Jason and I agreed this was a smarter idea than leaving it at the unnamed repair shop where they have been known to come up with problem after problem in an attempt to get more money.

After one hour in the repair shop waiting room {where Knox behaved bee-utifully and I chatted with a fellow UNC alumnus, ‘71} and two round trips down and up the mountain while waiting and then after the diagnosis, I set off for my neighbor’s mechanic fully prepared to make several stops to let my overheated car cool off.

I got no more than a mile down the road and my car completely stalled.

At an intersection.

With a police car behind us.


The very kind police officer pushed my car into a nearby parking lot and one $70 tow later my car is at the shop just waiting to be fixed.

At this point, there’s nothing left to do but have a good cry {I’m pretty sure the tribute to Sesame Street’s 40th anniversary on the Daytime Emmy’s will take care of that}, go to bed and hope for a better day tomorrow….

Marilla listened to the whole story, and if she smiled at certain parts of it Anne never knew. When the tale was ended she said briskly,

"Well, never mind. This day's done and there's a new one coming tomorrow, with no mistakes in it yet, as you used to say yourself. Just come downstairs and have your supper. You'll see if a good cup of tea and those plum puffs I made today won't hearten you up."

"Plum puffs won't minister to a mind diseased," said Anne disconsolately; but Marilla thought it a good sign that she had recovered sufficiently to adapt a quotation.

The cheerful supper table, with the twins' bright faces, and Marilla's matchless plum puffs. . .of which Davy ate four. . . did "hearten her up" considerably after all. She had a good sleep that night and and awakened in the morning to find herself and the world transformed. It had snowed softly and thickly all through the hours of darkness and the beautiful whiteness, glittering in the frosty sunshine, looked like a mantle of charity cast over all the mistakes and humiliations of the past.

"Every morn is a fresh beginning, every morn is the world made new," sang Anne, as she        dressed.


  1. Oh, so sorry. At least you got something to write about out of your weekend- I've got NOTHING...absolutely NOTHING- well except for a rock star headache. You have to get well quickly- we're coming your way Friday.

  2. I am so sorry about your very bad weekend!!! It always amazes me how things come in bunches like that. One bad thing after another. Hang in there and hopefully things will look up for you this week. I remember my first year teaching, I got every disease that came down the pike. After that I was rarely sick. Love & blessings from NC!

  3. oh no!

    one time my car did that, and i called 911, cause i thought it was on fire. it was smoking so bad and the smoke wasn't a pretty whiteish it was dark and ugly....
    sure enough the fire trucks came...and i'm sure all the fire men thought i was a complete and totaly dumbo!

    ..... after lots of over heating and lots of work....
    it ended up being the defrost being clogged...

    when the repairman asked me if the defrost worked (after the months of trying to figure out the problem) i sad "no"
    he flew off the handle and said "why didn't you say anything"

    i have now learned the defrost is a vital part of the cooling system in an automobile! ha!!

  4. Oh, Anne is so, so funny - "Marilla thought it a good sign that she had recovered sufficiently to adapt a quotation." - seriously, so dramatic! Sorry you had such a trying weekend...hopefully your car will be fixed and happy and well-behaved ASAP. And, this may be gross, but using a Neti pot saved me while teaching.

  5. oh girl that's terrible! I am so sorry!!
    ps - oh I how love me some Anne :-)


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