Michele Minehart

words & yoga

Category: just for fun

Where’s Terri?

Terri saved me more than once already. We’ve been in our new/old town for just over a month, but the number of times I’ve left her office full of gratitude is greater than the number of times I’ve went to Walmart. (I think both Terri and I can all consider this an all-around success.)

The most recent occasion for my visit to Terri’s corner office was my upcoming mortgage payment. These new houses – well, they need paid for. Which required me knowing the amount of my monthly payment, along with finding a way to get money into and out of the checking account that would pay it. And if we could make all this happen in a way that repeated itself without so much effort, double word score. So I slumped into Terri’s office to admit I had indeed lost the passwords to make my online banking come alive AND I couldn’t find the payment books the bank had just sent. (Banking is hard. And so is moving.)

And then, she fixed it. Zim, zam, zoom, everything worked. I signed my name. She picked up the phone. Magically, all things banking-related worked again. How do real people do this? I wondered aloud.

How do real adults keep passwords and mortgages and school registrations and apply to see new doctors and salvage hearing aids left in the rain and read aloud to their children and potty train? And some of them – they even WORK. ALL YEAR ‘ROUND. How do they do this and not loose their ever-loving minds? 

It turns out that not just banking is hard. Or moving. Adulting, my friends, is terrible. Terrible! I’m not sure why this is a thing. Who decided we all needed to “become responsible” and “take care of ourselves” and “become productive members of society”? I’d like to talk to that person. I’d like to hire them to keep my calendar straight. And also, potty train the baby. This is going terribly as well.

Sometimes I look around and try to find the Terri’s of the rest of my life. Who around here is going to make this easier for me? People like Terri have spoiled me. Now I’m put off by people who aren’t trying to make my life easier. Like the woman at our former doctor’s office who wouldn’t let me email a form to the office but instead insisted I mail the hard copy with a stamp. (Add “buying stamps” to the list of hard things adults do. This task derails me every time.) And don’t tell me the office “doesn’t use email.” They do all their doctoring on ipads and laptops.

And where is The Terri at the school? If I suddenly go missing – after checking the laundry room – it would be best to look under the pile of 37 pink and green forms that the school requires. Per child. I could be buried alive. One person was so kind to point out that this is going to be my August activity for the next 14 years of my life. Times four. Can we please get a Terri in this office who will make things work electronically, so that all 62 people who need my cell phone number “in case of emergency” can simply pull it off the database?

I need a Terri everywhere. Someone who makes the day work just an eensy bit better. People who love their job, no matter what it is, enough – or so much – that it makes life better for others: these are my people. Like last week: I drove through Starbucks. The barista cheered for me when I made my selection. This. This needs to happen more. Cheers and helpfulness. Not forms and stamps.

Go, my friends. Be a Terri. Make some magic happen for someone. Make life a little better. Cheer, help and encourage.

(And just so you know that I practice what I preach, I just woke up my husband so HE could go be an adult. I didn’t even wake him with loud noises or a smack on the leg. We can do this, friends! We can be helpful to one another! And kind! It’s not as hard as we might think!)

Visit me elsewhere:

Application to become a Wingfield

Visit me elsewhere:

survival skills

One of JJ’s favorite games to play, next to “when we build a house…” is what I like to call the Revolution Game. He has a strong feeling that the modern world is going to go to pieces and we need to be prepared for such Revolution; inherent in that preparation is loading up the car and moving to remote space in Montana (because, apparently, Montana would never get bombed).

In an effort to prepare for such shenanagans, he’ll ask me off-the-cuff questions. What 5 things would I make sure I grabbed on the way out the door? Who will live on our compound? Should we live on a lake or in the woods? It all makes for very interesting car rides. And I have to admit that the thought crosses my mind when interacting with different people: I’d take them with me to Montana.

Last night, as I sleep very little now, I composed my revolution lineup based on the skills and qualities they offer. Clearly, because I have such little survival skill, my job would best be suited in a supervisory capacity. I’ve been told more than once that I excel at telling people what to do. I like to think of it as being “visionary”. But I have roles for those who we invite to the plantation.

1. Dan W. The man can do anything. Sure, his background is with Microsoft, but he says he is happiest when he gets to (and I quote) “kill sh*t.” He shall supply us with ample game and birds of prey, I’m sure. Not to mention his mean green thumb. He can grow a ‘mater the size of my head.

2. Dave N. He might be Dan’s long lost twin brother except that Dave can also build things, like houses. If I can keep Dave’s tongue out of my ear, we’ll call it a successful trade. But at least it’ll be interesting and I’ll have a permanent dwelling.

3. KLM, providing that she brings her Singer. Otherwise we’ll all be naked at some point. We can supply children for the sweatshop and eventually she can take on more of a teacher / supervisor role as well.

4. Matt E. Engineers are supposed to be smart, so in the hopes that we have to reinvent electricity, he’ll be good to have around. Now that Lost is on I clearly see that he will also have to have the ability to dismantle bombs.

5. Vacant spot: I need a doctor / medicine man / nurse. And not just the pill-popping, script-writing type. I need someone that can set JJ’s broken arm, sew together a gash wound, heal a fever and make sure we’re all clear of nasty skin diseases. I’m pretty sure our high cholesterol won’t be an issue, but there will likely be occasion for healing and I need some expertise. JJ raises a good point that this person also needs to be able to deliver children as we will have to do some major repopulating of the earth. I’m not sure this can fit that into the engineer’s job description.

6. Brent C. Since vehicles have been invented and that’s how we’ll be arriving, we’ll need someone to care for our fleet. If it has a motor, Brent can make it work. He also once read a book on farming, which adds to his marketable skills. Oh, and I like his wife a lot.

7. JJ nominates Chad L. for his ale-making skills. But this necessitates bringing a sibling and there’s not room in the procreation patterns for this.

8. If I could convince them to go: either Rob Bell, Don Miller, my friend Alan, or JJ’s friend Dave. We’re going to be spending a lot of time around the fire and I need stimulating conversation. One of these folk can supply us with a never-ceasing fount of thought-provoking questions.

9. Erin W. She’s also good for conversation and I hear she can throw an axe, so she has survival skill. Based on her tatoo, I think she also might know a lot about Native Americans, which just seems generally helpful in situations such as these.

JJ feels very strongly that number 10 is his mother. Reasoning: she knows how to can & preserve, garden, knows “a lot”, is mothering and is (I quote) “very nice.” These things are all true statements. I guess being nice can get you a spot on the island. I feel that her chicken noodle soup is reason enough to make sure she’s there.

Though JJ feels we still have some gaps, this seems like a pretty good list to me. I do wonder if we need someone in the animal husbandry department? And do I make room for Tom and/or Bob, whose real function would likely just be to question if everyone else is completing their tasks in the most efficient, cost-effective manner? They do know a bit about farming, but only growing things like soy beans, which, as previously discussed, aren’t even real food.

I guess I’m open to a few more nominations if there are others with a good knack at surviving “off the land” (as JJ puts it). But please remember that I’ll be living with these people, so personality counts for something.

**If you happen to be reading this and made the list, a carrier pigeon will be dispensing directions to this hidden mecca at 0500 after the revolution. Please keep your compass with you at all times. Take back roads because main highways will be clogged and / or unnavigable, much like 75N to BG on any given Tuesday.

Visit me elsewhere:

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