Saturday, January 14, 2017

Forget Friday the 13th ...

I am not superstitious.  I Am NOT superstitious.  However, I do not walk under ladders, a faint shiver of shame creeps up my spine as I am aware of a black cat crossing my path, and, if I enter an appointment on my calendar for Friday the 13th of any month, I wonder if the appointment will have dire consequences.

2017 has not started out well.  As one son put it: “We are only a week into the year and it feels like we are a year into the week.”  It has been plagued with enormous distress in our little quaint Vermont community as the first homicide -- yet unsolved --  burst our bubble of safety.  Couple that with medical concerns in the family, alternate subzero temps and rain creating icy falls and dented fenders.  One can only hope that like the month of March that is known to come in like a lion and leave like a lamb, this year of our Lord 2017 will leave in a more gentle and benevolent manner than it arrived.

With this background, I was, on Thursday the 12th, terribly aware -- shamefully aware in my non-superstitious nature -- that the next day would be a Friday the 13th.  How then did it happen that, while eating my favorite morning treat, crusty sesame semolina toast with a smear of butter and a dollop of organic blueberry jam, I lost a tooth.  Yes, it was lost … gone … not to be found … swallowed with the crunchy crust. Fake tooth that it was, there was no pain except to my vanity … how could I go out in public without smiling?  And how could I smile with that front tooth missing?

The day progressed with the local school bus going off the road in icy conditions and a massive power outage that crashed all that computer-driven technology in our businesses.  With no way to scan prices or ring up sales, we reverted to the pen and paper method of trying to stay open and record sales; sometimes guessing at prices or relying on running back and forth to check shelf labels with head lamps and flashlights.  And, when the power did come back on, the computers did not.  And this Friday the 13th occurring on Thursday the 12th ground down to a blessed end with frayed nerves and fatigue.

But here is the lesson: My dentist’s office got me in in a matter of hours and replaced the lost tooth. Who knew that they had a drawer of “emergency teeth” and a crackerjack technician to restore my smile?

No one was hurt in the school bus incident and people in the tiny little town were more tolerant and understanding of the road crew and their hard work in difficult conditions than usual.

Customers were grateful we were open at all. Help at the store stayed on past their shifts and restored the technology with the help of our IT company so that, by closing, we were fully functioning again. People altered their schedules to adjust without a complaint or second thought.

Bad luck?  I think not.  It is not the day; it is the support we give each other in major or minor crises that dictates how any given date on the calendar goes. As 2017 begins to roll out its days, of that I am absolutely sure -- evenif my spine still tingles a bit when a black cat crosses my path.

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