I don’t seem to improve with time

By Trena Eiden, trenaid@hotmail.com
Posted 10/5/23

After standing there for a bit watching the world go by, I happened to look up and there in huge red letters was a sign attached to the front of the building, “TAX PREPARER.”

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I don’t seem to improve with time


I’m like the person who said, “If I were lost and all I had was a compass, I would remain lost.”  We were in Florida visiting our kids when COVID-19 was winding down. Gar and I decided to get a few groceries and remembered we’d seen a small market in a strip mall not far away. I pulled in and as I got my purse from the back, Gar came around and got into the driver’s seat. We chatted a minute and decided he’d go gas the truck, then come back to get me. As he drove away, I turned toward the building and noticed there was a string of people. I got behind the last person thinking how weird it was to have a line to buy food, but with the way things were, I decided that maybe some stores were still limiting the number of people in at a time. After standing there for a bit watching the world go by, I happened to look up and there in huge red letters was a sign attached to the front of the building, “TAX PREPARER.” I’d been waiting at a CPA office. I spun around and behind me people were happily going in and out of the grocery store. I shook my head and said, “God, when Valentine’s Day rolls around, could you bring me brains instead of chocolates.”

Gar had back surgery near Lake Jackson, Texas, where our kids live, an hour from Houston on the coast. After his fusion, he was experiencing more pain than we felt was normal so one morning he called the surgeon. A different medication was recommended and I heard Gar tell the physician to send it to Walmart. I stared at my dearly beloved in puzzlement, considering strangulation as a real option, then decided the man was on drugs so I should just be like Elsa and “Let it go,” but I’ll give you the point of reference. Getting to the Walmart pharmacy, I passed Kroger, CVS, H.E.B., Walgreens and Target, all of which had a drugstore where I could have purchased meds. Walmart was the last roundup if I didn’t want to drive all the way to Houston. I dunno, maybe Gar needed a respite from his caregiver.

I get mentally challenged easily and I know my kids are hoping to see me improve, but it’s not looking too promising. It was pouring buckets when I pulled into the Walmart parking lot for Gar’s medication. I had on my raincoat and tucking my wallet under my arm, I raced for the entrance. I waited awhile for the pharmacist, finally got the new drugs and as I came out of the store it immediately hit me. That’s right, I had no idea which row the truck was on nor which door I’d come in. When will I learn? I wandered all over in the pouring rain until Jesus took pity on my simple-minded cerebellum and my wheels appeared. I know this will come as a real surprise, and I promise I’m not making it up, I don’t try to be dumb. Could you imagine if I worked at it? 

A few days after this incident, I went to Kroger, yes, the one that’s right down the street. As I got out of the truck, I noticed six small carts stuck together in the middle of the roadway. Being a good Samaritan, I pushed them towards the store entrance. When I was within spitting distance of the doors, the front cart began veering to the left. As I tried to strong-arm it back, the others started going with the front one. Then the first one dislodged and began careening toward a row of cars. I raced after it and the wind began blowing the others toward me. I stopped them at about the exact location where I’d found them in the first place. Arriving home and describing my woeful story, my soulless family grimaced in embarrassment of me.

Days later, at the same store, I was putting my cart into the buggy corral when an employee with a thick Jamaican accent thanked me, “Der is customers and der is customers and you be a good one.”
Explaining the previous fiasco and my family’s chagrin, he slapped his knee in delight and said, “No Mom (Ma’am) de point is you tried.”

Ya, the point is I tried. I wanted to adopt this sweet little man; adopt him and give away the low-down grimacers I birthed.