As I write this I notice that I write the phrase "As I write this" a lot. But it is undeniable that in fact as I write this it's snowing again. It's about 9 p.m. on Monday evening. It was 8 degrees at 6:15 this morning. My heat went off the night before. As I went to bed there was no heat coming through. When I woke up it was about 50 degrees inside my place yet the heat was on. It turns out my landlord turned it on manually at 5 a.m. At this point I'm told, it has been addressed by a professional or so I'm told. For all I know the professional was his brother in law Joey.
Ok now it's Tuesday evening, One thing I didn't mention in the Monday entry of this blog was the unusual phone call I had from Arlene (conveniently living next door). We were just chatting about our jobs. She does pretty much what I do only in a different location. She's fairly close to Harvard so she sees some "Harvard" types as well as the local townies. We were basically talking about some encounters we have with customers. One common mangling is the name of a cheese company in Wisconsin. The name is Belgiosio (bel-gee-o-see-o). It is actually the name of an Italian town named after a family in medieval times 800 years ago. Anyway it is not uncommon for someone to ask for the Belgiosio provolone as the, "Bella Lugosi" provolone. So as we are chucking and complaining about various things then Arlene calmly says, "Hold on a minute Paul." Within about two seconds what do I hear?
Screaming. "AHHHHHHH! AHHHHHH! AHHHHHHHH! AHHHHHHHHHHHH!"
This went on for about 30 or more seconds. Her dog, a min-pin, (a mini Doberman pincer) is barking. Though he's a good dog his bark is high pitched and quite cutting. I can hear Arlene's daughter running in asking what's the matter, but all Arlene is saying is, "AHHHHHHHHH! AHHHHHHHHHH!"
Finally I hear Arlene shout, "MY LEGS! I CAN'T WALK!"
My initial thought was muscle cramps. I've had them and they can be quite painful. As her daughter tries to tend to her I can hear what sounds like a little bit of suppressed laughter from her daughter.
"Put the phone down Ma! Put the phone down! You're screaming into the phone!
She never put the phone down. This is what Allison was snickering about. She finally said, "I'll call you back in a while."
She called back about 40 minutes later. A bit subdued but as we talked she was lightening up. Both her legs had cramped up. She was laying on the couch. She had a bit of a snooze before she called me. I explained that I knew she was in obvious pain but at first I wondered if she was having a heart attack. I was with my mother when she had here first heart attack and the symptoms and reactions were not the same, not that I'm any kind of expert because I'm not.
As the conversation loosened up I mentioned how the whole episode sounded from my end of the line. She mentioned to me how her daughter was trying not to laugh because Arlene was still holding the phone to her ear and screaming into it. Soon Arlene was laughing as was I. Leg cramps are not a laughing matter yet if you can't laugh at, as it turned out, a minor affliction, an situation made absurd then you take life too seriously. We laughed about it again tonight.
Not much else to report except on Sunday I was in my kitchen and I heard my landlady in the back hall. Now my landlords are an Italian couple in my age group. He's a little older and she's a little younger. They've been in this country for about 45 years and have owned this house for about 40 years. Arlene has lived in the house next door for most of her life. The house has been in her family since 1910. The house was built in 1881. It was the first one on this street. Arlene told me about the apartment next coming available in 2007. I gave it a shot and was in like flint because they knew Arlene for so long. And I will say it has been very nice living here. I am very lucky. My landlords are wonderful people. I almost feel like I'm living with family. They both speak fluent broken English. The husband, Joe, is an easy going, hard working guy. His wife who's name is Maria but wants to be called Joanna, I don't know why, can come across as very stern and hard. She is actually quite nice and generous. Why she wants to be called Joanna, instead of Maria I haven't a clue. There's nothing wrong with the name Maria. I have a cousin named Maria.
I am the occasional recipient of fresh veggies from their garden. There's nothing better. It recalls my upbringing. We always had a garden and there was nothing better than a salad made from fresh picked greens and veggies. The best thing was the spaghetti sauce made from fresh picked tomatoes, basil and whatever else my Mom added. It still was the best I ever tasted.
So Joanna can comes across as serious. There have been times when I was in the cellar doing laundry and Joanna will come out of this room that Joe made for her. To digress a bit, the room is a fully equipped kitchen, with a small living room area with couch and TV and a bathroom. She cooks down there. The rest of the area is just cellar. I wouldn't have minded moving in there if it wasn't for all my stuff.
Joanna will come out of that room while I'm dealing with the laundry and say, "Hi Paul."
It always startles me because it come out of nowhere and she speaks in a staccato, stern, tone. She then asks, "What's the matter Paul? I scare you?"
What I'm thinking is yes Joanna, you do scare me.
But she is actually quite nice.
I can hear them in the back hall when going up to their apartment. The other day I was quite surprised to hear Joanna singing to herself as she came up the cellar stairs, passed my door and up more stairs. Well, she was either singing or in great agony, but it made my smile. I almost feel like I'm living with family. They've known Arlene for forty years, that made them trust me. I am a very lucky guy.
So I come to the end of this pasted together over 3 days, blog entry. I have today off. It's an extra day as I have so much vacation time to use up. I have a lot but I just don't get to use it. Time to get my act together. I have two errands to run and some things to do around here. I'll be back to check around blogger later.
I'm outta here.