#308–From frustrating vortex to exhilarating fall colors . .

What a week! I’m a Type A and really enjoy crossing off that which I’ve accomplished each day. So, I was a happy camper this past Monday and Tuesday because I accomplished so much and everything seemed to be going so well . . . or so I thought.

Jeff Lovejoy plays at a Backstreet Gallery Second Saturday reception back in 2018.

Monday, I attended the Backstreet Gallery Board of Directors meeting via Zoom, and since I’m the secretary, I took minutes. One topic had about a 40-minute discussion that covered a lot of important points, so I couldn’t just say “there was much discussion regarding blah, blah.” I had to really work through all my notes and try to get everything correct and have it make sense to the rest of the members.

After the meeting, I stayed at the computer and got a third of the minutes completed. I saved the big discussion for last. Then i had a quick lunch and took Sir Groucho to have his nails done (trimmed). Later, I sat down and completed the minutes. It seemed to take forever to get through the 40-minute discussion. It was after 7 p.m. before I finished. I was very relieved to get the minutes done. Whew!

The only problem I was aware of that Monday occurred when I was getting ready for bed.  The heart monitor I’ve been wearing for six days, seemed to have quit. It is tested by thumping it, and a blue light shows if it is working. Well, no blue light when I thumped it. Every other day it showed blue.

I’m wearing it because I get a strange feeling every so often that makes me feel like I’m going to faint, and I thought it might have something to do with my heart. So, wearing this monitor for two weeks might answer that question.

Tuesday, I got up early and had breakfast and then did the grocery shopping, which I do about every 8 to 10 days. I had a lot of groceries and got them all in the house and upstairs to the kitchen.

I still get up early to do my grocery shopping and still wear gloves and my mask and, of course, try not to forget my bags, list, and coupons!

It was just after 9 a.m., so I called the Heart Group at McKenzie Willamette Hospital. The front desk transferred me to a technician who was not in, so I left a message.

Then I sanitized the groceries, washed the veggies, and put everything away. After that was taken care of, I loaded the car and took the garbage in three large trash bags as well as the recycling to the dump (aka transfer station). I do this about every six to eight weeks. I don’t have garbage pickup. I prefer to do it myself.

I was a happy camper getting so much done in the past two days. . . . But that was about to change.

Tuesday, I got the Zoom recording of the BOD meeting all set up and opened my minutes file. I always listen/watch the recording of the entire meeting to check my minutes against. Often, during the meeting, I’ll miss what is being said because I’m concentrating on what I’m writing. By watching the recording, I can catch anything I missed. The owner/members of the Gallery are very interested in the minutes. So, I try to make sure they are complete and accurate.

When I opened the file containing my minutes, I was horrified to see that everything I typed up after getting home from Sir Groucho’s appointment the day before was missing, not there, gone! Only the third I had done immediately after the meeting was there. I looked in the backup and only the partial minutes were there, too. I spent at least a half hour looking through every conceivable place it could possibly be. No luck! It was so strange, so frustrating, so maddening! AARRGGHH!!

While I felt like punching something, I didn’t. I simply put the recording on pause and started typing. I redid the easy stuff from my notes. Then I turned on the recording and started checking what I’d typed against it. When I got to the long discussion, this time around, I typed as I listened to the recording instead of using my notes. It took forever, as I listened, paused the recording, typed, unpaused, listened, paused, typed until I was done. It was 9:30 p.m. before I finished. It had taken hours. I have never been so glad to finish typing something in my whole life.

Then, when I tried to print a copy, the printer didn’t work. It was turned totally off. That, too was strange.  What was happening!!

Everytime I type something, I save it.That’s my routine. Besides, my computer is set up to save automatically every 10 minutes. But it didn’t this time! And every day, I put the printer to sleep; I don’t turn it off. I only turn it off if I’m going to be gone for a few days. So, I cannot explain either of these. There had been no electrical outage during the hour I was gone with Sir Groucho. And I realized that Monday was also the day my heart monitor quit working. I was feeling very confused!

This Douglas fir cone arrived immediately after I swept the deck. No trees overhand the deck, the wind was not blowing, and no critters were on the deck. Where did it come from? Notice the fall color of the vine maples.

That afternoon, something strange happened. Looking back, it seems to have been on omen of things to come. After Sir Groucho’s appointment, before getting back to the minutes, I swept off the upper deck and deadheaded the plants. I put the broom away and looked out at the deck where I’d been just a moment before, and there was a large Douglas fir cone in the middle of the deck that had not been there before. No tree hangs over the deck, there was no wind, no critters were on the deck. How did it get there?

My answer to all the strange occurrences of Monday, was that I was caught in a vortex from late afternoon into evening. I don’t know how else to explain it.

Tuesday was my day of reckoning, and Wednesday was back to normal. I was on duty as clerk at Backstreet Gallery on Wednesday and was very glad there were no bizarre happenings. And Thursday was a great day. After not hearing back from the Heart Group in Springfield on Tuesday or Wednesday regarding the non-working monitor, I called for the third time Thursday morning, and they said to come in after my other appointment. They said that they would take care of it. I had told them that I was already going to be in Eugene and could stop by.

It was supposed to be rainy and windy, but it was just cloudy, which is my favorite driving weather. So far, so good. And it got better. It was a bea-u-ti-ful drive along Hwy 126. I have never seen the trees with so much color. The yellow of the maples was spectacular and some of the undergrowth was red. I don’t normally call that drive exhilarating, but it was this time. I wanted to stop and take photos, but didn’t dare because I hadn’t alloted any extra time. But I did get to my Eugene appointment, the Good Feet store, about 10 minutes early—just enough time to eat part of my lunch. The gal that I always see there, Rachel, is always very friendly and encouraging. It was no different this time. She checked my progress and replaced two of my inserts. I seem to be progressing nicely.

Here is my first heart monitor that quit working for some reason. The new one looks the same, but is placed slightly to the left of where this one is placed. I hope the new one continues to work for the week I’ll be wearing it..

Then I went to the Heart Group and only had to wait a short time before being tended to. The technician removed my monitor and the patch it was attached to and gave me a new patch with a new monitor. While I was there, the technician called the company that makes the monitor and they think that the info that was on the monitor before it shut down should still be there. That’s good because the strange feeling I get from time to time, which is why I’m wearing the heart monitor, occured last Friday afternoon. That is quite wonderful because the whole purpose is to see how the heart reacts when I get that lightheaded, gonna-faint-any-minute feeling. It only happens every couple of months and lasts for a few seconds, and then I feel fine. I somehow felt that it had something to do with my heart. This monitor might just be able to answer that question.

The whole day had just gone great. The only bummer on Thursday, was that when I walked out to my car, it started sprinkling, and before long, it was raining. It was heavy rain along Hwy 126 all the way home. So, I didn’t stop to take photos of the beautiful trees like I had planned. They were still beautiful—even in the rain.

While the week started very strangely, it seems to be ending just fine. Was I really caught in a vortex?!! I guess I’ll never know!  

About crossingsauthor

Judy Fleagle spent 22 years teaching 1st and 2nd grades and 21 years as editor/staff writer with Oregon Coast and Northwest Travel magazines.Since 2009, she has written five books: "Crossings: McCullough's Coastal Bridges," "The Crossings Guide to Oregon's Coastal Spans," "Around Florence," "Devil Cat and Other Colorful Animals I Have Known," and "The Oregon Coast Guide to the UNEXPECTED!!!."
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