Monday evening…

From the minute I opened my eyes this morning…the day had *****DISASTER*****written all over it.  Sometimes I can be wrong about these things.  I’ll think it’s going to be a hard day and it will actually turn out well.  But today?  I was spot on!  UN-fortunately!

Today was the month checkup following my cataract surgery.  I had been working on a project out of town over the weekend, and didn’t return home until just several hours earlier, spent a few hours in fitful sleep, and got ready to hit the road by 8:00.  Joy and I usually travel together, but she was not able to go and neither was Don.  So before I left, I got Alex to help me with the Navigation App on my phone.  (The Dr.’s office is tucked away in a spot that requires you to drive an unbelievable obstacle course for several miles to find it).  I wanted to make sure the ‘voice that lives in my phone’ would talk to me when I needed the directions.  Because, even though I can drive just fine, I still can’t get used to reading worth a flip!  And, I knew I could not drive and read!  ANYWAY…he fixed it and even showed me what to do if it happened to mess up.  I took the phone from him and carefully laid it in the car so as not to disturb anything he had done.

I was later getting off than I wanted and the weather was the pits!

Rain and storms and low visability….but I made it into the city and turned on the phone and the ‘voice’.  NOTHING.  N.O.T.H.I.N.G.  Not a sound.  Not a whisper.  The ‘voice that lives in my phone’ chose this time to be silent.  I found a place to pull over to study the problem…because the rain…he was falling!!!  (I know it was male rain…it always is when thunder is involved).  I did just what Alex showed me.  And, I took off again…secure in the fact that the ‘voice’ would soon begin to impress me with her knowledge of the crooks and turns that is the Birmingham road system.  NOT.  A.  SINGLE.  SOUND.  Except the sound of me praying aloud for the Good Lord to “take control of my phone and turn it from an evil determined to cause me grief into an instrument of good will.”   I’m sure He had much more important things to take care of…because nary a word came from the phone.  I called Ian.  He had no ideas for me.  He was busy at work…and there was little time for a semi hysterical mother.  He suggested a few things to try, but they were useless.  Friends, I was on my own.

Looking for one little office in the big, rainy, dreary, sad city.  I pulled over for the fourth time.  This time…it was to pray a proper prayer, and ask for guidance and calmness.  And once again, I took off in the direction I thought I should go.

I soon knew I was headed the right way, because I saw some places that looked familiar.  So, I kept going… first down one road, then up another and around at least 1,000 curves.

Obviously, somewhere I went wrong, because I ended up further away than I was when I started!!!   I went back and instead of ‘zigging’…I ‘zagged’.  And this time, I got a little closer.  Once again, I made a wrong turn and ended up going in a circle…but at least I wasn’t getting further away!  STILL NOT A SOUND FROM THE PHONE!  I was determined to get there.  After checking to be sure the volume on the phone was as loud as it would go, on the off chance it regained consciousness, I turned down the only road I had not gone on.  AND…….it was the right one!  HOO-RAY!  I made it!  I did it!  I found it!

The rain was still pouring, so I got the umbrella and made my way through the ankle deep puddles to the door.

And, as I walked through the door I heard the distinctive sound of the ‘voice that lives in my phone’ saying…“stay on Highway 31 for 4.3 miles then make a left onto…blah!  blah!  BLAH!”  Everyone in the building heard it as well since the volume was still at its loudest!  I wanted to cry…but, at this point in my day, it would have been an ugly, ugly scene.  So when the receptionist said, “Oh, Mrs. Owens, there you are!  We were getting worried about you!”  I just smiled the kindest smile I could muster, and thanked her.  Then, I sat down, folded up the dripping wet umbrella, wiped the raindrops off my glasses, and reached into my purse…took that phone and ripped the battery off its back with my bare hands.  I put it at the bottom of my purse and piled everything else in there on top of it.  The empty shell of a phone looked up at me helpless as can be.  It’s probably a good thing the waiting room was full…else it may have found itself under my wet, muddy shoe!





  1. Did you forgive it when you started OUT of the parking lot to go home? Sometimes we just have to grit our teeth, mumble an unfelt apology, smile brightly, and be pleasant to the undeserving. Or at least, so I've heard.

    What a time you had!!! The rain woulda done me in—I get nervous even when someone ELSE is driving in a rainstorm, especially on the Interstate. Did you know that BOTH your highways come within short distances of my house.? I-65 is really close, and 31 comes all the way through here (the MAIN Gucci street, Meridian, divides the city North/South, and is the start of the street numbers, both ways. It's also highway 31, same as ours in AL.

    Glad all is well now, and hope you're reading lots and lots soon!


  2. Unbelievable!!! I’m so sorry you have to go through such things just to have these funny stories to tell!! But this sure was funny!

  3. So sorry she didn't talk you while you were driving. Now she is going to be really mad at you!
    Glad you made it safely after the zigs and zags.

  4. Oh, Tonja, how scary for you … I'm so glad you survived your ordeal and made it home safely. Just the rain by itself would have been traumatic, without the added stress of an "evil" and very silent phone. I love the way you can always see the humor in whatever situation you may find yourself in — whether it's in "the line from hell" at Walmart, or watching Joy drive on sidewalks. You need to write a book!

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