The threes

Sometimes I actually believe the superstition that bad, or good, things come in threes. Take, for instance, the last two days: on Saturday night, I transferred into bed from my scooter, watched a bit of television, turned out the light and snuggled into what I hoped would be a good nights’ sleep.  Around 2:30, or was it 3:30, I’m not sure as not all the clocks were set forward for daylight saving time, my bladder woke me up.  I must’ve accidentally leaned on the head button of my adjustable bed control because the head of the bed started to go up and, being in a semi-fog, it took me too long to figure out which button to push to stop it. I ended up with the head of the bed in a full upright sitting position and… no matter what I did, no matter what I pushed, I couldn’t get it to go back down again. What do I do? Of course, I kept pushing buttons but all I got was a soft whirring sound from underneath the bed. Do I wake up Ron? Or, do I silently roll into the living room and try to settle down on the couch? It’s too cold in there during the night when the heat is turned down. That’s not really an option.

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Hauling my legs out of bed, pulling my slippers on and transferring over to my scooter, I quietly, or as quietly as possible, open my bedroom door and drive the 10 feet to Ron’s bedroom door where I hear him softly snoring. Ron, I call gently so as not to shock him, and after several calls he wakes up with “Huh, what’s the matter?” I tell him what’s happened and he gets up, comes into my bedroom and goes through the same routine that I’ve just finished with exactly the same results. The head of the bed is permanently stuck in the up position. What next? I mean by now it’s 3 or 4 in the morning. No one is thinking too clearly. “Get into my bed,” he says. So, I climb into his bed but it is my routine to read myself to sleep and even the backlight from my Kobo reader is too bright for him. He knows he will not sleep even though I turn off the reader so off he goes into the living room, he doesn’t mind the cold, and I read myself to sleep.

Sunday morning I’m on the phone to the company where I bought the bed. The bed is no longer under warranty as it is 10 years old and they can’t have a service man out to me until Monday. I dearly need to sleep in my own bed with my seven pillows, heating pad for terminally cold feet and adjustable capabilities to help me breathe. A call to our friendly handyman sees he and Ron take probably 20 bolts out from underneath the bed frame, releasing the motor and, finally, the bed head goes down. Unfortunately, with those bolts out, the bed also slides back and forth on the frame and will easily slide right off the end of it which is exactly what happened after our friend went home and Ron was making the bed. Because the mattress is pure latex it weighs a ton, so a very apologetic call was put in to our friend who came back again, put a few bolts back to hold the bed onto the frame and let Ron make the bed. It was a crazy 18 hours and it would have been really funny if we hadn’t have been so tired, but thanks to those two terrific guys, I was able to sleep in my bed Sunday night. First thing Monday morning I ordered a new adjustable bedframe – $1250. taxes and delivery included.

Also on Monday morning I was greeted with the news that the $5000 I was awarded in June when I received the David C. Onley Award for Leadership in Accessibility is taxable. In Canada, lottery wins and awards like that are usually not taxed. That wasn’t good news. Being retired and on a somewhat fixed income, anything that makes me pay more taxes takes away from any disposable income I have to live on. Apparently, the government is looking into it but how long that will take is anyone’s guess.

And then to top it all off, the HP color printer I bought last September decided that it was out of toner. If you’re familiar with the cost of toner, you’ve probably just sucked in your breath. Now I didn’t know this but that particular printer is like the old-fashioned strings of Christmas lights we used to have: when one bulb burns out the entire string won’t work. The same thing happens with this printer: if one of the color cartridges is empty or, even just the black one, none of them work and the printer stops. Well, I simply assumed that the culprit was the black cartridge because I have been running off proofing pages for the book I’m writing. I didn’t realize that the printer was trying to tell me, by blinking its little orange light off and on, that it was out of magenta. By the time I twigged, Ron had already gone over to the local stationery store, given up the old black cartridge, which was probably just fine, for recycling and bought a new one for, gulp, $91. But the printer still wouldn’t work with the new black cartridge installed so off he went back to the store to retrieve the old black cartridge and pick up a magenta cartridge for, you guessed it, no, not $91, $87.50. But it still wouldn’t work so I called Hewlett-Packard and got a very patient  young woman on the phone who explained to me that I probably needed to reset the entire printer: pull out the plug, wait for 30 seconds, plug her back in and see what happens. We did that. Nothing. Then she asked me to look at the diagnostics for my printer on my computer and lo and behold both the yellow and the green were also extremely low. By that time, I had dollar signs dancing in my head. Was this printer out to get me? After expressing my frustration, I was offered two replacement cartridges at $20 off in Canadian money. Well, I thought, I have to have them or I won’t be able to print anything so I bit my bottom lip and gave her my Visa number. My cartridges should arrive via FedEx by Thursday if the foot of snow we woke up to this morning, and the fact that they don’t plow our streets for two days, doesn’t stop the FedEx man from delivering. I’ll count on being able to print something by next Monday.

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So, that’s what’s been happening to me the last few days. They are all first world problems, that’s for sure. I am so fortunate and privileged to be able to have a bed much less an adjustable one. I am equally fortunate to be worried about paying taxes. I am lucky that I have enough money that I do pay taxes although not usually very much. And as for the printer, I think the people who make printers should charge more for the printers and less for the toner. We buy the printer once, and I know they count on the fact that we have to continually buy toner, but at almost $320, or somewhere around there, for four toner cartridges, someone is making a lot of money. But again, that’s a first world problem and the people who are starving in Sudan would look at me like I’m out of my mind worrying about a printer.

Do bad things come in threes? Well they did for me but, being an optimist, I’m hoping that good things also come in threes. I’m taking a deep breath, being positive, and hoping that the worst is behind me, for now anyway.

Till next time…spring! Come to think of it, I still have yellow carnations in my bathroom, office and kitchen and that’s a good thing.

Take care of yourself,

Linda

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