Stress and More Stress

So if stress kills, why am I still breathing?

I remember a commercial in which a couple are eating breakfast.  The dad is reading the paper, the droopy eyed mom is holding her coffee cup motionless.  A little kid is standing unnoticed ready to blow his little trumpet.  He blows it, the mom crashes to the floor, the dad doesn’t move.  I have no idea what they were selling.  What they were showing us is that individual people react to the same stimulus in individual ways.  Lately, I am the one that crashes to the floor.  Okay, have it your way.  I’ve always been the one to crash to the floor in some way.  Except in an emergency.  In that case, I am chilled control until the crisis is over and then I fall apart.

The last 20 days have been the Insurance Quagmire.  Waiting for the bids, breaking them down, making the decision, scheduling the meetings, taking waivers, fielding the same questions and complaints.  Sounds easy.  The trouble is, the rest of the job, housework, bill paying, and computer crashes don’t wait.

Yes.  My home computer crashed.  It was giving me signs for weeks.  Finally, Thursday after work, it would not stay on.  I’d restart an average of 6-10 times before it would stay on but that night it wouldn’t stay on.  Friday it wouldn’t go on after 10 attempts.  Stan’s imitations of my little hissy fits are not fair.  The guys at work thought from my report of its symptoms that it could be a processor.  Hmm, I said.  And that costs….?  Oh, only $100 or so plus labor.  Ahh, I said.  And I take it where?  We’re not sure.  Why don’t you bring it in to work and we’ll take a look at it.  The trouble is, there’s a 4 day weekend coming up and I don’t know how I would handle not having my little computer buddy.

The home computer has become as much of a pseudo-necessity as the telephone and the television.  Imagine if either one of those crashed.  Suddenly, you’re back in the early 20th century.  I say pseudo because none of our entertainment and communication devices sustain life.  Life without those things is like, oh — camping.  I hate camping.

I did not sleep well Friday night.  Fixing or replacing the computer was the first thing I thought of when I woke up.  I made circles around the house for hours Saturday morning.  I even cleaned the kitchen for crying out loud!!!  And worked on a crochet project, and watched a couple of movies, and stared mournfully at the dismally dark monitor, the cold, forlorn monitor.  No hum of busy little computer noises.  No internet.  No Google.  No blogging.  No spider solitaire.  Woe is me, oh, woe, woe is me.

It was during this black, dark depression that someone from our Sunday School class called to tell me that he and his wife were bringing a new couple to class.  (And…?)  It was a long story of how his wife met them at a mall, found out they were living in a motel and had no jobs.  (So, why call me?  Just bring them, I thought.)  I’m not cold or arrogant, but it’s a no brainer.  Our arms are open, our classroom is open, no one has to ask or warn us that new people are attending.  Darrell and Kizzie, short for Kismet, are their names.

Nice couple.  They fit right in right away–talkative, smiley.  Cool.  Then when it was my turn to tell everyone how my week went, I mmmeeentionnned the computer.  Darrell said he could fix it.  Reeeeaally.  Sure.  Sounds like a power supply.  Get one and he’ll install it.

It didn’t take long to formulate a plan.  You two attend the soup and bread lunch being thrown in the Family Life Center, I’ll go home and pick up, then come out and we’ll not only fix the computer, but do you mind crawling under the house with Stan and stapling up the insulation under the bathroom while Kizzie and I go to Circuit City?  (don’t give me the look.  I offered to and did pay him)  I fed them supper too.

Kiz and I came back, I started the chicken, and oh, by the way, Kiz, do you need some shirts and things I’ve outgrown?  Sure.  So while she’s trying on clothes in one end of the house, I go to the walk-in closet at the other end of the house to look for anything else she could use, turned the little handle on the lamp and IT SPEWED FIRE AT ME!!  Smoke! Shooting in a column straight at the ceiling and spreading to 3 rooms in 2 seconds!  Fire out the switch straight at me!!  SSTTAAAANNLEEE! GET IN HERE NOW! NOW! NOW!

We got it controlled before anything else burned and/or peeled. The house stunk for hours.  Door were opened, fans were turned on, windows were raised, scented candles were lit.  I’m guessing other people will smell it on us tomorrow.  Fine.  Isolation is good.

Darrell fixed the computer.  It took a bit of doing, more than I could possible have figured out, more than I could have paid at a shop, and sooner than the IT guys at work could have it done.

Good people.  I want them to stay.  Kizzie found a job in her LPN field but isn’t being given hours yet.  Darrell is looking.  Time is crucial.  I pray, you pray, all God’s children need to pray.  Not just because he got me back online.  That’s the short version.  East TN is his home and he wants to come back and stay after time in the military and time away from home. 

The two of them can be a valid, valuable contribution to our church family and to us.  That’s the long version– I hope.

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