March 13, 2023

cuckoos, double-takes in our small world, & blinded by the sinus infection

I got a call last week that they could do my endoscopy on Monday the 13th. My mom's bday. Not till 4 pm. Think of me today as all I'm able to eat is yellow jello and other clear liquids. 

Allow me to take you back to the Best's  home for a moment. I don't think you'll mind. It's a happy place. *Note, if I ever go missing, you might find me there. 

As we ate, a clock cuckoo'd in the next room. Then chimes. Dongs. Another cuckoo.

Like, in stereo. What's happening? 

I remembered when Marie, Pat, and Dad were in Texas right after Elizabeth died, Pat slept at a neighbor's house. He's VERY allergic to cats. Uncle has a cat, which didn't bother me  - in part because Mike slept in Tommy's old room where the cat hangs out. 

Anyway, Pat had texted in the sibling group chat that he was sleeping in a house with 80 plus cuckoo clocks. At dinner, I put the pieces together and I asked HOW MANY CLOCKS? I was shocked to learn Pat did not exaggerate as initially believed. Mrs. Best admitted to me that she owns 83 clocks. (grandfather, cuckoo, etc.)

I looked at Grand-mare and whispered:  WELL, I GUESS THEY'RE ALWAYS ON TIME.

Grand-mare:  ONE WOULD THINK. (with an eye-roll) 

I will be texting Mrs. Best this week to see how she is managing with changing the times on ALL of her clocks. 


Mike's flight was cancelled Thursday and he ended up flying to Houston, then Dallas, then Uncle's town. He landed so late, that the Bests picked him up and had him sleep at their house vs dropping him off at Uncle's. He got in at midnight. 

He was shocked that despite being an elderly couple with 22 grandkids, they stayed up chatting with him until 2 am. Mrs. Best took brownies out of the oven well past midnight. Mike was like what universe is this? Then Ann skipped into the room wearing a Disney nightgown with a best friend, also named Ann, who wore a matching Disney nightgown, also in her 40's. The girls were enjoying a sleepover. Mike is a  night owl and appreciated getting to know the Bests, but would never have anticipated that he'd be eating amazing brownies with an elderly couple and getting acquainted till 2 am. 

When I left for Dallas Thursday evening, Lad dropped me off at the airport. I walked through a set of automatic double doors. A couple walked through the other doors at the same exact time. I glanced at them. Then I did a double take. 

Dave's parents. I shoulda
done a selfie with them
to send to Ed. I was just SO
 surprised. Caught off guard.
 I took this to send Ed

I was like, HANG ON, NOW . . . "Dave's dad?"


Ed's college roommate's parents, who I've only met a few times - she doesn't do the mom weekends as I don't think she enjoys that kind of social situation, were heading to Vegas to see comedian Sebastian Maniscalco. Are you familiar with this guy? He's hilarious and he's got a new movie coming out with Robert DiNero.

But imagine - we bumped into one another at the exact same time at the airport. 

Sebastian Maniscalco - love his bit about
 someone ringing the doorbell
 unannounced and  how everyone takes
cover and hides vs the days when
unexpected visitors were
 cause for celebration. 

Less than 2 minutes later I walked through security. I was taking my shoes off in line behind a couple and the woman looked VERY familiar. In my head, I was like STOP IT. THAT WOULDN'T HAPPEN AGAIN

A minute later, I called to her:  DO YOU WORK AT ABC JUNIOR HIGH? 

Well, yes she does. She is the nurse in the front office at the junior high my kids attended. She often answered the phone when I would call the school or be there when I came to sign a kid out to go to the ortho, etc. I could NOT believe it. 

Backing up to before the ND weekend. My eye was done draining from the sinus infection, so I popped my contact lenses in just before I left to go to my college book club. My vision is not as crisp in my contacts, because I wear two different strengths in order to avoid reader glasses. I hadn't worn my contacts for a few days and I was sort of surprised at how bad my vision was, but I told myself it was just gonna take a minute to adjust.

The woman's house was a 25 minute drive from home. At one point I pulled over to be sure I'd actually put my contacts in my eyes. Why is the world so blurry? They were there, but I could NOT see well. The drive was easy -a straight shot to where Jesus lost his sandals, but the further I got from home the more I realized that I should not be driving.

I texted Coach when I got there. I was thinking about trying to hitch a ride home with another woman, but then how would we get our car. It didn't even dawn on me to have him drive out there and bring me my glasses. He suggested that and I felt horrible, but I said that would be amazing

The poor guy works late on Thursdays and gets up at 4:30 am on Fridays, so his rescue mission really cut into his down time. I hadn't told anyone that he was coming, so when I ran outside and came back in wearing my glasses I explained the delivery. We'd read The Boston Girl. We were discussing love stories. Exhibit A, people. Exhibit A. An "awww" went up from my book club buddies. 

I learned that after a sinus infection/antibiotics, my eyes might be so dry that the contacts weren't able to function. Lesson learned. 


Ever run into someone at an airport or someplace and have a 'small world' experience? Do you know who Sebastian the comedian is? Ever have a vision impairment after a sinus infection? Or a weird contact lens malfunction? Are you a cuck-coo clock fan?


Nicole said...

Good luck with your endoscopy today!
Imagine changing the time on 83 clocks! Ugh!

Beth Cotell said...

We have a clock that will chime/bong on the hour or every 15 minutes depending on how it is set. I CAN'T STAND IT! Well, correction, I love the clock. Dan got it for me when we were first married. But I HATE it to chime/bong. I find it intrusive and as a light sleeper it would wake me up in the middle of the night. Obviously, we keep the chime turned off now but occasionally as a joke Dan will set it to chime and watch me as I race to turn it off as soon as I hear it. I could not function in a house with over 80 cuckoo clocks. My head would explode!!!

Ally Bean said...

Good luck on your procedure today. Between the time change and yellow Jell-O you're going to have an *interesting* day. I've never heard of Sebastian Maniscalco which is no surprise, but am amazed that Robert DiNero is still doing movies. Isn't he about a million years old now?

Bijoux said...

I hope the endoscopy goes well. Yes, I know Sebastian’s doorbell bit. It is so true! Lol! I have run into a number of people at the airport. It’s both strange and exciting, for some reason. I had to give up contacts when I was in my 30’s. Having babies and breastfeeding did a number on my hormones and my eyes have been very dry ever since.

Ernie said...

Nicole - Thank you. I don't think they are going to find anything and thanks to my insurance this will cost a small fortune, but with celiac I have to have one every few years anyway and it was time. Glad to check it off my list and be that much closer to meeting my deductible.

I am still in awe of the number of clocks this family own.

Ernie said...

Beth - Yeah, I couldn't do it. We had a clock once that just ticked loudly. I couldn't handle it. I'm guessing that was when we had less kids and prior to my daycare - because who could hear a clock tick in this house now? I laughed at Dan messing with you every once in a while.

Ernie said...

Ally - It is going to be an interesting day. I typically have these type of procedures so early in the morning that the starvation factor isn't an issue. I'm babysitting, but not doing an outing as I anticipate not having much energy. I'm a jello fan, but yellow Jell-O, as it happens, is not my favorite flavor.

This comedian is very funny. I don't find him inappropriate but I so enjoy the way he takes regular life stuff and pokes fun of it - like the doorbell thing. I saw him do a bit about attending kids' sporting events too. Very relatable. Robert is old, but I expect that he will be very funny in this movie as Sebastian's elderly dad.

Ernie said...

Bijoux - Thank you. If I was a betting person, I'd bet that they find nothing new. I don't think I have this refractory celiac. I'm trying to look on the bright side - the fact that this is going to cost me $4,500 bucks means I'm closer to my deductible. *ugh*

I hate wearing glasses so very much. If money grew on trees and if I could be asleep during the surgery, I'd have the laser surgery to fix my eyes.

Pat Birnie said...

Those cuckoo clocks would drive me nuts- I like complete silence and darkness when I sleep!

And, what the heck does “ a straight shot to where Jesus lost his sandals” mean?? I have never heard that expression.

ccr in MA said...

Yellow jello? Is it lemon? Pineapple? The contact lens driving is scary, I'm glad Coach offered to bring you your glasses.

Kara said...

Good luck today! I hope you get some answers.

I have so many Small World stories. My daughter last summer wound up sitting round trip with the same father and son from Phoenix to Boston and back. Ironically, they were delayed a day on the way home and there is no way it should have happened. About 25 years ago, my husband and I were in San Francisco, and we ran into both his uncle and my cousin, separately, with no idea that any one we knew would be there. We went to a hockey game in Phoenix last year, and wound up sitting next to a guy who's brother worked in Massachusetts with my sister. There are so many more instances.

Ernie said...

Pat - I don't think all of the clocks are 'on' but still - something of a clock museum, at least that's what it looks like.

Where Jesus lost his sandals is a saying used to describe a place that is in the middle of nowhere. ;) I was driving on a straight away - not a lot of turns, which was a bonus since I couldn't really see the street signs until I was right up on them. ;0

Life of a Doctor's Wife said...

Wow, TWO people you knew, just out of the blue at the airport? That's wild! I feel like I have had a "small world" encounter a couple of times. Once, I went to a mattress store in a state far from my home state and ran into a woman I'd done cheerleading with in high school. So random! Another time, my husband was in the Czech Republic and ran into someone from my tiny rural hometown. The world can be super small sometimes!

I had a cuckoo clock growing up and I really liked it -- it was soothing, in its way. But now when I visit it (at my parents') I find it so jarring! I guess you have to really get used to it. But 83! That seems like a LOT.

Ernie said...

ccr - I just found out on Thursday that I could get this test done today, so I hadn't been to the grocery store. I was busy getting Ed and Mini off for their trip to Ireland. Coach went to the store last night. There weren't very many yellow options - he got some pineapple, but there was very little. I had some pineapple here but they'd expired. Not sure what it would do to a person to eat expired jello. Then he found starburst brand lemon jello. I've been eating the starburst lemon so far today and will soon switch to the pineapple. Not a big fan of the yellow variety, but I leave home in less than 3 hours. I think I'm gonna make it.

Ernie said...

Kara - Thanks. I'm glad to check it off of my list.

Those are some CRAZY coincidences. The world can be so small. I just found out last night that I have a niece who will be in Italy in April. Tank is going there in April while on spring break, but I think she will be there a little after him. I thought - how wild would it be for them to cross paths.

Ernie said...

Suzanne- Those are some really random run-ins. I could not believe that I ran into two different people minutes apart on the same airport trip. It was wild. The school office lady didn't recognize me initially, so I hesitated saying anything but I was so confident that it was her.

I agree- if you are used to it, that's one thing. I don't think she had all 83 of them turned on to make a noise, but I think the ticking alone would drive me batty. We were conversing and eating dinner, so I only heard a few go off. 83 is quite a collection.

Jenny in WV said...

Good luck with the test! Jello is not my favorite, but hopefully there is something yummy to had when the test is over!

I'm going to be laughing all day imagining having to change the time on all those clocks!

Kari said...

Because today is Anna's birthday, I believe you will have a lot of luck. ❤️

Sebastian Whatshisname is from the Chicago suburbs. I'm not sure if you were aware of this.

I'm envious of you because I really like jello. 😘

Ernie said...

Jenny- I love Jello but tough time to find out not yellow. ;)

If not for the time change, it would not have struck me as so funny. Timing is everything. No pun I tended.

Ernie said...

Kari- today is my mom's bday TOO. How funny. She goes by Nana which rhymes with Anna.

I love Jello too but yellow variety is not great.

joymariecooks said...

Good luck with the procedure today!

My aunt and uncle have a gazillion massive chime clocks (the sort you have to wind).that all go off just very slightly off from each other. Staying the night at their house is... Not as peaceful as it would otherwise be. The clocks do a little chime every 15 minutes and the big thing on the hour

Ernie said...

joymarie - Thank you. It was a breeze. I don't think they found anytyhing earth shattering. My throat is a little scratchy, but I'm glad to have it out of the way.

Your aunt and uncle's house sounds very interesting, and loud.

Nance said...

My father used to see people from home all over the country. We were in Banff, Canada once and he saw some guy he knew from when he worked as a safety clerk at US Steel back home in Lorain, Ohio, who he hadn't seen for years and years. It was always like that. I'm the opposite; I never see anyone I know, and it's odd because I taught high school for 30+ years, so you'd think the odds would be that I'd see plenty of people I know.

I miss wearing contacts so much! But dry-eye has ended that for me. And I've tried everything. Sigh.

Ernie said...

Nance - While in Banff, Canada? That's crazy. I wonder if you don't see people you used to teach because they don't look like teenagers anymore. It does seem strange that you aren't crossing paths with more former students. When we flew to Scotland in '18 for Irish dancing, a 2nd grade teacher from the school my kids went to was on our flight. It was wild.

I would be very sad if my contacts no longer worked. Sorry about that. I had no idea that taking an antibiotic or recovering from a sinus infection could impact my contact wearing like that.

Busy Bee Suz said...

I can NOT get over that many cuckoo clocks! It must take days to change them all twice a year. Also, the cuckoos might drive me batty!
I've run into people in Las Vegas before, and it's like 'woah...wait, we didn't come together; why are we both here in the lobby'? Weird. Don't you feel so popular after seeing THREE people you knew at the airport?
I know who Sebastian is. He's hilarious and has ties to our town; his wife's family is prominent: The Lutgarts, big in business and philanthropy here.

Crazy about your dry eyes, but so sweet of your honey to hand deliver some eyeballs to you!!

Ernie said...

Suz - It sure is a LOT of clocks. I can't really wrap my brain around it. Mrs. Best is a sweet, caring woman and I really enjoyed her. At some point I will ask the burning question: WHY?

It is so funny to cross paths with people in an unexpected or crowded place - but three in 5 minutes was mind blowing.

Sebastian is so dang funny. Kari reminded me - he's from Chicago. I want to see his movie. Bound to be hilarious.

It was very big of him. I'm a little hesitant to drive at night since. :0

Life of a Doctor's Wife said...

Hope your endoscopy went well and that it helped clarify what's going on!

Ernie said...

Suzanne- I don't think anything unusual showed up, but that means they can eliminate refractory celiac from the list. It was pretty simple test. Glad it's over.

Bibliomama said...

83 CUCKOO CLOCKS? I won't make the obvious joke, but I am thinking it. That would drive me insane.

I thought the comedian was Dave's dad for a moment and was like HELLO DAVE'S DAD. I love those coincidental weird meetings. I was in Toronto (biggish city in my province) once with a friend from my hometown and she ran into a cousin who was ALSO not from the city we were in, on the subway platform. Oh, and that time my cousin from way out West ran into my husband at the airport while they were both waiting on cancelled flights.

Ernie said...

Ali - Laughing at the obvious joke. They are not ALL cuckoo clocks. Some are grandfather, etc. I had to call her to discuss something with my uncle and I asked if she was done changing the time on the clocks yet. We had a good laugh. My dad could NOT believe I asked that question. I was like, DAD, IT'S FUNNY. SHE AND I ARE BUDDIES. WE CAN SHARE A LAUGH.

Those run-ins are crazy. The world can be feel so smallish at times. It's wild.