AND THEN AGAIN… by Tamara Pettit

…..Is 2021 the year of the “kinder..gentler” Tamara.   It may be.  No, not when it comes to issues I believe need changed. I will continue to be fervent and dedicated to the change I think needs to happen.  Inequity always has and always will raise my hackles (does anyone really know what a… hackle is?)

….But, life happens and I recognize that life took me to a fast-paced world in years past, a world where I was so intent on getting the job done that I often failed to verbalize social niceties.  Well, life has changed and my pace has slowed a bit so I’m trying harder.   Shannon took exception to the abrupt way I tended to communicate…my time is of the essence style.  I seldom took time for niceties when I called people on the phone.   No “How are you?” or “How is your family.”  Nope.  I cut straight to the chase and say “Hi, hey this why I called.”    And, goodbye is often forgotten with those closest to me.  I’m done with what I had to say and my daughter no sooner says goodbye when she hears a “click.”

……What really drives her crazy, however, is when we go through a drive through and I’m told “Have a nice day,” to which I say “yep.”  It bothered Shannon, so much so in fact that she took it upon herself to change my behavior.   Like Pavlov’s dogs she tried to alter my response.

……”Have a nice day,” said the teller at the drive through.  “OK” I said only to see Shannon staring at me as she said “and…..”    “And, I have my money,” I said as I shifted into gear.”     “No…..”     “and, I don’t have to count it.  They’re always right.”    Exasperated she says “You’re supposed to tell them to have a nice day as well.”

……”Really,” I said.  “That kinda seems redundant….and a total waste of time.”  And so, her behavior modification with her mom began.  It wasn’t just bank tellers, it was store clerks, fast food employees and anyone who serves the public. 

 …… She only said “and…..” a few times until I responded “You, too!”   Then it was a look.  Before long I had turned into the nicest person, asking about someone’s family, their health, etc.

…….In an area where people say thank you and please and wave at everyone, her mom is no longer an outlier. 

…..If you have kids you soon learn that life will be a series of sending them off… kindergarten….to first grade….to college…..and then to life.  Shannon just sent her youngest, Addison, off to Las Vegas where he has a good career opportunity.  It’s been thirty years since I sent Doug off  to San Diego so I’m pretty much a veteran at trying to monitor his safety and well-being long distance. What has made it even harder through the years, has been keeping track of the natural and man-made disasters that California and those places he travels are prone to experience.  Thanks to the Internet I am bombarded with those disasters on a daily basis.  Since Doug doesn’t give me his daily schedule it’s hard to know what the focus of my worry should be.  Do I monitor fires or hurricanes?   Earthquakes or droughts?    Doug is also not the best at responding to my texts so I have come up with a system.

…..My kids and grandkids often text in acronyms.  “BTW” is “by the way”…..”LOL” is “laugh out loud” and we all know what “WTF” means.  So, instead of them adjusting to me, I am adjusting to them.

…..I’ve created a “WDA” alert or “where’s Doug at?”     OK, it’s  totally a grammatic mess, but with those three letters I will signal in my text to Doug that I need a one-word response so that I know what natural disasters I need to monitor on that given day.    Tried it yesterday to learn he is in Hawaii, but not on big island where fires are raging.   He’s is Kauai where he tells me it’s very wet and humid much like West Virginia.    So, I guess the only thing I need to worry about for the next few days is his exposure to mold.

……I’ve been trying to track the progress on the turf at Oak Glen and Weir High Fields.  We know how active football fans and boosters are in this area.  We all  celebrated Oak Glen’s record-setting season last year.   Since the turf has been removed, fans are concerned about the turf being installed for the first scrimmage at Oak Glen on August 19.  Board President Danny Kaser called me back within an hour to communicate what he knows and called back again when he confirmed those facts.

…..I had follow-up questions and he referred me to Mark Dziatkowic, Maintenance director or Dawn Petrovich, Superintendent.   After leaving phone messages; sending e-mails; and telling them I needed to know by 5 p.m. Friday, I still haven’t heard back.  That’s not only not cool, that’s not really acceptable.     Our digital edition is a venue to communicate to the public and in this case the public has a right to know.   The fields are being financed by the levy funds and we voted for the levy.

…….Since I had so much to tell you this week, I’ve moved the Letter from a Dead Man to a separate section because there’s a lot I need to tell you about that cold case.

 …And?  “Have a nice week!”