One of *Those* Days. . .

LeAnn posted this blog on Saturday, July 24th, 2010 at 5:44 pm

When the day started out with a jackhammer Friday morning, I knew it was going to be “one of those days.”

After  I arrived at the newspaper office Friday morning, I could hear crashing and banging coming from the back of the building. The newspaper office used to be a John Deere shop many years ago so it is a big, sprawling building with lots of additions. (Big and sprawling for my little hometown, anyway).

When I mentioned something to my co-worker about the banging and crashing, she looked at me and said, “Just wait. It get s a lot worse.” She had arrived at the newspaper office early and was trying to concentrate on writing a story.

Since last week, the newspaper office has not had a restroom.  At first the plumber thought there might be tree roots in the sewer lateral. When he could not get it working, the owner called in a plumbing contractor who thought the lateral might be collapsed.

The lateral was, indeed, collapsed. That’s why the jackhammer was there. To break up the concrete floor.

A few minutes later, the jackhammer started again. You couldn’t hear the phone ring it was so loud. Not that it mattered. You wouldn’t be able to hear anyone on the phone even if you did hear it ring.

After a noisy morning, in the the afternoon, when a woman called to say a Twin Cities television station was on its way to my hometown to do a story about a mom and son who almost drowned and the man who went into the river to save them, my co-worker and I jumped at the chance to get out of the office. While she took pictures, I took notes so I could write a story.

As it turned out, the woman’s nine-year-old son got into trouble in the water because the river is much higher now after the rain we’ve had recently, and the current is more swift. The river had been safer last year when there was not so much water. The current carried the boy down into deep water, the mom went in after him, and then both of them were in deep water in the current and could not get out.

A bystander on shore who had brought her dogs to swim in the river raced into town to the gas station. A man and his fiance just happened to be there and took off for the park by the river. The man went into the water and pulled the woman and her son to safey.

It was interesting to watch the news crew work and interesting to hear the story. We had been trying all week to find some information about the incident but came up with nothing because even though the rescue squad was called, they were all out of the water by the time the rescue squad arrived, so there was no report from the rescue squad. There was no report from the sheriff’s department either, because the sheriff’s department also did not respond to the incident.

When we got back to the office, the plumbers were nearly fininshed with what they could do for that day, so then it was quieter around the office again, except for the press running in the back. The press operator was printing calendars for the school district. Many of the pictures in the calendars are pictures I took for the 100th Anniversary All-School Reunion back in June.

I finally arrived home for the day at 5:30. I was just about to change into my rubber boots so I could go out and do my chores when Randy’s cell phone rang. It seems there was a man from the Wisconsin Agriculturalist magazine working on “My Favorite Tractor” stories and could he come over to talk to me and Randy about our 460 Farmall, the one my dad bought brand new and the one I bought on my brother’s auction a few years back.

The day of the auction was kind of a strange day, too, because I was the only woman who bought a tractor, and for the rest of the day, as I walked around, people kept giving me odd, sidelong glances, as if they could not believe that a woman had bought a tractor. A couple of times, I even heard people whisper as I walked past, “That’s the woman who bought a tractor.” At the end of the day, I drove the 460 home the three-quarters of a mile to our place, and although it sounds weird, I could swear that my dad was riding on the tractor with me.

It was evening when the journalist arrived here on Friday. He took the pictures of the tractor and talked about the tractor for quite a while. When he left, the sun had already set. The horses and the chickens and the barn kitties were getting ready to call the sheriff’s department at that point to report animal abuse. As far as they were concerned, what was the big idea — waiting until almost dark to feed the animals?

All in all, Friday was an exceptionally strange, albeit interesting day.

The only thing I can say is — I’m glad every day does not start out with a jackhammer.

LeAnn R. Ralph

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