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October 21, 2015

Solving Problems and Pleasant Surprises

Tom McLaughlin

Frederick-Middletown, Maryland USA – We arrived via Baltimore Washington Airport and travelled by taxicab to Braddock Heights. Our good friends, Mike and Debbi awaited our arrival and made us feel welcome.


The first thing we wanted to do was to rent a car. I had reserved one via the Internet and thought there would be no problem. I was wrong. My bank account had been hacked, no big deal, and our previous credit cards had been cancelled, while the new ones were sent to my Montana daughter’s address.


I walked in and presented my driver’s licence plus my wife's credit card as her numbers were fine. Smiling at the clerk, I found out we need a drivers licence and a debit card all in the same name. No problem again, I will pay cash.


I went down to the local Bank of America, got the funds and returned. However, I discovered, the rental-car company don't accept cash. I had never heard of any business that would not accept the Washington note and inquired why.


Seems like there would be too much cash on hand and they would have to do small things like go to the bank. Finally, a person suggested I call my daughter and have her overnight – which turned out to be two days – my card which was in her possession. Problem solved.


We then travelled to the Hagerstown Outlets to find some shirts for me. In the Orient, they just do not have my size as my shoulders are much wider than the average Asians. We usually go to the back of the store, and it being autumn, purchase the garments on the super duper clearance sale.


However, it was not only the super duper clearance sale, but it was also Columbus Day, a celebration I had totally forgotten about. The shirts were marked down even more. Going from clothing store to clothing store, I managed to pay less than $8 for each one. They were all name brands and would withstand the washing machine conditions of year round wear. I also purchased a pair of shoes, also on sale. A super-duper shoe sale that is.


We then went to my rental property for a check. Our renter has been with us for about six years, and I like to come by and say hi. We had planted two trees about five years ago and they had grown huge. Underneath, a verdant green of grasses had grown along with other grains from the bird feeder. It was like having a small forest in the middle of the backyard. A tribute to our tenant, birds, a skunk and other critters came by for a rest, food or scamper. I could not have been more pleased.


Suriani explored more of American culture. She learned to rake leaves in a pile and to ride a John Deere lawn mower. We also visited a lawyer to have her name placed on the deed. I had been in contact with this guy back in August, knowing all he had to do was to press a button on a computer and it would be done.


The lawyer said it could not be done in a day. We signed a five page payment agreement which I think he wanted in the first place, but I did not have a printer or a scanner while travelling. I said fine and then we would e-mail back and forth. The next morning I was told to come on down and sign the papers. We did.


Although Middletown and Frederick had not changed, I really enjoyed the autumn weather and the autumn colors of the trees. A portent for winter, which would soon be here as we flew onward to Montana.


...Life is good. . . . .


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