872: landline, Newton Falls.

Nah, can’t be… no one has called me from that tiny speck on the map in over 14 years ago. Who would call me? I don’t know anyone there.

I was greeted by silence, so I repeated my hello and waited for the caller to speak. Ticktock, thirteen seconds of silence followed by a soft click. Whoa.

Wrong number? Nah, they would have said something… asked for someone by name or apologized for accidentally dialing as that’s what older people with landline telephones tend to do.

Every pore of my being feels that call was not accidental.

I did the reverse lookup thing: unfamiliar names at an unfamiliar address. Then I started googling for newspaper obits, anything that might bring my old friend back to visit anyone in Newton Falls. Stray thought: maybe I’m on some old contact list… nah, the caller would have said something.

I googled his name anyway. Sigh of relief: no obit, no death notices, assume he’s still breathing.

Oh, he’s got a new Facebook page… cats, art, links to his old blog posts… he’s in a relationship, nice photo, big smiles. Good, that makes me smile.

Hey, maybe he got his shit together, got over his fear of Ohio, came to visit his family, maybe just maybe… one can only hope his most elusive dreams have come true.

Little clue: that’s what old friends DO… always hope and wish the best for you.

Friday launched an odd weekend as other phone calls and messages made me the bearer of bad news… I had to let my dad know someone was in hospice, then later call back to let him know that she died. I had to pass news on to a cousin, let her know that the elderly relative she asked about now has cancer and he was recently moved to a nursing home. And no, she cannot have first “dibbies” on his private plane as it has done been sold. Couldn’t help but smile passing on that tidbit… hold onto your memories kiddo, that’s all you get. Want a plane? Go buy your own.

Saturday started with a call jarring me from sleep in the wee hours. It was a niece in dire need of immediate assistance. I’m a disabled non-driver so all I could do was relay the message. A sister texted just before dawn to let me know that she had stepped in to do what needed done. It’s not the best solution, so there were calls and tears flying all weekend. Those old aunties can be bitchy witches.

Sorry, I’m not a fairy godmother. My magic wand is a wooden spoon. It can stir love into food, encourage ornery children to “straighten up and fly right” (ye gads, my mama’s words), but it cannot wave away the consequences of bad decisions.

Can I have a phone free Monday… just turn that thing off and hide from the world?

Oh hell no… the first call came at 5:14am and left me wide awake. I got up, made coffee, played solitaire, got into a Facebook conversation, and ate a cold chicken sandwich for breakfast. Welcome to Monday. I really should go back to bed.

Thanks for reading! Artwork is a postcard size colored pencil drawing.