Debbie And Tony's Photographs And Memories The Life and Times of Debbe & Tony from Southampton, England
The Life and Times of Debbe & Tony from Southampton, England

A Totally Wasted Frustrating Day

I have to admit that today started out ok, I knew I had to get certain things done today, since I am flying to England tomorrow morning, however no sooner had it started than the frustration set in, and at this point in time, almost 2pm, I haven’t really achieved a lot.

On Monday I had an interview for my Naturalization (US Citizenship), and all went ok except that I had to provide proof that I am paying child support, which I am.   I expected the form providing details to arrive after some weeks, but no, when I got home Wednesday night there was a letter, telling me what I needed.

Reading the details of the forms they sent, which were rather vague, it seemed that I needed to provide a notarized letter from my ex-wife as evidence of my payments, so we arranged to meet up this morning close to where she lives to get this done, and then I would take the forms into the Immigration Office where I had my interview.

We were due to meet between 8am and 8:30am, after she took my daughters to school, but no sooner had I started my 25 mile journey south on I-95, than the radio announced that the road was completely closed southbound due to an earlier accident.   Well there was no easy way to avoid the block, and I know from previous experiences that the radio is usually a good 30 minutes behind with the status of accidents.   I mean, just how long can they leave a major highway completely blocked?    As I got closer and sat in traffic, the radio gave out more information, advising people to use alternative routes, but I stuck to my guns and sat in traffic doing a very slow crawl.   It seems that at 5am there was a head-on fatal crash, and although it was a few minutes to 9am when I got to the point where they were directing traffic off the highway, the road was still closed.

The trip, which would normally take 30 minutes on a good day and 45 minutes on a normal rush hour one, took me close to 2 hours!   Of course my ex-wife was peeved since she had a busy day lined up, and I knew that I would have to maybe sit for hours in the Immigration Offices, before heading back down there to take my daughters out tonight.

Well we got the documents notarized, I headed back north, traffic a lot easier this time, and arrived at the Immigration Offices.   A rather rude lady insisted that the form they sent me was an interview date, not the date that I had to have the forms returned by.   The documentation was rather vague, but it said in block capitals that “the documentation must be returned by 29th May 2009 at 7:15am.  It did not say this was an interview date, it said disctinctly to return BY THIS DATE!   So having got nowhere with the rude lady, I headed home, where I grabbed some oatmeal and a banana, it now being after 11am and I hadn’t had a bite to eat yet.

It was after 11am by the time I got home, and by the time I had eaten, changed the bed ready for when I come home from England in 3 weeks time, put some laundry on, and then Debbie came home from work.   I explained the situation with the papers to her,  and she suggested writing a letter and sending it off.  “Great idea” I thought, so I composed a letter explaining how vague the instructions were, enclosed the documents, put it in the mail, and at the same time turned on the sauna in the small fitness room on the 1st floor of the condo building.   I then did a bit of work online, watched some fo the American Idol show I taped earlier in the week, and went to take my sauna.

“Oh great!”  I get down to the sauna to find that someone has gone in and turned it off, it’s only lukewarm in there.  It needs a good 45 minutes to warm up, so I headed to the pool, got chatting to one of the residents here who is down by the pool most afternoons, did 20 lengths of the pool, and by that time almost an hour was up.   Headed back to the sauna and “oh yeah” nice and hot.  I knew something had to go right for me!   Had a good sauna and steam, then realized the time, hit the shower, and had to head out to see my daughters for the evening.

I normally see my daughters ( aged 4 and 8 ) on a Saturday and take them to breakfast and to the park, but sometimes, like today, I take them out for pizza.  Of course this meant a 25 mile drive south for the second time today, I picked them up, took them to the park at the soccer fields where they play, had a good kick around, then out to the pizza buffet, and back to their house.

I had to leave them early, because I had remembered earlier that I had to pick my suit up from being altered.  It wouldn’t be ready until 5pm, and of course I would be with them at that time, but the store was open until 9pm.   Of course the store is 5 miles north of where I live and also west, so I had an hour to make the 35 mile trip.  All was going well until just before I had to exit the highway, when I came across another accident which almost blocked the road.  I had a minor panic for a minute, thinking I would be stuck and not able to get to the store in time, but the traffic kept flowing and I made it.  PHEW!

Now I don’t need the suit for my trip to England.  I need it for a dance the night after I get back.  My 8 year old is in the girl scouts, and they have an annual “Me And My Guy” dance where the Dad’s take their daughters to the ball.   She enjoys it, but I feel a bit awkward not really knowing any of the other Dad’s.   I suppose I could have picked the suit up the day after I return from England, but the last thing I want to do is to have to worry about that when I have jet lag and am about to have a late night.

And so I finally return home at 9pm, tired, sticky, frustrated, actually really tired, and the guy I rent with wants to know if I want to take a walk.  Having eaten way too much pizza and needing the exercise I agreed, so we took a good 4 mile walk around the lake and through part of the golf course, which is always nice.  We both enjoy walking in the evenings, the exercise is good after a meal, it’s nice to be off the road where there are fewer lights and the stars are clearer, and fortunately tonight we were a bit later, because if we don’t time it right, we have to dodge the sprinklers.  It all adds to the fun, but these walks are great for clearing your head and letting off steam as well.

So 9 hours after I started this article, it’s about complete.  I am exhausted, ready to hit the hay, and hopefully tomorrow will see a couple of good flights, no delays, a smooth ride, and a happy Debbie waiting for me at the other end.

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