Tuesday, January 8, 2019


Monday began with a great dog walk—we enjoyed brilliant sunshine and Spring-like smells in the forest. Our walk was uplifting. Afterwards, I came home to do some outdoor work and launder all my bed linen before leaving for Nanaimo to begin the process of repairing the trunk of my car. 
My condition makes going to an automotive shop akin to climbing Mount Everest; I was grateful for the beauty of the day to help me get through what was, in fact, a rather simple task. The shop is very close to the Gabriola ferry terminal and the man who dealt with me was straightforward and courteous.
I was able to get off the ferry, do my shopping, see the automotive fellow and then catch the very next ferry back to Gabriola. My visit was very efficiently done. 
Today I’ll politely challenge the ruling of the ICBC insurance adjustor that I got last week. He said I had to pay for the repair myself, or use my insurance and face increased premiums for the next three years. I feel I’ve been given short shrift; I’m aiming to have some of the expense of the repair borne by my insurance without penalty.
Dwight is coming for dinner tonight. I’m very excited about that.
He and Steve are the only people with whom I’ve shared a home. I was never welcome in the same room as the Tyrells, but when I met Steve, we bought a home, renovated the basement and Dwight lived our new basement suite.
In that setting, with those two remarkable men, I learned to love, to trust and to respect another person for the first time in my life. We moved in together in 1983 and they remain my family, my brothers; I still talk to both of them at least once each week. They are in my blood.
Many friends (particularly women) fill their homes with tchotchkes on tabletops, windowsills and mantles, as well as on the edges of bookcases and shelves. Every flat surface hosts souvenirs and their stories. But not me! Not any more.
Yesterday I did a purge; I made a tchotchke graveyard in an unused drawer. Now cats can’t push them onto the floor; plus, oiling and dusting all my wood surfaces is much easier. I like the clean look of my surfaces now.
 The ICBC agent who refused my claim called. I told him I did not call to change his mind, but I wanted him to know why I was late in making my claim. It was the refusal of the ICBC website to allow me to claim. It did not “recognize” my data. And I did not want to talk on the phone if I could avoid it.
Hasan said: “I understand, but…”
And I interrupted: “Do you? Do you understand? Can you possibly understand what it takes for me to talk? Can you truly understand that fear of speaking to a stranger on the phone is so strong you wait and wait and wait for the website to work before finally realizing you have to speak on a phone?”
When I finished, he said he’d authorize the payment and I could barely thank him because I was crying. Me: Seventy-one years old and crying because he did what was fair. He heard me and I was overwhelmed. So my car repair cost will only be my deductible and I’ll have a courtesy car.
I can’t believe it. I truly cannot believe I earned a reprieve from ICBC. 
And now, as I wind this down, it’s snowing—not sticking, and the flakes are tiny, but it’s lovely and festive and it feels particularly good given my ICBC victory.

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