Part of my current frugality is that I don’t have caller ID anymore, or call waiting, which is not only retro of me, but it makes the identity of every phone caller a little mystery.

Usually when the phone* rings first thing in the morning, it’s either my brother or my boss, neither of whom tend to call me just to chat. So I figured it was one of them with a question or a request when the phone rang this morning, but it was someone asking for Rose.

This has happened a few times since I moved into her home and kept her phone number. It’s always people trying to sell her things or charities to which she has donated in the past. I say, “I’m, sorry, she passed away a few months ago,” they say they’re sorry back (with varying degrees of surprise and concern) and that’s it.

Today’s caller turned out to be a friend of Rose’s, who had no idea her friend was gone.

She gasped and asked me what happened, so I told her to the best of my ability, and answered her questions as best I could, while eyeing the coffee grinder longingly.

It turned out that she used to live in my sister’s house about ten years ago, so that made her the person who refused to move out, forcing my sister and brother-in-law to camp with my brother, leaving all their furniture, etc., in his driveway until she could finally be ousted. On moving in, my sister discovered that the previous tenant had left her cat there, so she and her husband adopted her.

I kept these thoughts (and others) to myself as I condoled with her and attempted to get her off the phone. She seemed to want to talk to anyone, mostly about death, which is a subject that also takes up far too much of my time, though I generally try to keep that to myself. Eventually, I promised to pass on her to message to Rose’s family and thankfully hung up the phone.

It was a lot to deal with before coffee.

*I can’t tell you how annoyed I was to discover that calling my sibs’ cell phones from my landline is long distance. Even though my sister lives a few hundred feet away and my brother less than a quarter of a mile. Apparently, their cell phone numbers are registered in Boonville, an hour’s drive from here. But if I call them on my cell, which has an Oakland area code, it’s free. Go figure. If only the cell reception wasn’t so lousy at my house.

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3 comments on “Caller

  1. Guy

    It seems that the Holiday Season brings the people to contact long friendships. I also received a call for the gentleman who passed away last May at the age of 88 in which house I’m living in at the moment. He, the caller also was not aware his friend had died, so I spent some time with him on the phone answering some questions as I knew the gentleman that died well, I was able to somehow comfort his friend.

  2. suzy

    What a coincidence! You must be right about the holidays. Glad you could comfort the caller.

  3. Guy

    It’s magical time whether one believes or not, strange things happen, you only have to look around and feel the love in the air.

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