Dear Reader, you have discovered many oddities as you have made your way through this column over the years, not to mention the one across the page every other week. Perhaps the Green/Leddy household could not be described as normal.
That came to mind the other day when I listened to an answering machine message and learned there was three minutes of recording time remaining. I decided to go through the 28 messages and do some deleting, but many remain on the recorder. Maybe this is common practice, but I'm guessing that most people have a fairly clean machine.
• Sunday, 2:23: Hi, it's Ben. I'm leaving Venice tomorrow morning. I have an internship opportunity at English Gardens....
It's too bad that our machine doesn't list a date. This is our oldest message, back when Ben was on a study abroad program in college. 2005, perhaps.
• Monday, 9:36 p.m.: Hi, this is Brad. I'm standing at your front door right now wondering why no one is opening it.
Brad Whitehouse. He might have been at our front door; he might have been calling from Tecumseh. Why is it still on the machine? It's an old friend who is no longer in the neighborhood.
• Saturday, 2:37 p.m.: Hi David, Colleen, Maddie, Sam, Joe, Rozee, Arnold, Ethel and the rest of the crew. Are you in New York? I'm lonely and I'm driving. I want the scoop on Thanksgiving.
That's Colleen's high school friend, Adrienne, making fun of our old answering machine message that listed all of the kids.
• Friday, 5:06 p.m.: I want you to know the interview went well and I'll call tonight and tell you about it.
Ben again. His first job in Miami, I suppose. The next call was from Ben's high school friend, Jacob Bach, wondering how to reach Ben in Miami.
• Sunday, 4:02 p.m.: Hey, Mom, just calling to say Happy Mother's Day. I guess you're probably at Grandma's or at Bean Creek. Call me later. Bye.
Rosanna knows that Ms. Leddy used to insist on a walk along the Bean on Mother's Day.
• Thursday, 5:22 p.m.: Yeah, Ben, Rosie and Maddie can't come to the phone because they don't even live there. They live all over the world.
Brad Whitehouse again, this time calling about some library information. This makes me think about the many good messages that were accidentally deleted in haste or just had to go due to time limitations.
• Saturday, 1:06 p.m.: You are my sunshine, my only sunshine….
It's the Rorick girls calling to express their appreciation for something.
• Monday, 12:19 a.m.: (this message has a two-way conversation, meaning someone couldn't get to the phone fast enough before the recording began).
I'm standing here naked in the bathroom so I can't shut that thing off.
Oh, Mister, who's going to see you? Did you have to give me that mental image? I just had breakfast.
Adrienne again. This message also points out that the day and time listed with our messages is often incorrect. I would not be showering at twenty minutes after midnight.
• Tuesday, 5:35 p.m.: Holy Hackberry! We couldn't find it.
That was Leah Rorick reporting back from efforts to find a new geocache I planted at the back of Wakefield Park.
• Monday, 7:44 p.m.: Hey, it's me. I'm riding home from work, sitting in traffic. I look over at this van and the name of the company is Ryland Electric and I say, Ryland? I never heard of that until you had your little grandson. It's somewhere in New Jersey.
Adrienne once again—apparently our favorite message-leaver.
• Thursday, 6:59 p.m.: It's Ben. I'm calling to say the job interview went well, and that's it.
It must be his current job. We're advancing through the years.
• Sunday, 3:44 p.m.: Hi, Grandpa. Sorry.
That was Caroline calling. I no longer remember the reason for her sorrow.
There's a message from my mother who was expecting a visit and didn't get it. There's one from Colleen seeking a weather report from George.
And then there's this, my new favorite, from just last week.
• I don't know what you said or what you're supposed to be doing, but you better change that message.
(At this point when I first listened, I didn't know what to expect. It was the voice of a stranger who had listened to our "Green/Leddy, get ready, record your message now" jingle. The kids had been gone so long that we finally ditched them from our greeting message. This woman did not like what she heard.)
My name is Sandra Bracey and I'm trying to figure out why I can't PIN my card or get anyone to help me with it. (Additional stuff about how it's supposed to be on the computer, etc. follows)
Like I said, I don't know your name, but my name is Sandra Bracey. Maybe you can look it up and help me that way.
Sandra left her number but I did not call her back. I should probably wait a few weeks and then try to help her with her card. I'll put on my best Indian accent.
Now you have an idea of what it takes to make our Message Hall of Fame. You can give it a try, but it better be good.