Stories by Inga


Let Inga Tell You: Melted asphalt insurance

Jul 30, 2015, 11:51 a.m.

Our sons have long since been paying for their own cars and insurance but when we got our annual automobile insurance bill this week, I could only wonder if we were still paying for their youthful indiscretions. My husband, Olof, was actually pretty sympathetic about some types of adolescent vehicle mishaps. As a college student, he remembers working as a delivery person for the father of one of his friends and backing the man’s vehicle into stationary objects not once ...


Let Inga Tell You: They regret any inconvenience

Jul 23, 2015, 1:09 p.m.

After our flight to Boston was delayed in 30-minute increments for eight hours only to be cancelled, it occurred to us that the reason TSA confiscates guns and knives isn’t just to thwart terrorists but to protect the gate agents. I wrote recently about how Olof and I only travel these days if we really want to get some place. The knee room is ever smaller for the 6’3” Olof. The coach seats on long distance flights are brutal for ...


Looking a gift dog in the mouth

Jul 15, 2015, 5:52 p.m.

If there’s one problem I’ve never really worried about, it’s my dog’s dental care. That would probably be because I don’t have a dog. Or didn’t anyway. I’ve written about our granddog Winston a number of times before because even though we technically don’t own a dog, Winston, for a variety of reasons, has spent a LOT of his eight years at our house. At this point, we suspect he’s not going back home. Such are inbred health problems with ...


Let Inga Tell You: Terminal inertia

Jul 6, 2015, 9:14 a.m.

• LET INGA TELL YOU: Now that Olof and I are retired, people often comment how nice it is that we’re free to travel. Where air travel is concerned, however, the romance is long gone, especially for my husband. It’s not that we don’t travel but we have to really really want to go. In January, I wrote about the 50th anniversary of Olof and I meeting as foreign exchange students spending our senior year of high school in Brazil. ...


Let Inga Tell You: Lawn Wars

Jun 16, 2015, 2:29 p.m.

Every letter to the editor on the subject of the drought suggests converting lawns to a garden of “attractive native plants.” Is it just me or is “attractive native plants” an oxymoron? We’re clear that our highly-used lawn may soon be a thing of the past. We’re already mourning it and contemplating what we’re going to do that doesn’t involve the five grandtots dodging cactuses in the front yard. I can’t help but observe that people who are most vocally ...


Let Inga Tell You: Water bills from heck

Jun 3, 2015, 1:54 p.m.

It's never good news when your refrigerator suddenly starts sounding like a fountain. We actually have a small recirculating outdoor fountain that we turn on when we’re reading the paper on our patio in the morning. (Lighten up, water zealots: it takes like a gallon.) For several weeks, for hours at a time, I’d hear the familiar fountain burble and think we’d accidentally left it on until I realized the sound was coming from the refrigerator. Suffice it to say, ...


Let Inga tell You: In Memoriam: My Dryer

May 22, 2015, 8:48 a.m.

Last week, my 42-year-old dryer gave up the ghost, mid-load. Worse, I think I killed it. I ran a wet heavy blanket on the high cycle, something I’ve done on numerous occasions before. But under the strain, its aged heart, er, power relay, gave out and it tumbled its last. Services are pending. Seriously. Major grief going on here. Now, those who are not pathologically sentimental saps would think of this as an appliance. But this machine and I had ...


Let Inga Tell You: Fancissimo cars

May 6, 2015, 11:48 a.m.

One night about a year and a half ago, some miscreants wandered up and down our street and smashed the side mirrors and tail lights of more than 50 high-end cars. They significantly damaged our neighbor’s Lexus SUV then moved to our driveway where they whacked Olof’s BMW. But like the Angel of Death, they passed over my 2005 Corolla. I couldn’t help but wonder at the time: was this a class thing? Did they consider my crappy Corolla one ...


Let Inga Tell You: Walking on the wild(life) side

Apr 23, 2015, 3:18 p.m.

• LET INGA TELL YOU: I was walking on a fairly deserted section of beach on a weekend morning recently when I came upon what looked like a dead sea lion pup lying on the sand. But a few moments later, he half-opened his eyes and lifted his head toward me in an unspoken but absolutely clear message: Please help me. Local papers, including the La Jolla Light, have written a number of stories this year about the puzzling increase ...


Let Inga Tell You: Revenge of the yellow reading group

Apr 7, 2015, 5:10 p.m.

When my friend’s 31- and 29-year-old sons want to disparage their 21-year-old sister’s intelligence, they’ll note, “Well, you were, after all, in the yellow reading group.” The brothers are quick to remind her that they were both in the blue reading group in grade school, the best readers. Honestly, the reading group you’re assigned to in first grade can haunt you for life. I’m 67 and I don’t remember what reading group I was in but I do know it ...


Let Inga Tell You: Winston writes home

Mar 26, 2015, 4:13 p.m.

Dear Mom and Dad, As your first and most beloved child (OK, I realize the next three are actual humans), I wanted to update you on how I’m doing here at Camp Grammy and Grampy. Grandma has noted aloud that my sojourns here keep getting longer and longer. A kennel, however, would be unthinkable for a canine of my sensitive nature and exacting requirements. There's been plenty of sunshine here in La Jolla so I'm usually out baking somewhere — ...


Let Inga Tell You: Torture by password

Mar 11, 2015, 5 p.m.

I should have recognized it as the beginning of the end. When my university employer decided to make the transition from paper to computers some years back, each employee was assigned unchangeable personal passwords to do business with various departments, with the all-caps admonition: COMMIT THESE TO MEMORY! DO NOT WRITE THEM DOWN! (I think we were supposed to tear up the little card and swallow it.) The passwords were all along the lines of *jwqY@7. Well, I didn’t really ...


Let Inga Tell You: A trip back to the early 1950s

Feb 25, 2015, 11:56 a.m.

April 12, 2015 will be the 60th anniversary of the announcement of the Salk vaccine’s ability to prevent polio. Had it been available at your local CVS like flu shots are today, they would have had to call out the National Guard to handle the stampede. In the early 1950s, there was no diagnosis more terrifying to parents than polio. In the 1952 epidemic, nearly 58,000 cases were reported, 3,145 people died and 21,269 were left with varying degrees of ...


Let Inga Tell You: Uber Overboard

Feb 11, 2015, 12:38 p.m.

In my previous column, I wrote about what a boon Uber cars could be to the elderly, especially in San Diego where buses are unreliable (and frequently don’t run at night) and many taxi companies, which are expensive, won’t do short runs. Uber has given me a whole new outlook on life. They’ll go anywhere! Anytime! On a moment’s notice! For fairly cheap! In fact, I should probably sell my car right now and just use Uber! OK, getting a ...


Let Inga Tell You: A wild and crazy technology frenzy

Jan 29, 2015, 1:39 p.m.

Over the Christmas holidays, I went into a wild and crazy technology frenzy and had the kids install both Instagram and Uber on my iPhone. I’m not actually interested in posting photos on Instagram myself, but my daughter-in-law posts lots of adorable grandtot photos on hers that I was eager to see. Of course, I tried to install it first and messed it up beyond all belief. The kids used to encourage me to try software installs myself (teach a ...