May 29, 2017
We do not yet have a report back from Sarah’s heart 24-hour monitoring. We should hear something in the next day or two. Sarah also has a follow-up visit with our family doctor Wednesday.
Meandering through the morning.
That favorite activity of mine is made possible by hitting the road an hour earlier than necessary on the mornings I drive to Greenville for my monthly rheumatoid arthritis infusion.
On my most recent jaunt, I left at 6:30 a.m. which gave me an extra hour of bliss, an extra hour of getting to tool along down miscellaneous side roads that lead to who knows where.
And may I just state for the record?
Who knows where is a rather fabulous place to visit.
If you want to imagine the sound effects for the above photo, all you have to do is think about complete silence broken occasionally by the serenading song of the few birds and frogs who call that neighborhood home. In fact, I suppose their address could very well be Who Knows Where, North Carolina.
After my extra hour of wandering bliss, I arrived at the clinic and got settled in with my I.V. and all of my accoutrements. When I go for these appointments, I always take a pair of fuzzy socks and my tablet; I throw a blanket over my legs and I am all set for the 60-minute infusion.
As I was getting myself settled, I glanced over at the man in the recliner to my left and noticed he was snoozing which actually seemed like a pretty appealing pass-the-time option as well.
After the infusion was finished, I went trundling on out to the car, ready to get on with the rest of my day which included having lunch with Cheryl, a dear friend and fellows pastor’s wife.
When I went to start my car, all I heard was the most unhelpful sound of an engine that was reluctant to turn over. I waited a minute or two and tried again. Nothing.
The battery was most definitely dead and I was most definitely 2 1/2 hours from home and, more importantly, 2 1/2 hours away from my Prince Charming/Personal Mechanic.
I thought about going back into the clinic to ask for help but as wonderful as those doctors are, I couldn’t image asking one of them to put his patient on hold so that he come out and resuscitate my battery.
And so I called the aforementioned charming prince who instructed me to contact USAA, the company that covers our roadside assistance. The plan was for them to either jump me off or, if that failed, to tow me somewhere to get the battery replaced.
So I made that call and then texted Cheryl to let her know what was happening. Just as I was preparing to cool my heels and wait for help to arrive, I happened to glance up and notice that the fella who had been snoozing in the chair near me was coming out the clinic door.
I gave him a speedy once over and tried to quickly ascertain if he had a “Yes Face” or a “No Face.” (I read somewhere that speakers and comedians who often ask for audience involvement are adept at reading Yes Faces and No Faces.)
To my great delight (or maybe it was just due to my slightly frazzled frame of mind), I decided that this fella did indeed have a Yes Face. Plus, he and I were fellow RA patients so I figured that might give me a bit of extra cred.
I hollered at him across the parking lot, “Hello! Do you know how to jump off a car battery?”
Turns out he did know. Turns out he was willing to help. My Yes Face assessment had not led me astray
Now I would be the first to admit that I should know how to do this little task myself because it is important. Steve has valiantly showed me the process a couple of times over the years but I get very twitchy around car batteries because I am always certain that flames will fly out of the terminals or worse yet, the entire battery will explode and engulf me in whatever things come out of a battery upon explosion.
And so I was extra thankful to have this competent guy to assist me. He had the air of being ex-military and he was performing his task with great skill and confidence,
Now let me just explain right here that whenever Steve is (very confidently) doing something battery-related, I usually stay a good ten steps away from him because of my unreasonable battery-exploding phobia. However, I figured that it wouldn’t seem very neighborly to give this new friend such a wide berth so I hovered nervously nearby in my best effort to keep him company. Plus, I never knew when he might need to ask my invaluable advice about something mechanical. (ha)
And then, just at the very moment when I was feeling a bit more relaxed with this fella who didn’t seem at all intimidated or cowed by that scary ol’ battery I was dismayed to hear him mutter to himself, “I am always afraid these things are going to blow up in my face.”
If Mr. Calm, Efficient, Ex-Military Man was afraid of the battery blowing up, then I was most definitely going to re-afraid myself, too. I immediately took five large steps backward leaving him to deal with his (possibly) highly explosive work on his own.
Because I am heroic like that.
You will be relieved to know that within ten minutes, my Good Samaritan had me up and running again and no battery exploded in the process. (Although acid had squirted out and was covering one of the terminals.)
I shook my new friend’s hand, thanked him for his help and said I might run into him again sometime in the infusion room. He was such a gallant gentleman and seemed genuinely delighted to be able to help. I’m thankful that fine men (with Yes Faces) are still out there.
I drove my car to a garage where Cheryl picked me up for lunch; afterward, she ferried me back to the garage where my repaired vehicle was waiting for me. It turned out to be a perfect time to be meeting someone because I had a built-in chauffeur, plus a lovely chance to sit and talk and laugh for two hours with a sweet friend.
On the way home later that afternoon, I had to stop momentarily because one of the bridges had been opened to let a boat pass. I was only too happy for the chance to stretch, open the windows and bask in the glory of the blueness reflected all around me–water, sky, and ocean-baptized air.
I couldn’t help but notice that the driver of the car behind me was enjoying the view as well.
But something else I was thinking about?
I was thinking that as I had meandered my way through the morning twelve hours earlier, my path had taken me down many a secluded road with no houses in sight and probably very limited phone reception.
I was thankful that I had not pulled over and shut off the engine (like I normally do) to snap photos; instead, I had braked for a moment, taken a few shots out my window and kept going. And because of that small change in my usual early morning routine, my battery had quit on me in a well populated area and not on a lonely road . . . in the middle of who knows where.
What about you? Are you comfortable with changing tires, checking oil, jumping off batteries? If so, who taught you what you know?
Do you have a story of a breakdown in a not-ideal situation?
Thrift stores, fuzzy socks
and conversing with my Yorkie
are all on the list of things I love.