My daughter and her husband, along with number one grandson, had gone to Mississippi to visit her grandpa and to meet her uncle, his wife and daughter for a short visit during the Labor Day Holidays. I had been designated as the baby sitter for “Jack,” the family pooch, and to be sure no one made off with their house while they were gone.
Everything went well Saturday and Sunday, but Monday provided a challenge and within about a 30 minute time frame I had three “senior moments.”
Having awakened fairly early I decided that I would shower, shave and get ready for the day and head to “Cracker Barrel” for breakfast. All went well until I got outside and into my car. As I hit the starter I heard nothing but silence. Needless to say the thought quickly went through my head that here I was, 60 miles from home, a holiday, a possible dead battery and my family is gone until later tonight. I did have another vehicle, my son-in-law’s, but I didn’t know where the keys were for it. I also had jumper cables in the trunk of my car, so I thought I could get it jump started if all else failed, provided I could persuade one of their neighbors to give me a “jump.”
I had been told that if you rock the car a little, sometime it will actually start. I felt I had nothing to lose so I tried it. Lo and behold when I hit the starter the engine cranked. My idea of having breakfast, returning to the house and taking “Jack” for a walk and then coming home were quickly changed to “I’ve got the car running and I’m not shutting it off until I get to the office.” I grabbed my suitcase and hanging bag from the house, loaded them into the trunk and headed for Jasper.
About the time I got about a mile from the house I remembered I had forgotten to leave my daughter and her husband something I promised to leave. Turning around I headed back to take care of that task. I should have taken the item in when I first got there but I figured there was no hurry, I’d do it later.
Senior Moment 1. Once done I was on the road again. This time I made it as far as the stop sign at the top of the hill just up the street from where they live and remembered I had left my umbrella to dry on their back porch.
Senior Moment 2. Since it had begun raining I thought it a good idea to go back and get it. I retrieve the umbrella, get back in the car and head out once more.
Senior Moment 3 came about the time I was a couple of miles down the interstate. I remembered I had left a book I was reading on the table by the sofa chair. At that point the rain was coming down in a fairly steady stream, I was not interested in turning around and going back and I wasn’t sure how long the car would keep running, so I decided I would get the book the next time I went to visit.
Everything went well the rest of the trip with the exception of having to drive through a monsoon about the time I got to the West Jefferson exit off the new corridor. But I knew we needed the rain badly and was not all that upset with the downpour.
I did have the car checked the next day and found out it was only a loose connection on the negative terminal of the battery. That news was certainly a relief since I thought I could be looking at purchasing a new battery, an alternator or a starter.
And that I knew, would not be very good on my wallet.
Jerome Wassmann is editor and publisher of the Daily Mountain Eagle.