Never on a rainy day

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The first signs of trouble were the splats of raindrops on the patio. How would I get Paul out of his wheelchair and into the car for dinner out with friends this evening? Like always, I guess—but with an umbrella. All would be fine.

The first signs of trouble were the splats of raindrops on the patio. How would I get Paul out of his wheelchair and into the car for dinner out with friends this evening? Like always, I guess—but with an umbrella. All would be fine.

Never make plans on a rainy day. My plan was: car wash at noon; meet the artist in front of the Golden Corral at one to pay for the Hawaiian Lovebirds painting; Starbucks for three hours to work on my computer and then head home at four to get ready for dinner.

Promptly at noon I left for the carwash. Good plan—the car needed a wash and I would get the change I needed to complete the payment for the painting. I needed a $10 bill. Oops. Was that a raindrop? Yep, but I would still get the car washed because I really needed that ten dollar bill.

When I got to the carwash, it was—closed. Completely shuttered. So much for the $10 bill. I drove on aimlessly, the rain coming down intermittently, wondering where I would get change for a twenty. Without really thinking about it, I drove in the general direction of the Golden Corral. Five minutes later, I noticed the Main Street Starbucks up ahead. Oh, YES! I can get my ten there. And I did. I bought a slice of banana bread—which I did not want—and got three fives in change for my twenty. No $10 bill, but that is okay. Two fives will do. Objective achieved.

After I paid for the painting, I headed across town to the Starbucks where I like to work on my computer. For some reason I decided to balance out the banana bread with a healthy hamburger at the McDonald’s across from Starbucks, which was fine—until I reached for the burger and knocked over my cup of Dr. Pepper. My FULL cup of Dr. Pepper. Soaked! Soaked my jeans top to bottom. My rainy day plans drenched.

I had to go home and change into dry clothes so now I had not three hours but two, if I was lucky. I was not. It was a rainy day, after all.

In spite of that, everything was going smoothly as I drove back toward Starbucks—until I turned onto the street where the elementary school is, totally forgetting about the two o’clock dismissal time—and the rain. A snaking line of cars stood stock still ahead of me as more cars quickly pulled in behind me. Trapped. The snaking line did not slither. Minutes passed. More minutes passed. I shut off the engine. The line moved. Yay!

Un-yay. You cannot call one-eighth of a rotation of your tires ‘moving.’ My two hours were dissolving under my eyes. I was majorly stuck. I should have known that rainy days bring out five parents for every child who needs a dry ride home.

I was not as brave as the driver of the truck in front of me who pulled out into the ongoing traffic lane and sped past the line of cars, but after another five minutes of idling, I spotted an empty spot across the street where I could possibly make a U-turn—if I did not mind maneuvering a bit.

I did not mind. I made it in just fewer than four maneuvers—really tight maneuvers—then drove an extra two miles around to get to Starbucks. That left me with one hour so, if you ask me, never make plans on a rainy day.

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