Plans don’t always work out

Published 1:04 am Saturday, January 17, 2009

Sunday was one of those dreary winter days. The sun was in hiding and it looked bleak outside. It was the kind of day when I wanted to wrap myself in a warm robe or fuzzy blanket and snuggle up on the couch with a good book in front of the fireplace.

That was exactly what I was going to do after I returned from church but, as poet Robert Burns said, “The best laid schemes o’ mice and men, gang aft agley…” Mine did.

Shivering from the cold as I left church, I rushed to the car, pulled out of my parking place and drove to a grocery store. I bought a couple of bottles of fruit juice for my husband who is recuperating from a virus. I returned to the car and turned the key in the ignition. Nothing happened. No lights. No purring engine. Nothing.

I called my husband first so he wouldn’t worry when I failed to show up when he expected. I then called my daughter Amy who said, “I’m on my way.” Next I made that important call to our roadside assistance company. The answer was prompt. The reply was discouraging. Expect a wait of at least an hour. My assistance was dispatched from 29 miles away.

“Mom, let’s go sit in my car,” my daughter said when we noticed the lack of heat in my disabled vehicle. Just as I was about to step out, some raindrops pattered on the windshield. I retreated inside my car and fished out my rain bonnet. I didn’t mind a little rain on my back, but no way was I going to let a few drops destroy the set I got at the beauty shop two days before.

As soon as I sat down in her car, I realized I didn’t have my cell phone. I popped outside again, dashed to my car, found it on the front seat, and returned to her car. Then we decided we’d have plenty of time for her to drive us to my house so I could change into more comfortable clothes.

Once back at the store parking lot, I started to make a call and discovered I had missed a couple of calls on my cell phone. One was from roadside assistance. I dialed them to find that my wait had been extended another thirty minutes.

Trying to deal with my frustration, I decided it was a good opportunity to pull out the directions for my new cell phone. I had been carrying them around ever since I bought it. I learned that I had somehow accidentally turned off the ringer, causing me to miss those calls. I set it to ring loud and vibrate. My daughter dialed my number. It rang loud and clear. I breathed a sigh of relief.

Finally help arrived. The engine came to life when I turned the switch. I headed home. Although I was hours late, I still had time to snuggle into my place on the couch in front of the fireplace.