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What Next

July 18, 2012 - Al Stephenson
My wife was scheduled to go to Cabo San Lucas for a destination wedding with an old friend. Her friend was going to drive and leave her car at the airport. All I had to do was watch the dog for a week. This was not going to be difficult and my wife certainly deserved a vacation (not from me mind you!).

When the friend broke her leg a few weeks before the trip, my lovely bride asked me to take the pair to the airport in Columbus and pick them up on their return. The assignment was going to cause me to lose a couple of nights sleep as the flight out was scheduled to depart at 6:30 A.M. and the return flight was to land at 1:20 A.M. a week later. Again, not that big a deal -or so I thought.

The friend lives in Findlay and the flight out was on a Saturday. On Friday afternoon a powerful storm moved through Findlay and we had to bob and weave to get to Beth's house early on Saturday morning, but arrive by 2:30 A.M. we did. I loaded her luggage complete with crutches into the car and we headed for Columbus. On Rt. 15 near Carey, Ricky Racoon darted in front of my wife's car and got nailed. There was no time for me to react and Ricky got smashed. Unfortunately the car suffered damage as well.

I stopped later and tucked some dragging materials up underneath the car and made it to the airport. On the way home I had to stop twice for the same purpose, but made the return trip without further incident. When I took my car in on Monday to check the damage, I found that Ricky created a couple of hundred dollars worth of damage to the auto. Of course he fared even worse. I got the car repaired thinking that this trip just got a little more expensive, but what are you going to do.

The same storm that hit Findlay Friday made its way to Lynchburg, Virginia and knocked the power out to my daughter's apartment. Not being able to get the power restored for three days (some people in Findlay went longer in the dark), she lost all her food in the refrigerator. Dad sent her a few bucks to restock. Again, what are you going to do?

Things seemed to settle down (except for the oppressive heat) until Wednesday evening, shortly after midnight. My beloved beagle needed to use the facitilites, so I let her out. She came back in a few minutes later and hit the carpet. It didn't take long to figure out she had come into contact with a skunk - or at least the skunk's defense mechanism. At 1:00 A.M. I am bathing my dog wondering how much sleep I was going to get that night.

Alas the trip was about to end and some sanity would be restored to my life. My wife called and said she had gotten sick her last night in Cabo and was looking forward to getting home - though that trip home was going to be long and exhausting. I went to the airport arriving at 1:00 A.M. Sunday morning. I parked in the cell phone lot and awaited her call. She called shortly after 1:30 saying they had landed (I did see a plane touch down a few minutes earlier) and were making their way to the baggage claim. I told her I would drive up to the arrivals area.

When I got there I went inside the airport to help them with their luggage (after all one was on crutches and the other was sick) unaware that you are not to leave your vehicle unattended at that particular spot. After getting the luggage I started out to the car only to hear the P.A. system announce that the driver of a red Pontiac should report to their car immediatley before the car was towed. Yes, of course it was mine. Most of you probably knew the car should not be left unattended - I however did not. The car was still there when I reached the area, of course the ticket had already been written. Why not, I thought. Add a few more dollars to the cost of this trip.

I wish the story ended here, but unfortunately the craziness does not stop. On Sunday the heat was starting to get unbearable and I checked our very old heat pump. It was no longer working properly and when I had it looked at the verdict was that a new one was needed. A few days later with a few thousand dollars invested, the heat pump was replaced and the house is now quite cool thank you. Well the worst was over, right? I mean what could possibly happen next that could outdo all that had already taken place? Well let's see.

My wife went to the doctor and found out she had some illness that would require blood tests and antibiotics. She is doing much better, thanks for asking, but the medical expenses are still to be determined. I then had a dentist appointment for a routine cleaning and I told the hygienist not to find any cavities. I was really joking as I hadn't had a cavity for years - UNTIL NOW - that is. Of course I would have one, what else would you expect.

Well no more bad news - wait a minute, I almost forgot. The day after going to the dentist I got a letter in the mail. Who from you ask? How about the Internal Revenue Service! Apparently they were not happy with the way my accountant figured my tax liability - from 2010 for crying out loud. They suggest that I owe an amont somewhere between the auto repair and the heat pump. My accountant and I will be meeting in the morning.

Now I am not looking for sympathy by sharing all this information. On the contrary I know some people have more serious problems than me. Perhaps you have gone through some rough times recently and my situation may make you feel better about yours. I hope that is the case, but jeez my mantra has become "what next?"

The view from my seat suggests that I sit around waiting, as they say, for the other shoe to drop. I just didn't know that it was Imelda Marcos who was cleaning out her closet!


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