First of all, I want to thank, from the bottom of my heart, the hundreds of you who sent me condolences, words of support and encouragement, and so many beautiful and touching cards. I can’t even begin to express how much they meant to me or how greatly they helped me get through a very difficult period. I truly was touched, and I will always treasure every single word.
If there’s one thing I have learned lately, it’s that I haven’t changed. I still do and say crazy things, and manage to get myself into embarrassing predicaments…without even trying.
Take, for example, what happened a couple weeks ago. I was running late getting to the post office. In fact, it was closing in only 20 minutes, and on a good day, it’s a 15-minute drive from my house, barring things like having to brake for squirrels or getting stuck behind what I like to refer to as a “headless driver,” where the car looks as if it’s driving on its own and is traveling at about 12 miles per hour.
I dashed out to my car, started it, slammed it into reverse and backed out of the garage. That’s when I heard a noise that sounded something like “crrruuunnnch!” I was smart enough to know that never, especially when a vehicle is concerned, does that sound ever mean anything good.
Hesitantly, I got out of the car and checked it over. There, dangling from what looked like a couple of cables, was the passenger-side mirror. Pieces of black plastic were everywhere, scattered in the garage and on the ground outside. I was pretty amazed at just how far pieces of a mirror could be launched after coming in contact with a garage-door frame.
I ran into the house and grabbed a roll of duct tape. Then I taped what was left of the hanging mirror into a less conspicuous, upright position. I was pretty sure that if I went zooming down the highway with my mirror dangling and flapping in the breeze, I just might attract the attention of the local police.
When my handiwork was finished, however, I realized that half a roll of silver-colored duct tape wrapped around the stump of a mirror really didn’t look a whole lot less conspicuous.
So, early the next day I, praying that at that very moment, every police officer in town would be called out to a bank robbery or something, headed over to the local gas station to see about getting the mirror replaced.
On the way, I stopped at the funeral home to pick up some paperwork. I then asked the funeral director’s wife if she knew when my husband’s ashes might be back from the crematorium.
“Oh! He’s back!” she said, to my surprise. “Let me go get him!”
She returned with a plain cardboard box with my husband’s name on it.
“Um…can I get an urn or something to put him in?” I asked. I knew that my husband would have been perfectly content to remain in the cardboard box, preferably one with the Burger King logo on it, but I felt he deserved something a little classier.
She led me to a display of a variety of urns – fancy ones, plain ones, flowery ones. Then I spotted an antique copper one that looked exactly like the canister set on my kitchen counter. I figured it would be perfect – that Joe, in his canister, would blend right in with the decor.
When the urn was ready to go, the funeral director’s wife carried it out to my car and set it in on the floor in the back seat. Then I headed over to the gas station.
When I pulled in, the attendant immediately noticed my artistically duct-taped mirror.
“I came out of the supermarket and my mirror was just hanging off,” I lied, too embarrassed to tell him that I’d backed into a door frame. “Someone must have hit it.”
“No problem. We can get you a new one,” he said. He shook his head and sighed. “Some people, eh?”
So I hung around while my new mirror was installed. The mechanic then mentioned that my car was due for an inspection. “Want me to check it over while it’s already here in the garage?” he asked.
“Sure, why not?” I said.
Not long thereafter, he informed me that my car had checked out fine, but it needed front bushings, which meant absolutely nothing to me…other than the fact that after I paid for them, my dogs and I probably would have to live on peanut-butter sandwiches for the next month.
“Rather than have you wait around while I do the job,” he said, “I’ll get someone to drive you home, then come get you when your car is ready.”
That sounded fine to me – and very accommodating.
“Anything you need out of your car before we go?” the guy who’d been elected to be my chauffeur asked me.
“Yes,” I blurted out without even thinking. “My husband is in the back seat.”
I wish I’d have had a camera to capture his expression. It practically said, “Ohmigod! We had the car up on the lift, and all the while there was some guy in the back seat? How’d we miss him?”
I couldn’t help it. I burst out laughing. “He’s in an urn!” I said, thinking that probably made me sound even weirder.
So I rode home with Joe, in his urn, sitting on my lap. And then I set the urn next to my canister set on the kitchen counter. It blended in perfectly.
Now all I have to do is make certain I remember which canister is which.
Otherwise, I could end up baking some really unique cookies.