Sunday, September 11, 2016

A Little Help from Friends

Saturday morning, Walk to End Alzheimer’s day, was the big day we’d been planning for since shortly after the last walk. A night of thunder and downpours had calmed to a spattering of rain. Almost zero percent chance of rain, yet there it was big as life.

“It should be out of here by eight o’clock,” Harold told me.

“We start set up at six,” I groaned. I pushed the button on the coffee pot. For once, I’d prepared it the night before. I might have been a little concerned about hearing the 4:30 alarm.

I had been loading my car for days in preparation for the Walk. Banners, table, books, supplies, camera, notebook, clipboards, etc. had been loaded and checked off my long list. The first text of the day came in letting me know we were shooting for 6:30 to give the rain a chance to move out.

“You better put your books in a Rubbermaid,” Harold said. “Even if the rain quits, the ground will be wet.”

“Good idea,” I said. For once, I had not worried about rain and had left the books in the shipping boxes. We transferred books to the tub and Harold carried them to the car and placed them in the back seat like the final piece of a puzzle.

With my extra thirty minutes, I had time to sit down with a cup of coffee, and to look at the latest text messages. WyAnn had run out of space in her vehicle, and Jessica’s was already fully loaded. I admitted, I was out of room in my car too. Then, a text from my daughter-in-law asking if I needed her to bring her truck. She offered to help WyAnn, but when I called, WyAnn had recruited help from family.

The rain let up, so I gathered my purse, water, and my just-in-case rain jacket. On my way out the door, I saw the tub with my team’s T-shirts. I grabbed them up and put them in the passenger seat.

Harold, who planned on going to the walk at a more appropriate hour, opened the garage door for me and began to quiz me: Cell phone? Camera? Purse? Yes, yes, and yes.

I slid into the driver’s seat, slammed the door, and turned the key. Click. I didn’t believe my ears. My super dependable car didn’t respond. Another try…click.

“Raise the hood,” Harold said.

“I don’t know where the lever is,” I replied. I didn't recall raising the hood in the six years I’ve had the Malibu. Still, finding the release was much easier than finding the battery. It was well hidden.

I texted the group, “My car won’t start. I may be late.” Then, I texted Stacey, and she said she was on the way. I didn’t even want to consider how long it would take us to transfer everything from one vehicle to the other.

About the time Stacey arrived, Harold had attached jumper cables and the car started. “Don’t shut it off until you get there,” he warned me.

Stacey followed me to the fairgrounds. I was anxious because I knew we only had a short time to set up. When we arrived, the streets were lined with vehicles. Oh, great, I thought, there’s another event going on.

What? There must have been twenty guys setting up tables and chairs, tents, banners, flags, and holy cow, to help me unload my vehicle. I knew WyAnn said some of the baseball team from SFCC would be there to help, but we’d never had this much help!

For such a disastrous start, everything was smooth sailing after that. The sky cleared and with a little help from my friends, and friends of friends, the stress just evaporated like a drop of water on a sunny day.

My son took my car to W-K while I was at the Walk. That’s when I learned my six-year battery had gone belly up. How long had I owned my car? Just a little over six years.

But, hey, the sun was shining, people were smiling, and with a little help from my friends and family, all was well.

Copyright © September 2016 by L.S. Fisher

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