A Feast in the Midst of Trouble

I bought my second Santa Fe last year. It was the during the COVID Lockdown. I wanted to try out my new four wheel drive. I went to visit my sister . She was careful about visitors as she was in touch with sick people. We chatted over coffee outside in the sunshine. The driveway up to her house is quite steep. She had recently installed an iron hand rail for ease in walking down or up to her house.

I said my goodbyes and jumped in my car. I drove off. Suddenly I heard “Crunch”. My car got impailed on the iron rail and left a long dent in the back door. My new car, What will Brendan say? I shook with fear. I sat paralysed. If I drive forward or backwards the dent will get longer. I felt helpless. The joy I had, evaporated. My sister reassured me till I recovered and got out of the car. I got in touch with my son and he came to the rescue. There is a signature dent across the back passenger door.

Fast forward to this past week. The car mechanic had rang me to tell me he had finished fixing my hand break. I asked Brendan to drive me to Saintfield to pick up my car and we could go for breakfast after. Before we left the house Brendan reminded me to bring my mobile phone. We drove to pick up my car.

I paid my mechanic and was delighted with getting my car road worthy again. Brendan and I agreed to meet back in Saintfield. I drove off, turned on the window wipers, the lights, the radio and had the heating up full blast. It was a dull, wet, cold morning. I was comfortable in my wagon, sheltered from wind and rain.

The Main Street in Saintfield is busy with traffic. Cars were trying to manoeuvre aroad a parked loading lorry. I got a parking space opposite the cafe Saints. I waited for Brendan.

I ordered freshly made pancakes with bacon. Brendan was having a coffee as he was meeting someone for lunch. We chatted and I shared my happiness at getting my car back. I was even happier when the waitress brought me three fluffy freshly cooked pancakes draped with maple syrup.

Breakfast over Brendan and I parted and said we would see each other back home in Belfast. I walked back to my car to find a white sheet on the dashboard. “Oh no”a parking ticket I thought. More money! It was a notice which read “Your car moved down the hill into the car in front.” I thought that’s strange I have just got my brakes repaired. A lady came out of a shop nearby. She told me what happened. The car in front was owned by an elderly man who had just stopped to pick up his pension from the Bank. He was distressed to see my car. He was afraid to move his car. Other shop keepers came to the rescue. Some one went looking for me in the local shops and cafes. I couldn’t be found. I was happy eating my breakfast across the way without any disturbance.

A driver had the bright idea to put a brick in front of my wheels to stop it moving again. Then the gentleman could drive off. He left his phone number for me.

I thanked everyone who had helped and apologised profusely. I wanted to get out of there fast! I jumped in the car and turned the key but no response. More trouble! It just went Click. Click when I tried the key again. What is happening? Then I remembered the radio, the heater, the wipers and the lights had run down my battery.

I wasn’t too distressed this time. I called Brendan to come back to help me. In the meantime I called the car mechanic. I didn’t have long to wait. He parked alongside my car and got my battery recharged. He removed the bricks from the wheels. The traffic got jammed again on the Main Street. Brendan returned. “It’s just as well you had your mobile or you would have been stranded!“

Just the events of a morning when it should have been quite straight forward to pick up my car. There was trouble but I didn’t loose my joy. I was having a feast while people were looking for me. I’m on the road again!

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