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My luck has got to change sometime

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By W.B. Evans

Bless Pete, the whole house was shaking. No, I’m not referring to the recent earthquake that one of the Buford fellas compared to a washing machine that was acting up.

It was indeed my granddaughter’s clothes washer acting up.

Now, it’s safe to say there was some small measure of a family disagreement as to when a new washer would be ordered. 

I was smart enough to stay out of it. That kind of “ain’t got no dog in this fight” wisdom comes with age.

It didn’t take my granddaughter too long to make a point. Her clothes (and ours) went to the laundry. However, the man of the house ended up with a hamper overflowing with dirty clothes and the scents that go with them. He got the idea.

The whole thing reminded me of the time Mama told Daddy, “If I don’t get a washing machine in the next day or two, you can do all you lodging with Mr. Oscar Adams at the county jail.” 

That time, a new wringer washer showed up at our back door before the time period had expired. This time, a shiny new washer was delivered to my granddaughter the next morning.

You know, I gotta admit, it sure is a whole lot easier to remember bad stuff. Maybe we harbor a deep desire for sympathy. I never intentionally stumped a big toe so Mama would make the pain go away. Sometimes, things just happen.

Like all active boys and a few girls, I had my share of skinned knees, raw shin bones and a big fat blister or two when I was growing up.

There was always goodly assortment of bandages spread around among the fellas, but I was sorta blessed, having never broken any bones. Bobby Parker, who lived across the street from us on Chesterfield Avenue wasn’t as lucky the time he wasgrounded by a heavy leg cast and a crutch. Although it should have, it really didn’t slow him down a bit. 

For some reason, I been getting away with doing stuff for years. An occasional mashed finger or splinter was about the extent of my injuries until recently.

By golly, that hanging luck just about caused my downfall. 

Now, you old handymen need to listen to another piece of advice that comes from age, wisdom and experience.

Regardless of what your mind may try to tell you, we ain’t got it like we once had it.

These days, when we get to climbing ladders to clean out rain gutters, there is a strong likelihood  the trip down could be a lot faster than the trip up was. 

Plus, those strong bones we got from drinking milk every day have gotten a  little brittle over the years and can snap. Just ask anyone (including me) who has fallen off a ladder and broken a rib or three. It hurts like the dickens, and trust me, Mama ain’t around to make the pain go away.

After a couple week’s stay in the hospital, I found myself depending on a dear and patient wife to provide me with Mama’s care several times removed.

Lucky for me, I was able to bear my aches and pains in an over-sized La-Z-Boy recliner while enjoying the cool breezes from central air conditioning.

Everything was going good on those sweltering July days and humid nights until that blooming air conditioner up and died from a possible heat stroke. 

See, I told you my luck had taken a bad turn. 

It took a few days for a replacement. Meanwhile that old A/C unit chugged and strained on borrowed time. The only one happy about it was Reddy Kilowatt, whose joy was reflected when I opened the light bill. 

I appealed to a higher authority (the Charlotte office), which gave a nice dose of sympathy, but didn’t cut the bill.

Given that, my granddaughter and her husband figured I needed a change of scenery and urged me to return to Maryland to escape the sore ribs, no air conditioning blues. I accepted their kind offer and left the driving to her. 

For the first time in many trips, I didn’t fret over white lines, blacktop, potholes and merging traffic. I enjoyed the scenery. 

The first week was outstanding. My favorite foods were on the menu and some choice DVDs were available. 

Why, there was even a new over-sized, overstuffed recliner to park in. Bless Pete, I was as close to dog heaven as I was to my childhood friend, Tiger, the best doggone dog a boy ever had.

Then, on Aug. 23, when I was standing near the kitchen with a cookie in mind, the doggone cabinets started to shake. 

By golly, my good time getaway was getting bent out of shape again.  Suddenly the phones, (both land line and cell) rang. 

It was my folks calling to  check on me. I was right in the middle of an earthquake. The TV reporters were about as nervous as me. Thank goodness, our President was safely out of Washington, D.C., and on vacation.

Of course, I don’t have to explain the mess caused by the earthquake since the media filled our TV screens over and over again. 

Bless Pete, I was in more bad stuff than I had been in Lancaster. 

Greg Summers and I exchanged earthquake stories by telephone and the Internet. 

And just when things started to calm down, Hurricane Irene began to churn up along the east coast.

I stowed the deck furniture, secured the swing set and taped the glass doors in the event they got shattered. 

Then, just as we did during Hurricane Hugo in 1989, we hunkered down and listened as the wind swirled outside all night long.

Daylight arrived and the winds moved north. We went outside for a quick inspection. Thank God, we were spared.

You know, I’m starting to believe my luck is changing. 

I’m still gonna stay away from ladders and rain gutters for a while. 

Hey, wisdom comes with age.