Don't Rush Me
Sometimes stuff happens . . . for a reason
Don't be a 'Donnie Downer'
January 19, 2011 - So, there I was driving to Oxford early Sunday afternoon. I figured I could get a few moments in at the office whilst no one else was about. I don't know about you, but I find working during work hours hard to do. I have actually posted on my office door a sign that reads, "Go Away," "Figure It Out Yourself," and "You Bother Me."
It hasn't worked. Everybody still walks in to "chat" even if I don't want them to. Come to think of it, I think they are actually walking in more. Remind me to take that sign down.
At any rate, it is easy to get things accomplished when nobody else is in the office, so I was headed to work but first needed to make a purchase at Meijer Thrifty Acres.
I made it the parking lot when I heard some scraping noises coming from the front passenger's side tire. Brake. Park. Shut off engine. Hmm . . . ice buildup between tire and wheel well? Flat tire?
Nope. I got out and walked around to that side of my 191,347-mile traveled, 1999 rattletrap commonly referred to as a GMC Sonoma. And, there before my eyes I did behold the source of that grindy, scrapie sound. The tire/wheel was askew. The top pointed in, towards the engine. Now, I didn't have a protractor on me, but I'd say the angle of the dangle of that tire was off by about 30 degrees.
And, as I don't have Buckhorn Towing's phone number burned onto the contours of my brain like I do the Oxford Police Department's, I called the Oxford Cop Shop and they patched me through to Buckhorn's. They in turn promptly towed it to the mechanic's shop.
If you want to know here's what needed fixing: Ball joints, bent backings, crunched wire and loose idler arms. $1,114 later and by Monday afternoon, I should be up and on the road.
Thing is, I am more times than not, amazed how blessed I am. Some of you Negative Nellies might bemoan the regrettable situation. It does suck to break down, but it were I Donnie Downer (I would first change my name, because I hate being called "Donnie") I would just get myself worked up into a lather that would not change the fact that the truck was still busted.
It took about 2.3 nano seconds for my mind to starting thinking, "I could have been on the highway with my sons, traveling 70 miles per hour when the ball joints puked out." "I could have been on one of the area's back roads, miles from anywhere when things went awry." "I'm pretty lucky."
I am probably luckier than I deserve.
This situation, led to a conversation with a friend which led to this conclusion: When things are in the crapper for you, the best thing to do is get out and help somebody. Look for the less fortunate because there is no surer way to get out of yourself, than to find somebody who's got it worse.
I ain't saying I went out looking to be Johnny-on-the-spot Do-gooder. I didn't. But, if I would have, I would have felt even more betterer (kids, don't splice this kind of sentence together for your English teachers, they'll scalp you).
Okay. Enough of preaching from a-high.
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Few things of note . . . this weekend downtown Clarkston retailers are putting together a "Retro Cocktail Party" and at the same time, Rudy's Market and Washington Management (behind The Clarkston News building) are having a wine-tasting party. These two events are going on at the same time on purpose.
Folks are gonna' dress up, there will be snacks and cocktails and games and live entertainment (think 1960s Ratpack, Vegas). Everything is free, but donations will be accepted for Lighthouse North. The fun is from 6 to 9 p.m. and for those who think it prudent, a limo service (24/7 in Clarkston) will be on hand to chauffeur folks home.
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Last weekend the Oxford Chamber of Commerce went all out for their 1st Annual Gala Community Awards event. Think Oscars. Over 100 folks attended and I think this will be "the" event for years to come.
Attaboys to Holly Bills and whomever helped her make it happen.
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Epilogue . . . because I handled Sunday and Monday so well, the Big Spirit in the Sky decided to test me again . . . on Tuesday morning my fuel pump puked out . . . whilst I was traversing Oakwood Road, in the snow, on a hill. Add $900 more to the MoneyPitTruck. And, guess what? I is still smiling! :)
Don is Assistant Publisher for Sherman Publications, Inc. He has worked for the company since 1985. He has won numerous awards for column, editorial and feature writing as well as for photography. He has two, sons Shamus and Sean and resides in the area. To read archived copies of his columns, click on his name, just under his picture up top . . . He can be e-mailed at: firstname.lastname@example.org