10 November 2013

Serendipity -- Seeing the Silver Lining

Have you ever had one of those days when things just seemed to be going rather wrong? And then you stood back and really looked, and realized that, in truth, the Force had been with you the whole time?

Today was one of those days for me.

Yesterday we spent two hours unloading the freezer into ice chests, so that we could move it away from the wall to attach screening in the back. I turned the freezer dial to "Off", we turned off the power, and we wiggled the freezer two feet foward. I duct-taped aluminum gutter guards to the bottom opening to keep rodents from nesting in the space.

We wiggled it back into position, turned the power back on, and loaded eveything back into it, including three half-gallons of ice water and the cold packs we keep frozen for emergencies. Everything looked good! Later, I bagged a couple of small steaks and put them on the top shelf to freeze.

This afternoon I drove over to my favorite gas station to fill up. When I went in to pick up the change, the cashier and I got to chatting a bit about cars. It was a slow day and I wasn't in any particular hurry. I even gave the gentleman the name of my mechanic, as he was new to the area.

When I finally went back to my car a few minutes later, I smelled gas very strongly. This was definitely NOT RIGHT. I walked around to the back and looked under the car. There near the left rear wheel was a large dark puddle and liquid dripping slowly into it. (And, no, I had not "topped off" the tank.)

Did I mention I have a really good mechanic? I called him, explained the problem, and he was there in less than ten minutes. We got the car over to his garage, and he drove me home. Tomorrow he will call me with his findings - hopefully something not too exorbitantly expensive to correct.

Meanwhile, my son drove me to my original destination, the local Trader Joe's, and I picked up a bag of flour and a few other items. When we got home, I bagged the flour and took it out to the freezer.

it was when I went to move the steaks down to their basket that I realized my error of the night before. I HAD NEVER TURNED THE FREEZER DIAL BACK UP! Fortunately, everything seemed to be still quite firm and icy, except the cold steaks, of course. I pulled the flour back out, turned the dial up to almost max, and closed the door quickly. With luck, nothing will spoil and tomorrow I can turn the dial back down to its usual setting.

Two potential disasters, yes? But then I realized just how lucky I had been. If I hadn't stopped to chat with the cashier at the gas station, there would not have been enough gas dripping down for me to smell it and realize I had a major problem. I might have just driven off and who knows what might have happened?

And if I hadn't followed thru on my original shopping trip, bought the flour, and gone to put it in the freezer, it might have been 12-24 hours more before I caught my error, and we could have lost a couple hundred dollars of frozen food.

It was dusk when I stepped out the back door to check on something. I looked over the far wall to the southeast sky, and saw a beautiful, brief, brilliant shooting star that sparkled brightly and was gone. Pure serendipity.


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