Saturday mornings have a certain routine about them at our house. I try to sleep in, for starters. It’s not like I get up that early during the week, but an extra half-hour or so feels good. I’m more likely to read the paper with a bowl of cereal in front of me on Saturdays, by which I mean the comics, and maybe some of the news.
Then, since the Town of Albion doesn’t have any garbage collection service, I seek out all the trash, garbage, and recyclables and pack them into the truck for a ride to the dump. It isn’t really a dump anymore, since the State of Wisconsin outlawed town dumps 25 years ago or so. But that’s what I call it. Old dog, new trick… you understand.
Then, after depositing the trash, I often go to Janesville to get cat litter and other commodities at Farm and Fleet, sometimes stopping at Menards if needed. I usually find an excuse to go to Taco Bell or McDonalds before heading home. Our dog Toby was my Saturday companion for 14 years, and he loved it when I went to McDonalds because I’d save him some fries. I really miss having him with me on Saturdays.
One Saturday a while back got off to an inauspicious start. First, I awoke with a migraine. I’m lucky to have migraines that are annoying, but not incapacitating, so I took some medicine and continued on with my routine. I took a walk around the house to check some work I had done the evening before, only to see my cell phone sitting on the back steps where I had left it. The little rain shower early that morning left some raindrops on it. Amazingly, it wasn’t ruined.
The truck had been “jumped” recently, so I let it run to re-charge the battery while I loaded the cargo bed and did some other little jobs. When I got in to start my journey, I saw that that after the additional idling the needle on the fuel gauge had nearly disappeared. I only had about a quart of gas in the gas can in the garage, which I figured would get me five miles, which was just about enough to get to a gas station.
I headed off, coasting down hills and carefully accelerating up hills. It’s nerve wracking to drive an nearly gas-less truck – especially one that isn’t exactly energy efficient. But, I made it to the gas station, the garbage place, and did errands until 2pm, when I finally made it home.
I had the good fortune of averting two potential disasters – or mini-disasters, I guess. My dampened phone still works, and the truck didn’t run out of gas. And, my headache went away.
Compared to real disasters like tornadoes, car accidents, heart attacks, and what have you, my little challenges weren’t really anything at all. The fact that everything worked out okay was just a bonus.
It’s so easy to get irritated or feel cursed by the little things that we encounter from day to day. I like to think of them as speed bumps on the residential streets of life. They may slow you down, but fortunately, they don’t stop you the way a real disaster can.