I posted this story almost two years ago when only my closest friends and family knew that I had started a blog. Today I’d like to re-post it to share it with more of my followers. Not much for photos, this time. Mainly writing. Friends and family – please be patient and bear with me.
This is a true story of when my mother-in-law and I got into a scrape while shopping out of town.
Our Lucky Day
“I’m burnt out from shopping,” I said to my mother-in-law. “Do you feel like having a cup of tea and a little snack? It’ll be at least two more hours till we get home.”
“That sounds like a good idea,” Myrtle said. “Where could we go?”
I paid for my new lawn sprinkler and asked the hardware store clerk, “Is there any place nearby that’s not fast food?”
“Ricky’s. It’s not too far at all.” She pointed vaguely towards the hardware store door. “Right over there.”
“What street is it on? Can you give me directions?”
“Are you parked in our lot?”
“Well, it’s your lucky day. You don’t have to drive anywhere. Here, I’ll show you.” She motioned for us to follow her to the door. “Just leave your car here and walk.” She pointed again from the doorway. “It’s right there. Our parking lots almost join.” I was surprised to see the restaurant. Hadn’t even realized it was there.
“Wonderful. You’re sure it’s okay to stay parked here?”
“You bought a sprinkler, didn’t you? You’re a customer. You can park here.”
“That’s great. Thanks,” I said. “Come on, Myrtle. As the lady said, ‘It’s our lucky day.’”
An hour later we strolled out of Ricky’s feeling refreshed and ready to face the long ride home.
We walked across the restaurant parking lot to the hardware store lot, empty except for my Toyota truck. “Everyone’s gone home. I didn’t realize it was so late. After 5:30 already,” I said.
In the truck, we headed for the entrance of the lot—only to find it barred by a bright yellow iron gate. I jumped out to open the gate. Oh no! I looked back at Myrtle and threw my arms in the air. “It’s LOCKED!”
I had visions of us sleeping in the parking lot till morning. I drove around the inside perimeter of the parking lot. The only space without a high concrete barrier had huge boulders placed strategically to prevent access. At one side of the lot, close to the main street, the sidewalk curb kept us in, but even that was too high for my small two-wheel-drive truck to manage.
I looked at Myrtle. Her face was pale as she chewed her lip and twisted her fingers. Oh great! I thought. She’s really upset. Hope she doesn’t have a heart attack over all this stress.
“Don’t worry, Myrtle. I’ll get us out of here.” I just wished I had a clue how to do that. I drove around to the back of the hardware store. Piles of lumber. A little light came on in my head. “It’s our lucky day,” I said.
I got out, chose two wide boards, and put them in the back of the truck.
“Won’t we get in trouble?” Myrtle asked. “We can’t just take those boards.”
“I’d say that, stuck in here, we’re already in trouble. But they locked us in, so they can help us get out.”
I drove to the side of the lot nearest the street, parked, and took out the boards and laid them over the curb to make twin ramps. I inched the truck toward them, getting out one more time to adjust their placement.
“Fasten your seatbelt, Myrt.”
The front tires went up the ramps and the back tires followed. I heard a horrible cracking sound behind us, and sucked in my breath through my teeth. Oh, no! Please don’t let me get stuck now. I gunned the engine and zoomed up onto the boulevard. Weaving between two young ornamental plum trees, I crossed the sidewalk and clunked down from the curb on the street side. We were free.
But what about my back tires? Were they flat, maybe with huge splinters of wood sticking through them? I slapped on the hazard lights and pulled over to do a tire inspection.
Back in the car again, I smiled at Myrtle. “We’re okay.”
She patted my thigh joyfully, in a “you did good” motion and said, “It’s our lucky day.”