Several years ago we'd packed our SUV to begin the drive from Massachusetts to Florida. STUFF for eight months was wedged in like a puzzle. Golf clubs and tennis rackets slid behind the front seats. Boxes of paperwork, books, and computer equipment lay on the flattened trunk where the back seats had been. Suitcases spread toward the rear door. Coats and jackets topped the mound, while shoe bags and boots plugged the holes. We set the alarm on the house and adjusted our front seats. Charley turned the key in the ignition.
NOTHING! Over and over - not even a whine. Battery dead overnight.
We called the dealer, who promised a tow truck, which arrived an hour later, which had no luck charging the battery, which then needed a tow. Only one problem: the BMW couldn't be towed in "Park," and without the ignition on, the gears wouldn't shift to "Neutral." Oh yes, one other problem: the over-ride access to the gear shift was under the cup console between the front seats and needed a wrench. Guess where the BMW geniuses had stored the wrench? In the trunk. Guess what else was in the trunk?
We unloaded the car, piled everything in the garage, and watched as our BMW inched its way up the tow truck in "Neutral." When the car arrived two days later, we made sure it started before we packed it up again, and we never turned it off till we hit the first rest stop 200 miles away.
One son and daughter-in-law were hosting fourteen of us for Christmas Eve several years ago. On the way home from the airport after picking us up on Dec. 23rd, our son received a call from home.
"What's up?" he said.
"A pipe was leaking under the kitchen sink and water began pouring into the basement. I called Serve-Pro and they'll be here soon."
"Unbelievable! Did you shut off the main water line?"
"Yes. I've got buckets in the basement but there's a big hole in the ceiling down there."
"We're about forty-five minutes away. Call me when they get there."
Serve-Pro came and cleaned up. They left behind a blower/dryer in the middle of the kitchen, a wet vac in the basement, and a new kitchen pipe for the holiday.
"You really shouldn't use this sink after Christmas," the man said before he left. "There's mold under the cabinets and it's unhealthy. All the cabinets will have to be torn out."
"That means a new kitchen, I guess," my daughter-in-law said. "We weren't planning on it this soon."
"Well, don't worry about Christmas Eve," I said, giving her a big hug. "We don't care what we eat, as long as we're together. We can always order pizza! Why not sit down and dad and I will put the children to bed?"
A friend of ours was an avid tennis player and agreed to substitute for another team. During the third set in a three-hour match, she injured her Achilles Tendon. The surgeon ordered a "boot."
"You'd better take it easy for a while, till we can confirm whether it's torn," he said.
"What about Christmas dinner?" her husband said. "We can always go out."
"No, eight other people are planning to come, and I've already prepared some things ahead. We'll carry on."
Deidre stood like a stork on one leg making the canapes and setting the table the day before. She hopped from sink to refrigerator preparing two beef Wellingtons and four vegetables on Christmas morning, then went to get dressed.
At 3:30 p.m. she turned on the oven. The oven refused to oblige. "Honey, we have no oven!"
"Try resetting it. Maybe you didn't hit the proper sequence. I'll check the breaker."
Deidre tried again, following instructions in the manual. Still nothing.
"OK, now what?? They'll be here at 5:00."
"Call Kim. Maybe we can use her oven, since she's coming anyway and lives around the corner."
At 5:00 the other eight guests arrived. Mark served them a drink and Deidre's famous canapes, heated in the microwave. At 6:00 Deidre announced, "I'm so sorry, but I'm afraid we have no oven! If you'll excuse us, Kim and I are going to drive to her house to cook your dinner. Her ovens have been pre-heating."
Fifty minutes later, the ladies removed the four vegetables and two beef Wellingtons from Kim's ovens and nestled them in towels and blankets in the trunk so they wouldn't wobble. Kim slammed the trunk and got behind the wheel.
She turned the key in the ignition...NOTHING.
"Call Mark! He can come get the dinner."
The ladies went around to the trunk to open it for Mark's arrival. STUCK!
"Call Mark back and have him bring my husband with his keys," Kim said.
Together the foursome jimmied the trunk open and transferred everything to Mark's car. Dinner was served at 7:00.
Three nights later Deidre hosted a birthday party for Mark. Sixty people enjoyed her hot canapes, heated in another neighbor's oven.