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Friday, April 04, 2008

Jump start

There are many things I think I know how to do, although I've never had to do them.

Most of these things are car related, like changing a tire or jump starting a dead battery. I've also never gardened, but I think I could plant some flowers if necessary. No promises on keeping them alive.

I'm good for some things. Mostly picking out clothing, shoes and good music. But I also can keep a house immaculate. I get it honest. Growing up, my family referred to my dad as "Mr. Clean," and it wasn't because he wore a giant, gold hoop earring.

I can cook too. Chicken Marsala, cheese tortellini with homemade alfredo sauce ... and I'm not even Italian.

But back to the things I can't do ... which I learned a lot about this week when my car battery died. I was supposed to go to my friend's house for dinner. I was on the phone with Laura, who I never call Laura so from here on I'll refer to her as LJ, to tell her I was leaving my house. I cranked my car and instead of the rumble of a strong engine, it just sort of puttered and died.

"Crap, my battery just died. So, you want to come over here for dinner?," I told LJ.

"Do you have jumper cables?," she asked.

"Yeah, never been used, but I'm sure we can figure it out."

"OK, on the way."

While I waited on LJ, I pulled my lifesaving roadside assistance bag out of the way back. I unwrapped my jumper cables and sat them on the hood of the car. Once LJ arrived, the comedy unfolded. We attached the battery to her Jeep, no problem, but under my hood was a mystery.

For some strange reason every part has a cover. Yes, a cover. As if I really care if the engine stuff is decorative. Unlike a sofa slip cover, this seems pointless to me. No one is going to look under my hood and call my engine tacky or outdated. Anyway, after about 10 minutes of uncovering stuff to find fuses and everything else, we uncover the battery and hook up the cables.

"Do we crank it now?," LJ asked.

"Umm ... yeah, I think so."

"OK. I'm going to stand back in case you are wrong."

"Good idea."

I turned the key and nothing exploded or sparked. And as simple as this is to many people, it was miraculous to us. Our rookie at bat was a home run.

The following day, while I was waiting for what felt like hours to have my battery changed, LJ sent a text my way.

"I'm still so damn proud that we were able to jump the car off without a burn injury to either of us."

I agree. I'm scratching "jump starting a car" off my list of things I can't do.


Blogger Sammy said...

How did I not know about this cooking business? I believe you're going to have to cook me dinner sometime before I can believe it.

1:16 PM  
Blogger Stephanie Netherton said...

I didn't take home economics in sixth grade at Turner for nothing!
Actually, the only thing I learned was how to brown hamburger meat, which has come in handy.

I see you and I have been reading the same book? "Things I've Learned From the Women Who've Dumped Me." My favorite story is the one with Debra. Second favorite is the kids at church camp. Such a familiar tale.

1:20 PM  
Blogger ASHLEY said...

I'm so proud of you ! In this type of situation I normally throw a fit, fall out on the floor crying, or scream, because your brother is no where to be found to help me out.. So then i start on this list of other men in my life that can help me, Dad, brother in law, etc etc...This is what I refer as a "boy job" you know what i mean ?? Other boy jobs include taking out the trash & cleaning out the garage ? Anyway.. back to my original statement.. I'm proud of you!! What's your next thing to mark off the list ?

2:50 PM  
Blogger Stephanie Netherton said...

If you can ever track Chris down he knows what he's doing. But since he NEVER answers his phone, I understand your grief. I'm normally the same way. First, call dad, then brother, then friend after friend until I find someone who knows what they are doing. But that's no longer. Until I have a flat tire. Even dad says I don't stand a chance of making that happen in the SUV.

My next task I believe will be gardening. I've been talking about it and reading up on it and I feel ready to dig in.

2:56 PM  
Blogger ASHLEY said...

Tell me about it.. sometimes when he calls me back & says what in the world could possibly be wrong for you to call me 100 times in 3 minutes ? I think about saying something scary like "help! I've fallen & I can't get up" .. but then i think of Karma.... i know what goes around comes around..
On to gardening.. I'd suggest potted plants and flowers first.. that's what i'm working on.. also i hear that if you buy your flowers & stuff at Home Depot, hold onto your reciept, they'll exchange your dead ones....

3:28 PM  
Blogger Stephanie Netherton said...

You've been watching too much "My Name is Earl."

4:19 PM  
Blogger ASHLEY said...

ok.. i hate to hog the blog.. (oh how catchey) but I've actaully just gotten back inside.. I've been outside helping one of my co-workers 16 year old daughter jump her battery.. yes.. an office full of people and I'm the one who goes out & gives hands on instructions on jumper cables.. Good thing dad had that big lesson with me last month !! Everyone was so impressed !! Maybe i'll get everyone jumper cables for Christmas this year ?? !!

4:41 PM  
Blogger Stephanie Netherton said...

Your dad and fiance would be so proud of you!

Also, weren't we just talking about karma? I'm just sayin ...

4:43 PM  

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