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How high the moon?

 

D. J. Sweetenham

Guest Columnist

  It was a beautifully clear evening and the crescent moon glowed brightly in the  star-laden sky.  A visiting friend had been bragging to me about the number of miles his truck had traveled with no major repairs and I couldn’t help comparing his odometer reading with that of my old Chevrolet Lumina car.

  “Right now,” I said, “My old car has 236,632 miles on her and still going strong. I just need another 2,268 and I’ll be happy”.

  “How come?” asked my friend. 

  “Well, I heard somewhere that it's only 238,900 miles to the moon and I want to be able to say that my old car has been as far as the moon!”

  “Just one thing,” he said “If you go all that way, how are you going to get back?”

  “It shouldn’t be a problem,” I replied, “I’ll just coast home, it looks to be all down hill from there!”

  Poker-faced he looked at me, tapped the side of  his head with his finger and said, “You know, Don, you ain’t right!” as he cranked up his truck and drove away shaking his head.

  The following evening my wife and I were watching the so-called “News” on T.V.,  each with a dog cuddled up alongside us, when suddenly we were thrown into the middle of WWIII. At least that’s what it sounded like. “What the heck is going on?” I said, or words to that effect, as I was suddenly engulfed in two small bundles of trembling black and white fur, doing their best to hide from the racket.

  I struggled up out of my recliner, thinking that at any moment the house was going to collapse. The banging and clattering was incredible as I looked outside and saw all the chunks of ice hitting the back yard and my old tool-shed. In all my travels I had never experienced anything like that. It was a hailstorm that I won’t soon forget. When it eased off, I went outside to check on the cars and my old Dodge truck. They all have to “live” outside because the garage is used for “other things.”

  From the front they all looked fine and I heaved a premature sigh of relief. The truck was faced away from the house and the two cars were faced towards it, all with no immediate evidence of damage. Chunks of  ice lay everywhere and I had to be careful where I put my feet. Eventually I made it to the far end of the cars and then I saw that my old Lumina had suffered the worst. The back window was completely destroyed and there were millions of tiny pieces of glass mixed in with the ice.

  “We should have started off for the moon a little sooner,” I thought. “It might have been a bit safer up there.”

  Anyway, it could have been a lot worse. The old truck has a cracked windshield but that just adds to it's old country charm and all three of the vehicles have developed “dimples” in their skins.

  The ice had barely melted when we started being swamped with roofing repair offers. In the mail, on the phone, even in person while I was checking the outside of the house in daylight the next day. Fortunately, we had some work done on the roof a few years ago and were very pleased with the results so a quick call to Phillips Roofing and Siding put our house back on Mr Phillips’ schedule. Just something else to brighten my day. And I thought retirement would be boring! No such luck!

 

 

 

  D.J. Sweetenham, originally from England, is the author of Bumps in the Road and Bumps in the Road - Part Two, highlights of his interesting and far-flung life. President of the Heritage Writers Group, D.J., his wife, and two small dogs, live in Stockbridge.

 

 

 

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