Ready for Christmas again?

Posted 1/11/23

This all seemed simple enough.

I slid into the driver’s seat; made sure the truck was in park and turned the ignition key. Nothing. I jiggled the transmission shift just in case. Sill …

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Ready for Christmas again?


This all seemed simple enough.

I slid into the driver’s seat; made sure the truck was in park and turned the ignition key. Nothing. I jiggled the transmission shift just in case. Sill nothing.

“I tried that,” said the longtime friend who had arrived to deliver a gift on Christmas Day.

While the ignition light indicated there was power, the thought occurred maybe it wasn’t enough to turn over the starter. A jump would have worked, but there was no easy way to get my car beside the truck. I retrieved the charger and extension from the cellar.

“It’s going to be a few minutes,” I advised Carol who had already loaded our gifts into my car for the Christmas Day exchange and lunch at my son Ted’s house in Saunderstown. Next, I lifted the hood to the truck expecting it to stay up. Fortunately, I had removed my hands to get the charging cables when it crashed down. The gift-bearing friend now held the hood while I attached the cables. The gauge indicated the charger was charging and, in fact, from what I could tell it looked like the battery wasn’t the problem.

Nonetheless, I gave it five minutes before trying to start the truck again. Again, nothing.

I glanced at my watch: 12:45 p.m.

I knew from Carol’s look that she was anxious to get to Ted’s and keep to their Christmas schedule. There wasn’t time to dawdle. Meanwhile, our friend who prefers to remain unidentified was planning to have lunch with other friends who live near Route 2. They expected her that afternoon

That all seemed manageable, although we’d be squeezed for time. We could make a stop at the friend’s house to pick up the gifts she’d planned for those she would be dining with and then deliver her before hightailing it for Saunderstown. By my calculation we might get to Ted’s by 1:30.

But calculations don’t always work as planned.

We made the stop to get the gifts before the next leg to the drop off on Toll Gate Road. That’s when we realized the keys had been left in the truck ignition. So, it was a return before starting all over again.

Under normal circumstances, Carol and I would have been at our wits end with one delay after the next. Christmas made it different.

It’s not a day to be rushed even though as a kid, and like most kids, I couldn’t wait to open stocking gifts and what was under the tree. I was up by 4:30 anxiously waiting to hear my parents rustling in the adjoining room. That seemed to take forever.

Even in those childhood days of expectation, Christmas had a special tone. We would drive into New York City to have lunch with my grandmother who enjoyed savoring the time together. We bundled into the car to head home when it seemed right rather than at a set time.

In this case we didn’t want to throw off Ted and Erica’s plan, but our delay wouldn’t be disastrous. Rather, it would be taken in stride and make for a story to chuckle about. That’s just what happened. Our late arrival stretched out the exchange of gifts – my son Jack and his family having completed the ritual with Ted and his family. The turkey followed by pies and served up with good conversation around the table was perfect. Nothing was rushed. There were no deadlines.

We retrieved our friend on the way home and a couple of days later the truck left our driveway.

You know, Christmas every day sounds nice.    

side up, Christmas


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