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A Stone's throw: One of those days


Betty Stone



It was one of those days. I am told everybody has them. Actually, it began the night before when, try as I might, I could not reconcile my bank statement. I went over it again and again. I could find no mistake. Finally, out of sheer weariness, I just took the bank's balance and started over. That goes against my grain, but what do you do when you work way into the night with no success? Postpone, at least. Maybe cave. Still, it is stressful, and it set the scene for everything to go wrong the next day. Which it did. Of course. 


I was supposed to play bridge at a friend's house and to bring a carton of Cokes. I bought them and put them in the refrigerator at my house until time to take them with me. When I opened the refrigerator, they were not there. It took me a few moments to realize that I had put them in the freezer by mistake. I was in a hurry, as usual, so I thought I would just put them on the back seat of the car and take them anyway. They were all I had. We would just have to wait a little bit until they thawed enough for us to drink them. 


I was to take Daisy, who works for me, home, then go to the bridge game. I dropped Daisy at her house, pulled into my hostess's driveway, cut off the car, and heard a dreadful noise. I had never before heard it. 


My car is smarter than I am. It was telling me I did not have the keys with me. I do not have to put my keys in the ignition, but I do have to have them with me for the car to start. I realized that when Daisy had gotten out of my car, she had inadvertently picked up my purse along with hers. My phone was in my purse. I could neither call her nor go back to her. 


I used my hostess's phone to call Daisy's house. Her brother answered, and I asked to speak to her. 


"She's not here," he said. 


"She has to be," I squealed. "I just dropped her off!" 


"Let me see." He evidently went to the door. "She's standing out by the mailbox." Waiting for me to return to retrieve my purse, I guessed. "Tell her to stay right there. I'll get a ride," I said. 


Another guest offered to take me to get my purse. When we returned, I opened the back door to my car to pick up the Cokes. In their frozen state they had popped open. Fortunately they were still in the grocery bag, which was now sloshing with liquid. We set it on the sidewalk to finish thawing without messing up the house. 


Then we played bridge. I am happy to say that, despite everything, I had the best cards I have had in a looong time. 


I was talking by phone to my Atlanta daughter that night, and I told her about my misadventure. 


"Let me tell you my story," she countered. "I left my purse on top of the car today when I went into Target. When I realized what I had done, I panicked, but fortunately found it still there. Nothing was missing; but in the upset, I found I had lost my cell phone from my pocket. In another panic we found it sitting alone in a shopping cart by the door." Angels must have been looking after her. 


Much later I related these experiences in a telephone visit with my Madison daughter. Her story was worse. She had been away from home; and, when she returned, her neighborhood was in a crisis. Someone was going from door to door, getting everyone to evacuate the houses. A gas line had burst next door, and an explosion might occur. The police would not even let her in her house to rescue the dog and the cat. Daughter Terrell and her daughter, Leigh, had to go elsewhere and wait a couple of hours until they could return home safely. 


It was just one of those days.


Betty Boyls Stone is a freelance writer, who grew up in Columbus.


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