People are always telling me how lucky I am. I always say, “No, I’m not!”, but nobody believes me. I have no idea why they think I’m so lucky. I usually say something like, “The only thing I ever won in my life was an electric blanket when I was six years old, and I didn’t even want that. What’s a six-year-old going to do with an electric blanket?”. But, they continue to insist that I am the luckiest person they know. But, when I think about it, I suppose I am lucky.
LP and I moved into our house twelve years ago. This was just a starter home and had been built in the early 70s, so there was a lot of updating to be done. Right after we had our new linoleum laid in our kitchen, we purchased a new refrigerator to replace the one that came with the house. The appliance store delivered the refrigerator and sat it about a foot from the wall. When the delivery guy left, LP and I decided to push the refrigerator back closer to the wall. Refrigerators are pretty heavy, so it took both of us to move it. While we were trying to scoot it back, I noticed that it wasn’t budging, so I pushed as hard as I could and the metal foot on the refrigerator ripped the damn linoleum. Even though this brand new linoleum flooring was only a week old, I was lucky because the tear was only about an inch wide, and it did blend in with the linoleum’s pattern.
We hadn’t been living in this house a month when the first water leak appeared. Then after the first leak, another leak appeared, then another, then another. We had the local plumber here just about every other week. He must have made his fortune and retired because after about the sixteenth trip to our house, he never returned my phone calls, nor did he ever came back to our house. We had so many water leaks, we bought on of those “cut-off” tools so we could shut the water off quickly. Since we used this tool so often, we kept it in a very special place; right beside our front porch about fifteen feet from the water meter. When the next leak occurred, after about a two hours of calling plumbers, I was finally able to locate a one who was willing to come to our house that same day. When he looked at the water pipes that were installed under the house, he told me we would always have problems with that type of pipe, and the best thing for us to do was to install all new water lines. So, that’s what LP and I did. We hired the guy for the job and it only cost us about $3,500. I suppose I was lucky because, apparently the old plumber didn’t know what he was doing and he never came back, and because I was no longer hearing that unpleasant, but familiar sound of water spewing all over the sub-floor.
One day LP called me at work and asked me if I could come home early. LP never asks me to take off work, so I was pretty concerned. I finally got LP to tell me what was wrong over the phone. Apparently, our toilet bowl tank had a crack in it from the tip-top of the tank to the very bottom of the tank and water was all over the floor. So, as soon as I got home, we called our friendly plumber and had a new commode installed within an hour. I suppose I was lucky because LP was home when this happened, otherwise, we would have suffered severe water damage.
One year we had a few hail storms that cause minor damage to our roof. I called the insurance agency and filed a claim. They sent someone from Texas here to access the damage. We live in Kentucky, so I have no idea why they sent someone all the way from Texas to look at our roof. Anyway, when the lady from Texas arrived at our house, she pulled out her foldable ladder and climbed to the top of the roof. She looked around for almost one entire minute and then she left. A couple of weeks went by and while all my neighbors were getting new roofs, I got a check in the mail for $35. I called three local roofing companies and obtained three estimates and we spent a total of $5,965 for a new roof. So, I guess I am lucky I received that big check from the insurance company, otherwise we would have paid the entire $6,000 for the new roof.
In July, we were going to my brother’s house to go swimming. I was driving my dream car, which was a 1996, white, Ford mustang convertible with a tan top. I was driving about sixty-five miles per hour when the car died. The power steering went out and I had a hard time steering the car off the road. It was Sunday so no automotive repair shops were open, so we called a friend to come get us and we left the car in a stranger’s yard over night. The next day, I had it towed to a repair shop and come to find out, the damn engine had blown up. Lucky for me, we could sell the car “as is” for $4,500.
Another lucky car day was when I owned a blue Nissan and was working in a city forty-five miles from home. I was driving down the two-lane road and I spotted a tractor-trailer truck coming towards me. As the truck got closer, I noticed something that came from behind the truck flying over the trailer and the cab of the truck and heading straight for me. When the object got closer, I could see it was a rock as big as a bowling ball, and it was targeting my head. I slammed on my breaks and swerved and the rock smashed my front fender. I guess I was lucky because I was actually paying attention while I was driving that day.
I was lucky that hot day in August when LP and I were right in the middle of canning five bushels of tomatoes. We ran out of canning jars, but we had extra stored in the attic. When LP opened the attic door located in the ceiling of our study, the spring on the door broke. We found a two by four piece of lumber and with the help of three thick books, we propped these items under the attic door to keep it shut for the five days before we could get it repaired. I was lucky to be a pack rat and keep lumber, paint, nails and screws that had been left over from previous jobs, and lucky we had a piece of lumber that long.
I was lucky while LP and I were visiting the Grand Canyon early on one May morning. We were the only ones out there that morning and we were walking around the canyon admiring the view, then we both heard a strange sound. We kept walking and the sound kept getting closer and closer and then we both saw something in the distance that looked like a cloud of smoke floating in the air. We soon discovered it was a buzzing sound and the object in the air was a swarm of bees quickly flying towards us. LP grabbed my hand; jerked me around in the other direction and said, “Run!”. The buzzing sound was getting louder and the bees were getting closer. We were running and LP was still holding my hand. Then all the sudden LP pulls me under some small brush further away from the edge of the canyon and said, “Get down and don’t move.” We stayed under that brush and stayed as low as possible until the entire swarm had passed us by and until we could no longer hear the buzzing sound. When we returned to our hotel, we saw a news report on the television about this hiker in Phoenix who had been attacked by a swarm of bees that very same day. The hiker was stung several times and she had fallen off the mountain and died that day. I was lucky because LP was with me and pulled me under the small shrubs and pretty much saved my life.
Once LP and I were in New Orleans and we were staying at the Executive Suites located several blocks from Bourbon Street. Instead of walking that far we would take the trolley to get closer to restaurants and entertainment. It was getting late in the evening and the trolley would be shutting down in fifteen minutes so we hurried to the trolley stop to catch the last run back to our hotel. We waited and waited for it seemed like forever and finally the trolley showed up. We got on and the trolley is headed in the opposite direction from the way we needed to go. A few minutes had passed by and we were getting further and further away from everybody and everything. Finally the trolley came to a complete stop and the driver looks at us because we were the only ones on the trolley and says, “Last stop.” I looked out of the window into the darkness and noticed a homeless person, covered with a newspaper sleeping on a nearby bench, and then I saw someone else walking behind the bushes. I looked at LP and said, “We’re not getting off here!” LP and I confronted the driver and told him there was no way we were getting off there. The driver kept saying, “You have to get off here; it’s the last stop.” We stood our ground and refused to get off the trolley. Now, I don’t know if the driver felt sorry for us or just wanted to get rid of us, but he put the trolley in reverse and took us all the way back to the other end of the track and dropped us off. I was lucky to have LP with me again, and I was lucky that I was such a good beggar that night.
I could go on and on with my lucky stories, but, believe me, it would go on forever. I will say, when it comes down to it, I am one lucky person. And everyday something lucky happens to me and if something didn’t happen to me, it would actually be a bit scary. I would wish everyone to be as lucky as me, but I think it’s okay to be selfish with it. Remember Murphy’s Law, “What can happen, will happen.” I just never thought so much weird crap could happen and all the time.