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Things Could Always be Worse

Story ID:7351
Written by:Michael Timothy Smith (bio, link, contact, other stories)
Story type:Musings, Essays and Such
Location:Caldwell Idaho USA
Year:2011
Person:Me
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Another day was over. I sat in my car, turned the key and pulled out of the
parking lot. It was Thursday. I had only one more day until the weekend. Two days alone
with my wife.

I turned left onto the highway. Approaching from the west was an ominous
black storm front. Two miles into my drive, the trees began to sway and dance.
Their leaves fluttered like swarms of butterflies. Rain began to lash, power washing
the layer of farm dust off my car, revealing the original color of the paint.

I stopped at a red light and watched bolts of lightning striking just out of view
behind buildings. The light turned green. As I passed through the intersection, I glanced
down at my dash. The “battery” light was on. “That battery is less than two years old. It
can’t be dead.” I thought to myself. My second thought was, “Will I make it home?”

On the other side of the intersection, traffic came to a stop. It was backed up due to
the storm. My apprehension grew, when I looked at the dash and saw the “engine”
light had joined the “brake” light. The situation was going from bad to worse.

Fifty feet ahead was the driveway to the parking lot for a golf course. I pulled to
the shoulder, passed the car ahead of me and pulled into the lot. My mind raced with
possible causes and guesses of how much was this going to cost me? It was obviously
an electrical problem. Did lightning cause it? My first thought, and I hoped I was correct,
was the universal belt. It might be the alternator – a costly replacement. It might even
be a computer failure.

I stepped out into the blinding rain, popped the engine bonnet and there, wrapped
around the pulleys like a dead snake, was my broken belt.

I was delighted. I wasn’t angry, because all the other possibilities would have cost
several hundred dollars to repair. This was simple and easy.

Ginny picked me up; the car was towed; and the next day, after paying $128 for
repairs, I had my car back.

On the way home, I thanked God the belt hadn’t broken on our trip to the
mountains. We would have been stranded without phone service and perhaps no place
to pull over on the narrow and winding roads.

There’s two ways to look at all problems we face. Just remember, chances are,
things could always be worse.

Michael T. Smith