Everything in it’s right place

Yesterday afternoon as I was on my way to picking up our oldest from school, another parent got my attention in the parking lot:

Hey.  I was behind you as we pulled in.  It looks like your rear passenger break light is about to go out cause it was cycling faster than the driver side.  Just thought you should know.

Thanks; I’ll make sure to get that taken care of before i’m pulled over.

Light banter was exchanged as made our way to the school lobby as we waited for our children to be called out.

Today as I was out and about running errands, I decided to stop into an Auto Parts store to get a replacement bulb for the light which was on it’s way out.  I had looked up a Youtube vid earlier.  Complete removal and installation in 2 minutes and some change.  Piece of cake.

I purchased the bulb and came back to our Honda.  I forgot that the job required a Phillip’s head screwdriver, which I did not have with me.

Most Auto Parts Store parking lots i’ve observed tend to have at least one or two Do-it-Yourselfers working on their vehicles on site.  It makes sense, since you never know what part/tool you’ll need.  Today was no exception, as I surveyed a pair of fellows working under the hood of a Chrysler Minivan.

Hey man; would you loan me a Phillip’s Head screwdriver?

Sure; it’ll cost you $28 bucks though.

I chuckled.

No problem; I’ll put a deposit on it.” I retorted.

After wiggling the break light assembly free, me and my Campus Ministry Leader inspected the bulb.

Looks good to me.” he remarked.  I concurred.

We decided to test the lamp and observe it’s functionality ourselves.

Turn signal, break light, left and right side were A-ok.

Huh.”  I pondered allowed.  “I wonder what the lady behind me was looking at yesterday afternoon?

I contemplated returning the new, un-opened bulbs to get my $6.96 back, but thought I better hold onto them incase what the other parent saw really was the case.

As I went to return the Phillip’s Head, the Good Samaritan said, “I take cash.” with a smile.

I have something better than cash” as I fished out a business card with our church’s contact info and particulars.

“Oh ok; Church of Christ.  That’s alright.  Do you guys have a food pantry or anything like that?”

Not yet.”  I replied.  “We’re a small fellowship now, but hopefully we grow to that point where we can offer food to the community.

We continued talking.  Apparently this kind stranger has been living out of his van for the past 8 months.  He’s been trying to get on his feet, but his A/C pulley assembly has seized up, so he and his buddy Dave under the hood were attempting a work around.

Have you eaten yet today?” I asked.

Oh yeah; I have.  I’m good.

I haven’t.”  said Dave from under the van.

I reached into my wallet and took out the little cash I had on me and handed it to him.

It’s not much, but hopefully you can get yourself a burger or something.

Thanks man; I really appreciate that“.  As Dave beamed.  “Can I get one of those cards too?” He asked.

Sure.”  I wrote my number on Dave’s and the Good Samaritan’s cards.

We talked for a few more moments and then we made our leave.  Before going, the Good Samaritan gave me a firm handshake and thanked me again for my kindness.  I smiled and returned to my van.

As I sat there with our Campus Ministry Leader, I said:

“Now I know why that parent told me about my break light going it bad; it was so we could come here today and meet those two men.  Nothing is by accident or coincidence”.

We drove off.

 

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Are you sure you want to do that?

Over this past week my wife has witnessed two apparent crimes, or at least incidents that looked like something was awry.  Both times I was with her but not paying attention or looking in the direction she was.  Both times her first inclination was to call the Police, and both times I cringed and cautioned her to think carefully before acting.

The first time we were on our way home from church when my wife witnessed what she described as a carjacking.  I was driving, my wife was next to me in the passenger’s seat, with our three children in the 2nd row of our minivan.  I heard tires screech and looked in the rearview mirror just in time to see a woman standing in the road looking visibly shaken and exclaiming that someone just stole her car. Her vehicle did a 180 and drove full speed against traffic in the wrong direction.  One of the nearby motorist invited the woman in, and they sped down the road in pursuit.  All of this took place in the span of 10 seconds or so. My wife, who saw more than i did, brought out her phone and cried out “Someone just stole that lady’s car!  I’m going to call the Police!”  She repeated it two times afterwards, which got our oldest son anxious.  He said he was scared and started crying.  Now I was upset because he was now effected by this incident.  I’m trying to calm him and my wife down, without conveying my growing anger towards her at the moment (we talked it over later on that day and I apologized for being insensitive at the time).

As calmly as I could:

Me: “What are you going to tell the Police when you call them?”  Did you see the person who supposedly stole the car?  Did you see a scuffle or an exchange?  Did you get a make/model/tags?”

My Wife: “No”.

Me: “So what were you going to tell them?”

My Wife: “I dunno; just what happened.”

This afternoon, we were both sitting at our dinning room table which is adjacent to a large window which overlooks a major intersection in the downtown area.  Again, my wife sees something that I don’t.

My Wife: “Look at that!  Look at those guys running!  They came from that car, and they threw something over the tracks (train) and are running away from that red car?  I think the stole it!  I’m going to call the police!”

Me: “What car.  Oh I see.  Those guys ran from that red car?”

My Wife: “Yes!”

Me: “How do you know they stole the car?”

My Wife: “They left the car right there and ran.  The trunk is open!”

Me: “Ok.”

Half an hour later or so, the red car with the open trunk was no longer there.  Someone must have moved it.

I love my wife, and I trust her instincts.  She is more pure hearted and optimistic than I am.  But in these instances, I cautioned her.  Put aside the events of the past 24 months involving the Police.  As a person from Alkebu-Lan, I have always had to think twice before involving Law Enforcement in any situation I’m a part of.  I could only imagine the interview/conversation that would have ensued had she gone through with her intentions, with the little info she could provide.

The Police serve a purpose, just not in these two incidents.

Roadshow on the sidewalk

On my morning walk I can across something fairly interesting:

Per Wikepedia:

Seeburg was an American design and manufacturing company of automated musical equipment, such as orchestrionsjukeboxes, and vending equipment.

Prior owner has a wide range in the way of musical taste:

If I had the money/space/time I would have hauled that thing home. 

First (Real) Snow of the Winter

Got our first snow of the season here in Norfolk Monday night. Didn’t venture out, just a few shots from the window.

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And Tuesday morning:

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I got to hand it to The Tide maintenance crew. They were out early Tuesday clearing the tracks and platform so commuters wouldn’t skip a beat. Also to the good folks at Harris Teeter on Colonial Ave. They did the amazing feat of opening up all checkout lanes to assist shoppers trying to get home Monday night.