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Education comes in nasty package of problems

August 12, 2012
Messenger News

Write a note to yourself, they tell me. Then I won't forget to do whatever it is I should be doing.

I forget to write the note.

How's it come I cannot remember that note, I'll never know. Some people say it's because the task means nothing to me so forgetting it is easy. Others say training myself is mandatory in this kind of situation. Still others know the truth.

Teaching old dogs new tricks seems incomprehensible.

That's why I must pass along a word to the wise to all women out there. Several words, really, though just one thought. If you've gone blissfully through life letting your partner take care of stuff like tires on the car, salt in the water softener or installation of a water heater, change your ways now. At least watch and listen, so when you're thrown into a problem, you can find your way out.

Oh, yes, I've chosen these examples with care. Well, not care so much as with first-hand recent knowledge.

Driving along Interstate 70 just east of Kansas City in bumper-to-bumper fast traffic and singing loudly with Tracy Byrd in spite of the traffic, I suddenly hear an explosion, feel the van jerk and look in the rear view mirror to see giant chunks of black flying away.

I immediately said to myself, myself I said, this could be a blowout. And I was right. I like being right.

With the blessings of God and my travel angels, the van didn't careen through traffic, but gracefully followed my directions and settled comfortably on the side of the road. I did not wet myself, either - another piece of good luck.

A solid swish of passing vehicles from big to bigger kept me inside the van, let's just say too careful to go outside to check the tire. I wasn't that scared.

AAA roadside service is a real blessing, and within the hour I was on my way to Blue Springs, Mo., and a tire purchase. Whoever thought of making the spare tire that stupid little doughnut tire ought to be horse-whipped, but that's beside the point.

At Walmart, the only auto store open late Saturday afternoon, I had to make a decision I never wanted to or thought I'd have to make - what tires to buy and how many. I recognized Goodyear, so I bought Goodyear. I thought it was wrong to buy only two tires and take the chance of another blowout between Blue Springs and home, so I bought four, hoping I'd made the right decision.

So it's late - 1 a.m. Sunday - when I get home and want to wash up. No hot water. It seems, explained my new friend Brian as he examined the water heater, the insides were a mess and that might have, could have, happened from a lack of salt in my water softener. Apparently, softened water does more than make your hair soft. Forgetting to put salt in the softener is not a good idea.

I should have written myself a note.

So long friends, until the next time when we're together.

Sandy Mickelson, retired lifestyle editor of The Messenger, may be reached at



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