Fortunately, they’ve been few and far between. But still there have been a few bumps along the way.
One occurred just last week. Our Beloved Housesitter called about the refrigerator in our Dallas home. It didn’t seem to be working.
The food in the freezer was melting, the ice in the ice maker had turned to water and the food in the fridge was going bad.
Yikes. How do you diagnose a fridge on the fritz from 1,400 miles away?
Frankly, you don’t. The refrigerator had been making funny noises before we left Dallas and it was 15 years old. Probably time to get a new one.
C’est la vie.
It took us about an hour but we managed to carefully shop, select, order and purchase a new fridge from Costco online — all from a patio seat at a sports bar in Coconut Grove, Florida — on the way home from a 30-mile bike ride out to Key Biscayne and back.
(The beer wasn’t too bad either.)
It took a week for it to be delivered, which wasn’t fun for our Beloved Housesitter. I’m glad my mother could help; her fridge and freezer across the street were pressed into duty to preserve as much food as possible. At least Costco hauled away the old fridge when they brought the new one; that was a relief.
Beloved Housesitter texted us a picture of the newly installed fridge the morning it was delivered and reports that it’s working. Relief! The wonders of online shopping….
Another bump was brief, and turned out to be barely a blip, but it was still scary. On the same bike ride (before shopping for the fridge), we had stopped at a shady park bench near a marina next to Peacock Park to see if we had a strong enough internet signal to catch up on our email and phone messages.
Only one bar of service. Darn. We pedaled on.
Less than a mile later we stopped again to check the strength of the internet signal. Georges reached for his phone. It wasn’t in his pocket. It wasn’t in his backpack. Are you sure, I asked. He checked again. And again. No phone.
I must have left it on the park bench, he said. OMG, our whole lives are in our phones! Off we went, fairly panicked. We flew through Peacock Park and around the bend back to the bench by the marina.
Whew. The phone was still there. It probably sat there, a small brown rectangle on a cream-colored cement bench, for all of 15 minutes. Thank goodness nobody snatched it.
(They may have been too busy watching this lift operator position a yacht for storage on the fifth “shelf” at the Grove Key Marina.)
Another bump occurred a couple of weeks ago as I was talking on my phone with a very helpful woman with the Florida State Park Service. I had just snagged an extra night at a much sought-after park on the Florida Keys. I reached for my fanny pack to give her my credit card number and … no credit card.
Heart in throat.
I keep both of my credit cards in the same little clear plastic holder as my drivers license, my health insurance card and gift cards to my favorite stores. But I couldn’t find that clear plastic holder. So it wasn’t just a credit card I was missing, but – essentially – my whole financial existence.
Of course, I lost the campsite reservation – it’s not yours til you pay for it – but that was the least of my concerns.
I wracked my brain for where I’d lost my credit card. I checked the pockets of my clothes. I checked in the car – under my seat and in the glove compartment.
I even called the gift shop at the Hemingway House on Key West, where I last remembered paying for anything, to see if maybe I left it on the counter by the cash register.
The nice woman who answered looked and looked but, no, nothing had been turned it.
Could I have dropped it later that night in the parking lot at Higg’s Beach, just before we drove the two hours home to our campsite on Key Largo? If so, who knows where the card could be now….
Damn…. How could I be so stupid?!
I was close to tears. What a way to ruin our trip. We started to make a list of all the places we’d have to call to put a stop on the credit card….
Wait, let me look in the car one more time…. I remember that I once dropped my glasses in the space between my seat and the center console…. Maybe, just maybe….
Aha! It was there, the whole packet of cards in that stupid little clear plastic holder.
An hour of agony I hope not to repeat anytime in the near future. Just thinking about it brings that sour taste of angst back to my mouth….
And then, of course, there was the dead battery episode in Mobile, Alabama last month. Attentive readers of this blog already know about this bump in our road; others can read about it in an earlier blog entry titled “Trouble in Paradise.”
But even that proved to be but a minor annoyance.
Bottom line so far? We’ve been incredibly lucky/blessed/prudent. Here’s hoping that luck, grace and prudence holds out.
We’ll keep you posted.