Friday, July 28, 2017


September 21, 2013
     I had hoped a new prescription would take care of the deteriorating vision in my one good eye, but the doctor said nothing could be done about it.  Driving was becoming a problem, but by focusing on the painted white strip lining the right side of most streets, I managed to reach my destinations safely.
     Until a couple of days ago.
     I was almost home from Wednesday's duplicate bridge in Marshfield when Neck Street segued into Broad Reach.  The first scare was a car with its driver lying under his car with his legs sticking out.  I swerved into the other side of the street, which fortunately had no oncoming traffic.  A few minutes later I could see a parked car on the right and had to swerve again to avoid hitting the teenager standing in the road, several feet away from the car.  He yelled something at me, probably a suggestion that I f-word learn how to drive.
     Yesterday's event was the every-other-Friday bridge game at Alma Nove restaurant located in the Hingham Shipyard.
     I was proceeding slowly and cautiously south on 3A, to the irritation of drivers behind me, when I inexplicably found myself bumping up onto a curb, then bumping down again.  No serious harm done, apparently, although the Honda had developed a sort of limp.  I turned into the Shipyard's entrance and headed for the restaurant.  I knew it was on the left side of the street but a huge white truck blocked my view of what turned out to be The Beer Works restaurant.
     I pulled over to park and clunk, clunk, my car went up and down over the curb again, flattening the much abused right front tire.  The truck driver kindly offered his arm for the walk to the Alma Nove.  I introduced myself to him by saying, "Would you believe that I was an instrument-rated pilot back in the sixties?" I announce this quite often these days, when I'm feeling like a horse's behind of an old lady.
     Two hours later, at the conclusion of the bridge and luncheon, organizer Kathie Galvin called Triple A for me.  Meanwhile her husband sat down beside me and chatted in a comforting way.  I said, "Would you believe that back in the sixties . . . ?"
     More kindnesses were in store.  The helpful manager of the restaurant said she would go with the AAA driver, and when my car was fixed, would drive it back to the front door.
     "Just give me your car keys," she said.  
     She waited patiently while I searched pockets and purse in vain. I know exactly why they ended up where Ann Marie finally found them. I had lifted my cane from the passenger side onto the street, exited the car, then placed the keys on the roof. Why? So I could reach in for the handle of the paper bag in which I carry various items. My short-term memory being what it is, I forgot I'd done this.
      When Anne Marie returned with my car, she said she would drive me home -- not to worry, a colleague would be following us.
      She pulled with ease into my concrete parking space, which has damaged both my left and right side-view mirrors.  Ann Marie accompanied me to my condo, admired my view of the marina, and thoroughly agreed with me when I said I was giving up my car keys.

                               WHEN TO HANG UP THE CAR KEYS

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