I’m not afraid of Friday the 13th. At least, I didn’t think I was. But last week’s supposedly unlucky day tried to catch up with me.
I made it through noon without thinking about the date. Sure, there were some minor glitches: dropping things because I was trying to carry too many objects in my hand, almost breaking a glass, having both cats escape the house – not once, but twice, as Bill and I were trying to leave for an out-of-town weekend.
And boy, were they angry about being cooped up inside. They wouldn’t have anything to do with pet sitter Melinda, she said, when we called in to check on them Saturday night.
Once on the road to Manassas, I pretty much ignored the too-close cars traveling 80 mph in the passing lane. Bill has gotten almost gotten used to my sharp intakes of breath and begging him to stay in the right-hand lane to let the “igits” – as in “Look at that igit!’ that I learned to say as a 3-year-old”– speed on by.
He humored me by stopping in Harrisonburg to buy me an adult beverage for later. Meanwhile, I spotted a Michael’s craft supply store and we went in for a few minutes for me to search for earring wires and green glass leaf beads.
At one point, my checkbook fell out of my too-tiny purse and landed with a clatter in the handheld shopping basket in front of the bead selection.
While Bill went into the store down the street for the rum for later, I stayed in the car to try for a quick nap. It was Friday in a college town, so the store was busy. He made a lucky mistake, and I found I’d made an unlucky one. Bill had parked the car in the sun. When I went to turn on the ignition to open the sunroof, I couldn’t find my keys.
So that’s what the clatter had been in Michael’s! We retraced our route and I ran in to ask if anyone had turned in keys. Of course not. But I knew where I’d been, and immediately located the sneaky keyring trying to pretend it was a string of purple beads.
Back on the road again, I considered ourselves blessed. If we hadn’t gone to the ABC store and Bill hadn’t parked in the sun, we could have been three hours north before I realized the keys were gone. Or maybe even the next day.
I ignored nagging thoughts in the back of my mind about a particular Friday the 13th when I stopped for a red light in front of Walmart in Amherst County, and the big, 1982 Ford didn’t stop. My little red 1970 Karmann Ghia became a pinball, right through the intersection, with me in it. Although Carmen was dead, the rear engine saved me from too serious harm – although maybe that’s what my right hip aches come from.
The rest of the weekend passed happily and we made it home safely – to find a note from the petsitter announcing an egg thief that had clawed a dinner-plate size hole in our hen coop and stolen that day’s fresh egg Melinda had intended to have for a late breakfast. Possum? Fox? Do wild animals read calendars and realize when it’s Friday the 13th weekend? I know deer and wild turkeys carry hunting season calendars, but that’s a topic for a whole ‘nother column.