Thursday, August 25, 2011


IT'S NO SECRET that I consider us to be battery impaired. Long ago, my frustration was great when I couldn't take more than ten minutes of movies before the battery needed recharging. The vexation continued throughout my life with anything battery operated. I don't know about Mr. Bob, but I just plain don't understand batteries.

Last week on the hottest part of a sweltering day, we went to the post office to mail Susan's birthday package to Alaska. Do you know that feeling of "There! That's done" when you've accomplished something, however small? That's what I felt as I turned the key in the ignition in preparation for the drive home. Click, then nothing. Not a sound. Deader than a doornail.

Happily, we have AAA service and a cell phone. The dispatcher asked our location, the license plate number (do you know yours? I learn ours and then don't use it before I forget again), the make of the car, the year, the color and before I hung up, I told her my hair was grey, it was hot and please hurry.

It took the predicted half hour before the mechanic arrived and God had sent us a good man. When I told him I feared it might be the starter (because, beyond the click, there was no sound), he seemed amazed that I knew there was such a part. Things are so high tech now that he could run a test and show me on a paper tape the results which said there was a dead cell in our battery. I pretended to understand and in another show of modern technology, he produced a fresh battery, the date showing it was fresh off the assembly line and I said to go ahead and install it. Romeo was his call name, he was born in Guatemala and his last job lasted six years when he was a caretaker to a man with cancer.

Problem solved.

What do you suppose it means metaphysically when one has a second battery emergency within a few days? In this situation, I was too flustered to even think to use the camera.

 I  have an electric scooter that I use only for trips to a large shopping mall. Lazy as I am, I still don't want to become dependent on it. It's lightweight, lives in the back of our van and hasn't been used in the two years we've lived at the Manor. Recently Mr. Bob charged the two batteries for it.

Day before yesterday I awakened from an afternoon nap. Mr. Bob was nowhere in sight; I presumed he had gone downstairs to the Men's Group which meets on Tuesdays. Before I'd cleared the sleep from my eyes the phone rang. It was Mr. Bob with the news that he needed to be picked up. He'd run out of battery power. With clenched teeth, I followed his directions and found him sitting at the side of the road. He'd decided to take out the power chair and ride to the nearby library to return a book. Both batteries ran out of juice, batteries that were supposed to be good for fifteen miles. No wonder I have a lack of trust.


  1. So Goood ! A Non Y Mouse

  2. I'm picturing a scenario where you could go out in your electric chair and rescue him in his electric chair, using some jumper cables.... maybe six feet long.... sort of a tow truck arrangement. I'm sure Chris could draw the instruction manual.

  3. Old age can be pitiful ........ Or not. It all depends on what you make of it.

  4. Batteries Schmatteries...I don't understand them either, although I'm always happy when a bad one is replaced with a new one.


  5. I'm still plowing through the Move From Hell----and I think you just identified my current problem. OUT OF BATTERIES!!!!!! Where do I pick up a fresh pack?????? Oh, I think us humans call it SLEEP! : ) Not for many hours----and went I get to our current address there are no sheets or towels....and they are not even battery operated--oh wait, WE are their batteries!!!

  6. That reminds me of a movie called The Straight Story.

  7. What a good story. The "little" things that confound many of us!! I can see Bob deciding to quietly take off an enjoy the "driving experience". Funny how it ended like a teenager taking the car without asking... In the end, you are both ok and the knowledge about the battery and its sinister life span, grows ever deeper.