Jenny was giving our son Joe some tips about driving in the dark to and from Oxford, where she teaches fourth grade and he commutes to Ole Miss.
“Get behind a truck and stay there,” she said. “Just stay in your lane and don’t pass; that way, you’re not likely to hit a deer.”
“But trucks throw rocks and you may get your windshield broken,” I said. “It’s better to not follow trucks.”
Jenny said something about how she had driven up and down Highway 30 for more than two years and hadn’t gotten her windshield broken.
That was several weeks ago. Last week she called me late in the afternoon as she was leaving school in Oxford.
“You’re going to be mad,” she said. “I came out to my car and the windshield is cracked.”
When she got home, I checked it out. The passenger side of the windshield had a crack about 18 inches long.
“It’s definitely from a rock,” Greg Richey said, when I took the car by his shop the next day. “You can see the pit where the rock hit.”
Twenty-four hours and $212.93 later, the car was as good as new.
Well, as new as a 2008 Altima is going to be with a new windshield.
Jenny was prepared. Before I could say “I told you so,” she announced that at least she had not done $8,000 damage to a new car by running into a pole in a city parking lot.
Anyhow, my wife complains that I sometimes talk to her like she’s one of my children, with lots of do’s and don’ts. So she rebels and tunes me out.
There has been a time or two when I wish she hadn’t.
The family favorite was a couple of years after we got married.
We were living in a two-story house in South Carolina and had a walk-in attic over the garage. Only the center portion of the attic was covered by plywood.
Every time she would head to the attic, I would caution her not to step off the plywood or she would fall through the sheetrock into the garage.
One night when I got home from work, there were two big holes in the garage ceiling.
“I took a step back while I was moving something in the attic,” she said.
Luckily, when she stepped off the plywood, she straddled a ceiling joist, which kept her from falling all the way to the garage floor.
Another time, also in South Carolina, I told her she had gotten way too close to the garage-door frame when she pulled her car into the garage.
“Be careful backing out or you’re going to clip the side of the garage,” I said.
She gave me that look and said, “How stupid do you think I am?” as she went out the door.
Two minutes later, I heard the sound of breaking glass. Yep, she had scraped the car’s rear fender on the door frame and busted the tail light.
I kept my mouth shut.
We don’t have to worry about hitting the garage-door frame here in New Albany. There’s so much stuff piled in the garage, there’s no room for a car.
T. Wayne Mitchell, publisher of the Gazette, can be reached by phone at 662-534-6321 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.