Jack the Propane Guy delivers

Posted on January 11, 2011

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Yesterday was an excellent day all the way around.  I thought you might like to see things going right around here.  I called to order propane.  Moments later, Jack the Propane Guy was in my driveway!  This is an extraordinary level of service.  Not just Jack – you can expect that sort of thing from him – but his cellphone worked!

I took it as a good omen, and headed off into the day with a good attitude.  The invalid car started right up. I figured that as long as I didn’t turn it off again, I could make it through my rounds.

I needed a pen.  I could have bought a pen anywhere, I suppose, but it occurred to me that stopping at Bachmann’s would be its own treat, and I could leave the car running out front.  While I was paying for my pen, I laughed at the sign behind the counter.

Mike Bachmann, who started working at the family enterprise when he was ten years old, told me the story. Once upon a time, a long time ago, it was not uncommon for parents to give each child a quarter and drop them off at Bachmann’s to amuse themselves while Mom and Dad did the laundry or the grocery shopping.  “Basically,” he said, “we used to provide babysitting for 25 cents an hour.”  He grinned. Then he looked wistful. A lot of things have changed since those days, not all of them for the better.  But the car was still out front, so we had that going for us.

I brought my books back to the library on time, and found two others I wanted.  (I’ve decided to read my way right through Aaron Stander’s Ray Elkins series, and I’m way behind on the oeuvre of Richard Russo.)

I ran into various people and exchanged pleasantries and book recommendations. We all admitted that we are reading brain candy this month. We all admitted that sometimes we read brain candy in other months, too. Don’t tell anybody. The car was still in the parking lot, running merrily, nice and toasty inside.

I already told you yesterday about the starlings and the cow plop that turned out to be turkey litter and the McIntosh apples, so we’ll skip all that part and go on to the next nice thing. I stopped off at Bruce’s Mobile Repair and made arrangements to have followup treatment for the invalid. We determined that the battery was well and truly charged and the car would start up reliably even if I turned off the ignition. Whew. I was getting low on gas. Off to the Eastport Market.

Uh-oh, your’e thinking, it’s never fun to buy a tank of gas in northern Michigan.  OK, it was not my favorite part of the day, but!  I had a coupon good for 20 cents off per gallon!  And I managed to find it in the bottom of the Cat Bag!  And it had not expired!  This coupon thing is the best idea Russ has had since he married Donna.  The value of the coupon depends on how much you spend for groceries, and it feels like a little present every time I get one.  I am easilydelighted.

As long as I was there, I bought a few things I forgot the last time and said hello to Sandy and Angela and Olivia and ran into Jim Ruster in the produce section and talked about the delights of farming.  OK, he talked about that.  I had my mind still pretty firmly on the turkey litter.  But it was all very pleasant, and Jim planted a story idea in my mind.  So there you go. I grouse about this and that in January, but there are lots of things that go right. Good to remember.

And now I hear that the cellphone companies are going to battle on the basis of actual coverage–you know, the ability to use the instrument to make a telephone call that results in an intelligible conversation.  That would be very exciting.  I await developments.

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