George and I celebrated our thirtieth wedding anniversary on Monday, January 10th. Rather than take a trip for this milestone, I convinced my husband to spend a long week at our small farm in Connecticut...what was I thinking?!? It was certainly an anniversary we won't forget! Who knew it would be the snowiest and coldest January in years?
George had to return to NJ the day after our anniversary so he decided to start my ten year old Beetle in the afternoon. It was totally dead and it wouldn't start with a jump so we called Exxon Travel Club. After about an hour's wait a tow truck showed up at the farm and managed to get my VW running. The gentleman advised us to let it run for about a half hour and then to drive it to give it an extra boost.
Monday is a bad night for a celebration; most of our favorite restaurants are closed on Mondays. After letting the Beetle charge, off we went to Peking Tokyo in Mystic for a semi-romantic dinner. At this point it was about ten degrees outside with piles of frozen snow everywhere. George pulled into a parking space at the strip mall where the restaurant is located and turned off the car. I got the bright idea to restart the VW to make sure it would start again. And of course it wouldn't start. Since we were on a very small incline, I suggested we let it roll and try to "jump" it with the clutch, which actually does work, but not this time. So we continued rolling and wound up in two spaces by Starbucks with a dead battery.
Of course we didn't have our membership number for Exxon Travel Club, but we did have a phone number. Since the car was still warm we sat there while making the call. Nothing is ever as easy as you hope though. Since it was after hours, we were connected to a nice gentleman in India. No matter what information we gave him, he couldn't seem to find our membership. After about forty minutes of trying I said to him, "It's dark, it's freezing, our car won't start and you can't find our NUMBER??!! You're probably somewhere nice and warm and the sun is probably shining and I'm going to hang up now before I freeze to death or lose my temper."
So we gave up and went into Starbucks to borrow their phone book. The young lady behind the counter was so nice, offering us free cups of coffee. Sadly, I had to decline since I'm not a fan of their burnt roast flavor. At this point, George's cell phone died and we gave up and walked over to Peking Tokyo for dinner; which incidentally was very good.
After dinner, I sat with my book while George used their phone to call a taxi for us to get back to the farm. After he went outside to put a note on our disabled car, the bartender came over to offer his assistance in trying to jump start our car. But by that time, the taxi was right outside and we went back to the farm. Like Scarlett O'Hara, we weren't going to deal with it then, we'd face the problem the next day.
Snuggled up in our warm little farmhouse with our full bellies and watching junk TV, we were just grateful to be inside and out of the cold. "Happy Anniversary," my husband said to me. "Next year I'm spending our anniversary some place that's warm, hope you'll come with me."
Pear photo taken by Lynn Kimmerle