Three is not a charm on the farm – Empty Nest by Curt Swarm


Ginnie’s been having a rough go lately. The other night she was delivering a dozen eggs to my son and his family. She had a nice chat with my son and his wife at their front door (they were all happy about the farm-fresh eggs), and then she left. Ginnie drives a new Nissan Rogue that she dearly loves. It’s the first car she’s owned with a rear camera. As she was backing out of my son’s driveway, she heard a crunch. A sinking feeling started in her chest and swept through to her toes. She got out of the car and went around to take a look. Sure ’nuff, she had crunched a rear fender against a tree. “How could I have done this?” she screamed internally to herself! “The first car I’ve ever owned with a rear camera, and look what I’ve done!”
Our body man was understanding–$3,700, thank you, ma’am!
The next morning, still upset about wrecking her new car, Ginnie was having a hot flash. She turned on the ceiling fan in the kitchen and stripped off some clothing. Wouldn’t you know it, I saw a flashing movement go by the kitchen window. I hollered at Ginnie to cover herself. Too late. The UPS man was at the open kitchen door, knocking. There’s nothing like being caught with half your clothes off!
But it wasn’t over. Trouble come in three’s. That evening we had a scant supper because Ginnie had bell-choir practice at church. She was scurrying around trying not to be late. She wanted to wash her car and get gas on the way, so that she would be ready for her commute to work the next morning. She also wanted to stop at the supermarket and pick up goodies. It was her turn for treats at work. Rush, rush, rush. I was looking forward to a little quiet time for some reading, and maybe a nap in my recliner. I had just settled in when I received a text from Ginnie. It was the wrong night. She was a day off. Bell-choir practice was on Wednesday, this was Tuesday. I felt bad for her threesome of bad luck and was gloating that nothing like this had happened to me in quite some time.
(By the way, the next Wednesday night, Ginnie forgot about bell-choir practice all together.)
I got up out of the recliner. My hip went pop and I nearly fell over. I had been using a lower-back massage stretcher that I had seen advertised on t.v. and ordered on-line. It was supposed to relieve lower back pain. Well, it did do that. In fact, my lower back felt so good, that I doubled the recommended exercise time, ignoring the warning to consult a doctor before using. I had actually dislocated my hip using the blasted contraption. My chiropractor just shook his head. Forty bucks, ka-ching! He’d see me twice a week for six weeks.
A strange car pulled in the driveway. A lady came to the door. She wanted to know if I knew anyone who did woodworking. She had an old tabletop that she needed remade. I asked her why she stopped at our house. She said the people at the farm-supply store told her to ask me. Tsk, tsk. I took a look at her old tabletop. I told her that I reckoned I could do the job. After she left I asked myself why I had taken on another project when I had more than I would ever get done anyway. I would need a band saw to do the job right. Hmm, this would give me an excuse to buy a new band saw. Which I did.
After I got the tabletop rough cut, I was looking for my router. I ran across the old band saw that I forgot I had.
Ginnie just looked at me and said, “Hip, band saw. That’s two.”
Note: Curt Swarm will be conducting a book signing for his new book, “Protected” at the Book Vault, 105 S. Market St., in Oskaloosa, on Thursday, May 10 at 6:30 p.m.
Have a good story? Call or text Curt Swarm in Mt. Pleasant at 319-217-0526, email him at or find him on Facebook. Curt’s stories are also read at 106.3 FM in Farmington.

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