Months ago, I drove my dirty 2010 blue Prius to Mister C’s Car Wash in Rochester. Thanks to my husband, personal grocery shopper and chauffeur to church, restaurants, and Cook’s Farm Dairy in Ortonville, I hadn’t driven in weeks.

I waited in Mister C’s long, hairpin queue and flipped radio stations to familiar voices and classical music. Meanwhile, young staff hustled, moving all makes and models of autos.

Opening doors. Wiping. Closing doors. Wiping. Reaching over windshields for the perfect shine. If they weren’t thoroughly enjoying themselves, they had me fooled.

Amused by the synchronized movement of the machinery and employees, I forgot to shift into neutral when directed into the tire guides.

Embarrassed, I couldn’t locate my gearshift in the dark. The word “Alzheimer’s” whispered in my head. “I’m sorry,” I said to the attendant. “I’ve not driven in quite a while.”
He smiled. “Happens all the time.”

I intended to call the Rochester Chamber of Commerce to praise Mr. C’s manager and team for their discretion with patrons who experience slips of mind.

Rather, I forgot those ambitious folk until yesterday when I faced the challenge to finally hang new curtains in our master bedroom.

What, you may ask, do those kids in Mister C’s Car Wash have to do with me hanging curtains?

Well, for one, I didn’t forget this valuable reminder–if you don’t use it, you lose it.

You see, my history with curtain rod bracket installation isn’t boast worthy. The screws fell out of the drywall, and although we have a stash of the appropriate anchor, I avoid using them. They fell out too and made a larger hole to patch and paint.

Considering I didn’t marry a handyman, I was on my own.

Secondly, the enthusiasm of those young men and women drying cars and trucks recalled the positive experience of bracket installation lessons from a friend several years ago.

So I carried a pencil, hammer, nail, and Black & Decker drill upstairs where the project waited.

After a deep breath and prayer, I climbed my yellow kitchen stool, an Armada Flea Market find. While my husband picked strawberries at Blake’s in Almont, I hung the sheers in one fourth the time it took to iron them.

Down to the kitchen I went to compose the grocery list for our barbeque with Cathleen and Russ today. We can’t remember our last visit together.

Truth is, we’re hungry for good company and strawberry-rhubarb pie with Cook’s lavender lemon honey ice cream.

This morning, while the strawberries and rhubarb marinated in sugar, nutmeg, and a pinch of salt, I messed up doubling my butter crust recipe.

Try, try again.

While the pie cooled, I prepared summer’s first bowl of potato salad. Cathleen called from Dearborn. “All our roads have flooded! Will tomorrow work for you and Mel?”

Dear Reader, I cannot thoroughly enjoy the first strawberry-rhubarb pie of the season without friends at our table.

“Tomorrow at three. I’ll hold the pie and ice cream.”

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