My wife, Penney, and I were returning from an outing to the Antler’s Bar and Grill on a bitter winter night. But, wouldn’t you know it, on the road home my car stuttered, yammered and then stalled next to a snowbank.
Now what? I thought. Penney simply stared straight ahead as if waiting for me to tear open the hood and fiddle and poke till the only thing I got going was a bad case of the chilblains. And I just knew that when I got back in the car she would calmly say, “Why don’t we just let it rest.” But not this time. I wasn’t going to give her the satisfaction.
She always says that. When the toaster doesn’t toast. ‘Let it rest.’ When the garbage disposal seizes up—‘let it rest.’ Penney doesn’t know from thermal relays and reset buttons. But every time I start to tell her about those things she smiles like a mountain-top guru with the answer to life: ‘let it rest.’ And, of course, she’s right part of the time but she doesn’t know why. And could care less.
Maybe she gets her attitude from gardening. There’s a rhythm to it all: the time for planning and the time for planting; the time for growing and the time for harvesting. Then she cans the vegetables and fruit, lines them on a shelf where, of course, they wait. Or maybe she gets her outlook from having babies. You can’t rush babies. It’s a long ride so you might as well relax. She has taken a lot of trips.
So, maybe after all these years of marriage, I can admit that she is right. This night, in this snowdrift, I’m going to let it rest.
Penney looked over at me. “Well, aren’t you going to do something?” she asked. “You know, like look under the hood, jump the carburetor or goose the battery or whatever it is that you do?”
“No,” I replied in a level voice. “I thought I would just let it rest for a while.”
“Are you nuts?” she screamed. “We could freeze to death out here.”
Then I watched her in the dimming lights of our fading battery as she flagged down a trucker and left me to rest a while.
A former corporate trainer and writing instructor, Joe Novara and his wife live in Kalamazoo, Michigan. Writings include novels, short stories, a memoir and various poems, anthologies and articles. Check them out here.