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A Leisurely Breakfast

     BEEEEPPP! I about jumped out of my seat! Not a good idea when you're driving down the street.

     The beep was mine—well, my car's. I slowed down to check the dash to see which of those icons was lit up to warn me of disaster. You know, those icons that lie hidden in darkness until some malfunction asserts itself and yells at you to fix it. Usually I have to stop, get out the manual and compare the dozens of icons clustered around the dash with the one that's shining brightly at the moment, but this one—this one I knew. All too well.

     The orange glow in the shape of a flattened tire peered out at me. I knew it wouldn't go away, even though the BEEEEPPP! had gone silent—for the moment.

     What could I do? No choice. I drove to the end of the street, made a U-turn and returned to the driveway I'd left moments before in high spirits, anticipating a leisurely breakfast at a favorite restaurant while Christy manned the fort, in case Paul should wake and need assistance.

     I got out of the car. Tires looked okay, but you never can tell. I pressed the side of each one. Fingers got all black but the tires felt all right. Well, maybe one was a bit soft. Next step for an experienced dealer-with-low-pressure icons: retrieve the pressure checker from the trunk of the car.

     The left front tire was not good. The right front tire was worse. O-kaay… My fingers were smudged black as coal. I went back in the house to wash them.

     "Christy, my tires are low on pressure. I'm going to Pep Boys to get them pumped up." Whew! She didn't say too bad I wouldn't have time for breakfast so I assumed that meant I could extend my parole long enough to get the tires pumped up AND have my leisurely breakfast.

     Yay! Pep Boys did the deed. Free of charge but I'm not a total wimp; I tipped the guy before I drove out of the service bay and headed for Denny's and my favorite breakfast: one lone blueberry pancake with a steaming cup of fresh coffee and a red Kindle, my constant companion. I could taste the sweet blueberries already.

     Denny's was crowded to the max. Parents and toddlers and grandparents and single guys filled the lobby. Oops, no single guys. Wishful thinking. . . But since I was here, I scratched my name on the scrap of paper next to the cashier. Only six parties ahead of me. Hopefully a wave of customers would suddenly rise from their seats, rush to pay their checks and leave six or seven booths free for all of us hopefuls.  

     Sitting on the last remaining space on the lobby bench, I waited patiently. For about two minutes. Nothing moved. No one left. Reason told me I should leave and try someplace else so, since I always listen to reason. . .  Shhh… I do, too! Anyway, a few minutes later, I got up, crossed my name off the list and headed out for less-crowded eateries.

     Closer to home, El Cajon Bistro was pleasantly full—meaning most of the booths were taken but not all. They, like Denny's, have delicious blueberry pancakes. Plus their coffee is better than Denny's. I settled into a comfy booth, pulled out my Kindle and waited for the taste of blueberry pancake topped with smooth, melted butter and sweet syrup as I sipped hot Kona coffee. I could have a leisurely breakfast and still get home in time to relieve Christy from watch duty.

     About those tires—I made an appointment at Discount Tires to have them checked so all is well with my world. I'm ready for the new year and whatever it brings—hopefully no lit-up icons imperiling future leisurely breakfasts.  HAPPY NEW YEAR TO ALL!

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