I am not superstitious .
I don’t care if it’s Friday the 13th . I don’t knock on wood . When I say “Bless you” after someone sneezes , it’s not to ward off the devil . I’ve never tossed salt over my shoulder . I wouldn’t even know when to do that . I don’t have a lucky hat , or shirt , or coin . I’m not superstitious . I might open an umbrella indoors ( if it would ever rain here in southern California ) without thinking twice . My black cat crosses my path most weeks and I don’t worry . I walk under ladders from time to time .
Of course , as the old Irish woman said about leprechauns : ” Of course I don’t believe in them , but they’re out there just the same . ” I do believe in chance . As a student of history , I think events bump along mas o menos by chance . Most people like to fantasize that things progress along a planned continuum , that world leaders move history along step by step and humanity checks off the goods and bads as we all move along a pretty much orderly historical time line . Study history because heaven forbid we don’t repeat the mistakes of the past , et al . ( Not sure what ‘ et. al ‘ means , but it sounds good to me right here ) . Some common beliefs ain’t so though .
Well , this post is about one lucky day in my life . Sorry about the long lead-in , but it couldn’t be helped .
I want to write about one day back near Thanksgiving. I know , it’s now Christmas time . I had to wait awhile before I wrote this . Didn’t want to jinx it . You know how it goes .
Well , I think I’d mentioned in a previous post about our oven going out the day before Thanksgiving . We were able to use a neighbor’s oven to prepare for our little crowd of hungry guests on Thanksgiving . By the way , it’s quite possible to bake pies on a barbecue , if you do it right . Thought you might like to know , just in case . You should insulate them pretty well from the direct flame . It works , though .
I decided to work on the oven a few days after Thanksgiving . We have an oven built into a wall cabinet . I’ve worked on it before . I fixed the wiring on the back of it once upon a time a long time ago . I replaced a something-or-other inside the oven a couple of years ago . The part cost me $200 , but it was o.k. , because the thing started working again . I figured the wiring had somehow gone haywire this time again , so I would need to disconnect the gas and pull the oven out . Maybe I could determine the problem and fix it . You Tube would help .
I was clearing out the space below the oven , trying to figure out how to get better access to the electrical outlet on the wall behind the cabinet . I tapped the rear of the cabinet a few times to see if the wood panel would come loose or be able to be removed without too much trouble . I gave it two tentative taps with a hammer .
The oven clock suddenly came on again . An oven light glowed . I tested the oven and it was working again .
It had given up so easily ! I know that it could guess that I’d be manhandling it for the next few hours , and it probably recalled previous sessions , and it just gave in and decided to work again . Appliances do that sometimes . I hadn’t even consulted my horoscope to determine the cusp of the moon , or whatever , to see if this would be a good oven-repair day . It was a miracle ! I don’t believe in miracles ; but they’re out there just the same .
Okay , but that’s not all . I heard the mail carrier ( our mailman ; but it could some days also be a mailwoman ) drop the letter in the slot about the time the oven kicked in . There was an envelope from the IRS . I don’t know about you , but I never like getting letters from the IRS .
I had been snail-mail arguing with the IRS for several months this year about how much money I should send them and how much I should get back from them . You may have noticed that they want their demanded money right now , but for them to send money to you , well , let’s take our time . No rush . They had demanded way too much money from me which I had been coerced into sending in order to avoid late penalties , etc. . My previous notice from them had said ” It’ll take at least another 45 days to process your inquiry . ”
45 days had come and gone by Thanksgiving . When I collected my mail on oven-fixing day , just after the oven miraculously started working again , there was another envelope from the IRS . Now what ?
They had put a government check in there . For me . For Ada and me . No explanation was included , but it was all of the money I’d figured that they owed me , plus $300 . I figured the $300 was for my heartburn and incurred mental anguish and maybe also for late penalties that they had undoubtedly slapped us with . That’s how the IRS works . They got Al Capone , after all , on income tax evasion ; not on murder , extortion , bootlegging , prostitution , corruption , etc .
So , as we all know , good things come in threes . I should have bet on the lottery that day , say some of my friends . I was waiting for the # 3 , but I never recognized it . It must have come , though .
Ah , if I only still had my old rabbit’s foot ! Who knows what possibilities might lurk !