Rain Or Shine Doesn’t Always Work


The sound of “Rain Rain Go Away” continues to roll around in my head. Why not? Texas is a very wet state right now and some parts are predicted to be a lot wetter before the week is out. In fact, some locations reportedly may be under water or uninhabitable for weeks.


Truthfully, I don’t know anyone who’d want to live in an aquarium. If by chance you fall into that category, I’d suggest there is something fishy about you. I’d much prefer a sunny day with blue skies. Call it convertible top weather if you like – with the top down of course. That is not the kind of day yesterday proved to be in the greater Henly area. I suspect the same is true for today as well as the next several days.


The year was 1962. I was in the ninth grade. I don’t know when the song was written, but Bobby Vinton put it at number 12 on the charts that year. The lyrics start: “I can still remember When you moved in next door. I brought you from choc’late From the corner candy store”. The song was a tearjerker of sorts crafted into a love song. The song goes on: “When it started raining You started crying too That was the first time I sang this song to you Rain rain go away Come again some other day Rain rain go away Bring my love a sunny day…” Maybe you can remember Bobby Vinton singing that song?


Long story short, the girl next door steals his heart and sweethearts they became. He goes away to college and she sends him a letter asking to be set free. She marries another and he sings of her wedding day: “Bring my love a sunny day.”


Been there, done that, it was no big deal. Some call it a “Dear John letter.” John certainly wasn’t the name of the guy singing the song. It wasn’t my name either. Like I said, Bobby Vinton put the song on the charts. Although I’ve got friends who married in high school or shortly after high school and have long since passed their fiftieth wedding anniversary celebration mark, I wasn’t ready for marriage that early. Maybe you could say I was a late bloomer. Some might say that I have yet to bloom. Perhaps others might quip that I’m a “Blooming idiot”, but that wouldn’t be nice


Okay, so I may have nursed a wounded ego after I got dumped, but I can’t really remember. Actually, I can remember, but it didn’t last forever. Even though I found myself regularly listening to country western music, I really couldn’t say: “I bought the shoes that just walked out on me.” I hardly had the money to buy my own shoes much less anyone else’s. Nah! I was way too young to be the marrying kind.


Obviously, as you might suspect, the time came that my wounded ego turned into a mended heart. If the “dear John letter” had not happened, the General wouldn’t have entered my life and that would have been an enormous loss. I probably should confirm that it would have been an enormous loss for me. I’d hate for the General to read what I’ve written and mistakenly think I was suggesting it would have been a horrible loss for her. On the other hand, she might not think that at all. Isn’t that the honest truth? I hope not.


So I spent all day yesterday with “Rain rain go away – Come again another day” rolling around in my head. The General began her day somewhat later than I began mine, but she began the day by saying: “We need to stay in and not get out”. Since the early morning rain had mostly come and stopped by the time the General matter-of-factly uttered those words, I didn’t render an opinion. I had an appointment scheduled at 3:30 p.m., but it was way too early to ascertain what the weather conditions would be by then. If possible, I planned to keep the appointment rain or shine, unless of course the water crossing was impassable or imminently impassable. Ten o’clock in the morning was a bit early to make that assessment. If I needed to reschedule I would, but I really wanted to keep the appointment.


I was keeping my cards close to my vest. At my age, delayed gratification is an undue risk. Last Saturday when I went to get the oil changed in my truck I decided to see if I could find a place that handled back up cameras. I’ve been driving my truck consistently for the past couple of months and it is really difficult to see what’s close behind you when you are backing up. Of course, the mirrors are good, but if you are parallel parking, they don’t help much.


Earlier in the week, I had inquired about the cost of a backup camera at another place and the sales person said, “Oh, we can do that. It will cost about $1,000 and the monitor will be in the rear view mirror”. The General encouraged me to do it. She had recently driven my truck to Odessa and she concurred it is very difficult to see when you’re backing up. So did I really need a back-up camera? I’ve driven trucks for years and never had a backup camera. Have the General and I both become so spoiled from having those amenities available in our cars that the “must have” mindset has carried over?


The General is practical. She said, “All it takes is one accident and you’ve saved money if you get the camera now and avoid it.” She had been with me the day before when I parallel-parked the truck on a busy street. I had her get out to see how close I was getting to the vehicle behind me. You really can’t see through either the rearview mirror, side mirrors or by turning your head and looking backwards.


At any rate, I had the thought, “I bet I can find a less expensive way to get a back up camera than pay $1,000”. Sometimes I’m so smart, it scares me. While waiting to get the oil changed I got online to find another option. There is a chain of electronic stores that do that line of work and onsite installation is available. I’d prefer not to name names. It makes it less litigious.


So when I left from getting my oil changed in the truck a week ago, I went directly to the place I located on the Internet. Sure as shootin’, they had a backup camera with a rearview mirror mount. I was surprised at how inexpensive it was. Now to find out about the installation costs?


I don’t remember the man’s name. I’m usually better than that, but I was less than impressed. Let’s just call him “Left Brain” for now. Left Brain had the personality of someone more comfortable with gadgets than people. You know the type of guy that I’m talking about.


So I inquired about the cost of installation of a rear-view mirror back up camera combination. Left Brain said, “We sell them here, but you’re not going to me to install it for you. I’ve seen too many windshields break taking off the rearview mirror. He asked if I had considered a Garmin? I had not. He said there is a backup camera that can be paired with a Garmin and it might work well for me. How could I argue with the concept that it might work? It might work, but it isn’t what I wanted. I wanted something other than an obvious add-on, if you know what I mean?


Okay, so I left that franchise with the intent to locate another. Surely if the chain of stores sold what I wanted, someone would have to be willing to install it. I received a very different reception at the next location and they were willing to do whatever I needed. I asked about the rearview mirror mount? Was the display the size of the entire rearview mirror? Unfortunately, it was not. In fact, I was told that it was quite small. Okay, so I really didn’t want that either. I’m glad I didn’t spend a thousand dollars for it at the first place I asked for a price.


So what did he suggest? He suggested installation of a touch screen radio. Of course, he said I’d spend more money, but I’d come out with a seven-inch display screen. Wow, that sounded fantastic. On the upside, it would not look like an add-on. The guy was not a high-pressure salesman, but he showed me some options and asked if I had heard of Apple Car Talk? Obviously, I’m familiar with Apple, but I had never heard of Apple Car Talk.


Long story short, the product sold itself. I guess you could say, “I gravitate to all things Apple. I know you’re thinking, “So did Adam and Eve and look at the trouble they got in.” For one thing, the map feature on my iPhone would connect with the 7-inch display. It was in essence a GPS system for the car in addition to having a back-up camera. It was too good of a deal to pass up. Besides that, “Apple Car Talk” has a good sound to it.


Unfortunately, I couldn’t get the radio and back up camera installed until yesterday. They asked me to plan on 3 ½ to 4 hours for installation. Consequently, it was my intent to be there. I didn’t plan on Harvey messing up my day.


I actually telephoned yesterday morning to inquire if they had cancellations because of the weather. My appointment wasn’t until 3:30. They promised to telephone me if they could get me in earlier. So by the time I arrived for my appointment, the rain was quite heavy. I was beginning to sense I didn’t use good judgment to get out. I hate it when the General is right and I am wrong. If the low water crossing near my home was impassable when I returned, it was going to be more than a little inconvenient.


So the technician I had talked with on the phone earlier said: “We’re not going to be able to install he backup camera today because it is wet under your truck. Duh!   So who was surprised by that?  He said: “We can install the radio, but you’ll have to come back for the back up camera”. He then mused that he was going to have a hard time getting home because he had to drive through a low water crossing.


So I asked, “Would you prefer to wait until you can install both the backup camera and the radio at the same time?” He said: “Yes, that would be better.” I still think delayed gratification is risky at my age, but I drove back home to the sound of “Rain rain go away, come again another day” rolling around in my head.


All My Best!