Daily Independent (Ashland, KY)

May 4, 2014

05/04/2014 — Lee Ward: Expecting the worst, hoping for the best

Lee Ward
CNHI

ASHLAND — This week, I’m planning to go to Hilton Head to visit my aunt and uncle.

Not everybody can be so lucky as to have relatives in Hilton Head. I’m even lucky enough to have relatives I like in Hilton Head, relatives who like me and want me to visit. At least I think they do.

I have to drive there alone, which is the least appealing aspect of the trip. I used to enjoy driving alone on long trips, but now that I’m getting older, I’m not as enthusiastic about it. I’ve done it, I know I can do it, so why should I do it now?

If I want to get around on the island, I should do it. That’s why.

The truth is, when we get older, we’ve had enough experience to know all the terrible things that can happen. That’s because it’s happened to us or someone we know, or we’ve heard of it happening to our sister-in-law’s friend at work’s nephew, or some such stranger. The next thing you know, you don’t like to make long car trips alone.

I’m going to be as prepared as a person can be. I’ll have several cans of Fix-A-Flat, jumper cables, a batter booster, a first aid kit, a utility knife with a seatbelt cutter and a hammer to break glass in case I drive into a river, pepper spray, three umbrellas and a current membership to a roadside assistance organization. Shoot, I keep all that stuff handy on a daily basis.

Because I’m traveling alone, I’ll have room for everything else a person might need during a beach vacation. The way I see it, all I’ll need is every swimsuit I own and some sunscreen, but just to be on the safe side, I guess I’ll take a few street clothes.

Some things you can’t prepare for, though.

I wouldn’t say I’m superstitious, but it seems as though if I think about something happening, it won’t.

For instance, if I think about what I would do if I won the lottery and then I buy a lottery ticket, I won’t win the lottery.

I often think Robert Downey Jr. will hear about my devotion to him and show up at my house to take me to dinner at a fancy restaurant to thank me for my support through the ups and downs of his career. I’ll have a good hair day and be charming and he’ll ask me to marry him. He never does.

Sometimes I fantasize about being a famous novelist who writes a New York Times bestseller and wins a Pulitzer Prize and makes a tour of the talk show circuit. It hasn’t happened.

Therefore, it stands to reason in my world that if I think about all the things that could go wrong on my trip, none of those things will happen.

So, I could be carjacked, have a terrible accident, get food poisoning, lose all my money, get arrested, be attacked by a shark, get stung by a jellyfish…

Now that I started, I see endless possibilities for a terrible vacation, which leads me to believe this is going to be a great week.

LEE WARD can be reached at lward@dailyindependent.com or (606) 326-2661.