As I got out of my pickup, parked behind the hardware store, my hand went automatically to the cell phone pouch on my belt. The pouch was flat. Empty. The cell phone was gone.
Where could the darned thing be? My mind began to race. I checked in the pickup, but that was a forlorn hope. I’d never be that lucky. Okay, let’s see…
The tractor! I’d used the tractor earlier to feed cows, since the hydra-bed pickup was down. And I’d lost the phone in the tractor twice before. Something about the seat design (or my body design) seems to push the phone up and out of the pouch sometimes.
After finishing in the hardware store, I sped back out to the ranch. “C’mon, cell phone, be in the tractor!”
But it wasn’t.
I fairly tore the cab of that ol’ John Deere apart, pulling out tool boxes and chains and pins and clevises. I found the small crescent wrench I’d been looking for for two years, and a chain hook that I’d given up on and replaced, but there was no cell phone to be found. Rats!
Oh, well. Nothing to be done. If the phone is gone, it’s gone. As I replaced the gear in the tractor cab, I thought about all the steps I’d soon be making to replace the cell phone. Call the company. Select a new phone. Maybe one of those phones with “aps.” There’s a cool one, GPS enabled, that shows you the stars in the night sky, complete with all the star names. Yep, one of those “3-G” gadget phones with a keyboard for texting. I wondered how much they cost. Will I have to change my plan? Can I afford a phone like that, particularly as I occasionally loose the darn things?
Mind whirling with possibilities, I climbed down from the tractor and strode toward my pickup. Then a glint of light caught my eye, and I looked back toward the tractor. There was my cell phone, laying in the rutted snow no more than three inches in front of the left front tire.
I stood there looking at it for a few moments, thinking. Somehow I’d managed to drop the phone on the ground, drive the tractor right past it (I’d made a jog to the right when I started so I could look at the ice in the corral tank), went and fed cows, drove the tractor back to where I’d begun, minus three critical inches, and managed to save my cell phone from certain, crushing death.
Was it a miracle? I chose to think so. It was my birthday, after all. Had to be a miracle.