Problem Solving Is Sometimes, A Passive Experience

Life is a parade of problems that solve themselves.



Yesterday, I had to run errands after work. So I loaded up my car with stuff to return to Amazon, but the car wouldn’t start. I knew what had happened, my kids had been playing with the dome light switch and they left it in the wrong position. So for a week, the dome light had been draining the battery, and now, the battery was really dead.

Out came the jumper cables, out came my younger daughter, ready to help. I asked her to go back inside the house because hooking up two batteries for charging can be dangerous. Batteries can explode, people can be shocked by touching the wrong things, and it was kind of cold in my garage. She complied.

I hooked up the clips, red to red, black to black, one by one. Then I started the donor car, my SUV. Then I tried to start my trusty little Honda, and it fired right up. I disconnected the cables and put them back in the trunk of the Honda, still running. I backed out and went on my way as the garage door closed.

I only drove for maybe 10 minutes to get to my destination, the local UPS Store. As I turned off the engine, the car went nearly dead again. It wouldn't even lock at the press of the lock button on the keyfob. I took the packages inside for shipping, got back in the car, and called AAA. But I soon realized that waiting for AAA would take longer than I wanted to wait. So I called my wife and asked her to come out.

She got the kids together and they all came out. Once again, I hooked up the cables, red to the positive pole, black to the negative pole. My wife didn't even stop the engine, she didn't’ have to. And the Honda fired up again. The cables went back into the trunk. And my wife mouthed the words, “‘go home”. But all I could think of was fixing this problem of a potentially dead battery. I mouthed, “I’m going to Costco for a new battery.”

I was worried that the battery was going bad. I was worried about having a non-running car sitting around in my garage. I like to keep my cars in good repair, so now I was “on duty”. I was thinking about how to fix this. Wirh the word “repair” firmly in mind, I drove home with my wife in front of me. I followed her until I saw her cross the last major street she needed to cross before going home. At that intersection, she went straight, and I made a left turn to go to Costco.