Can you find your Blueberry?

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, June 29, 2004

I’ve been spending a lot of time in my car lately and as a result, it’s starting to look like a family of about four call it home.

The back seat holds two briefcases, a couple of umbrellas, some shoes and a raincoat. There’s also a winter jacket, some books waiting to be returned to the library and an array of empty CD cases, all strewn throughout the back.

In the front, there are more CDs, an empty Diet Coke can and sheets of paper filled with directions and phone numbers to all the places I’ve been. And, somewhere under the front seat, is a blueberry that escaped before it could be turned into Tuesday morning’s eat-while-you drive breakfast.

While it may not look great, all these things are important to a person spending a lot of time behind the wheel. If, for example, I was caught in a sudden snow storm on my recent trip to Montgomery, I could have wrapped myself in my winter coat, kept warm by lighting all those scraps of paper and munched on the blueberry until help arrived. Who knows? If I looked hard enough I could probably find a stick of gum or two in the glove compartment and that would hold me another day or two.

Still, there’s nothing more boring than spending a lot of time in the car alone. I always bring a book on tape and try to concentrate on finding my way around unfamiliar territories.

Notice I said this is what I try to do. What actually happens is something like this:

7 a.m. – Leave home. Directions, Diet Coke and plastic bag full of blueberries in hand. Realize I have no gasoline and I’m going to have to stop.

7:30 a.m. – Stop to get gas and purchase M&Ms, in case I need an afternoon snack.

8 a.m. – Realize I haven’t turned on the book on tape. Turn on tape and realize I’ve forgotten what was going on.

8:02 a.m. – Rewind tape until I find a part I remember. Open M&Ms.;

8:30 a.m. – Feel hot, so I turn down the air conditioner.

8:45 a.m. – Am freezing, so I turn up thermometer on air conditioner.

9 a.m. – Still cold. Turn on heat.

9:15 a.m. – Am burning up. Take off shoes and turn air on full blast.

9:30 a.m. – Realize I haven’t been listening to book on tape and have no idea what they are talking about. Turn on radio, only to discover there are no stations in the middle of no where where I am.

9:35 a.m. – Pull out CD from back seat, put in CD player. Sing – loudly and off-key – to my copy of &uot;American Idol Sings Motown.&uot;

9:45 a.m. – Arrive at destination. Put on shoes, clean bits of chocolate from M&Ms off my dress. Dig out briefcase from my backseat, enter building and attend meeting.

And the blueberry? It stays where it is. You never know when a blizzard will hit.

Leada DeVaney is the publisher of the Hartselle Enquirer and the Madison County Record. She is the former managing editor of the Shelby County Reporter