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Shattered but Smitten

“Don’t cut yourself,” I told my kid. Glass shards littered the pavement, and we had a plane to catch. It was 4:30 in the morning and our window was shattered. California snow, some people call it, bits of glass that glitter in the beam of streetlights after a smash-and-grab. To get to the airport on time, we had to go. The kid swept glass while I took inventory of our missing stuff. Meanwhile, my husband found his skill saw, flooring underlayment, a scrap of plywood, his multitool, the shopvac, ratchet tie downs, and a handful of other weird supplies. The Santa Rosa airport is a couple hours away, and even if we could stand driving there with wind gushing into our vehicle, we couldn’t leave it like that in long term parking.

Looking at the MacGyver-like mound of supplies my husband had assembled, I realized the fix was going to take time, so I called the airline to cancel our flight. Then we cleaned up the mess and braced ourselves for a 12-hour drive with a broken window instead of a painless hour-long airplane ride. My mother-in-law is 98 and needed to get to a doctor. One way or another, we were getting her there. In the wee hours of a Sunday morning, in a town with 900 people, our options were limited.

Gary cut the plywood in the shape of our truck’s back window. Then, to keep our truck’s paint from being scratched, he tucked flooring underlayment behind the plywood. It’s foamy, like packing material you get from Amazon deliveries sometimes, except that it’s stronger and waterproof.

Gary used his multitool to slice a couple of one-inch slits into the plywood and then threaded those slits with ratchet tie downs. With one end of the tie down inside the truck and the other end outside the truck, he cinched the plywood to the missing window until the fit was tight. Our truck’s interior was darkened by the opaque back window, changing the ambiance from that of a work vehicle to that of a pricey steak house. Our daughter hopped into the backseat, and I offered to drive while Gary relaxed in the passenger seat.

As we flew down the freeway, it was whisper quiet, and I thought about how fortunate I am that instead of marrying a guy who makes everything worse, I picked a smoking hot genius who makes everything better.

At one point in my life, it could have gone either way. Sometimes a smashed window reminds me how lucky I really am.


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