Crossville Chronicle, Crossville, TN

December 12, 2012

Patches of Life: Who stole my car?

By Bev Schwind

CROSSVILLE — Have you ever lost your car in the parking lot? Some days, I have been in a variety of parking lots and when I walk out of the store I have to think, “now, where is that car?” Jim put our names on the front license plate, but I still have trouble finding it.

Several years ago I was at a mall in Ohio shopping for Christmas gifts. The daylight had turned to night and my shoes were tired, so I headed for the car. The cold wind slapped me in the face as I walked out of the double automatic doors. The snow had begun and I was anxious to be home. I walked out in the parking lot clutching my purchases and headed for the car. It was not there. I looked in the next row, no car that belonged to me. I scanned all the rows and did not see my car; all I saw was some empty spaces and I figured it had been stolen. This was back in the days before everyone had a cell phone, so, helplessly I trudged back into the store to find a security guard..

“I can’t find my car,” I told him in a weary voice. “I think it was stolen.”

“Where did you park?” He inquired. He walked me out the door into the chilling air and I marched to where I knew I had parked my car.

“Maybe you came in another entrance,” he suggested.

“No, I remember the decorations when I came in the doors,” I now realized it had been four hours ago and it was in the daylight.

“There are four entrances, ma’am, and all of them are decorated the same. It is easy to get confused.”

We toured through the mall to the back entrance, which seemed a mile away. My feet were barking, my arms aching from carrying the gifts that I had found after hours of shopping, and I was hungry, and lost.

The officer escorted me through the automatic doors. We walked out into the parking lot, a thin blanket of snow was now visible. Just a short distance away was my car. I breathed a sigh of relief.

“Thanks and Merry Christmas, “ I told the security officer as I unlocked my car door. To this day I still don’t know who moved my car!