Two weeks ago my family and I were travelling home from Saskatchewan ("Scratch", as we call it) after a five days visiting with my family. We, actually Jeremy, decided that we should get an early start on our many houred journey. The alarm went off at 4:30 in the morning. I whined and dragged my sick and sorry, sleep deprived self out of bed and set about packing up the rest of our stuff. Half an hour later we were in the truck and driving away, grumpy kids and all.
It's around 1100 kilometers from Grenfell, my home town, to our home in Dapp, Alberta. I never look forward to all the driving but usually end up having really great conversations with Jer and get a lot of reading under my belt. The kids do very well too. We plan pretty regular stops to stretch legs and run around and pack lots of books and toys for the back seat fiasco. So the ten or so hours of actual driving time usually extends to 13 or more. We made really good time on this particular day since most of the morning the kids were sleeping and required less stops than usual. We were probably going to be home in great time, in bed early, with even a few loads of laundry finished. I was ecstatic since we were heading to Camp the next day.
Here's where the story gets complicated. Jeremy isn't happy because Home Depot in Fort Saskatchewan didn't have one important thing that he needed. So we head off to St. Albert's Home Depot, half an hour away. This time the kids and I stayed in the truck and Jer was lightening fast. The kids were hungry so we hit a McD's drive-thru. Jeremy asked me if I had some cash to which I reply, "Sure, it's in my purse. Where's my purse? Have you seen my purse? Where is it?" Needless to say, the next few moments in the drive-thru lane were not pretty. I said some other words that shall not be repeated, I slammed some doors and made a general fuss about "The Shield" being MIA. I'm sure the other people in the drive-thru had a great show even though they were being held up by some crazy-haired lady having a freak.
I called back to the Home Depot in Fort Saskatchewan with my heart in my throat. The lady on the other end is very obliging and comforting. She went outside, while on the phone, to see if she could find it. No luck. A few minutes more and she went in to ask at customer service if it had shown up and there it was. Some one had returned it into the store. My heart started beating again and I calmed down considerably. I sincerely hoped that everything (wallet, camera, etc.) was still in it.
So we headed back in the opposite direction, after many hours of travel to retrieve "The Shield". No early bed time or laundry getting done anywhere on the horizon. As we were driving I started to realize that this was not the worst thing in the entire world, though it certainly was the icing on the cake of a really long day. I apologized to my family for the extra hour of driving that I had brought about. I also started thinking about other people in my life who are facing extreme challenges; a friend grieving the loss of her husband, two friends battling cancer, relationship struggles, depression, and addictions. These thoughts brought perspective to my day. In that moment the world no longer revolved around me and this tiny blip. I was safe, with my family, sending up some prayers for people I care about while looking at a rainbow in the sky.
"The Shield" was retrieved intact though a little soggy. We made it home about sixteen hours after we started our journey and the kids were laughing in the back seat. I had to laugh too. My plans had been foiled but what are my plans anyway in the big scheme of things?