In my ongoing effort to successfully adjust to our new normal for the next 7-14 months, thank you Marine Corps, I tend to plan. Not overboard, just logical. I have a 3 hr window, 2 days a week, in which to accomplish anything and everything requiring the use of both hands simultaneously and not conducive to the carrying of a toddler. I generally volunteer in my daughter’s kindergarten class during these times, but today I simply had too many things to do. I had two very large, heavy packages to send to Afghanistan, I had to get tights for my daughter's dance recital, and I HAD to go to the commissary before I was reduced to packing some ludicrous combination of peanut butter and fruity pebbles for my children’s lunches.
So, I planned my day accordingly. I took my son to preschool at the earliest conceivable drop off time allowed. I planned to go to the post office next to the dance store and then on to the commissary at the air station at that end of town. By 8:30 my day was off to a great start . By 8:40 I was frustrated. The dance store didn’t open until 10. Not a big problem, but I would have to come back with frozen groceries in my car. Small inconvenience. So I went to the post office. Doesn’t open until 10 either. Ok, fine, not gonna let that get me down, am i? So I headed to the air station commissary, and at the gate I asked the young Lcpl if there was a post office at this base. He replied there was, a brand new one in fact, just 2 blocks down the road. Things were looking up. Ha! It didn’t open til 10. It was approx. 9 am at this point. No problem. Get the groceries, come back to the base post office, then hit the dance store. I was so excited to see there were few cars in the parking lot. No, wait, a sense of dread overtook me as I realized there were NO cars in the parking lot. Making sure I hadn’t forgotten a major holiday (did St. Patrick's Day count as a major holiday now?) I got out of my car and walked to the door. They were closed for a “previously scheduled power outage from 10-1.” Well crap.
So I get in my car. Find another post office that actually opens before 10 and at least get the packages mailed. Then I go to Wal-Mart to do some grocery shopping. I buy much fewer items and spend much more money, but 2 of my 3 daily tasks have nearly been accomplished. Again, I thrive on efficiency, so in my effort to aid both the check-out person and myself, I separate my items into categories that seem logical in my mind: frozens foods together, canned goods together, toilet tissue and paper products together, then eggs, bread, apples, grapes and bananas together in what I like to think of as my “squishy” category. I thought my painstaking effort would be rewarded…I was wrong. Imagine my surprise when I found my bananas with my canned goods and my grapes with large heavy boxes of frozen spinach lasagna. Sheesh. Oh well.
So I get home and start unloading everything so I can run out the door to pick up my little guy from preschool. I had bought several boxes of baking soda to store in the fridge to keep any funky odors at bay. I cleaned some old items out of the fridge and freezer, leftovers from when my parents were visiting...frozen okra anyone? Without really looking, I grabbed a Wal-Mart sack and started chunking things in. I grabbed the old baking soda box and threw it into the sack. The open box of baking soda. Then I heard the thump. Apparently there was a hole in the sack. Why was I even surprised at this point? Thankfully the mess was minimal, but frustrating none the less. So I go to take it all out to the trash can outside of the garage, and find myself trapped. I am totally unable to maneuver the child lock on the door knob. You know the little plastic things you put on door knobs to discourage curious 2 year olds from investigating the garage. Squeeze and turn. It’s that simple. Except that it wasn’t. For some reason, it just kept slipping and spinning around the knob no matter how tightly I squeezed. I nearly broke the thing trying to get it off the knob.
That’s when I realized, if this were a movie, this is the part where the heroine (hey, I didn’t kill, maim, or say a harsh word in all of this, that’s pretty heroic if you ask me) would do something silly like sit on the steps and sob or, better yet, somehow be in her car and beat the snot out of her steering wheel. Then, her knight in shining armor would come tell her it was all okay and they would laugh and clean up the baking soda and eat squished bananas together. Mine didn’t end that way, though. My knight in shining armor is a million miles away in desert cammies, and his armor is of the camouflage variety and weighs more than the average 10 year old. His white horse is a hummer or helicopter, depending on the mission, and there will be no holding each other and laughing together over the craziness of my day. So, I write. To tell it all, and hopefully get to share it with him one day when he returns. So I can catch him up on all he’s missed and how very much he’s been missed…