satellites don’t lie!

What does one do on the second to the last day of vacation?  If you’re me, you wake up with a horrible sore throat, and a headache. 

I buried my head in the covers, trying to block out the light, and hide from the cat’s tongue that was determined to lick up my nose.  I have no idea what he expected to find, as my sinuses were completely dried out from breathing in the dry air all night long.  I knew my burrow would only hide me for so long—I could hear my daughter wandering around the floor above me—and it was destined to be a Waffle House day.

There is absolutely nothing charming about the Waffle House.  When you eat there, you just have to keep your head down, don’t look around too much, and definitely don’t think about what you’re doing.  Just eat, and get out.   No lingering allowed.  I don’t remember what I had.  That’s not important.  The important thing is I lived through it to eat somewhere else for lunch!  I don’t honestly know why I wasn’t still in bed.  Oh yes I do…my daughter.  She had other plans in mind.  But first, it was a quick run to the drugstore for Halls extra strong menthol cough suppressants.  I’ve built up a tolerance for the weaker varieties.  I needed the strong stuff, and I needed it frequently. 

Is it possible to overdose on throat lozenges?  I sort of worry sometimes. I went through the first bag of thirty Halls in a matter of a few hours.  The inside of my car is now littered with the little wrappers that I just flung into the air as I opened them.  My intention was to collect them all later and throw them away, and I’m sure I will.  Later.  But I was busy, engaged in the next mission. 

The Prom Dress.

My daughter has just discovered that the private school she goes to has a prom; so of course, she would need a prom dress.  Being the frugal shopper that I am, and knowing that girls only wear their prom dress once, I decided to drag my daughter to my favorite consignment shop, Girlfriend’s Consignment Boutique (in Kennesaw, GA).  This is where I bought the crazy pink sweater (the crazy sweater experiment), and most of my Coach purses.  I knew we would find a prom dress at the Girlfriend’s Boutique.  While my daughter was at school, I set out on a fact finding mission to see what dresses would fit the bill before dragging her back to look.  The store owner Terrie is a friend, so my fact finding mission turned into a fun visit and ended with a favor.  Terrie needed to drop off bagels to a church for a charity event.  I am all about helping with charity events, so I agreed to tackle her bagel run for her.  I was on vacation after all. 

The mission was a simple one.  Run to the nearest grocery store for bagels and cream cheese, and deliver the package to the church.   Even I could handle that without incident.

I was familiar with the area for both the grocery store and the church.  They were within a mile of each other.  I had never been to the church, but Terrie told me right where it was, and I was sure I could find it with no problem. 

I left the grocery store with four bags of bagels and three packages of cream cheese, and hopped back in my car to speed off to the church.  My next stop was lunch, so I was excited to finish the mission and eat.  I made the turn out of the grocery store and headed to the intersection where the church would be waiting for me. 

There was a church right where I expected it to be, but it wasn’t the right church.  I did a quick turnaround in the parking lot and headed back to the main road.  This time I wasn’t taking any chances; I put the address into my GPS, and put my brain on autopilot.  I turned out of the parking lot back in the direction I had come and started looking for the church that just HAD to be somewhere right around the corner. 

I hadn’t gone more than 100 yards when my GPS spoke to me.  “Re-routing.  Make a legal U-turn when possible.”  What? A U-turn?  I was just over there, and it was the wrong church!  Did I miss something?  I was in the wrong lane to make any sort of turn that would get me going in the right direction, so I had to take an overly long detour before getting completely turned in the direction the GPS had instructed.   I had gone a mile or so down the road—further than I thought was required—and pulled into a drug store parking lot to make another U-turn.  My GPS must be messed up.  It didn’t tell me I missed the turn, but I knew the church was supposed to be near the intersection I had passed a mile or so back, so there had to be some error.  I was barely turned around heading in the right direction again when my GPS spoke to me again.  “Re-routing.  Make a legal U-turn when possible.”  You have got to be kidding!  My GPS was clearly broken.  And I was more than a little frustrated.  In fact, I was screaming obscenities at the voice on the GPS.  I couldn’t make a U-turn anywhere, so I headed back to where the church was supposed to be, GPS harassing me the entire way with, “make a legal U-turn when possible.” When I reached the intersection for the fourth time, and had to sit at the light—the vein in my neck pulsating in time with my headache—I decided to seek out more knowledgeable help, and brought up the Google maps application on my Blackberry. 

I made the legal U-turn at the next light and headed back in the direction my GPS had been instructing me to go.  Apparently the church wasn’t at the intersection Terrie thought.  In fact, it was three miles in the opposite direction.  Exactly where my much maligned GPS had promised. 

I called Terrie right away to tell her that she had just inspired the daily blog!

I picked up my daughter from school a little while later (after having a very late lunch and another bag of menthol throat lozenges) and took her to pick out her prom dress.  It’s gorgeous, and she looks so pretty wearing it.  I can only hope she doesn’t find ten more dresses that she likes even better in the time between now and prom.  But at least I didn’t spend a fortune on the dress!  As for me, I’m going to toss on a pair of warm sweats and snuggle up on the sofa with my laptop to write for a while.  I have one more day of vacation to experience.  One more day to sleep in as late as my kids will let me!

Until the next time…I’ll be drinking lots of orange juice and ginger ale!

Copyright © 2000-2018, Erica Lucke Dean. All rights reserved. Any retranscription or reproduction is prohibited and illegal.
Posted on March 5, 2010 .