Saturday, May 15, 2010

My Colossal Mistake

My driving record (get ready to cringe): One side swiped passenger mirror, one hole in a plastic Saturn door, one garage door off the rails, a two-in-one back up hit and run on my husband's car, countless fender benders and a four car Interstate pile up in rush hour traffic. I once locked myself out of my car WITH the car running AND the turn signal engaged. In high school I was voted not most likely to become president or travel to outer space, but most likely to be dropped by her auto insurance company…and it came true! There are many things I am good at but all things car related are not them! Yesterday, I added another doozy to the list: I left the parking brake on in the tow vehicle. (No huge surprise given the above referenced history right?) After hearing the grim diagnosis from the service technician – full brake system/axle replacement – (he actually had to sit down to tell us this) I proceeded in my usual pattern of connecting the dots between humiliation, regret and self-loathing. Our travel budget was well thought out and this hefty price tag was not in it. After a good sob and a poor excuse for self-soothing-cheese-pizza later my husband got tired of watching my ridiculous pity party and insisted that I do something different. So, after a triumphant win in Rummikub (thanks for the practice G-MA) and the humor of playing campground BINGO with tiny cards and old mismatched buttons I can now offer a softer acceptance of my error. Of course the long hot shower and soothing aroma of my chamomile tea didn’t hurt either. My revelation is this: yesterday wasn’t so bad. Here's why: We actually got out of Red Bay! Granted not far, but hey progress is progress. I have to mention that after 5 weeks of work on our motor home I would totally recommend Tiffin motor homes to anyone. All of our camping fees and service work was covered under warranty, and I think they gratuitously covered several things that originally were not. They may not be the swiftest mechanics but they stand behind their product and do it with great customer service. We were able to hang out in the service bays and watch every move they made, we learned so much about our new home. These things are quite complex and just as soon as you think you’ve got it covered, you learn about a whole new system and how it functions. Also, the people we met have been worth the trip so far. It’s funny how being out of our element has pushed us to speak to people and strike up conversations with individuals that perhaps we would have passed by otherwise. How many people do you see in a day? How many of those new faces do you actually stop to learn their name? I am continually surprised by how much I can learn from others, or the endless supply of dirty jokes that travel around the campground transcending ages and breaking down barriers. It has been a nice gentle reminder to me to slow down and reconnect with others. Another bright note: we rescued the most adorable kitten! Other campers told us where she had been spotted so our last night in town we searched a local park and she came timidly up to us wavering in the unsteady gait of new legs. She is a beige furball with eyes that shine like green meadows. I absolutely fell in love with her and her pathetic little squeaky meows. My other kids were not too happy to welcome her into our home. Lily particularly tried to nibble her on several occasions. I guess if you’re a dog nothing tastes as good as kitty tails. She was small enough to fit in Torben’s hand and kept us company during our drive by perching herself upon my shoulder, nuzzling into my neck and playing with my ponytail. Torben feared that if we kept her any longer she would become a permanent member of our ever growing household. We located an incredible animal shelter , The Ark, in Huntsville, which is a no-kill rescue shelter run entirely on donations – all of its staff members are volunteer- the donations provide food and veterinary care for the animals. Nina, the committed and beautiful owner built the stunning facility from the ground up. The Ark is her masterpiece and if I ever come back in another life as an abandoned cat or dog I hope the good Lord puts me there. The dogs have daytime outside pens with plenty of room to move and warm inside pens with beds for resting at night. There is a “catio”, that’s a patio built especially for cats. Nina has spent 20 years building this safe-haven and provides her animals with exceptional care and love. This is definitely one charity we will support. And as it turns out our little feline friend was a HE not a she!!! (Kind of hard to spot it on an 8 week-old kitten!) Although I was sad to drop him off, I know he is in the best place possible (and safe from curious nibbling dogs). I think God puts us in places at times for a reason. Maybe our residency in Red Bay was a little extensive, but that’s such a small price to pay for saving an innocent life. So, you see, the day was actually fabulous. I’m pensive as to why when something bad happens it tends to overshadow all the recent good? I have decided today to do something different…today I will celebrate my mistake and embrace the fact that I am human and gonna make a million of them. Not being perfect doesn’t take away from my inherent worth or negate the good I try to bring to the world. So today I will follow my mother’s advice and do what she, and her mother, and her mother before her have preached: open my heart to the good, let the rest go. Join me in celebration of my colossal mistake, in recognition of my limitations, and in devotion of my vow to NEVER get behind the wheel of this motor home!


  1. Oh my dear sister, how I love your outlook on life.
    We can all blame the state of IN for giving you your first drivers license, and question there test giving skills. I guarantee if they let you drive just a minute longer you would have walked home with a big F! I am proud to be your sister. Have some JOY!

  2. What a great outlook! I am going to borrow it and hopefully it will take permanent residence in my life. I needed this post! Thanks and miss you! XOXO