6:45 a.m. text:  “Are you up?”  I was.  “Talk?” I could. Something’s up. Assuming this was going to be a extensive chat, I leashed up Lily White, so we could walk, talk, wag, and worry with my friend. Call it, “dogtasking.”

We talked forever; I had five minutes to dress and drive to work. The day’s attire required forethought, as I’d entered a sidewalk “Chalk-a-Thon”, after work. I’m no artist, but give me a box of colored chalk and I’m a happy girl!  I wore a sundress, jacketed for bank professionalism; belted to an approved length; neither maxi nor mini.  At 1:00pm, I unbelted the dress to maxi length, to protect knees meeting concrete. Don’t worry, it wasn’t a good dress; it was from Walgreen’s. Yes, they have sundresses. With wet hair, along with mascara and lip gloss in the car, hi ho, hi ho…

On the way, I called work, explaining I’d helped a damsel in distress and what is a girl to do with a call like that? Six blocks away, I inventoried myself, ready for a busy day.  “Good grief, I’ve forgotten something.” (Cough, commando, cough.) My thoughts ran wild: “Too late to turn back. No time to stop and shop. Nobody will know anyway. Runway models don’t bother. No lines today. Yay.”

The Chalk-a-Thon was therapeutic. There’re two things adults should never stop doing: (1) sidewalk art, and (2) the zoo, with or without children. The competitive artists drew splendid renditions of Kermit, Taj Mahal, Ninja Turtle, and  beautiful floral designs. Me? I drew basic mountains with clouds and flowers. It was amateurish and non-award winning, but delightful chalk-art.

3:00pm: Headed to Sam’s Club. Membership renewal comes with coupons: 16 paper towel rolls ($.48), 40 bottled waters ($.68), and a gargantuan bottle of detergent ($.58). I loaded that, and more, in the car, slowly closing the hatch…with purse, phone and keys locked inside. Lovely. All I had was the water, due to no room in back. I asked a Sam’s employee to Google taxis. The dispatcher said, “We’ve got a few stops before you.” I patiently waited at my command(o) post.

5:15pm: Forty-five minutes later, it amazed me that, (a) cabs in Quincy IL could be so busy, and (b) only one acquaintance walked by me. The Dustin Hall Family offered my water and me a ride after purchasing diapers, unless the cab came first. But it didn’t.

6:00pm: My dog was quite happy the Halls hauled me home. I failed to find the extra key, so called a co-worker to retrieve a third key from my bank desk…as soon as she finished coloring her hair. While stuck at home for a few hours; I began doing what every stranded woman does; ripped up the kitchen tile. Ahhhhh, release!

6:30pm: Denise delivers key in fabulous hair and I was one hair closer to my car.

7:00pm: Called Neighbor Nancy, for a ride to Sam’s, “As soon as this TV show ends.”  Of course!  This wasn’t urgent.

8:15pm: Three NCIS episodes later, she arrives. We celebrate the lifting of the car hatch and there, in all their glory were my purse, keys, phone and merchandise. Nancy regretted binge-watching NCIS, when she spotted produce, possibly spoiled. It was fine. I was mobile again.  Oh well.

8:30pm: Home again, home again, jiggity-jig! I prayed to St. Anthony and found the 2nd key, which had fallen from the key rack, into a dark corner on the floor.

Epilogue: Maybe the cab came.  Maybe not. I could still be waiting there with my water. Hey, at least I could stay hydrated. It’s all about perspective and trying to stay in command-o of the situation. bw