Bobbe White Writes

Perspective – it’s a pretty big deal.

Chalking It Up to Experience: September 2015 — October 1, 2015

Chalking It Up to Experience: September 2015

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

Changes in Attitudes, Changes in Trackitudes — May 25, 2014

Changes in Attitudes, Changes in Trackitudes

Do you remember these jokes? When God passed out…noses, I thought He said “roses”, and I asked for a big one. When He passed out heads, I thought He said “beds”, and I asked for a big soft one.  And with legs, I thought He said, “kegs”, and I asked for two fat ones.

Last Friday, I went to catch the evening AMTRAK to Chicago. I jockeyed with a man for parking.  With three books and a journal packed, the 4 ½ hour trip would be both relaxing and productive. Another bonus: time to review my speech for my morning presentation in Gurnee, IL. I couldn’t wait to embark. Suitcase? Sandwich? Purse? Check, check and check! After a few strides with my roller bag, I stopped in my tracks. It was too quiet. Not one person was standing in line. Odd. Maybe they were waiting inside the depot. Maybe the evening train lacked popularity. HARK! I hear a distant whistle;  it’s probably just running late. Except what zoomed by was a freight train rolling south.
It was 5:32 – plenty of time for a 6:00 p.m. departure. Still, the silence was odd. I checked my ticket, which I’d had, for a month.  I ride the train a lot and know the schedule, but- and this is a BIG but -it read, “Departure- 5:30”.  Maybe that was the time to line up, like airport pre-boarding.  I re-read the ticket. Adrenaline coursed through me. It all crystallized in my mind: solitude is great on a beach, but not at a depot. There it was, in all its humbling glory. Departure – 5:30. I’D MISSED IT! Noooooooooo! Yessssssssss! After kicking myself for five seconds, I threw suitcase and purse in the car and fell back on my one and only option: “Okay Big Girl, you’re driving to Chicago!” You can imagine the pure joy as I calculated the mileage and time ahead of me. ETA: 11:30 p.m.

When I hit the interstate, I considered calling Jeff.  Not yet. I’d been a bozo; no reminders needed. Still, he needed to know. Three hours later, I got coffee, gas, bubble gum, and the gumption to call Jeff. For the next 150 miles, he thoughtfully checked in with me, suggesting a stop for the night. His solution for many ills is: “Getcha a good night’s rest and finish the drive in the morning!” He was correct, of course, but I was so focused and fired up with coffee and sugar (Bubble Yum), I wanted to reach my destination and wake up in Gurnee. For a few miles, I turned the radio off and pondered the complete change in plans. Finally, Jeff signed off and went to bed. “Text me when you get there.” Destination Gurnee reached at 11:20p.m.

For a few miles, I turned the radio off to have a quiet driving portion. Several thoughts came to mind: 1. I’m not proud of the fact I missed the train. 2. However, I am proud of my reaction, which I now call the “Five second rule.” Same as for dropped food, but it’s for anger. Five is all you get. Then pick yourself up and move on from it. Whatever IT is. Thanks, Bill Clinton. 3. Everyone should drive solo for six hours sometime: time to think and sing. 4. Always call someone when your plans change. 5. Denial is the devil (Probably just running late. Yeah, right.) 6. Bubble Yum rocks! 7. Always review your ticket BEFORE departure.

It is said that professional speakers, “TEACH WHAT WE NEED” in ourselves. This episode was no exception. Accept what befalls you, admit your faults, adapt and grow. And of course, stop on the way home to purchase a new pair of shoes -or two- because (1) you’re on your own schedule and (2) you can.

And as always, laugh at your own expense, as in the train joke: “When God passed out brains; I thought he said trains, and said, “I’ll take the next one!” Except, there wasn’t one. bw