February 1, 2006

Spontaneous day...

Today my new sixteen year old got her driver’s license. Ummm, well I didn’t suddenly adopt a sixteen year old….it’s just that my daughter turned sixteen last week….so it’s new to us. (Semantics can really get on my nerves, so I had to clear that up for my own benefit…..perhaps you enjoyed it as well….)

Well, maybe I should start at the beginning to give you the full effect…

This day began a loooooooooong time ago, assembling the weary troops in the living room for devotions, then starting Maggie on her schoolwork while trying to do some laundry from our 5 day weekend in Phoenix. (more on that later) Shower, hacked my hair off because it’s started getting very droopy. Practically the minute I got dressed, newly layered hair dried and make up on, my husband came home to tell me he was going to town to see a friend in the hospital and to the bank. Remembering how low I was on laundry detergent and not wanting a separate trip into town, I slipped on my shoes and went with him, leaving instructions with the girls on my way out the door, yes, even as the door was closing, I was leaving instructions…as is my habit. =)

On the half hour drive to ‘town’, (we do live in a town, but the next town down the road is where we shop, so it is called ‘town’….and everyone here knows where you’re going if you say you are going to town) my efficient husband enjoyed a nice, mostly one-sided conversation, discussed many things we need to do to organize our home, which left me feeling very stressed out and over stimulated in my poor spontaneous brain.

The hospital was our first stop. Our dear 80something friend had to have her leg amputated last week due to a severe infection in her new knee replacement….she is diabetic. =( We found her in very good spirits and feeling pretty spunky actually. She is so glad it’s over with and the infection is gone. We only had a few seconds to say hi and hug her before she was invaded by rehab aids, who helped her get out of bed and into her chair, using a walker…amazing how quickly people heal and adapt! She was finally settled and ready to visit, when another couple from church came and the nurse was fussing at us to not crowd the ICU hallway, so we made a speedy departure and went to the bank. On to Sam’s club, where we bought really large, yet frugally priced containers of ‘stuff’ we needed. We ordered a polish dog combo and a pizza slice combo and headed out to the car, balancing large styrofoam drink cups, a large hot dog and a large slice of pizza on the large, bumpy cart and went home…another half hour drive, but little conversation due to trying to eat lunch while driving on the interstate.

Back at home, I realized I had one hour before time to pick up Bethany from band, so I put away the large quantities of ‘stuff’, then started to cook the stew meat for dinner while answering questions about Maggie’s handwriting and math work. As I threw in the spices to simmer with the meat, I was thinking of how badly my back was aching and ran out the door to pick up Bethany. Here is where our main story picks back up….

Bouncing out to the car, Bethany landed at the passenger door with a thud, cheek against the window….she takes after me….but don’t worry, she did it on purpose because she is silly. We drove straight to the chiropractor’s office (just around the block), got all worked over, straightened out and back on our feets, and I told her we could stop by the DVM…MVD…DMV?…something like that …to pick up her driver’s license. It was on the way and she had her permit and her certificate that said she passed Driver’s Education, so I thought it would be a simple, quick trip. What was I thinking?? Upon entering our tiny DM…uh, driver license place, we took a number, because that is what you have to do to get any attention around there. We were number 53. They were currently serving number 47….I knew that was not a good thing.

The mood in the waiting area was dismal. For some reason, the waiting room chairs were all arranged facing away from the window where they ‘serve’ you. All the chairs were lined up in rows of 4, because that is all they can fit in a row in that tiny room and they were all facing backwards….towards a wall where the lucky number who was receiving service was lit up in big bright numbers. No one was talking, everyone was staring at us…suddenly I knew why the one woman working the service window that day had arranged the chairs to face away from her! I wouldn’t like people who were impatiently waiting for me to hurry looking at me either…..smart lady.

We began filling out the licensing form and realized we didn’t know Bethany’s social security number. So I jumped in the car, leaving her behind to keep our number current and ran home to get the ss number. Dashed through the house, noticing a strong smell of boiling meat and spices…oh yeah! I was only going to pick her up from band, so I had forgotten the stew! I grabbed the filing box of important stuff, found the card, dashed back out to the car, turning down the simmer to the lowest of lows and trying to answer Maggie’s questions which were flying around my head and got back to the D…er, license place in time to see they were only on number 50.

I sat down for long enough to notice several more people waiting in the little room, including a friend of mine and a group of 3 teenagers we knew, one of which was strumming a little stringed instrument….maybe a mandolin? That was when my eyes caught sight of the sign by the service window (oh, I turned my chair around defiantly to face my friend, so I was facing the window…*smirk*) that read, “cash or checks only”. Talk about adreneline! Realizing how close we were to getting served and that I only had my debit card, I had to dash out once more and run home to grab the check book….we live less than a mile away, but through a school zone…very annoying when you’re in a hurry. I looked everywhere and no checkbook. I called my husband, who was a the church practicing with the worship team and he said, yes, he had the checkbook in his pocket….arggg. I turned up the stew meat again since it wasn’t simmering well and sped off.

Back through the school zone, to the church, ran inside, grabbed the checkbook, hugged 2 ladies standing there, dashed back out to see that my friend Tracy had pulled up behind my car, blocking me in. She thought she had caught me and was going to visit for a while, but I had to explain this all in a whirlwind fashion and drive off, feeling quite cruddy for having to do that….I love to talk to Tracy! Upon arriving at the ….license place, the teen with the stringed instrument had been kicked out and was climbing the large tree in the yard of the office. I made a quick comment mourning the loss of live music while waiting in the dreadful, boring waiting room and dashed in the door. They were still on number 50!! What luck. It wasn’t long til she called 51…no response…..52….nuthin…..”OK, 53 and if you don’t answer, you lose your turn.” We jumped up and did the little thing, which took all of 5 minutes. Thanks to a driver’s education certificate, she didn’t have to take a written or driving test. We drove home and I felt particularly spent upon entering, to find my stew meat boiling again…which reminded me to add the onions, carrots and potatoes, thankfully (I think I would have forgotten all about it). I then went back to my room to sit against my nice heating pad for my aching back until the stew was ready.

I am happy to say that the rest of the evening was uneventful.


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