So, it is true. My life is anything but dull. In fact, the life I live really is the stuff that producers look for when casting and writing a reality Television program. While a majority of the so called reality shows are actually scripted, my life would need nothing added to get people to tune in. I have adventure, mayhem, conflict, romance, good food, good fun, good people, challenging situations, and morals to learn with every tale that my life brings me. I’ve recently been reminded that life is nothing if not a very good story. As the protagonist of my own life and the lead character, it is up to me to develop a story worth telling. It is my sole responsibility to live my life in such a way that when the credits roll and the plot line climaxes for the last time, people have observed something worth clapping for, perhaps even something worthy of an awards nomination. This past weekend the story of my life brought me yet another humorous chapter. When life throws curveballs, we can decide to laugh and tweak our story for entertainment value, or become sad, frustrated, upset, and throw in the towel. While the emotions went the full spectrum from laughter to anger, the decided final theme was one of a weekend well played because it will be forever etched in our memory. Murphy was at his best this week and everything that could go wrong, definitely did.
My mother, my aunt, I, and my 2 sons decided we wanted to go to Lancaster, Pennsylvania for the weekend. It is Amish country and they have a magnificent playhouse that puts on spectacular Bible stories. This year the story is “Joseph”, which is one of my sons’ favorite bible characters. The tickets to these shows are far from cheap and non-refundable because they are broadway-esque productions. After leaving North Olmsted 2 hours later than scheduled on Friday, we embarked on the adventure of 3 ladies and 2 babies. The trip there went off without a hitch except the hotel I booked on hotwire was actually in York, PA, 40 minutes from Lancaster instead of the 10 minutes that hotwire claimed, the fact that a 6 hour drive turned into a 12 hour trip due to the numerous stops dictated by middle aged women and toddlers, and the fact that once we finally did stop for dinner, they took an hour to serve us and forgot to bring me my food after everyone else had been served and was finished. On Saturday, the day started well and quickly escalated into crazy. The ankle I had twisted the prior week got sprained and my ankle turned into the size of a tennis ball. We had to get that taken care of and off to the “Plan and Fancy” Amish farm we went. We saw an amazing Amish Experience play/movie/interactive stage and then went to dinner there. Things began to turn south as our supposed Amish dinner, which was overpriced for tourists, turned out to be boxed food. Every place I had eaten in Ohio’s Amish Country was delicious but this place served Kraft macaroni and Cheese and boxed bow tie pasta noodles trying to pass them off as Amish Egg noodles! It was unreal. I have never seen anything like it and I’m surprised in an area with Amish level culinary skills could get any business at all. I sent my noodles and macaroni and cheese back. If I wanted Kraft and generic bow tie, I would go pay $.99 at my local grocer and make it myself. We got back in the car to head to the dramatic production of Joseph.
We got about a mile down the street and pulled into an Amish bakery to grab some dessert on our way and the car totally quit working. We were driving in my mother’s vehicle, so of course, she was panicked. I will say we were thankful it broke down in a parking lot, but the 95 degree, humid day and the fact we were potentially going to lose out on the whole reason for going there, the play, and lose all the money put us all in a frenzy. Not to mention the fact that home was 6 hours away and the hotel was 40 minutes away!! Also, it was Saturday night so no rental car places were open. We called AAA and they were dragging their feet, so my Aunt flagged down some guys on a motorcycle and we found a gray haired lady in the restaurant with a set of jumper cables. We sure looked like a motley crue: 3 ladies, 2 babies, 2 motorbike dudes, and one Mrs. Doubtfire look alike all trying to get my mom’s car to work. Thankfully, the jump worked and we were able to fly into the nearest Pep Boys, 2 miles away, on a wing and a prayer.
The diagnosis is that her alternator and battery had totally fried and we could not drive the vehicle. We were such a mess that the manager of the Pep Boys took mercy on us and loaded the 5 of us up in his car and he drove us to the drama. We were faced with a more serious dilemma though. How were we going to get back to the hotel where we had already checked in and had all of our stuff at and then get back the next day to get the car? We called a taxi and were quoted $70 minimum one way. Thankfully, we came up with the idea of having my Aunt call my Uncle and he connected with an area pastor who so graciously on a Saturday night at 10:30 PM came and picked us up in his church van and drove us the 40 minutes to the hotel. The same church also shuttled us back the next day. Upon arriving back to Pep Boys, we discovered they hadn’t even started working on my mom’s car because the alternator they thought they had in the store was just an empty box!! So, adding insult to injury, we had all of our luggage, hadn’t eaten since the prior day at around 4 PM, and had no vehicle. Thankfully there was a restaurant about ¼ mile down and we drug ourselves there. Finally, after killing 3 hours, her car was done. We left Lancaster and began our long journey home.
Feeling the need to reward themselves for a long weekend, my mom and Aunt insisted we had to have cracker barrel for dinner. So, even though we left super late, we drove 30 minutes OUT OF THE WAY so they could fill their craving. Mind you, there is a cracker barrel 5 minutes from our house. Why couldn’t they have just waited until a different day? So, after leaving Cracker Barrel the GPS said we’d arrive home at 10:30 but that was before nature happened. Tornado like winds, lightening, thunder, and heavy, torrential downpours hit our car. We had to go 35 miles an hour on the interstate because of visibility issues. Reese suddenly woke up out of a dead sleep and said something about his belly hurting. I lovingly told him to go back to sleep and then joked to the rest of the car that it would be the icing on the cake of our chaotic weekend if Reese vomited in the car. It wasn’t even 2 minutes later that he threw up everywhere. It was powerful, massive, and explosive. It went everywhere. All of him, splatters on Gentry, and splatters on my Aunt. Therefore, when we did arrive at home at 11:30 PM, I had the honor of cleaning him up, doing laundry, wiping up the car, taking apart his car seat, washing it, and cleaning Gentry up. Needless to say, we were glad to be home and see the sun rise on Monday.
Besides sharing this humorous, but cringe worthy story with you for entertainment value, there is a moral to this story. The moral is, you can’t control life. It isn’t up to you to control it. If I blogged about every weekend or event that played out in my life with this same outline, I would bore you. I am a magnent for uncomfortable, funny, and strange situations. I am married to Murphy. His law is tattooed on my heart. I pretty much would understand if no one that craved order and control watned to be my friend. My life is especially unpredictable at times. Novel and movie worthy events seem to follow me. Sometimes this frustrates me, but today, I am amused by it. Perhaps God just really enjoys my performances and as the author of my life and the director of my story, he gets great pleasure in watching me act in certain life scenes. Conceivably, I have won academy awards at heavens banquets and will be presented with them at the Marriage Supper of the Lamb. As the lead character in my own story, I am just glad to add another chapter.