So the holiday ended.
I energized myself for the return to work.
Bag packed. Masks washed and ready for the week.
My day mapped out in the planner: Lessons to review. Emails to send. Trainings to schedule. Reports to complete and submit. Meetings to attend. Agendas to make…
Quick check on the weather. In a word: Yuck. Raincoat and boots needed for morning bus duty and filling in at carpool arrival afterward.
Lunch packed (Note to self: Go to grocery store ASAP…).
—oh yeah, my temperature. I’ve learned I am usually below normal, in the 97.7 range (at the moment 97.8, but I just sipped my coffee. Kids arriving at school in heated cars can register as high as 105…we have a fleet of touchless thermometers that must be left out in the cold for a few minutes to calibrate. We will have to perform several rechecks before verifying a child does NOT have a fever and may enter the building…).
Enter my temperature in the district website and answer the COVID questions for this cheery message: Thank you. You have passed your daily health screening. You may report to your worksite. Remember your 3 W’s: Wear a cloth face covering over your nose and mouth. Wait six feet apart. Avoid close contact. Wash your hands with soap and water or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer. Have a nice day!
But I am ready to go, with time to set up before the arrival bell rings.
I forgot I needed gas.
4 miles to E.
That’s okay. See, the gas station is only about a mile up the road here.
I pull in, happy to see no one is at the pumps: I’ll still make it in plenty of time!
There is, of course, a reason:
Every. Single. Pump.
I sit for a moment with rain sheeting across my windshield…
…nothing for it but to go back home and tell my son he has to take me to work.
—He has no gas in his car, either.
But he does have gas in Pa-Pa’s 1989 blue Cadillac DeVille. With the dented-in back door on the driver’s side where the boy cut the turn into the garage too close (it is a LONG car. And that’s one of the few times I’ve seen my young Cadillac Man cry).
There’s more to this story, because the unforeseen complications didn’t stop there; these were but a harbinger for a day full of absurd and unexpected turns. My neat list in the planner … poof. Suffice it to say I texted admin that I’d be late. I made it just as the tardy bell rang.
In an afternoon meeting—online, naturally—the facilitators (battling internet connectivity issues) closed with this message:
I did not throw my laptop of out the window (after all, the laptop nor the window belonged to me…).
I just kept on flowing.
Even when there was no gas.
A reminder that I’m only going so far on my own resources. With my best-laid plans that can disintegrate without warning.
Willing to be led by the process of life…
Even when diverted, to an absurd degree, with plot twists right and left…
And it was sort of beautiful, in its way, arriving at my destination in a vintage Cadillac with a willing and loving driver.