We’re back! And have been back all week! However, it took me all week to feel anything above utterly spent. This is mostly due to the fact that our return travel was screwed up from the first moment and it took us an additional day to get home peppered liberally with additional stress (and an almost total lack of food) throughout the journey. I won’t go into boring detail, but I do recommend you fly Alaska Airlines at every possible opportunity and avoid American Airlines like the plague they are.
To illustrate my point that I have felt fuzzy and muddled all week, here is a classic Dawn story.
I decided yesterday that I would take the time to run outside and warm up my car. It’s kind of funny that I decided to do that yesterday of all days because it was actually quite warm for Fairbanks. It seems that the very few times my brain pings with a reminder that I should maybe warm up my car, it is a terrible omen. I discovered very quickly that my keys weren’t in my purse. No problem! Probably stuck them in my computer bag. Nope. No problem! Probably stuck them in my coat pocket. Nope. No problem! Maybe my other coat pocket? Or my sweater pockets? Or my pants pockets? My desk drawer? These options were getting less and less likely, but one can always hope. I ran out to the car thinking perhaps I had left the keys in the ignition or on the seat. No.
It was time for a full on panic because I realized I was not going to get to Rosalind in time to pick her up from school. Did I mention that I had also left my phone at home that morning? I never do that! Of course I would leave my phone and lose my keys on the same day! I had to use my classroom phone and REMEMBER phone numbers to try and get her school to put her on the bus before time ran out. AND THE SCHOOL PHONES WENT DOWN! Because of course they did. Fast forward a lot of frantic activity and I got Rolo on the bus to her daycare and Sergio informed of the predicament.
As I did these things it was in the back of my mind that I knew without a single doubt that I had placed my keys in my purse before exiting the truck that morning. If they weren’t in the truck…and they weren’t in the building (I had checked lost and found already)…then they were in the snow.
You know how you have that terrible moment when you achieve perfect clarity? I could picture myself walking into the building that morning. I crossed over the central part of the parking lot where I was informed by a colleague that my driver’s side headlight is out. We then walked the last half of the parking lot together. Somewhere along the way, I pulled my lanyard with my work keys on it out of my purse. You know what doesn’t make any sound? Literally anything that falls into fresh snow. My car keys had to have gotten caught in the lanyard and taken a tumble somewhere on my way inside.
Did I mention that it snowed another inch or so throughout the work day?
I wandered out into the parking lot and tried to remember which path I might have taken inside that morning. I slowly milled around the parking lot kicking piles and scraping aside snow if it looked slightly darker underneath. I went back inside. I cleaned up my desk. I cleaned out my purse. I went outside and strolled a different path kicking and scraping. The Principal asked what I was doing and I explained. He shrugged and told me that not enough snow had fallen to cover up keys. I went back inside. I went back out to clean up the truck. It was pretty much dark by this time. On the way back in, I walked one more new path. A path that was previously inaccessible because people had been parked there. Now nearly everyone had gone home. I halfheartedly stepped on a small pile of snow. It crackled like trash. I kicked it thinking it was a plastic bag. I finally shrugged and decided I would pick it up just to be fully sure it was just trash. I had long given up that the keys were really in the parking lot.
IT WAS THE KEYS! Yes, I am aware you realized it was the keys several sentences ago and did not need the all caps.
The point is, I found my minuscule key ring (3 small keys and a key chain the size of a quarter) in a vast parking lot under the snow. I have disorganized mess superpowers!
I feel I should tell you that my new keychain, a Christmas present from Sergio and Rosalind, is a favorite Luna Lovegood/JK Rowling quote. “Things we lose have a way of coming back to us in the end, if not always in the way we expect.”