I love this picture. It is so representative of rural life in Iowa. Wide open spaces, railroad tracks, a wind turbine in the distance. Home.
Yesterday a historic event occurred in our household. I got out alone. For more than 10 minutes. I even took my car. I overcame Mommy guilt and left the house and went to town. It looked kind of like this picture:
When I mean going to town let me clarify-we live in the Midwest. We don’t live in the middle of nowhere, but the nearest decent sized town is about 15 minutes away, 20 if you actually want to go anywhere there besides Wal-Mart.
We had gone to the fair the day before, so of course noone else was even interested in leaving the house. As a matter of fact, I’m not sure that anyone even noticed that I left the house. I decided to go walk around the lake in our nearby big town. I wanted to take a loooooong walk, and I had enough time I could explore some of those trails I keep seeing and find out where they go. I put on my running shoes, grabbed my purse and water bottle, IPOD, phone, and left.
First I stopped and got the mail. I don’t get out much, and they don’t deliver mail to peons like us. And now that we have the dog, I rarely get out without him. So our mail piles up for about a week before I make it over there. Last week when I finally made it there I had the big yellow note in there: “Your mail is too large to fit in your box”. And there wasn’t even a package in there. Not like I could retrieve my mail, though. Our post office is open for approximately ten minutes a day if you’re lucky. Unfortunately for me, I had already passed that small window of time. So I had to go back to the post office the next day, which is a HUGE thing to do two days in a row.
Next I stopped and got a water and the Sunday paper. Since I have become an unemployed bum, I had to forgo certain luxuries like a daily newspaper and getting something from the gas station. Except on Sunday. That newspaper is like gold to me. I read it cover to cover, er, front to back. And I needed the water because it was hot and I had forgotten to fill my water bottle.
As I drove out of town I drove and searched through my purse at the same time for the Crystal Light stuff I put in my water. I can’t drink just plain water unless I am parched, and my body would probably go into shock if I did. Now I know I grabbed the little packet, but now I can’t find it. And I have now emptied the entire contents of my purse onto the passenger side seat while driving. It’s not there. Drat. And I’m thirsty.
I reformulate my plan. Surely I can’t walk without lemon flavored water. Splenda sweetened water. My sensitive system can’t handle regular Crystal Light-I get heartburn so bad it’s like having a heart attack. And of course only one place sells that Splenda Crystal Light stuff. Yup, Target.
And I need labels. Not just any labels. CLEAR labels. Because they look nice. And the white ones leave crappy residue when you peel them off. And I change my mind a lot, so I peel them off a lot. So where can you buy clear labels? Staples. And Staples is right down the street from Target. So I’ll take the long way around and get the labels. Then I’ll go to Target and get my lemonade stuff. And maybe some pop, because Target also is the only place that carries my lemon flavored Diet Sunkist. Lemon again.
So I go to Staples, which is clear on the other side of town from the lake. I love Staples. I could spend hours in there looking for stuff. But the Mommy alone time has a time limit because my family may need to eat, so I just need to go in and get out. Staples clear labels are very expensive, and I need two sizes. Hey wait a minute, don’t they sell clear labels at Target too? I wander around for a few minutes, then select the size of labels I know I haven’t seen sold anywhere else, and fork over the money for them.
Next I go to Target. I whizz in, grab the lemon Crystal Light stuff, grab the pop, and then go up to the checkouts. It’s a college town and the day before classes start, so everyone and their roommate is there getting supplies. I am ecstatic that I get right up to a register with no waiting! Wait… I forgot the labels. Back to the office supplies. They don’t have them.
Where the heck did I see those clear labels? Must have been Wal-Mart. Back to the checkouts, buy stuff. Out to the car and drive across the way to Wal-Mart, which is even busier than Target. I find the labels. And guess what, they have the other ones I paid way more for at Staples. No. NO. Just get the ones you don’t have and go. But the lady who cuts my hair remarked I needed a detangler comb. Mine is missing. Probably in my daughter’s room somewhere. They sell those at Wal-Mart! I run over to the hair section and grab TWO-one for me and one for my daughter. Hers is pink. That way she won’t steal mine.
I walk out of Wal-Mart having now taken an extra hour to do all of this stuff. By the time I get to the lake, I will have less than an hour to do my walk, because people have to eat, and my husband won’t think to start supper. I have to wait for a train. Then by the time I get there I have to pee. It’s a good thing there is a bathroom right there. Then I do my walk. I settle for the shortened version, since I had less than an hour. No exploring trails for me. I do it and head home, very satisfied with having gotten some exercise.
I get home a whole 20 minutes late. And guess what? He was starting supper.
You can read about the next adventure in The ADD Mom Goes Out… With Children