Yesterday Seth and I jumped in the car and headed west on 24 to this little city…
St. Louis, that’s right. It was going to be a whirl wind of a 24 hour there and back journey to see a doctor at the Sher institute. As we shuffled to get in the car, Seth picked up my worn and torn canvas bag and looked at me with his eyes bulging, while doing dramatic bicep curls with my over packed, I just may need this or that,let’s stuff it all in there just in case overnight bag. After his last curl he released a sigh and questioned my packing skills with this query, “seriously, babe..how long are we going to be gone?” And I replied with my usual song and dance diversion…which is bat my eyes and chuckle and reply with my philosophy on womanhood, which is this, “oh, honey, remember high maintenance equals high returns!”. Then I gave a snarky giggle and chased down my sarcasm with a swig of grape flavored powerade while swinging my legs into the passenger side of the car.
And off we went…
We had decided last minute to make this trip due to some health factors going on with me…and I was kind of looking forward to a twenty four hour period of just me and Seth. While we have had struggles in other area of our lives, God has been faithful to give us this relationship that I just don’t deserve—I just love the boy—he’s the most sensitive manly man I know. We are opposites in every sense of the word, but somehow it works. He’s a rule follower and I’m a rule “bender” and somehow we kind of like each other!
Before we left, I had kind of mentally mapped out our trip, thinking to myself, “we’ll have a nice drive, get there at supper time and have dinner…ohhh… and we’ll watch a movie…and sleep in!” The idea of those events was enough to send my heart ‘aflutter.
Well, as my life goes. Nothing went as planned. We hit interstate 24 at rush hour and sat like an idled car…to counteract the lack of speed I anxiously tapped my hands and feet to some Ray LaMontagne,as if that would make the car go faster. Well, by the time we got to Paducah, Kentucky my belly was agrowlin’..i got busy that day and skipped lunch, so food was on the brain. Not ever a good choice on my part. Because what ends up happening is I get so ravenous that I cannot decide what I want to eat. It ALL sounds good. So, with my husband’s guidance we narrowed it down to Chick Fil a or Backyard Burgers..the cadillacs of fast food,right? Problem was I just couldn’t decide which one I wanted. Chick fil a or Backyard Burgers? Fried chicken or a big fat juicy hamburger??
I am so dang indecisive. The only thing I am decisive about is that I am indecisive.
So the nice sit down dinner turned into glorified fast food in Paducah Kentucky. After making about a dozen U turns due to my wavering on my oh-so important decision of where to eat, we landed at chick fil a. And my hunger took over my brainwaves. It completely sabotaged my rational. In my insatiable hunger, I got the following…I lie not..I wish I was:
- An 8 count meal with fries, add a side salad(because somehow the salad makes all my bad choices alright?!), and a chocolate milkshake with extra whip cream..cause it’s just not the same without the whipcream..oh, and add a brownie because this “monster” sitting next to me might eat my shake before I turn around. And I gotta have something sweet after salty. It’s just a personal rule.
Well, bad, bad decision. I now had eaten enough calories to climb to the peak of Mt. Everest, but instead all I was going to be doing was sitting on my arse for the next 3 hours!!I So, while downing tums and feeling like type 2 diabetes might take over my body at any given moment, seth and I enjoyed our little car ride up to St. Louis. We have such bizarre conversations. I really think if a doctor was listening in on us he or she would prescribe us both ADD meds. Why? Because this how our conversation played out on our little trip:
Dive into some deep, over analytical deep conversation about the pain and suffering and sadness in this world and what are we doing to make a difference? Oh, and why did God think it was worth creating us? Then move onto the hot topic of whether or not animals have souls(sarcasm..). Then I move onto my reading… I read several pages of Mere Christianity by CS Lewis and then convert to some fluffy People magazine because my brain cells need a hiatus mid century literature. All while Seth makes fun of me for reading People, yet peers over ever so interested in the headlines. After my reading quota is met, I pop a couple more Tums in between our hot topic debates and Hollywood headlines. Listen to some old school country for him and then some Avett Brothers for me while talking about perfumes I like and books he has read. Then we turn on a Tim Keller sermon on the blessing of spiritual storms in our lives. Then we top off our conversation martini with this little cherry of a topic: “ hey, babe heard the newest JZ song?”
Yep, that’s right. What’s wrong with us? After breaking down the purpose of mankind and reviewing hip hop music, we arrived in a suburb of St. Louis and rolled up to the only hotel in this little ole town:
Now, here’s my question: “why name a hotel DRURY inn? How the heck do you even say that?” DRRURRREEE? That’s a word just asking for a speech impediment. And not mention “that guy” on the marketing team that thought that name was a good idea?? What was he or she thinking, “ Oh, I have a brilliant idea!! Let’s name a major brand of hotels something phonetically hard to say..now, that will keep ‘em coming back!!
After I had my mental quandary over DRUREEE, we checked in, loaded up our bags and headed up to the room 634. Because I am a germ phoebe, I kept my socks on and pulled back the comforter with my tweezers. I know, I have a problem. But hotel rooms are one germ away from an STD to me..just my opinion though…
Well, with all good romantic intentions, we both fell asleep. No movie. Just some chit chatting,cuddling…and coughing. Couching all night long. We both had enough snot in our head to launch a phlegm cannonball. Oh, and so much for sleeping in late… our snotty, green booger infested noses kept us form breathing. And when you can’t breathe..well, you can’t sleep!
So up and at ‘em at 7 am. I thought I was so on top of it because I packed my favorite coffee, Café Verona by Starbucks. What I forgot was filters. Dangit. Those son of a gun filters! So in my Lindsay brain went in to over drive trying to be resourceful. “ahaa!! I know what I’ll use… toilet paper.” Problem was this toilet paper was more like tissue you that you put in those blessed gift bags at Walgreens. They were one layer away from being nonexistent. “ Screw it, I thought, “ just try it…all in the name of good coffee,of course.”
Well, my cherished coffee turned into a styrofoam cup of half coffee half grinds. Almost like a watery soup. “Rats. I’m going to have to drink that Sanka crap downstairs. Might as well drink brown water..ughhhh!!”, I wined to myself.
With a bad, caffeine depraved attitude I put my gray,soft fleece over my 1998 chi o sorority t- shirt that needs to be made into a quilt.. and not be worn out in public. All while using all my might to suck in all the green snot that was trying to take over my face…I swear it was harder than sucking in your tummy after too much eating!
Now, this is where is gets good. If that’s even the right term. I get on the elevator with a woman that looked like a hybrid of Ms. Doubtfire and Mary Poppins. She had 5 kids with her all under the age of 8. Trying to make conversation in our tight little space, in my congested tone, I uttered, “well, I am impressed you can get all of them dressed and get to breakfast too! I can barely get one dressed!” And before I could finish my sentence her oldest child, piped up with his chest sticking out in pride and with complete gusto, chimed in pointing to his mother’s belly, “ My Mom has twins in her belly right now..and they’re an accident!!”
Now this is hysterical and bizarre for two reasons:
- I’m here in this hotel, in this degum elevator because of fertility reasons so I found humor in this whole encounter…
- Does a kid really know what the term “accident” means? Does this kid know that accident= my mom and dad did the hanky panky and came up lucky!!:) I truly hope not…
After that little humdinger of happenstance I was now awake, no coffee needed. I smiled, congratulated her, wished them all a nice day, and had an internal laugh. Did that really happen just happen?
I decided that I needed some time to get my thoughts in order and pray, so I went for a long run. Taking a run for me is like swallowing a handful of happy pills. I just feel the serotonin shooting off!! Well, I had my i pod on some Natalie Grant song with deep reflection as the landscape of my thinking, when I got nailed by a group of…. GEESE!
Here are the little varmints:
Yup, that’s right. I was running through an office park and kaboom!! Geese. A big flock of ‘em chasing me as I ran! “ What in THE??!! Where in the #$#% did these geese come from??”, I probed. After fighting off my new found enemies, my spiritual contemplation deflated and turned into a just-get-me-back-to-the-hotel mindset.
I sprinted back to the hotel and jumped in the shower sweaty, disturbed and so disheveled that I put toothpaste on my razor! Oh, the things nerves do to me!!With half wet hair and bent over shoving my left foot into my boot we walked out the door and off we went to our appointment.
All went well and we actually got there early, and as I write this we are now headed back to Nashville on a beautiful, crisp, not a cloud in the sky fall day. Sun shining on my right cheek, Seth listening to “raw country” on the radio, and me guzzling another grape Powerade with my best friend, my laptop.
So after too much chick fil a, a bad night’s sleep, my favorite coffee gone awry, being awakened by an 8 year old’s telling me about this mom getting knocked up, and being chased by geese, I realize that sometimes when life hands you hard to deal with issues…which it will, you have to do this:
You have to find some laughter even amongst the most heart wrenching situations—laughter is like hope with breath, it lets you know that there is joy somewhere hidden in all the pain. Laughter is that flower that popped out of the cement– unexpected, beautiful, and therapeutic. It’s the language of angels in my opinion—there is something about laughter that almost sends us into another world for several seconds…releasing us from the realities of the here and now.
We’re not here forever. It’s no different than a drive from Nashville to St Louis—full of unexpected surprises, encounters, and attacks.
And life is much like my trip… you are there and back home before you know it…
So in the inbetween..no matter what you are facing look for the ways God is trying to make you laugh today. They ARE there. They are everywhere.
I’m serious..this is not some cliché to make you feel good. Take Him up on these blessings…laughter is like peering through the peep hole of heaven. You get a small,small glimpse of that intoxicating joy that is to be had.