It was almost a perfect ballet. Entrances, jettes, and exits perfectly timed. Until a trip, smack, failure. Which is why I am standing in front of a restaurant in the 95-degree heat typing a blog post on my cell phone.
These are the chances we take in our attempt to be a two-car family with four drivers.
Earl loses out most the time, riding his bike to work in the heat or hoisting his bike onto the front of a city bus then riding home on the bikepath late at night as bunnies swerve into his path.
I usually drive to work. When the weather is perfect, I'll ride my bike. If the car is needed, I'll get dropped off and picked up.
Grace's lifeguarding job is far enough away that she needs to drive or get a ride. She also takes a class two nights a week and drives to that.
Spencer should walk. He rarely leaves our little burg and his job is less than a mile away. But he has claim to the extra car because he helped pay for it. Officially, we call it "Spencer's car."
I was the only one available to attend Earl's sister's birthday dinner. This is a milestone birthday for her, grandmother of Caroline. Even though everyone else in the family had some place to be, I carefully orchestrated a driving schedule.
Earl took the bus to work. Spencer drove to work, and Grace dropped me at the shopping center, adjacent to the restaurant, an hour early so she could get to class on time.
I browsed the Barnes & Noble for an hour then crossed the baking parking lot to the restaurant.
A text from Tucker came in as I walked. "Throwing up. Terrible headache."
"Sorry," I texted back.
"Nosebleed now," he texted next.
"You r falling apart," I responded. Then I called him. "You want me to come home?"
"No, I'm okay," he said.
I entered the coolness of the restaurant -- a faux Italian and looked forward to some sort of sunrise cocktail and maybe a Caesar salad.
I told the hostess I was meeting a group. "Could it be a different name?" she asked me. "How about Jenny?"
No, that wasn't the group I was meeting.
I called a niece to double check. I knew I was at the right restaurant. Then I realized I was at the wrong location. The other location was about a 15-minute drive away.
Oops. I didn't have a car.
So I called our neighbor Sandy and asked for a ride home. The driving plan failed with my location mix up. Luckily, Sandy didn't mind coming to pick me up, which is why I was standing in the heat in front of a restaurant where I would not get a nice Italian meal or a sunrise cocktail, but I did come home to make sure my little boy was okay.
No one said it would be easy having two cars in a 4-driver family. Good thing we have reliable neighbors.
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