Sometimes I like those days where the schedule is chronologically challenged. Yesterday was one of those days. It started at about 4:15 a.m. when a text came through Pat’s phone letting us know our nephew had been born. It’s a bit hard to go back to sleep after that but I did try. Pat and I already had a few things on our plate that day but thought we could include a visit to the hospital quite easily. We eagerly got the twins on the bus and quickly got dressed for the day. Pat had a client that needed some computer updates on the south side and I had some streets I needed to walk. Now our schedule was: kids on bus (done), trip to hospital, meeting on south side, City Saunter walk on south side. I also had a lunch date with my favorite elementary school teacher, Cathy Colando Riley. We had finally agreed to a time and place weeks ago and I didn’t want to cancel that. That was at 1 p.m. in Okemos. By 9:00 a.m. Pat and I were in the car heading into town. We didn’t eat breakfast. We decided to stop at McDonald’s. We had coupons, buy one breakfast sandwich get one. We each could go in, use the coupon and take the extras to the hospital. So now our schedule was this: kids on bus (done), get ready (done), stop at McDonald’s, drive to hospital, drive to client on south side, drop me off to walk south side roads (about 1.5 I thought), get back home so Pat can work and I drive to Okemos to meet Cathy. After eating our McDonald’s sandwiches in the car we started heading into Lansing. Should we bring a gift? What would they like, flowers, candy, a soy smoothie from Biggby? All were great choices. On our route into town is Frandor. We already needed to stop at World Market for coffee beans because it’s Wednesday and on Wednesday when you buy coffee you get double punches; no, not to the face, on your coffee card to get a free 12 oz. bag of coffee. We use it to try the really expensive Jamaican blend or some such kind. So we decided to stop at World Market. So this is our morning so far: get kids on bus (done), go to McDonald’s and use b-1-g-1 coupon (done), drive through busy East Lansing to crazy Frandor (I refer to it as the 10th layer of hell) and stop at World Market for coffee and gift, drive to hospital, drive to south side (Dunckel and Jolly), drop me off in random parking area so I can walk, Pat goes to meeting, he picks me up, drive home and I leave to go to my lunch date with Cathy Colando Riley former Gier Park and Otto teacher.
Well, it’s 9:35 and World Market doesn’t open until 10:00 a.m. So we decide against the gift because driving into the 10th layer of hell, yelling at Pat for not turning onto a one way when he had the chance and then not having our store even open yet took about 20 minutes and I was a bit frustrated. A few minutes later after parking at the Sparrow parking ramp (I will need to come up with a catchy name for this place as well) we soon find ourselves on the third floor staring at the sign on the maternity ward wall that states: Visiting Hours 11:00 a.m. We needed to wait over an hour to see our new nephew. Fortunately for us a social worker over heard us talking and called the nursing station to see if we could visit early. Ahaaaa, we finally get a break! We stop at the nursing station, get the room number and sneak our way through the very quiet hallway. I gently tap on the door, open it a crack and let them know we’re here to see the new baby. Yippee! As with our timing with World Market we again were denied. Our sweet little nephew was about two seconds away from getting his own breakfast. Back to the waiting room Pat and I went. I was able to pass off the extra breakfast sandwiches before leaving though; finally success! So we wait. And we wait. About 45 minutes pass when the new daddy pops his head in and walks us back to the room. We had a quick visit and had to be off to our other scheduled plans.
We quickly make it out to the south side and Pat drops me off for my walk and he goes to his client. This part of town is not made for walking but I often find those areas more interesting. My first interesting thing was a goose. He was sleeping about 5 feet from the road, directly in my path. What would a goose do if I snuck up on him? I found myself laughing all alone on the side of the road at the idea of goosing a goose. I stopped and took photos a few times hoping my shutter would wake him up; it didn’t. I move closer and he’s still sleeping. I move a little closer and he’s still sleeping! I am now about 5 feet from him when he picks his head up, looks right at me and hisses. I hate that noise. So now I am stuck with speeding traffic on my right, a sloping pond on my left and a hissing goose directly in front of me. I wait until most of the traffic clears (it’s quite busy here) and move out into the road hoping by keeping my head down and not giving the goose eye contact he won’t attack me.I’m walking in the road, with my camera, laughing out loud, with fast traffic speeding towards me hoping to not get attacked by a drowsy goose!
For the next hour I continued on my sidewalk-less travels and finished off this entire south eastern edge. It was almost 3 miles and it was quite close to 80 degrees outside. I was quite sweaty and very flushed. It was getting very close to the time that I needed to be picked up to make it home in time to drop Pat off and leave for my lunch date with Cathy Colando Riley, one of my favorite teachers. We spent a couple of months learning all the songs on the “Chicken Soup with Rice” record in 5th grade. One of my most cherished memories. When my twins came home from school a couple years ago singing those songs I exploded with joy; not literally, but I was really happy. I had a copy of the CD I had bought for my older kids. They never got into it, but Evan and Ellie know every song and often play it as they go to sleep.
My phone vibrates. Yes, Pat is done! We meet back at the random parking lot and head back home. We do indeed make it back through the 10th layer of hell, passing World Market, knowing full well that we need to come back sometime that day to get our extra punch from our coffee purchase. At home Pat gets out and I even have a few extra minutes to change into dry clothes and race off for my lunch date with Cathy Colando Riley who looks exactly the way she did when I was in second grade and I told her I was a hypochondriac to which she said, “that’s a big world for a little girl”. And she looked the same way she did when she met me at the Calbery Awards ceremony in 4th grade where I won 3rd place city wide.
She definitely looked the same from when I use to get off my bus from Eastern High School and walk up to Otto to visit with her. I spent about an hour and a half catching up with her then headed home. I had about an hour to upload photos before the twins got off their bus. We would be returning to the hospital so they could meet their new cousin. We also stopped at World Market for that coffee and even stopped at McDonald’s again so the twins could have some ice cream for being good during the visit. At the end of the day we were happy to say we got it all done! And that 10th layer of hell? We drove through it 4 times yesterday. I think that’s a new record.