I guess technically this would only be my second installment of 'Only in Claflin, America', but trust me it's worth the wait!
So, yesterday I left work at 9:45 to head to KC for an old co-workers funeral. (I promise, that's not the point of this story.) But first I had to meet my in-laws at our house (20 miles away) to get some frozen meat from them that I would deliver to my sis in KC. About 5 miles down the road (and yes, by then I'm TOTALLY out of town) I realize that I was supposed to stop at the store and get some ice to help keep the meat cold during the 4 hour drive ahead of me. So I stopped at the grocery store in the next town about 30 miles away.
So, I'm in the parking lot of the store and I am taking one big bag of ice and splitting it up into three trash bags of ice for the three coolers in my back seat full of 'Brisket' (we named our two steers that we sent to slaughter...twisted I know...but good cow karma = good cow meat). I realize to myself that if I put my keys in the trunk to do this, I will ultimately forget and lock my keys in my car. (Nice! One point for me!) So I deliberately take the time to put them on top of the car and then go about doing my thing. When I got done, I realized that I was A) running late B) had 3/4 a tank of gas and was golden...for a bit at least and C) should take advantage of this stop and grab some food for the road. So in a rush, I quick-drove next door to the DQ for a cheeseburger (in honor of my deceased co-worker who LOVED her some cheeseburgers) only to find the drive-thru not open. In my
About 2 hours down the road I get a call from work. I reluctantly answered the phone thinking that I must have messed something up before leaving when my co-worker says:
Co-worker: 'Hey do you have your wallet?'
Co-worker: 'No you don't.'
Me: (Annoyed because I know I didn't leave it at work. Little does she know I just used it at the grocery story!) 'Yes I do.'
Co-worker: 'Did you have it in (tiny town I got ice at)?'
Me: (Damn, she's good!) 'Yeeeeeeesssss?'
Co-worker: 'I just got a call from some lady telling us that her husband found your wallet in the ditch, on the side of the road, near the grocery store....'
Me: (Silence).......'Son of a bitch!'
So, apparently in all the hubbub, I was diligent enough to do something with my keys so as not to lock them in the car, but not so diligent enough to put my wallet in a safe place! My co-worker gave me this lady's work number and said I was supposed to call her. I called Jo (the lady) and she explained to me that her husband works in that town and while on his way back to work from eating lunch at the grocery store he found my wallet in the ditch and then realized that since he'd picked it up, he now had to do something with it...but didn't know what. So Bud (Jo's husband) calls Jo and says that he's got a 'project' for her and to try and hunt me down via Google and contact me. So now Jo, who works about 40 miles from there is tasked with 'finding me'. She has no luck just googling my name and ends up running my driver's license (she works at the Sherrif's office) to try and find contact info for me. This in turn gives her my address (and Lord only knows what else!). So of course what does one do once you know they live in a small town? Call the one place that you think might A) be open and that B) might exist in a small town...the public library! So she calls the Independent Township Library and asks the librarian if she knows me. Of course, being the small town it is (and her daughter was in J's class) she not only knows me, but can tell Jo where I work (and probably that we have a dog named 'Belle', like to two-step in the kitchen, and the scar on my forehead was from a nasty encounter with our fireplace when I was 2.) Hence, how Jo got my work number!
Insert here: Only in Claflin
And now...for the rest of the story!
So I make plans to meet Jo at a certain exit on the highway on my way back home. Meanwhile, I'm still not all that freaked out because I do have a check book with me in case of an emergency. Oh wait...there are no checks in my checkbook. And now I have a quarter tank of gas left and am scrounging the ashtray for change to pay my toll. AND I'm still running late because I couldn't speed for fear of getting pulled over with no license on me.
I coast into my sister's driveway with my gas light on. The call to my sister at work went like this:
Me: 'Hey, you don't happen to have some cash at your place do you?' (I explain the above saga)
Sis: 'You're in luck. While I was cleaning, I noticed some cash in one of the drawers...but I'm not sure how much is there. It might be $3.00 and it might be $300.00 for all I know. If all else fails, the kids' piggy banks are upstairs in their rooms.'
Great, so now I have to bring one blue and on pink piggy bank to the gas station and pay with my niece and nephew's coins!!! And I'm STARVING by now! I found the money (which was enough...no need to bust out the piggy banks), got gas (in which I caught myself trying figure out how to pay for gas with cash instead of swiping my card), made it to the funeral with not a minute to spare, saw all my old co-workers and friends, and life was looking up.
While back on the road to go home, my cruise control and speedometer quit working on me. (Which used to be a regularly occurring thing in my POS, but hadn't happened in ages...so of course I didn't bother getting it fixed!). Plus, I was running late...again...and didn't want to make poor Jo wait on me...so I also skipped stopping somewhere for some dinner.
I missed my exit for Jo and my wallet! After ALL that! It was dark, late, and I was hungry and tired! I just drove right past it! And, that part of the highway was under major construction, down to one lane, and there was NO turning around! The next exit was 20 miles down and was MY exit...so I told Jo to just go home, apologized profusely while she just laughed at me, and made plans to meet her husband at his work the next morning.
Which leads me to today! A 30 minute drive to his work. A 20 minute wait for him the parking lot...of the jail...because that's where he works. A quick 3 minute conversation with the jail's security officer as to why I've been loitering in the parking lot of the jail for 20 minutes. Another brief 3 minute conversation with Bud, whom I now refer to as 'My Savior'. A 30 minute drive to get to Claflin and then another 25 minutes to get to work.
Moral of the story: 'Good JuJu only lasts for so long people!'