10/16/08

This Post is Brought to You by the Letter J

(Melanie J, that is. If not for her amazing winning abilities, I could not have written this post. So Miss J, if this post wins me some kind of millionaire-making 'post of the year' award (cause that could totally happen, even though it's not that good) I promise I'll split the cash with you.)

Yesterday the boys and I set off on an adventure. On foot. Well, on MY feet. The boys were in the stroller.

I knew it was going to be a long haul, walking to the post office. I didn't really know how long though, or I maybe would have driven. But we were off to mail the Sara Groves Christmas CD to giveaway winner, Melanie J. And I was excited! Being excited always makes me experience lapses in judgment.

(I know, I know. Wasn't that giveaway a long time ago? Yes. But both winners are patient. And I am....slow.)

Anyway! Geez, get on with the story...

The post office is only about a half a mile from our house. But let me set you straight right now. It's actually a lot longer than a mile. Because there is NO direct way to get there. But I thought I could figure it out the best route to take. With my powers of...guessing.

(I don't know why I thought that, since I'm the most directionally challenged human being on planet Earth. But I was feeling ambitious I guess. Or just sort of optimistic. Or maybe kind of dumb.)

So we took off in the general direction of the post office. It's in this beautiful neighborhood that borders ours. It's one of those neighborhoods that is it's only little world. A little utopia, if you will. It is quaint, full of amazing houses and lush gardens straight out of a magazine. Oh, and there are lots and lots of criss-crossing angled streets.

The streets are confusing.

You can head in the right direction and then come to a point of choosing between a street that sort of goes in the right direction, or another street that sort of goes in the right direction. Yes, those are your SORT OF choices. You just pick a street and hope for the best, angling in the general direction of the post office. At least the direction you think it might be in your directionally challenged head.

So you gamble with your time and keep a good attitude while walking through this beautiful utopia of a neighborhood with all of it's autumn loveliness. But your legs? You can't be sure if your legs are going to make it . Or your lungs. It sounds something like,

"Where are we going Mommy?"

gasp gasp pant pant, "to the post office." gasp pant.

(By the way, these are very VERY HILLY (steep) criss-crossing streets.)

We almost got lost. But I saved the day, of course.

We barreled down one of the hills just in time to meet up with a nice man who could laugh at me for asking which way the post office was. I guess he thought it was funny since this is a very small neighborhood. He pointed in the opposite direction of where I was headed, shook his head and moved on. I'm sure he assumed we lived there, right in one of the perfect houses, straight out of Cottage Living magazine. We don't. We live "across the tracks," or at least across the main road. In the more...modest neighborhood. You know, where houses cost quite a bit less than half a million to a million dollars each.

(And also. When I say that I barreled, I mean that. The hills are so steep, that if you're pushing ninety pounds worth of stroller and boys downhill, you are GOING to barrel. There is no choice. And it will make you giggle. Loudly. Bringing even more attention to the barreling.)

When we weren't barreling, the boys would let me know they were getting tired of the walk. With all the turning right and then left and then right and then left...

"Yeah, me too!" I puffed. I mean, it's only fun to barrel down a hill about twelve times. After that your legs just feel all numb and gooey and the weight of the stroller makes it impossible to slow down at corners. It's very, very scary. For everyone involved.

(Including people observing you from their quaint little yards, pausing from their raking to stand open-mouthed while you careen past, out of control.)

That's only fun for so long.

But miraculously, we finally came to the beautiful little main street and looked both ways (not to look for cars, but to see where the heck the post office was from where we ended up.) We were close. I was SO proud. I only wasted lots and lots of energy walking many blocks in the wrong direction a couple of times!

(This little half-mile walk had taken just over an hour. No big deal, really. A lot of zig-zagging and hills will take awhile.)

Oh yeah. But guess what?

After we got the CD in the mail (yes, it's finally on it's way), and headed over to the cute little grocery store to pick up some stuff for dinner, I realized we would have to do all the hills again in order to get home.

So I did what anyone would do in my running downhill shoes. I started calling people, seeing if they could come and pick us up.

The brother-in-law who was due to come to our house at around this time, well...he can't come. He's at a nearby art store, preparing for an evening class. But he'll be over in about an hour!

Great.

I called Ryan. He had some things to wrap up at work that couldn't wait.

Fine.

I knew for sure that I couldn't re-trace our zig-zag steps accurately to make the trip as short as possible, but we set out to try anyway. With semi-success. We only walked a few blocks in the wrong direction a couple of times. And we found a really cool park with a rock-climbing wall while we were lost. It only took us about an hour and a half to get home. I'm pretty sure that if I knew where I was going, this whole adventure would have taken about 40 minutes (round trip).

But to the little troopers in the stroller I said, "you can't live an adventurous life without going on a few adventures."

(Right after I got done telling them they better stop whining or I was going to refuse to talk to them for the rest of the walk home.)

Melanie J, here's to mailing your giveaway CD! I made a big deal of it. That's how cool I think you are. I could have driven, you know.

29 clicked right here to comment:

K and/or K said...

And I still get slack from you for getting lost on my walk around our old neighborhood after I just moved in. Ha!

The Three 22nds said...

So funny. Let me tell you though, the other night it took me 35 minutes to go 2/3 mile with my boys...and there were no hills and we weren't even lost. So I think you made fabulous time in your circumstances. (I was w.a.i.t.i.n.g for my 4 year old to exam everything on the walk, lest you think I am just slow).

By the way, there is a cool feature on google maps- walking directions. Maybe next time you could take a look at that :)

Kristina P. said...

This is why I don't walk anywhere. Not even to the mailbox.

Heidi Ashworth said...

Oh, wow! I admire your ability to refrain from puddling on the cold hard ground in a heap of gooey despair. I am pretty sure just one trip barreling down the hill would have done me in and that's without a stroller. You must be in amazing shape!

Lara said...

Oh, that totally happened to me once. Except, I was looking for a park for my children to play in, and it was a lot closer to my house than 1/2 mile. And I was very worried I'd never find my way home again. :)

Becoming Me said...

So funny in a not funny at the time sort of way. Well, you got in some good exercise and have a fun memory and great blog post to boot

Ali said...

I love it... The play by play recap, that is. Not that you almost lost your limbs due to overuse.

Isn't it funny how in those moments we try really hard to make it seem (to our kids) that everything is under control? We speak without panic, but really we just want to curse very loudly!

Or is that just me?

I have had so many outings like this...intended to be spur of the moment and quickly accomplished. And, after many frustrating twists and turns (due to my poor planning), we finally get to our destination. Oh the joys!

charrette said...

I think Melanie J is worth every step. :)

And I'm so glad to know I'm not the only one who does stuff like that...

I LOVE that you started calling people to rescue you...Awesome!

Again, I think Melanie J is worth every step. :)
And you, once again, have managed to make the ordinary oh, so very extraordinary...with a sense of adventure and great love!

Kim said...

Yeah, you could have driven, but that wouldn't have been as much fun! I love that adventure, sounds like something I would do!

Kimberly said...

And to think I was whining over walking three blocks there and back stroller-less yesterday. You da mom!

Becky said...

Hee, hee, hee!

When we first moved to Alaska, I got turned around on the drive to the apartment. So for months - yes, MONTHS - I thought you turned left on the highway to get to Wasilla and right to get to Palmer. Not so. I can't tell you how many times I had to turn around in a particular parking lot. At least there was a bakery there. So I could always relieve my stress, if need be.

Melanie J said...

All I heard was "blah, blah, blah, it's finally on it's way, yada yada."

Whoo hoo!

And the part where Charette said I was totally worth it.

Bonnie Lewis said...

I love this! this sounds EXACTLY like me! i go running or walking all the time thinking i know where I am giong and I have no idea! and then I have to call my husband to tell him I'm tired or lost.! but with a stroller!? you poor thing!

Sara@ Butterville said...

Excited = laspes in judgment ha ha ha
Power of guessing. *snort*
Directionally challanged. (shaking head) remind me to give you some lessons.
BTW you forgot to say whethre or not your legs throbbed for the rest of the day. That's what happens to me when I get bright ideas about walking. Of And my butt throbs too, I hate that!

Baby Tunnel Exodus said...

You're awesome. I drive everywhere... and if it's not on my GPS... it does Not Exist. Because I am seriously directionally challenged. My dad says I have my mother's sense of direction. We can get lost coming back from the ladies room in strange restaurants. I say that takes talent.

Blessings, Whitney

Kazzy said...

Now THAT is cyber friendship! Plus, now you can skip your exercising for the upcoming week and just blog instead... you have earned it!

Jessica said...

oh my this is totally something I would do. How funny!

LisAway said...

Lucky Melanie! (also for the getting the CD, but mostly for causing you enough of an adventure that it was post worthy. Oh, and it was post worthy.) But mostly lucky you. You're gonna be SORE tomorrow!

Steph @ Diapers and Divinity said...

The post office is on my top 10 list of places I hate to go with kids, so kudos for that courage in the first place. The getting lost part totally sounds like me, but the good attitude part totally sounds like you. :) You might have met your walking quota for the month.

BaronessBlack said...

Do not ever move to Europe! We have a strange system for numbering our roads that has something to do with the Duke of Argyl's golf handicap or something!
My trick is to hang around near a post box, 'cos postmen always know the roads, and always carry biscuits somewhere on your person. Children forgive you a lot when you produce biscuits!

Kelly @ Love Well said...

I'm pretty sure you just put my mailman to shame.

Alternate comment: And THAT is why I drive everywhere.

happygeek said...

Oh too funny.

Sabrina said...

I love that "neighborhood" you walked to. I have a lot of good memories myself there. By saying it is a little Utopia, you are not kidding.

Abra said...

So Funny, I was driving on Wednesday and TOTALLY took a wrong turn (kinda hard, I was on the highway and there's really only one way into town...) Nonetheless I did, and it took about 15 minutes to find the right road to take us (Kai was with me) back to the highway. When we found the right road, Kai started singing... "We did it! We did it! We were lost, and found the right road! We DID IT! And now we can go home... (dramatic pause) FINALLY!" I need ONSTAR or something...

minnesotamom said...

Dang, I need to come to your neighborhood and walk. The hills here are meager.

By the way, in case you were thinking "plagiarism," I pre-wrote the post that went up this morning so the "brought to you by the letter _" thing was NOT stolen. :)

Carolyn Duede said...

Your posts are always a treat! Especially the ()s.

Eowyn said...

I love that story. And I hate those kinds of places. I'm spoiled in that I live in a place where everything is straightforward, but I've lived where it's not.

You know what really drives me nuts--one way roads. No, you can't go directly to that super market, you have to go down around the block and come at it the other direction. Can't tell you how many times I've gotten lost or confused trying to navigate those.

That Girl in Brazil said...

I'm with ya, babe. Whoever made the roads here was either on crack or has a penchant for causing suicidal tendencies in mothers with young children. The maps of Sao Paulo just look like someone dumped a bowl of spaghetti on it to depict the roads. And yes, I HAVE gotten lost. On foot. With a double stroller.

Eek.

Melanie J said...

I must say I'm totally convinced this little "adventure" was worth it now because I listened to my Sara Groves CD yesterday and I LOVE it. Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!

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