I got up EXTRA early (around 6:25 a.m.), so that I could be at the library by 7:30 a.m. for the "Breakfast Buddies" program, a library program that works with third-grade children at the elementary school. Selected students who need a little extra coaching with reading skills come to the library before school begins. They receive a light breakfast and eat while the volunteer (me!!) reads a book to the student on his or her reading level. After the student finishes the breakfast, he or she then reads the book back to the volunteer (still me!!). The librarian makes a record of the book read. The child later answers some questions about the book and then receives credit for reading it. Like I mentioned above, the program is early, BEFORE class begins.
I had not slept well the night before and was oh so very tired. I figured if I could get out of bed, it would probably be my major accomplishment for the day. After hitting the snooze button for way too many times, I stumbled down the hallway into the kitchen, plugged in and turned on the coffeemaker, and then stumbled back down the hallway to the bedroom to start getting dressed. Our dog then decided she wanted to go outside to potty. I opened the back door, let her out in the backyard, and waited for her to return. She came back inside and did a very pretty "sit" on the kitchen floor waiting for her usual treat. At the same time, as usual, four of the five kitties lined up in the kitchen by the microwave waiting for their morning treaters. There were four sets of eyes, shining like little peridots, staring up at me. I handed out the treaters and gave the obligatory pats on each head which completed my treater duties. Everyone was satisfied, and I headed back to the bedroom to get dressed.
As I was dressing, something felt out of place. I looked in the mirror and immediately realized that my cotton pullover shirt was on backwards. (Problem #1.) Geez!! I took it off, turned it around, put it back on, and finished getting dressed. I went to the bathroom to put on eye makeup for fear that I would make a horrible mess in the dim light of the nightlight in my dressing area. My husband was sleeping and I did not want to risk waking him by turning on the overhead light. Eye makeup was accomplished with no major mishap. Next came the hair. I checked the time and realized I was running late. I brushed it quickly, twisted it up, and put the in the "mei fa" sticks – immediately I had a doinger!! (For those of you who are not familiar with "doingers," they are the ends of hair that "doing" (pronounced doi-ing, one of those onomatopoeia words) or pop out after they are tucked in a chignon.) After another attempt, success was had. All done.
I went to the kitchen to fill my travel cup and Thermos with coffee. I turned off the coffeemaker, unplugged it, and put the Thermos in my briefcase. I put on my jacket (the temperature overnight had been close to freezing), and grabbed my travel cup, handbag, library bag, and briefcase. I left the house in the dark because I did not want to leave the front porch light on all day (Problem #2 leading to Mistake #1). We live in the country so there are no street lights, no close neighbors, just total darkness. I stepped off the front porch, walked about 10 feet, and then it happened . . . I was attacked by the killer dead oak tree!! One of its dead branches reached down and stabbed my head as I walked under it on the way to the car. (Mistake #1). Small twigs on the branch tangled in my hair. Now remember, my hair was in a chignon and twisted tight. I was trapped like a rat!! I could not move. By the pain, I could tell the twigs had scraped my scalp and parts of it were stuck tight in my hair. My scalp felt moist. My hands were full. I could not get loose from the branch. No one was around, so yelling would have done no good. I tried to stoop to set my handbag, library bag, and briefcase on the ground. No such luck. Finally, after I tugged on the branch and tried to pull away, the twig broke off the branch. It was still stuck in my hair, but I was free at last!! Now I was REALLY running late. I made it to the passenger side of the Jeep, unlocked the door, and put my things on the seat. As I was getting settled in the driver's seat, I put on my seat belt and looked up to the front windshield as I started the Jeep. All I could see was WHITE. Yep, there had been frost overnight and there was a layer of ice all over the windshield. Dang!! My car engine was cold, so there is no way the defroster was going to work for a while. Now I had to get out of the car, scrape the windshield, and THEN possibly be on my way. Okay, all done, and back in the Jeep.
I was FINALLY on the way to the library. I was going to be late, but not too bad. A few miles down the road traffic started really slowing down and finally stopped. Ahead, I could see that a big truck carrying utility poles was totally blocking the roadway. (Problem #3.) I could tell it was going to be a while before the roadway was cleared. Good grief!! Okay, now take a deep breath. This situation was TOTALLY out of my control. It was time to sit back, relax, and have a few sips of coffee . . . ah, Sumatra . . . with just the right amount of half-and-half. Life is good. All will be right with the world. Now, I can face the day!!