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Saturday, September 19, 2009

Sometimes you just HAVE to laugh

Thursday evening my mom took Monica and I home (for only 24 hours - the longest 24 hours of my existence, it seemed) to take care of some business that couldn't wait.

On our way back to Indy we decided to stop at the teacher's store to look for some 3rd grade testing standards to help make sure Monica is able to pass the all-important ISTEP test this spring since we are schooling her at the hospital right now. So, I got my handy dandy internet phone out and googled "teacher's delight kokomo indiana" (that was the name of the store back when we knew Kokomo had one but couldn't remember where it was) The first search result came up with the address (no phone number).

My mom grew up in Kokomo but it has changed quite a bit in the 35 years since she lived there. We recognize familiar landmarks and know how to get to where we want, mostly along the US 31 highway that everyone dreads passing through Kokomo on (thousands of stoplights).

Anyway, we realized we had gone too far on the highway and took another street to head back where we came from. As we happened to drive past the funeral home and restaurant where we spent our final moments with Granny and our other relatives, my mom says "Uh. Oh. We gotta stop." I'm like, "We do?" She says, "Yeah, the police want me to pull over. Find my stuff in the glove box."

So I look behind us and say to Monica, "Do not say a word. Ever." She says, "OK" with a worried look on her face. (Because I have never been stopped by the police.) Then I say to my mom, "How fast were you going?" I didn't feel as if my life was in jeopardy that time. We were just looking to find our way through town - to the road we needed.

"I have no idea," she answered.

So, we waited for the policeman to come to the window.
He says, "Hi ma'am. Did you know you were going 42 in a 30?"
My mom, "I was? Oh, I'm sooo sorry sir." (Her usual emotion of crying hysterically not inserted here)

Policeman, "Where are you going?"
My mom, "We were looking for a store to buy some books for my granddaughter to practice for the ISTEP test this spring because her sister is dying in Indy and we have to get to her. This is their mother right here next to me."

Policeman, "Are you from around here?"
My mom, "No we're from Mishawaka."
Policeman, "OK? Can I see your license and registration please?"

We handed him her license, three years worth of registrations (because I couldn't find the date on any of them), and the insurance card. The policeman looks at my mom in a funny way.

My mom says, "This is my mom's car. She just passed away."
Policeman, "Where did you say you were going?"
My mom, "To Indy, my granddaughter is there...(realizing what she is saying and feeling the embarrassment in my face from the back of her head) Sir, you really don't want to know all this. Can you just tell me how to get to this address/store so we can get back to our child?"

The policeman handed back the information, offered directions, and said, "Please just drive slower ma'am."

"OK, thanks!" And we drove away laughing (what else could you do?) at the fact that we told such a wild sob story to the policeman, it was totally true, and it worked. Thank you so much, Jesus!

We finally did find the teacher's store, realized it was in the Mall on the highway the whole time (Why do they have to give side road addresses to these businesses?) and that the name of it is not, in fact, "Teacher's Delight" any more. It's "The Pointy Pencil."

We did find the supplies we needed, took a quick detour by Granny and Grandpa's grave site, and finally found our way back to Indy.

What a trip.


signingcharity said...

Oh that is a crazy laugh or cry moment! Glad you guys got to laugh!!!

Pam Asbury said...

Ah, I love the Pointy Pencil! Every time I go in, I just want one of everything, please and thank you! If I would have only known you needed directions, I would have gladly helped you out! :)

Still praying for you. Someone just wrote on my wall this week that they were praying for strength for the long haul, and His presence in the moment. I hope you find this so as well.

Pamm said...

"Teacher's Delight"!?!?!? "Pointy Pencil"!?!?!?
Who comes up with these names?
Thanks for sharing the story, Lori.