Do you remember the whole Y2K scare? People were loading up on groceries, bottled water, flashlights, and so on. I remember that even the stores had special displays featuring necessities one would need in case of a disaster. I’m not sure what it says about my family (maybe we’re just trusting souls, I don’t know), but we didn’t do anything to prepare for what could have been… I don’t know… a day of complete shutdown.
I didn’t see such a shutdown coming and didn’t expect one, but I have to admit that when the clock’s all got “on the other side” and we still had lights, water, communications, air, and so on – I let out a sigh of relief.
Most people expected the worst, and fortunately it never showed up.
Flash forward to the morning of September 11, 2001. I’ll always remember that morning. Ironically, I had always been one to turn on Good Morning America first thing in the morning. It was part of my morning routine – get up, turn on the coffee, feed my cats, turn on GMA, open the blinds, and get ready to roll. On this one morning, however, I didn’t turn on the news. One morning out of hundreds. Can you imagine the odds of that?
Anyway, I went out and sat on my back deck with my cup of coffee. Where we were living at the time (my dream house, as it was known at the time), we had a huge yard that was perfectly adorned with plants, bulbs, shrubs, flower beds, and an herb garden that Paula Deen would envy. I loved to go out and sit and just stare at the beauty – and there was plenty of it. Just when I decided that this was, indeed, going to be a glorious day, a neighbor (Kristie) called to talk about the horror. She knew that I was a GMA addict and assumed I was on top of everything.
I wasn’t. She told me what had happened as I sat my coffee down, reached for the remote control, and uttered a strand of “Oh my God“s through tears.
On a beautiful September morning when everyone expected the best, hell showed up.
I use the two illustrations often with my daughters and in my own little web of a mind – as reminders that you just never know what the day will bring.
This morning, on a far, far, far smaller scale – I was reminded of this truth. After my husband left for work, I walked to where I keep my purse (to get my cellphone out). The purse wasn’t there. Odd, since it’s the only place I keep my purse. So, I figured I’d left it in the car after going to the store yesterday. I have never done this before, but there’s always a first time.
The purse wasn’t there.
A house-wide, and even yard-wide because I was desperate, search ensued. I even called Kroger to see if “A hot pink, really fancy looking purse” had been turned in. I could hear the worker’s smile through the phone as she told me it hadn’t, but that she’d keep her eyes out for one.
Let the haters hate, it is a fancy looking purse – and one that I love dearly, which is why it rattled my brain that it could be missing. You see, my oldest daughter (Emily) gave me this purse for Christmas. She goes to school full-time, so she is only able to work part-time. College and a part-time job equal not a heckuva lot of money. Yet, somehow she bought her mother a very expensive handbag for Christmas – and a handbag I adore. I’m all about flashiness and this beautiful designer handbag screams FLASHY!
So, my mind was all over the place. I knew I needed to call my husband and ask what we needed to do regarding the credit cards, but I was busy missing my beautiful purse and pictures in my billfold. Then it occurred to me that my asthma inhaler was in the purse! I also mentally groaned over the headaches of replacing my driver’s license, social security card, and cellphone.
Just as I was nearing full-tilt panic, I saw a brilliant flash of hot pinkness in the living room beside the sofa. At first, my brain told me not to get overly excited, my youngest daughter could have gotten a hot pink stuffed bear or something, but as I got closer, I knew it was my beloved handbag.
Saved from disaster, tears, and headaches! I celebrated with another cup of coffee.
Another splendid, if not annoying, example of YOU JUST NEVER KNOW what the day’s going to bring.
The main purpose of this post is just to remind us all to stay on our toes – keep our A game in our pocket. Our front pocket. Preparation is a good thing, and I’ve learned a few things from this scare.
A Few Things I Did Right
- While looking for the purse, I didn’t panic. I’ve seen many people flat-out panic when something goes wrong. God knows I’m far from perfect, but I’ve been blessed with the ability to remain calm and keep my cool. Even when it involves a treasured hot pink, fancy-looking handbag from a daughter! If I had panicked, and allowed emotions to get the better of me, I would have made a total jackass out of myself. When you’re busy crumbling, you can’t be busy doing what has to be done.
- At the insistence of my husband years ago, I’ve always had a back-up asthma inhaler. The one in my handbag is the better of the two, but I do have a back-up if it’s ever needed. He was brilliant to insist on that and anyone with medications should always, always keep their options open.
- I have gazillions of pictures of my family – the ones in my billfold aren’t the only ones by any means.
Something I Could Have Done Better
- I will never, again, keep all of my cash in one place. I’m not one of those people who never carries cash with them – operating only with plastic. For some reason, old-school-itis maybe, I prefer using cash all the time. This morning’s alarm reminded me, however, that keeping too much on you at all times can be kind of foolish.
We should always be prepared for whatever may or may not happen – because one thing is for sure, God’s the only one with Life’s Script. We have no way of knowing what will happen next, we only assume we know.
The most dangerous place to live just might be in the condition of assuming you know what the day or week will bring.
We all need to pay extra attention to what’s going on. When we get too busy (another dangerous place to live), we don’t pay attention to the moment as closely as we should. When we don’t pay attention to each moment, we’re practically begging for things to be lost, misplaced, or even taken. Keep your wits about you, pay close attention to your surroundings, be prepared for anything and everything, and keep your handbag in sight at all times.
Especially if it’s a fancy little number.
Credit: I made the image at the top of the post using pictures from Peanuts brilliant creator, Charles M. Schulz. I love the Peanuts characters so much my knees ache.