March 7 Entry: Another BIG Withdrawal from my LSA (Lifetime Stupidity Allowance)

Is it weird that I’ve started talking to my legs? Right now they need all the encouragement they can get. Every time I’m faced with a long set of stairs, I cheer my legs on. “Lefty” has always been my strong leg, the one who does the lion’s share of the lifting, but I’m trying to get “Righty” to step up to the plate and work a little harder. “Come on, Righty,” I’ll say. “You can do it. You can do it. You can do it.” Righty doesn’t really like having to work and is not good at it.

This morning I was determined to get up early and help with breakfast. I cannot do the strenuous outdoor labor that everyone else is doing, but cooking is definitely my scene. Breakfast is at 7:00 (!!!) so I thought I’d get up at 6:00, be out the door by 6:15, and head to the shop on foot, arriving at 6:30. Walter thought I was nuts. He also thought I might not make it to the shop on foot, as it is a longer walk than I have attempted for quite some time.

I was reasonably certain I could make the walk, albeit slowly. My worry was that once I arrived at the shop, I would not be up to climbing the stairs of doom. It was almost dark as I set off, with just enough light for me to be able to avoid stepping into potholes in the dirt road. The predawn light gradually brightened as I walked through the cold morning air, past two silent ducks floating on the surface of the lake.

I made it to the shop at 6:40, and made it all the way up the stairs, only to find out that the work was already done. *sigh* Breakfast consisted of virtually nothing I could eat, so I was done very quickly and could retire to my corner to knit while everyone else finished eating.

Every weekday morning at the mission, everyone assembles in the shop for morning devotions. Attendance is mandatory. It is a tradition immutable as the mountain itself, and therefore comforting for one who only visits rarely. It was good to see all the staff together in one room, along with all the university students who I hope are going to learn a lot about missions this week.

After devotions, the work crews were divided up and sent out, while I came back to the cabin (in the car this time) to do laundry. We already had a full laundry bag. I can’t tell you how grateful I am that our cabin has a washer and dryer. In years past we have had to drive all the way down the mountain to do laundry, or haul it all over to the shop. Having laundry facilities right inside the cabin is downright civilized!

Of course, I also had time to supplement my breakfast with some protein and make myself a real cup of tea. I can do without many things, but tea is not one of them!

When it was getting close to lunchtime, I drove back to the shop to help set up for lunch. This time I remembered to leave the keys in the car. Around here, everyone leaves their keys in their vehicles, just in case anyone might need to borrow it or move it out of the way. (Also, the houses don’t even have locks on them. Not necessary.)

We had quite a bit of entertainment at lunchtime with a helicopter landing and then taking off and then landing again. It was carrying a rather fearsome-looking monster-sized saw.

As the work crews were heading out again, I went out to the car to drive back to the cabin, only to discover that it was quite firmly locked—with the keys inside. Remember, we have only had this car for a couple of weeks. We have never had a car that locks itself before. There was no one to tell or ask for help, so I took a deep breath and headed for the cabin on foot, silently chastising myself for my stupidity.

I hoped I would be up for the walk and the stair climb at the end, but I felt that making the walk twice in a few hours might be a bit much for my arthritic joints. Still, it’s not like I had a choice!

I got almost to the halfway point before a truck came down the road, driven by Ethan, the son of a staff couple here. He asked if he could take me anywhere and I gratefully accepted! I had a lovely afternoon in the cabin, and got some writing done, but I had a big problem. First, I had to get back to the shop somehow, and secondly, we had to figure out a way to get our car open!

Jordan came back to take a shower after work and was able to give me a lift to the shop, but as it turns out, there is no way to get the car unlocked without calling a locksmith. However, God had already provided a solution to our problem before the problem even occurred. This morning while I was at the shop waiting for everyone to arrive for breakfast, the other staff sponsor from the university, Dan, called his wife. Dan and his wife Nonie were on staff here at the mission for many years, but they now are back living in our hometown.

Dan’s son and his wife, in fact, live right down the street from us in Dan’s old house. And Dan’s grandson is currently a trainee at the mission, so his wife, son, and daughter-in-law cooked up a plan to drive up here to visit while we are all here. They are leaving tomorrow afternoon and plan to drive through the night. (Remember, it is 800 miles away.)

All that remained was for me to contact Mary K, who is feeding our pets, and get her to find the other key and then leave it somewhere for Nonie (Dan’s wife) to find it. That was a lot more complicated than you might think. There is no cell reception here, so I couldn’t call or text Mary or Nonie on my cell phone. I got permission to use the landline in the shop, but then realized I didn’t have Mary’s cell number, and I really needed to reach her before she went to our house to feed the pets this evening.

So I called Mary’s mother, got Mary’s number, and then left multiple messages on her phone to make sure she would call me back at the shop. I also called Nonie and explained what was going on. Meanwhile supper came and went with nothing but green beans for me to eat. Everyone departed for the evening’s festivities, which I had hoped to be a part of. I knew there was a phone in the other building that I could use to call Mary, but no one came to fetch me and there was no way I could walk all the way to the top of the mountain.

So . . . I sat in the big room at the shop all by myself and deleted old texts from my phone in between trying to call Mary. At last she answered, and she hadn’t got to my house yet, so when she got there I was able to explain where to find the key and set up a place for her to leave it so Nonie can find it before she leaves town tomorrow. Whew! What a relief!

Still, I was hungry and frustrated and stranded at the shop. I didn’t have a flashlight or jacket with me so there’s no way I could attempt the long walk back to the cabin. I began to think I would be spending the night at the shop, where there is at least a couch to lie down on. I had to go down the long staircase to use the facilities, and couldn’t face climbing back up right away, so I sat on the one chair on the ground floor and tried to concentrate on reading.

This is why, whenever I go anywhere, I take plenty of reading material and plenty of knitting! I ended up having to entertain myself for two hours while everyone else enjoyed fellowship and dessert at the conference center on top of the mountain. Finally, Walter and Jordan and Jasper came by the shop to look for me, and I was able to ride back to the cabin with them. By then I felt I had been thoroughly punished for my dumb mistake!

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