Monday, August 12, 2013

Donkey Days

The day before Ignite Your Torch, Joseph hung out at the cousins' place and helped with the farm chores.
Without intending to do so, I managed to make a real donkey of myself on several (back to back) occasions lately involving travel plans and coordinating slightly complicated schedules and routes.  In each instance, I was reminded of the importance of proper research and effective communication for an orderly and peaceful existence.

Cousin Sawyer hangs out with Boomer and Buster.
Donkey move #1:
Nearly botched an evening highway rendezvous with Tim, Joseph and Peter, after failing to properly communicate the exact location of our intended meet-up.
In order for Zachary to be properly prepared to volunteer as an Ignite Your Torch 'green shirt' we had to visit St. Mary's in Anacortes for a Safe Environment training a few hours before departure for the conference.  Unfortunately, this mandatory training conflicted with the weekly Boy Scout meeting, and so in order to include Joseph and Peter in the trip, we had to arrange for Tim to drive them to us before our hurry down Interstate 5 to the ferry in Edmonds.  However, I forgot to tell my husband that we would meet him right near I5 & Hwy 20, to save him driving the extra twenty minutes to Anacortes. So as Zachary and I were speeding along toward the (can't you read my mind) meet-up location, I happened to spot Tim and his unsuspecting passengers speeding along Highway 20 in the opposite direction.  Oops.  Thank goodness for cell phones and patient husbands.

Godson Samuel and Aileen spend a sunny summer day with us at the cousins' house.
Donkey move #2: 
Drove many miles and about half an hour out of our way to avoid a road closure and ended up driving directly TO the closed road (at about midnight).
About an hour before our departure for Zac's training at St. Mary's (with our final destination that night being Uncle Craig's house in Silverdale for a combined 2-night visit and Ignite Your Torch carpool destination from the nearby Our Lady Star of the Sea Church in Bremerton early the next morning), I received a text message from Aunt Bethany advising us to "take the C.C. Road" route to their house, due to a road closure on the 'other side.'  Rather than pulling up a map to identify the correct route, I assumed that my sister in law was sending me around to the 'other side', not the side from which we always approach. WRONG-O.  At nearly midnight, after the three hour journey, we pulled right up to the closed road.  Nice driving, huh?  Thank goodness for cell phones and patient relatives.

See the resemblance?
Donkey move #3:
Missed the Southworth ferry bound for West Seattle by mere minutes, forcing us to rearrange our plans to visit Grandma to wish her a happy 96th birthday, and adding another night to our journey.
On the Feast of Saint Dominic, after our stay with the cousins (having sent both Zachary and Joseph off to the conference via Star of the Sea carpool and bus respectively), Peter and I headed toward Seattle, excited to join the annual Dominican Extraordinary Form Mass at Blessed Sacrament in Seattle.  With many different ferry routes from which to choose, we opted to take the Southworth-Fauntleroy to allow for a stop-over at my Grandma's house for an early dinner celebrating her upcoming 96th birthday.  Unfortunately, I did not take the time to properly plan our approach to Southworth, and consquently took the VERY long way to the ferry.  This also happened to be the VERY beautiful way, with the windy road hugging the coast line through Port Orchard and on and on an on to the little ferry passage.  When we arrived at the dock, the boat was still in sight, but the next one wouldn't be seen for an hour.  We called Tim first to consult, then asked Grandma if we could stay the night after attending Mass and visit with her the next day before driving home to Bellingham.  Grandma, a consummate hostess, put out quite the breakfast spread for us the next day, and we did enjoy a leisurely visit without any time constraints.  (And the Dominican Mass was truly Extraordinary!  There is something indescribably beautiful about Sacred Music...)  Thank goodness for cell phones and understanding Grandmas and husbands.

Samuel and Weston enjoy the fine sport of downhill rock running.

Peter reads to Saywer.
Donkey move #4:
Gave Grandpa Pete a nightmare of a commute, collecting Joseph and Zachary from the conference.
My dad recently expressed his hope of a northern-area gathering before Zachary returns to Notre Dame in a few weeks.  Enlisting him to collect the boys from Olympia and meet up with us and the other relatives in Anacortes had the potential to make his dream a reality.  However, the dream became a nightmare when their departure from the conference was delayed by over an hour and the traffic through the Tacoma-Seattle-Everett area resembled a horrific rush hour rather than a sunny Sunday. 
Cousins Violet, Sawyer and Weston feed Boomer and Buster.
Donkey move #5:
Drove straight to the wrong grocery store in Anacortes to meet up with the cousins coming from the San Juan Islands ferry to the family gathering.
On speaker phone receiving the news of the disastrous Olympia to Anacortes drive and subsequent hour+ delay to the restaurant in Anacortes, I missed Tim's subtle suggestion to exit the highway to reach the meet-up spot at Safeway from where we would lead the California cousins to dinner.  I drove DIRECTLY to a different grocery store, having assumed I knew right where we were going.  Thankfully, Tim DID know exactly where we were supposed to meet, and kindly re-directed me to the correct spot, where we did rendezvous with the California cousins and we did (eventually) find the hidden away restaurant and enjoy a wonderful seaside meal together with a host of wonderful relatives, enjoying stories from the conference and being reunited with our boys.  The End.

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