It seemed like a really simple plan, nothing spectacular, routine to the point of being mundane: go by the ATM and deposit a couple of checks, drop off a box of stuff at the thrift store, unload five containers of properly sorted recyclables at the recycling center and then head over to Menard’s to get a new faucet. Nothing remarkable, nothing even worth writing about. Provided it was the mundane errand trip we expected on the day after Thanksgiving.
The ATM at the South Belt branch of Nodaway Valley Bank was the beginning point. I inserted and quickly removed my debit card, punched in all the numbers, went through the requisite steps and waited for the machine to issue my deposit envelope, which I planned to fill, seal and re-insert. I waited, then waited some more. I checked some scores in the newspaper, calculated annual gas mileage on the truck and waited. Randa and I finished a couple of games of badminton and then waited some more. Finally, just before I cleared her out in an impromptu game of Monopoly, a message appeared on the ATM screen confirming what I had already suspected for quite some time: “This machine ain’t working” or words to that effect, at least.
Not a big deal; we weren’t scraping the bottom of our checking account just yet. So we drove on over to the recycling center, which is always open Wednesday-Saturday, 7:30 a.m.-7:00 p.m., except for holidays. And, on November 23, 2012, the day after the holiday. The big shiny steel gate that is always open, Wednesday-Saturday, 7:30 a.m.-7:00 p.m., was closed. Rats!
Ah, well, the thrift store was nearby so I executed a slow rolling turnaround and headed out of the parking lot. I pulled up the narrow alley behind the thrift store, negotiating the Silverado around the over-sized dumpsters and the donated merchandise tossed around by quasi-generous people in a genuine hurry. I stopped, got out of the cab and reached into the back of the truck to lift out the box of stuff. And realized, rather embarrassedly, that I’d forgotten to put the big box of stuff into the back of the truck. It was still sitting on the pile of landscape blocks beside the garage. Drat!
Thus far, between electronic malfunctions, relying on assumption instead of verification, and my own mental ineptness, the trip had been a total bust. But, at Menards, amidst the mass of Black Friday shoppers, we found a faucet in exactly the finish, color and style that we wanted, for less than one-fourth the regular price. I just had to have three of them!
Isn’t it cool how much better a day can seem when we deliberately focus on our blessings instead of our disappointments?