this is going to start with a confession.
i just came home after being in BC for 10 days. those of you who have reason to be mad, PLEASE forgive me. we came out for Scott's final Arrow class, which i was invited to attend three days of, so there really was not enough time to see everyone that i needed/wanted to see. therefore, i kept it a secret. a mistake? perhaps. but let me tell you right now that we're coming out again in August, and hopefully for long enough to have coffee/tea dates with anyone willing. (jenna? karen? crista?). again, i am really sorry if i've hurt you. can i tell you a funny story to make up for it?
scott's been in a leadership development program for two years now (the Arrow Leadership Program). there are four week-long classes he's attended, and last week was the final week, so i was also invited to attend the last few days and graduation ceremony. the class is held at Barnabas, a Christian retreat center/camp on Keats Island. for some reason i did not received any communication about how i was to get to this Island, so I called up my friend "Mindy" [pseudonym used for upcoming apparant reasons] and asked if i could just tag along with her.
this is all Mindy was told : meet at the horshshoe bay terminal before 3:45.
okay, no problem. we decided to rendezvous at the starbucks in cloverdale and drive there together. my mother-in-law and kids dropped me off. i had to litterally remove my eldest child from my body (why oh why?) and get them all buckled into the car. i reentered Starbucks, watched out the window as they began to drive away and took a big breath. 'this is going to be great' i thought.
and then i thought 'where's my suitcase?'
in the trunk of the car.
i ran out the door, almost colliding with a woman, and thankfully stopped the car before it left. got my suitcase out and into Mindy's van and we were off!
a side note: let me introduce Mindy McCartney to you. i've known her for 17 years now, not closely, but as acquaintances and now friends. our husbands are best of friends. i have always looked at Mindy as overly competent, cool, organized, ridiculously strong and purposeful and beautiful. she has 5 children, the oldest being 11 and the youngest (twins!) are 5. in short, i really look up to her and am the teensiest bit jealous of her. do you have a Mindy in your life?
well, first thing i noticed when i entered the van: it wasn't spotless, in fact, far from it. HALLELUJAH! i thanked her and she confessed that she almost vacuumed it but didn't, and i thanked her again.
we had a lovely chat driving to the bay, feeling a little giddy about being child-free for a few nights, and relaxing back into our friendship. we arrived, parked, and began lugging our suitcases to the terminal.
i didn't pack light.
in fact, i purposefully packed heavy because
a) my husband was not there to tsk tsk
b) i did not have to board a plane
c) i wanted to bring the extra book and knitting and toiletries....
we got to the ticket counter and asked if the Arrow group had already boarded. the ticket agent had no clue what we were talking about but informed us that if we wanted to catch the ferry we had 4 minutes to buy a ticket.
we deliberated, decided that they must have a bus or something on the ferry and we'd meet them on board, or, they were stuck in traffic and we might as well go on ahead of them
we bought the tickets.
they were not on the ferry.
we were headed to Bowen Island, which, frankly, is gorgeous. i was feeling like a tourist, snapping pics with my phone out the windows. we were chatting away, texting our husbands, waiting for some clarity and Mindy's phone rang. this is basically what i heard:
"we're on the ferry..."
"no, we're ON the ferry..."
"OK, OK, OK, bye."
we weren't supposed to get on the ferry. there was a water-taxi that was hired to take us directly to Keats from the terminal. crap. the phone rang again to tell us that now another shuttle was being sent to pick us up.
let me interject here with another important background piece: Mindy had had a hard week. She had dropped Jim off on Sunday for Arrow, then went home to take care of their five kids, and get the house ready for selling - including the requisite cleaning and painting two rooms. She was tired. she was stretched. she needed things to run smoothly.
we disembarked from the ferry and stood on the dock waiting for the next phone call. it came, and this is what i understand the phone call to contain:
"hello Mindy, when you get off the ferry, go to the right of the..."
"we're already off"
"what? you can't be"
"we're standing on land. we're off the boat"
"where are you?"
i guess they thought we were on a different ferry going to Langdale, which is now where the second shuttle was heading. Mindy began gesturing to me to get back on the boat. i stood there staring at her, not comprehending. she said "get back on the boat. run."
i was running down the dock, lugging this ridiculously big suitcase. i was wearing a cloche hat that a friend had given me, and dress pants and black boots because i just got my haircut and it looks awesome and i wanted my husband to immediately salivate...in short i looked highly high maintenance. i could see the captain up on the top of the ferry and he picked up his speaker and said
"people running on the dock,... garble garble garble...the next ferry is in one hour".
here's where dear Mindy could handle life no further. she started screaming "PLEASE!! PLEASE!!" the ferry has now pulled away from the dock. "PLEASE!! PLEASE!!" Mindy is now frantically waving her arms and signing please (hopefully the captain knew sign language, or else he must have thought it quite odd of her to be rubbing her chest in a circular pattern). "PLEASE!! PLEASE!!"
true confession: i was dumbfounded. this was Mindy McCartney! Mindy always strong and put-together, screaming and begging and pleading. the world was shifting. this was unsettling. and, sorry Mindy, totally awesome!
we decided to lick our wounds with a cup of tea. we lugged our luggage (hey! that word makes sense now) up this hill and sat down for tea in a small shop that was already closed but took pity on us. we were telling our story and someone helpfully informed us that the ferry was a dangerous goods passage, and therefore did not allow foot passengers. ahhh..... that helped. i looked at Mindy and said "i think she is dangerous goods at the moment". she agreed.
it was a wonderful cup of loose leaf earl grey. and a small Cornish pie called a "pastie".
lugged the luggage back onto the ferry, and up the stairs again (Mindy calling out "use the other arm so that you tone evenly!"). just before docking back at the horseshoe terminal, we stopped to allow another ferry to dock first. the Langdale ferry! we realized that we were getting off the one ferry at the same time as the other would be leaving again. ahhhhh!!!
i said "Lord, it would be so nice if we could just see a whale right now. that would be a gift on a stressful day"
Mindy said "what are you doing praying for whales!! pray for the ferry!!!"
we talked to some passengers who informed us it would be better to disembark at the same level as the cars, because we would be closer to the ticket counter. okay. down the elevator (yes! there was an elevator!!). we run out of it, directly into the glare of a ferry worker explaining we could not exit until all the cars were off.
Mindy: PLEASE!!! PLEASE!! (did she sign? probably)
he ignored her.
PLEASE!! PLEASE!! SIR!! this is like a guttural moan. this is seriously coming up from her boots.
finally, another worker takes pity on us. he asks, we explain. he says "why didn't you buy your tickets on the boat?"
at this point something must have shifted in the appearances of Mindy and myself, because from here on we were escorted by various ferry employees wherever we went. :)
up the elevator. run run run. buy the tickets. "where now?" escorted back down the elevator.
as soon as those doors opened me and Mindy were off like a shot. lugging. sweating. up up up the hill down down down to the adjacent ferry. almost smash into the next worker.
"WE NEED TO GET ON THAT FERRY!!"
"where's your tickets. hmph. sit there."
"CAN WE GET ON...WILL WE GET ON?!!!!" [totally panicking]
"the ferry hasn't boarded yet." [here the idea of me appearing totally high maintenance reenters the psyche].
we are escorted to the elevator. i'm just starting to think, 'alright, we're on the right ferry, we're good', and i hear this sound behind me. it was a very soft unidentifiable swish, and then an "UGH".
dear dear Mindy, devoted wife, had been carrying her husbands dry cleaned suit around all day, on a hanger that incidentally had been digging into her hand (note this Jim). the pants had slipped off and onto the filthy car-level floor. and here is where Mindy McCartney threw a fit.
she was also dressed quite nicely (probably in hopes of salivation as well) and had heeled boots on. she stomped her feet BANG! BANG! BANG! BANG! and made short syllabic sounds I-CAN'T-TAKE-IT-I- DON'T-IT-CAN'T with every foot pound. it was loud. it was unsightly.
the man next to me looked at me with these wide scared eyes. i probably looked the same. Mindy stomped her way to us and into the elevator. we lifted in silence.
after sitting down Mindy calmly turned to me and said "i tell my kids not to have temper tantrums, but clearly i just did".
yes, you did. and i would pay to see it again!
all ended well, thanks to a handy norwex cloth in my suitcase, and the owner of the camp coming out in his private little tug boat to pick us up. we told our husbands over dinner and laughed until we cried.
i love you Mindy. thank you for sharing your humanity with me. aren't we all just holding on by our fingernails at times? good thing there's laughter, and tea, and friendship to get us through.
i've decided that maybe i am high maintenance and just need to embrace it, cloche and all.