Have you ever run an obstacle course? One obstacle after another as you pray each one will be the last and hope the finish is within your reach? Well that is how my week has been! One obstacle after another! And actually, individually I would consider these each, just little things that add some excitement to life, but clumped together, I wonder when it will ever end? Is there a finish line in sight anytime soon?!
It started out as 2 very grouchy kids on Tuesday morning. Zachary continued to struggle with bumping his head on everything he came in contact with, and I had many tears to soothe as his mommy. Natalie woke up with her sassy attitude in full swing, which earned her more then a few spankings before lunchtime, and repeated the second half of the day. Don't they ever learn? Jon worked late as what has become the usual, and I was mildly craving some adult company by the time he did get home. After sharing that he felt the next day would be at least a little shorter, so I would be able to have the car, I opted NOT to get the kids up and dressed at 4:30 am, just to take him into work so I could have the car. Alas, Wednesday still brought children waking up on the wrong side of their beds, and a little more mildly fussy and naughty then the previous day. And by 4, not being able to reach my dear husband, I assumed I was not going to male it to church. But not taking him to work so I could have the wheels for the day was a blessing in disguise, because had I gone through with that plan, I may have been able to go to church, but I would've ended up having to pick Jon up from work with 2 overly tired and cranky kids at 11 pm!
However I did choose to take him in for duty this morning, because by now I was seriously yearning to at least see that there were other adult somewhere on this island! I had to get out. I am normally quite happy being a homebody, staying in my nice cozy home surrounded by the familiar, easily able to put my children down for their naps if they get out of hand. But by last night, I just needed to get out for a little bit. So after lunch today I decided we would run up to the Air Force base to do my favorite hobby- shopping! I needed a few things anyway, so anxious to leave I quickly packed the kids into the car the second they finished their last crumb of peanut butter and honey sandwiches. We listened to music for half the car ride, then I decided to give my mom a call. I hadn't talked with her in a little while, so we chatted a little until I approached the gate to get on base. I hung up and whipped out my ID. The DoD official checked the back and front of my ID at the guard house and allowed me to pass without a word. Barely past the guard house I saw the outbound lane blocked off and a long line of cars, and I thought, That can't be good! As I drove slowly forward and saw more of the extent of the line, I noticed many drivers had turned off their cars and were getting out and talking amongst themselves. Again I thought, That can't be good! As I moved forward, watching this seemingly endless line at a standstill, I also had the thought- I guess I will just take my time shopping and pray the line is gone by the time I am done- though I kept wondering what was going on.
I reached the fork in the road that normally splits off, on road in the direction of the commissary among many other places, and the other to the gas station, and Exchange, and continuing on to the schools and whatnot. Orange cones were blocking off the entrances and exits to this road, as well as a man in uniform directing you away. That can't be good! I still had no clue what was going on, but I found my way around to the exchange parking lot through a back road. As I pulled in, the parking lot was the fullest I have ever seen it. I parked in the back and noticed as I got the kids out that many people were sitting in their cars. Again, That can't be good!. As I walked up to the door, a few people were gathering, though the automatic doors were not opening. That's when I heard from a few others that the base was on a lock down from 2 separate bomb threats. No one was being allowed in or out of the exchange (or any other establishment), and no one was allowed to leave base (though coming on was no problem at all)! Luckily within a few minutes we were actually allowed inside the exchange with the warning, once you come in, you can't leave until the threat is over. I figured my only other option seemed to be sit and wait in the car, so we went in. There are much worse places to be stuck. Inside the exchange, there is a food court with play area, and of course shopping (including a furniture department with plenty of comfy sofas, and even some TVs hooked up to play movies). So we spent our time shopping, I bought the kids each a book, Zachary got a little turtle on wheels toy, and Natalie a tablet and coloring crayons, then we ventured to the food court for some cookies (and lunch for mommy who hadn't eaten), and then I remembered there was a play place, so Natalie spent some time climbing around as Zachary munched on some cheerios and got his diaper changed. We had actually went to use the bathroom when we came out and discovered the food court and store emptying out, we were set free finally! It was only about 2 hours for us, felt longer. The kids were good, but it still wasn't a picnic or what I had in mind when I was so desperate to get out of the house! I didn't rush out, though secretly I was very anxious to get off base. I waited about 15-20 more minutes to ensure the rush of people leaving would mostly be over. The last thing I wanted was to sit in traffic!
When I did leave, the obstacles weren't quite over yet. It began to rain, and I don't mean a light drizzle. I mean, if you stepped outside, you would have to swim to get to your car! We are talking, can barely see the lines on the road sort of rain. I have driven in worse before though- try driving in pouring buckets of rain in the pitch dark on a nearly deserted highway during a thunderstorm!! NOT fun!
But somehow we made it home. Back to our comfy, cozy little place in the world. And the outcome of all this? My restless desire to get out and about- TOTALLY cured...at least for now anyway! In fact I don't want to go anywhere but church this weekend, and I am certainly not looking forward to going back up to base for grocery shopping anymore either! And I have to wonder too, if maybe the lesson God was teaching me, was to have a little more patience, and just be happy I have a home, even when I am just itching to get out of it!!
Well that was my crazy week. Tune back in later for my Mommy's Piggy Tales post about 8th grade, it is still a work in progress at the moment!