Sunday, April 25, 2010

The Last Shopping Trip

I suppose it is possible that you have stumbled on my blog, or this is just your first time here, so I should let you know that I am sharing the story of the mission trip my daughter Val and I took to Kenya, Africa, in 2006. In this blog we are getting close to our departure date. You'll want to check it daily now, because we will be in Africa within a few days. And you'll probably also want to go back to April 1, as that's when I started the whole memoir.
“The Last Shopping Trip”
The Monday before we were set to leave on our mission trip to Kenya, Val and I both had the day off of work, so we went to Wausau for some last minute shopping. Our team guidelines asked that females wear skirts, below the knees, when they are out doing volunteer work. I was able to pick up some skirts on the sales rack at Wal-mart, but Val naturally thought she needed something more fashionable than that.
Val usually had good luck shopping at Gordman’s, and that day was no different. The sales clerk asked if we were doing school shopping, so we had to tell her all about our trip. She wished us luck and took our money.
We got out to the parking lot and my heart dropped. The car had a flat tire. I knew there was a gas station just a few blocks away, so I took a chance and headed that way with the flat. Just around the corner, though, like mirage rising in the desert, a Tires Plus appeared.
The man at the counter said they were pretty busy but they would get to my car as soon as they could. He asked me to sign the usual agreement, letting them work on my vehicle and informing me that their standard charge for fixing a flat was $18.95. Well, the last time I had a flat tire fixed it had cost eight bucks and the service station had come to my work and changed the tire right there in the parking lot. I didn't have much choice, though.
Val and I patiently waited. She occupied her time by watching the cute young mechanic working on someone else’s car. I was entertained by a guy trying to fix the pop machine. After what seemed like hours, but in reality was only a good 45 minutes, the counter guy called me up. He showed me some frightening piece of non-descript metal and said that was what he pulled out of my tire.
I was slightly impressed and asked for the bill.
“No charge,” he replied.
“Are you sure?”
“Yea, sorry it took so long, so it’s on us.”
Did that mean anything? Probably not. It was just nice to run into both a pleasant clerk at Gordman’s when things were going well and then a helpful mechanic when things weren't going so smoothly.

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