I’ve planned for a relaxing Sunday afternoon. The best way to guarantee this doesn’t happen is to say it out loud.
The boys and I return from church to find Chaz in a panic. He can’t find his AmEx. The one he uses for travel expenses. The one he’ll need to board the plane to Charlotte in less than two hours.
Forget the fun-filled lunch. Let’s skip the leisurely drive to the airport. We are in full-blown panic mode.
We pull couch cushions. Throw back carpets. We empty closets and move the piano. We shake out laundry baskets. We search the yard among Spot’s recent “acquisitions.” Clearly, we’re desperate.
It occurs to me it may be easier to find that needle. Oh where oh where is that haystack? Next to the AmEx card you say? Very funny.
The boys happily play Wii in the basement oblivious to our rising panic.
I yell down the stairs, “Ten bucks to the kid who finds Daddy’s card!” and the horses are out of the gate. Even with the infusion of three extra sets of eyes, we can’t find it.
“This kind of reminds me of my dad’s business trips when I was little,” I say. I don’t think Chaz appreciates my stroll down memory lane. My family is infamous for changing travel plans up to the last minute. And forgetting the keys. And tickets. You get the point.
“But did he find the card?” Chaz asks.
This isn’t encouraging news. Chaz continues to root below the driver’s side seat of my car.
After nearly two hours of searching, the card is found, but not by us. As much as I wanted to be the hero, I couldn’t do it. The friends whose house we ate dinner at last night found it in their front yard.
We race to northern Kentucky to our friends’ home and then burn rubber to the airport where Chaz misses his flight. Relaxing, right?
We kiss him good-bye and tell him to have a good trip. It’s all uphill from here.
On the way home, I pull off to grab the kids some lunch. On the exit ramp, an older gentleman holds a sign. Scribbled in black marker across a scrap of cardboard, he asks for help.
The man's sign puts our earlier chaos into perspective. So, Chaz missed his flight. Things could be worse. From the looks of the unkempt man, things could be much worse.
I don’t have any cash to give him. Not even a dollar.
We’re idling in the drive-thru lane waiting to order when the boys and I realize what we can do.
It’s a chilly 37 degrees, a miserable day to be standing outside with no mittens and a worn coat. We order some food and a large, steaming cup of coffee.
We turn back towards the exit ramp to deliver our random act. I can’t get close enough to yell to him and can’t find a place to safely pull over. I hang a U-turn and drive south on I-75 to the next exit where we turn around and drive north back to his exit ramp.
When we get back to Buttermilk Pike, he’s gone. We look right. We look left.
The boys and I drive around a bit, our own game of "find the AmEx card."
Really? Really! I can’t find anything today!