Wreaths Across America: Not All Family Events Go As Planned
Wanting to give back this holiday season and also get my kids out of the house, out of their normal weekend routine, I made plans to head into DC to participate in the Wreaths Across America event at Arlington National Cemetery. The plan was to meet up with my friends Pam and Foxy at 815 at ANC and start spreading the joy.
Well, like I have said before life is all about surprises and learning how to be comfortable when uncomfortable things arise…
The kids got up well for once and although we hit the road a bit late, we were on our way. As we traveled down the street that led directly to the cemetery, we got stuck in a huge, standstill traffic jam. Seems most of the DMV area had the same idea and were on their way to the same parking lot. After about 45 minutes of hardly moving traffic, we noticed smoke coming from the front of the car. At first, I thought it was the wind kicking up the exhaust smoke from the car in front of us… Well, no – that was not it.
It was our car! The car starts to overheat and smoke starts to quickly thicken and billow out our car hood. It became even clearer that it was us when people started to look and point. Scotty didn’t miss a beat. He pulled over to assess the situation and a random nice guy pulled over as well to see if he could lend us some help – A big thank you to that guy! You rock!
Unfortunately, the car issue was not something fixable on the spot. Fortunately, we do have AAA! Scott told us to go ahead to the cemetery while he took care of the car and waited for the tow truck. 45 minutes later, the tow truck guy arrived and took Scotty and the car back near home to our mechanic and then on to home. And not to get into the details, but it of course is not a cheap fix – but the car is fixed and we are picking it up this afternoon.
But that’s not where the story ends…
When the kids and I arrived at the gates of the cemetery, I had to hit the restroom. Well what a shocker that the women’s rest room had a line –but not just any line – a mile long line. Imagine an event like this, open to the public, and the weather was pretty darn good. Then add in having only 8 bathroom stalls available for the women??? The men’s rooms had urinals (I am told) and had NO LINES – and 40 minutes later, I took my turn. When I left the rest room, the line was as long, if not longer.
And the friends I was supposed to meet? Well we never did meet up. They were in that same long car traffic jam and after a long time, were directed to park at the Pentagon and then had to take the metro over. When they finally arrive, they had to stand in that rest room line.
By the time they were ready to start, my kids had had enough. They did enjoy the first hour or so of walking the grounds – and putting wreaths down, when they are done, they are done. So we started to head out of the cemetery…
How will we get home?
As we were walking out, the reality of having to take the metro hit my son. And when he heard it would take over an hour to get home, well he was not a happy camper. All I said to him – calmly “Well, what would you like me to do?” and of course, he had no answer. Just shrugged and started trudging down the sidewalk to the metro station.
Which is where we encountered yet another line…a long line. It didn’t help that the metro card machine broke down while I was trying to use it. Which meant I had to wait for the mechanic to reset the machine. It took me a while to figure out what stop, because I have not been on the silver line before. But I found my destination on the map and bought my 3 tickets. The lady behind me asked me – with panic in her voice – if I could help her please because she had no idea how to buy multiple tickets. As frustrated as I was, I took the time to help her out – you have to be kind to expect kindness in return.
Then we have to get into a long line to go through the turn style – and head up to catch the train. As we are about to board the train, my daughter says “Mom, I lost my metro ticket down there…” (Between the escalators i.e. unreachable) “But don’t worry Mom, I have been on the metro before and we don’t need it anymore.” WRONG. I said in a very frustrated and even a bit angry tone – “Yes you do. How will they know where you get on when you get off?” You know kids know everything…
I had no idea what the deal would be when we got off the train, but we got on and headed towards home. When we arrived, Scotty was waiting for us, had already talked to the metro guy and they let us through with no issue.
A great husband…
Let me take a moment to share how much I love Scotty.
He had been really looking forward to this event and because of the car, he couldn’t. Not only did he take care of the car issue without getting upset, he was waiting for us at the metro station, had already talked to the metro attendant, so we didn’t have to wait to deal with the lost fare card and further more, when we got to the car – he had picked up lunch from one of my favorite places because he knew I would be hungry.
Keep this story in mind, when you go on Facebook and look at all the wonderful pictures I took from this event. Social media does not tell real story behind experiences… Wreaths Across America photo gallery
So, that’s what happens when the Hoaglunds try to get outside of our comfort zone and do something different. It never goes off as planned – but as Scott and I remarked later in the day, things could have been so much worse in this situation and in life in general. It’s all about perspective…
- Trading Halloween Candy for A Good Cause
- American Cancer Society Relay for Life
- Locks of Love
- Susan G. Komen Foundation Elbows Out Charities Over Use Of The Word ‘Cure’
- SweetGreen Hosts Free Yoga Sessions FTW!
- Breast Cancer: How much pink turns into green?
- Billionaire challenge: China’s wealthiest
- Loudoun Interfaith Relief Food Pantry Items being collected in Ashburn
- Welcome to the Kindness community
- Lemonade Days 2010 | Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation