Gobble-Gobble! Could you possibly eat any more turkey? Do you still have leftovers or perhaps you just used the last bit in an omelet this morning? Have all the guests departed leaving you with a whole day of rest before the week starts? Is your home already decorated for Christmas or have you just begun to think about it through the Thanksgiving three-day feasting haze of overindulgence? Regardless, I am thankful you have a few minutes to relax, read the paper and this column as we begin another part of the holiday season together.
November has literally flown by with a frenzy of activity during football season, a wedding and preparations for the end of the college semester, special events and socials. WOW ~ I just don’t recall my collegiate years so full of this much FUN!
The beginning of the month segued with the wedding of my dear friends’ daughter, Julia Willis, who met her now husband, Drew Grove, in Athens. That first weekend started with me losing my silver credit card case and ended with a future comp stay at Legacy Lodge on Lake Lanier. On Thursday, I picked up flowers to make 17 floral arrangements in a conference room I had been scheduled to use that night in the resort and where the bridal brunch I was co-hosting would follow the next morning. I arrived around 9 p.m. to learn that the room was still being used by another bride. No place to make arrangements; end of the day; I made the executive decision to get up early the next morning and make all of them. No angst involved. Ha! Hosting in your home is one thing, but when doing so in an unfamiliar place out of town the morning of and just a couple of hours before the event is a true character marker. Mine was certainly tested.
I solicited help for the following morning and promised to first pick up Starbucks. In the drive-thru, I opened my purse to discover that my card case was missing!!?? Nowhere to be found. Not in the car. Called the sorority house and asked my sub if she saw it anywhere in my suite. “No.” Fortunately, I had enough cash on me for coffee but I had no time to look into where my case was hiding. I asked Marcia, the woman helping me, if she was a praying one and upon learning that she was, I had her pray over me about my loss. Quick prayers to God were lifted asking that it be safe. The brunch was very enjoyable and after the first guest left, I found a quite corner outside and called my bank asking where was the last place the debit card had been used. Good place to start, I thought. Response, “Flowers, Inc. ~ the day before.” I had left it on the desk at the wholesale florist. Called and they were holding it for me. Contacted another house director and asked if she would mind to pick it up and keep it until I returned. She was happy to do so.
The story gets better. I am now illegally driving around without my driver’s license. Had very little cash, needed gas and wanted to do some shopping. So, I borrowed money from my hosts to get me through the weekend.
Out of respect for all the Georgia fans and their parents, who are football season ticket holders, Julia and Drew chose Nov. 3, as their wedding date since the game was against Kentucky in Lexington. Little did they know that kickoff would be scheduled an hour before their exchange of vows. I behaved ~ attended the wedding with a majority of Georgia fans, many of whom had outsiders updating us with the latest scoring. A show of fingers between guests indicated score updates. That was the first time in a gazillion years that I did not see a Georgia game either in person or on TV.
Because I was driving (without a license which I should not have been doing at all), I did not partake in the celebratory libations of the wedding festivities. After a delicious dinner, great music and dancing, I was ready to head back to Jill and Marvin’s lakeside house so I shared my ticket number with the valet ~ No. 523. Five minutes. Ten minutes. Many people came and went. I noticed two valet guys were communicating and asked my name again. Then a third asked what kind of car I had. What?! Then a fourth valet approached me and, at first, I understood him to say they could not find my car but they did remember it. I had already been told earlier in the day that it was a classic. Flashes of “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off” passed through my mind. Had my valet used it for a date? Regardless, over 45 minutes had passed as I am sitting dressed up in an outside chair and being entertained by passersby, many I knew and many I did not. Eventually, the general manager of the resort approached me and said they had lost the key to the car and would be happy to take me home. With that, I returned to my friends and waited to hear when my key had been found. During the hour that passed, I was coached to ask for a comp room and Sunday brunch (for 10 of my closest friends). When the phone does ring, the front desk wants to know if I had found my key. What?! I am laughing knowing that these kinds of things only happen to me. Escorted by two good friends, Jill (mother-of-the-bride) and Kimberly (hostess I was following a few months ago when Cooter Brown helped change tire), we head to the front desk. Turning the corner at the elevators is the valet who parked my car about 10 hours earlier on all fours looking under furniture. What a sight! He was retracing all his steps looking for my key.
Fast forward, I was not sure if Mercedes would be able to make a key for me on a Sunday so thought I may have to rent a car. But, how could I without a driver’s license? I called the house director who had my card case (Y’vonne) and she was going to leave it under a plant next to her house. A third house director (Ann) was going to pick it up and make the trip to the lake and bring it to me, but she couldn't find it under the plant. Called Y’vonne and she was two hours south of Athens with the case in her car. Renting a car was not feasible. However, less than 24 hours into this saga, I finally got a call from the hotel announcing joyfully that they had found my key in a golf cart. Go figure ...
Lessons learned: Yes! First, don’t leave home without your wallet (or card case). Second, always have good friends that love you enough to loan you money, go out of their way to help, and pray over you because they know that you love them enough to do the same. Third, I passed the character test by finding the humor in the whole adventure. Fourth, mistakes happen so be kind to those who accidently mess up or misplace things. And, last but not least, life does go on if you miss a Georgia football game!
Please enjoy this holiday season. May you be blessed with joy, good health, cheerful friends and time to share with those you love. Merry Christmas!
Susan E. Kendrick is a Sunday Stories columnist who shares her insights and Southern humor each month in Sincerely, Susan. To correspond with Susan, email her at [email protected] To share your events for our Out & About calendar, email [email protected]