Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Divine Comedy of Errors aka Our Weekend Away

And a good time was had by all........eventually......

As you know from previous posts, just trying to get away on time to teach my husband's course this weekend was rather diffcult. We HAD to get away by 11am Friday to be on time for his first session, so by 11:15am we were finally on the road! Yeah...

Before we left I was in the office madly copying off  hard copy notes for the class and collating the pages.  The process went smoothly, the printer didn't cause any problems for a change, it was a smooth start to the morning....relatively speaking.....for us......


Dell was all packed by 11am and had only to make a quick stop into the church office to get a nice plastic sleeve for the copies of the class notes. We checked his office, my office, the church office, the dining room table, the kitchen island, and even the bathroom vanity, to be sure we had every last paper, book, and set of eye glasses he needed for his class.  Finally the trip came together smoothly, no more worries, everything organized, everything packed up..........yeeeeaaah........

The car held together for the trip, we had a delightful little luncheon part of the way there, gasoline was reasonably priced, and the weather was becoming drier and sunnier the closer we got to our destination.  We got to the monastery in Lumsden a full hour before we had to leave for the course in Regina and we were pretty proud of ourselves when we pulled into the monastery parking lot.  Met up immediately with our curricuulum coordinator who showed us to our room and we had the first surprise of the night:  instead of the 2 single beds in the room, as we had been told to expect, there was a very tiny supposedly double bed crammed against the wall. It was actually a 3/4 twin bed and we just groaned when we saw it.  Oh well, no time to think about the lack of sleep later on, we had to get to class.

But there were a few spare minutes yet so we looked around at the monastery store on our way out where I bought a piece of local pottery. Yes, more pottery....so sue me....it is ever so tiny, a little oriental style tea cup, not some massive decorative bowl. I restrained myself!  We also picked up a couple of lovely bargain items in the monastery rummage sale so that was fun.


We drove into Regina, timing our arrival just perfectly to set up projectors and sound boxes, hand out notes and meet the students. Of course we hadn't left any extra minutes to account for getting lost. Sigh....... well hey, we had been to the building before........twice.......  But I guess it was a few years ago and Dell (yes, it had to be all his fault, right?) had completely forgotten that the city is divided by the rail system into north and south sections with the same street names picking up on each side of the tracks. Yuuuup, we ended up on the wrong side of the tracks, a phrase that has new meaning to me now.  We drove around and drove around on all the correct streets, according to the signs, and no familiar building appeared!!  We drove around for the better part of 30 minutes before Dell finally clued in to what had happened.  We pulled the car over at one point so he could haul out his lap top and take a look at the Google map he had saved with the directions to the building. We  thought he was so smart to do this even though we thought we knew where we were going, 'cause you never know, right?  (Let me rephrase that...'cause WE never know!)  Well, guess what?  The title of the page came up on the screen, it showed as a saved page in the folder, but what came up was a blank page!!  That file map was NOT there anywhere.  Dell found a gas station and went in to talk to the lady behind the counter.  That is when he remembered we were on the wrong side of the tracks.  hahaha  Aiiiii yiiiiii! We got to class 5 minutes AFTER it was supposed to have started.  The curricuulum leader was telling everyone that she knew we had arrived at least as far as Lumsden because she had actually seen us and we had left for Regina at the same time!  We took the back road and she took the highway but she beat us there! Wow, did she ever!!

Dell quickly set up the projector and screen and grabbed the plastic sleeve to give the students their notes and handouts.  Only one problem: the notes and handouts were not in the sleeve.  There was a stack of papers in there, but they were not the notes and handouts. Aiiiii yiiiiii......where were the notes and handouts??? Dell tore his briefcase apart, no sign of them.  Back out the to the car, tearing through the trunk, tilting the seats back and forth..nary a note nor handout to be found.  No idea what had happened to them.  Dell did some quick improvisation as to how to do his first 2 sessions that night and away he finally went, only TWENTY minutes late into his first 1 hour session!!  Thank goodness for the wonderful meal provided for us for dinner as a group between the 2 sessions.....it calmed the waters considerably.  At least when the promised connecting electrical cord was not there to plug in the projector, someone from the class was able to pull a heavy duty 70 foot winter extention cord from their car and lend it to Dell.  Its bright neon yellow coating did keep us all awake.  It was absolutely mesmerizing!!

Eventually he found one copy of the handout and was able to get that printed out for the next morning at least, for all the good it did by then.  

Going back to the monastery that night we opted once again to take the back road as it would be shorter and faster and we were so tired. Well it is shorter all right, but it is not faster!!!!  The potholes we careened around on the return side of the road were deep enough to rip oil pans from chasses but at least we didn't do that....again.... There were deer and skunks and coyotes. There were downed signs that led to missed turns. There were bullet holes in the standing signs that rendered them indeciperable in the pitch darkness.  Eventually we found the monastery and drove in just as the folk who took the much longer highway route also arrived. Sigh.....

Oh it was a jolly night and about to become even jollier as we crammed ourselves into the teeny tiny bed for the night and lay rigid as ram rods so we wouldn't fall out. Actually it was so Dell wouldn't fall out. I was jammed tunmy to radiator against the outer wall.  We didn't even dare to giggle about our plight as the motion involved would have caused injuries to us both!  

The bathroom was somewhat Japanese for size. In order to get to it at 3am I had to pull myself carefully forward the length of the bed without taking the covers with me and thereby pulling them off my dear husband, locate my sport shoe at the bottom of the bed to slip my bad foot into so I could stand up, creep 2 steps into the bathroom and stand straddling the toilet so I could soothe the door past the bowl to shut it, remembering to reef on the handle to lift the door up as high as I could off the floor to keep it from grinding into the tile...to go back to bed the same performance in reverse.   


We were staying in the older wing of the monastery where the floor buckles and heaves and rolls. Try walking on that with a broken ankle!  I dare ya'!!


After a sleepless night that involved a lot of giggling despite the risk of injury, we toddled out to the monastery kitchen at about 5:30am to make ourselves some toast and tea.  There we met one of the still pajama clad monks who was none too thrilled to see us, was apparently practising a vow of silence, packed up his breakfast to take elsewhere, and flipped out the lights so we were left sitting in the dark. GOOOOOD morning!!!  And welcome to Lumsden.


To add to the fun, Dell had the worst allergy headache he has had in months and had to teach both days' classes with it refusing to subside. Oh it was a great start to our time away!!   Fortunately the class went very well indeed despite everything but we both breathed a huge sigh of relief when it, and all the testings, ended. Well, not ended exactly......(see next post)

And where were the missing notes and handouts? When we got home last night, there they were in a nice tidy pile atop the kitchen island; the very island we had made sure was clear of all objects before we left town!!  Nope, no idea......

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