It’s getting better all the time.
I’ve got to admit it’s getting better. A little better all the time. –-The Beatles, “Getting Better”
It’s amazing how sometimes the most seemingly mundane of events can turn into an adventure.
On Day Four, as we eagerly awaited the repair of the Habitat truck so we could return home with the newly autographed Beatles-themed piano, East St. Tammany Habitat for Humanity President/CEO Debbie Crouch, Habitat ReStore Manager Eric Jones and I decided it was time for a distraction via a bit of exploring our temporary home away from home, Franklin, Kentucky. It was a quaint little city, lots of countryside interspersed with pockets of commerce. The exploration was really an opportunity to head to the heart of the city to find a few stores so that we could pick up necessities to carry us through the next day.
Never has a trio of people been so excited to spot something as ordinary as a CVS Pharmacy.
It’s the little things that can bring great joy at unexpected times. This was followed by a quick stop for lunch and a detour for a change of clothes via a local strip mall, and we were good to go.
Our support of the local economy concluded with the discovery of a quaint little liquor store right near our hotel. While it may seem a bit odd to describe such a store as “photogenic,” this one really was. While exploring the options that would provide the evening’s much needed stress relief, we spotted a nod from home: Abita Beer.
Who would have thought that our local microbrewery would be represented at this tiny store in this remote, rural city that had become part of our journey? That reminder of home was one of those little things that put the “happy” in “Happy Hour.”
So of course, that discovery became part of the day’s social media update to folks at home.
“Day Four of our ‘two day adventure’ continues. Today’s excitement included a visit to Wall Street, watching “artists” paint a sign pole and the joy of discovering a nearby CVS. (Seriously.) Oh, and finally being able to access mail on a real computer screen (no offense, iPhone) and send a few more notes of thanks to the many folks who helped us make things happen. Quick lunch at a restaurant with a big yellow star in honor of Ringo. And possible good news that tomorrow, this adventure will come to an end and we will head home. But not before a much needed stop at a nearby ‘store.’ Now, please say some prayers because Debbie Crouch has said, ‘I think I may finally lose it if we cannot catch the New Orleans Saints game here.’ We think Eric has figured out a way around it. Crossing fingers. Pray, people, pray.”
Perhaps we already had used up our allocation of divine intervention in securing the autographs, because this final prayer request would not come to fruition.
Back in his hotel room, Eric made his daily phone home to speak with his wife and children. The two parents embraced the unfortunate reality that Daddy would not make it home in time for trick-or-treating, leaving Mommy to make a few last minute changes. She planned instead to bring the children to a Halloween party, in the hopes that their father’s absence was less noticeable. Given that both parents are U.S. veterans, it was not the first time that the line of duty had necessitated a change of plans, but that didn’t make things any easier. Though he tried to hide it, Debbie and I knew how disappointed he was in feeling that he had let his children down.
Though it was of little consolation, at least he managed to catch the Saints via the tiny video screen on his phone, so he kicked back and enjoyed the game. Instead of opting for selections from the nearby store, his happy hour took place in the form of Cooter Pie, a take-home item that had been recommended by the waitress of Cooters Barbecue, at which we had enjoyed a fabulous dinner.
Meanwhile, in our room, despite our best efforts, Debbie and I were unable to find a video stream of the game. So we missed out—though not entirely. Social media once again came to the rescue, with the Thursday night football game’s play by play and score updates provided via the Facebook posts by our friends back at home. And in the end, the Saints took the victory, defeating the Panthers with a score of 28 to 10.
That, combined with the news we had received that the truck definitely would be ready for the journey home the next day, provided a celebratory ending to Day Four of our Beatles adventure.
And when the night is cloudy
There is still a light that shines on me.
Shine until tomorrow. Let it be.
–The Beatles, “Let It Be”
To be continued…