Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Braids and 290

Today was a travel day for work. It was an easy day trip that was a simple drive up the busiest highway on this earth, IH 35. Even leaving home two hours prior to my meeting (a trip that should only take about 45 minutes to one hour) had me arriving only a handful of minutes early. Yeah, I arrived at 9:21 a.m. for a 9:30 a.m. meeting. I left my house at 7:33 a.m. I was in standstill traffic for oh, about half the journey.

(Those of you who live in Houston or Austin are saying to yourself right now -- cry me a river Petri.)

(And, in case you were wondering, I was headed to Austin. I even used my beloved shortcut taking a back road to get to the very unfriendly IH 35 and that cut little time off the trip.)

(I think IH in IH 35 should stand for something such as I'm in Hell.) (Clever, I know.)

Done with parenthetical statements for the moment. It's my way. OK.

To get out of the house by 7:33 a.m. I have to be on my game. I mean along with gas being in the car (praise God, G had filled it up this weekend), and having a Styrofoam for coffee, I had to be dressed in work clothes (no jeans), hair done and bags packed.

Detail that I found out about night before -- an early morning meeting taking place for G Adams which means I needed to take the girls to school. Hold up, wait a minute. I had to be ready and out the door at 7:06 a.m. . . . precision, yes. Avoiding the long line of cars by the patrols, yes.

Boy, that's an earlier wake-up call, an earlier get up and go, an earlier get moving -- to get out of the door. To take the girls to school. And, to get on the road by 7:30 a.m. (or 7:33 a.m.).

Darn, long hair that is day-two clean and needs to be curled and doesn't require the standard run-out-the-door ponytail. Ugh.

And, rats for the having to wear real work clothes which means I had to wear travel shoes for driving and then bring real shoes for working. That may sound like I have a job that requires a certain type of shoe. I work at a bank. I have to wear pumps -- or something like that. Today, I chose a lovely pair of chunky heel shoes with an open toe. I had to tuck in a blouse into a skirt. My first-world work problems are real people.

All this to say, I hate IH 35 and knew I would not be driving home that way. Fortunately, my afternoon lunch meeting was out a bit and led me to a lovely back road named 290 that took me to a road I mentioned before, 281. The country version of 281. Not the in the middle of SA traffic 281 that I hate, hate, hate.

This 290 was as pleasant as a drive could be. For a moment, I thought I was on a lovely Sunday afternoon drive (remember, people used to do those) and could stop at shops, wineries and distilleries (yeah, I passed a few of those on the way home) along the way. I couldn't because it's Wednesday, not Sunday. It's a school night. I've third part to do and a fourth part to have.

I made mental notes to go back this way one day with friends or family. Nice little stops along the way. I'm thinking a future fourth part in the middle of the day might be a Sunday drive up 281 to 290.

My go-to 'part' planning didn't initially take into consideration the 290 route, but after discussion with co-workers and the realization I could be home by 5 p.m. in a normal, unharried, unfrenetic mood -- 290 won. Bye IH 35. I won't see you for a while. (Wait, I have to visit you Saturday when we drive to Waco to see my Bears! That's a happy drive with a Styrofoam cup filled with something other than coffee. Relax, I know open container laws. I have a driver. Oh, wait it's G. Does that count? He has a commercial license?)

Back on topic.

So my third part today was nice. Eased into it. Had a plan for dinner -- thanks Blue Apron and chicken I remembered to defrost. Girls had finished homework for the most part. No real chores, if you will, for me to take care of this evening.

The bath. The hair washing. Not me, my girls. Two of them, in case you forgot. That means tomorrow morn, they can wear their hair down. No, no curling or anything Pinterest-y fancy like that. But we do try braids. And, when I write try, I mean try. With a straight haired daughter and a curly haired daughter, the braiding techniques are different. Very different. I mean, quite different. Super different. Yes, different.

The straight hair should be easier to pick up the strands and braid away. Yet, the hair is a bit slippery and when the braider doesn't really know the French braid or any other nationality braid, it's tough. I usually go with the 'how about pigtails' approach.

The curly hair usually 'sticks' in place and I can fake the style.

Like 35, I hate the Pinterest videos of braids. The pictures looks so simple, the technique so quick and yet, I only have two hands. I have a friend who can get her daughter's hair done so beautifully. Wait, she has two daughters (first grade and preK - and, a baby boy). And, each Sunday, she and her girls stroll in with the most darling braids. I wish. I need to learn the skill. I've many, many days ahead requiring hair styles and braids.

I have a major amount of envy for good braiders and those chipper early risers who get things done. I don't hate them like I do IH 35, but I struggle with being so happy for their skills and being so frustrated over my lack of skills.

In my devotion this morning, it spoke to not having guilt as a driver of moving toward Jesus. Guilt shouldn't motivate us to follow Him, love others, accept His grace and mercy. We should move toward Him, because guess what, He wants us to -- regardless of our skill and knowledge. He wants our pure simple faith to drive us toward Him.

All the attempts on our own, all the tries we put forth are just that -- human attempts and tries. How about I put my faith in Him, accept my place and what I can do, and then, be a mom who can laugh about her attempts and not compare.

And, take the scenic drive home because there were some pretty amazing, God only created sights along that way -- and no cursing other drivers and 35.

No guilt. Just faith. Maybe a few braids along the scenic route.

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