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Still Hope

September 23, 2007

Today was a partial disaster. I’m saying partial because the last few hours have been pretty good and there is still hope that I can somehow salvage the rest of the evening. I don’t know why I don’t do well on Sundays. I just don’t. I tend to have a short fuse and as such little things get on my nerves. I have learned that when I get this way, it’s best to avoid others. Not easily done on an apple picking outing with a van full of family.

It was an absolutely beautiful day today. Not a cloud in the sky, perfect for picking apples. I woke up full of excitement. I couldn’t wait to get out there in the orchard and wander amongst the trees selecting just the right apples.

 

And that’s about as good as it got. From that point on, I made every wrong decision I could make. It seemed I could do no right. From wrong advice on what attire to wear, to which direction to take to get back to the front of the orchard. Didn’t matter. If there was a decision to make, I made the wrong one. When we were all done picking apples, I thought I might surprise everyone with a stop at a bird sanctuary. It’s just off the main road, a place we used to go to as kids and that my parents and sister have not been to since the late 70’s. It’s called Jack Miner’s, and after successfully calming everyone after it was noticed we were not going straight home, and actually finding the place, I discovered it was not open Sunday. Ok. Fine. After getting lost briefly, I found the way back to the main road.

That’s when I hatched plan B. Maybe a stop at our favorite little soft ice cream place would be nice.  It’s another nostalgic favorite that my parents and sister would love. And I had told Kelly we would stop there at some point when we drove past last time we were in the area. So I head in that direction, determined to make everyone happy. Well, there was a small town that had other plans. A parade apparently, the road was closed; I was directed by a fireman to go another way. We spent about 10 minutes roaming aimlessly around this small town, trying to find a way past the parade route and back on to the main road. No luck. I had to take a back road and went so far off course (getting lost briefly again) that by the time we got back to where I knew where we were, we were way past the soft ice cream place. Fine. Let’s just get everyone home.

And that in itself proved to be a challenge. We were on a small highway, one of those two lane ones where the speed limit is 80 km/h. Everyone was doing 95, and so was I.

I was frustrated, and thinking about the day so far, glancing in the mirror at Kelly wondering how she puts up with me. I haven’t even mentioned a third of the wrong things I did this morning. Anyway, I got lost in my thoughts briefly, must have taken my eyes off the road for 4 or 5 seconds. I looked up just in time to realize the pickup truck in front of me had come to complete stop. The car in front of him was making a left. I hit the brakes hard and veered to the right onto the shoulder. Tires screeched and gravel flew. We stopped in time, and even if we hadn’t I had steered us out of harms way. But that isn’t the point. I was about 3 seconds away from seriously injuring or killing myself and everyone I love. Not to mention the poor saps in the truck. I didn’t. Today wasn’t the day. I can see now that it was a message I needed. It can always be worse. I know, I get it. But at that particular moment, I just felt like a big huge a-hole. And quite honestly I was. But I’m working on it.

After we got home, I calmed myself down by making apple pie. I made four of them. Apple Crumble Pie to be precise. So the day is getting better. But if the pie doesn’t taste right, I’m just going to call it a night and go to bed.

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6 Comments leave one →
  1. September 24, 2007 12:29 am

    Hi, Sylvain,

    I think you’re way, way ahead of the game. You did have a pretty bad day.

    But I wouldn’t call you an a-hole. Far from it. I have been married to an a-hole. When he screwed up, he didn’t feel bad. He blamed it on everyone else. When he vented on others, it was their fault…somehow. He never would admit how his behavior impacted others. He, too, had close calls on the road…but they were never his fault, always the other guy, because he was a great driver.

    You care a lot about how your actions impact others, and I think that is a sweet quality. You know you have faults (as do we all), and know that at times they impact others. And you are working on them—yay for you!

    I hope that your future days go better, and this was just a pretty sucky day. I’m glad you all are uninjured and doing well. And I’m sorry you felt bad.

    To good days and good feelings ahead,

    Love to you and Kelly,

    Olivia

  2. September 24, 2007 1:10 am

    Please pass the pie, it looks delicious.
    Tomorrow we get another go at it.
    Hugs!

  3. September 26, 2007 7:41 am

    I admire you for seeing what happened today, reflecting on it, posting in the big internet world about me and acknowledging it and trying to learn and grow from it. An a-hole is someone who doesn’t give a shit about their behaviour or about those around them. You obviously do.
    Thumbs up for that!’
    Annie

  4. October 1, 2007 2:18 pm

    Sylvain–

    I’m with Olivia on this one! Having a challenging day when you might have been better off just pulling the covers over your head rather than facing the day doesn’t make you a bad guy. In fact, not only did you acknowledge that the mistakes you made were yours–she is quite right that most people look for another when they seek to place the blame.

    And, best of all, when you had the excitement of the near-accident on the road, you instantly recognized the lesson!

    Now, to arrange shipment of one of those pies to Denver…

  5. October 1, 2007 6:34 pm

    Thanks everyone. This past weekend has been a much better one. Beyond being reminded of the valuable “pay attention at all times when driving” rule, I learned last weekend to not take personal responsibility for everyone elses happiness. I can thank Kelly for that Gem. And it served me well this weekend. Oh, and sorry, but the pie is all gone till I make more.

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