Today a friend brought a beautiful walking stick to another friend. “Here,” she said. “You’re going to need it when you start geocaching.”
(That’s an outdoor activity where folks use a GPS or some other kind of navigation to hide and seek containers, “geocaches,” and then sign the logbook inside.)
“Really?” my other friend said. “It’s beautiful.” And it was.
“Yeah. You need to make sure you use the stick to poke the cache before you reach down for it.” We all looked up at her. “Well, ’cause, you know, there might be a….cockroach down there.”
Ahem. Or a snake? I’m thinking that’s a yes too.
“And yeah, not sure which end is up.” She laughed. So just in case, here’s a picture of the other end.
Our friend, the beginning geocacher, said thank you again, and before leaving our friend said, “Well you know, just want you to be prepared.”
Prepared. Where had I heard that already this week? Ah yes.
Mess Cat was driving north up the Interstate Monday morning. On one of those electronic signs that tells you the speed limit or how bad traffic is, she read “September is Preparedness Month.” It is? For what? She called her other half, Leroy. He had seen the sign on his way to Atlanta on Sunday. He didn’t know what to make of it either. She queried further. “But don’t you wonder what it is we are supposed to be prepared for? And aren’t you more than a little concerned that here it is, the END of September, and we’re just now hearing about this? Seriously, what do folks know about October that we don’t know?”
That girl. Cracks. Me. Up.
Wouldn’t it be nice if carrying a big stick (and maybe speaking softly, thank you President Teddy Roosevelt) is all we needed to do to be prepared? Or if we always carried flint and a knife and fishing hooks, we could be ready for anything including a surprise appearance on Survivor? Or a $20 bill and a pack of gum for…..well, who knows when you might need the cash, and I think you can use gum for all kinds of amazing things…..or did I watch too much MacGyver?
I have bags I carry when we leave the house. A few are pretty big–seriously, I get teased about them. “I think you need a bigger bag.” Tonight it consciously occurred to me why I tote such a big bag.
To be prepared.
I have one we call the Family Fun bag. It literally has that embroidered on the side (came that way, can’t claim being creative or alliterative at all). If we have a trip out planned, I find myself calling out, “Hey take this to the Family Fun bag.” “Is your *insert book or game or epipen here* in the Family Fun bag?” This bag comes in handy especially on the Tuesdays we are in Macon for Sister Circle or on Wednesdays that I have activities planned. I like having a book and some knitting or crocheting project and a notebook and pen on hand in case I find myself with a few minutes to spare somewhere. I keep a bag of pretzels too just in case. The littles throw in an electronic game playing thingaroo and a book or two. We recently added books on CD, because we really enjoyed the first one we listened to. And I have the most precious little wipes case that someone covered in orange and brown argyle fabric and ribbon and I was lucky enough to find at the GW Boutique. So yeah, wipes for whatever eventuality that may call for it. And you’d be surprised how that varies and how often that happens.
I wonder why I worry so much about being prepared for whatever might come. Is it because we’ve taken some hits we weren’t prepared for lately? Or does it go further back than that? Control issues, anyone? (No thank you, I have plenty of my own already.) Yes, I like thinking I can handle whatever comes along. Even though I am fully aware that is NOT possible. It could be that because I’m a kinesthetic or tactile learner (which basically means I need to touch it or actually do something to learn best), I need to have things I can touch to feel prepared. Just “knowing” what to do isn’t enough. At least not for me. And I do find that I feel more in control of a situation, especially one involving the littles, if I have things to keep them learning or entertained. It’s worth my time and energy to tote paper and markers just in case. Oh those three words. They stay with me–“just in case.” So much of what I do is because of those three words. Unplug, leave a note, pick up extra milk, start a load of laundry…..right down to what I pack in the Family Fun bag…..just in case we might need it. In fact, my whole vehicle is the “just in case” mobile. I have my rain boots and a first aid kit and a small box of Lego’s out there right now with a hairbrush and extra pair of clean socks.. You never know when you might need them. Be prepared. Just in case.
You’d think I was a Scout. In actuality it’s quite possible I Just never gave up the diaper bag. It’s only become more “sophisticated” and much, much heavier. It still contains the wipes but for different reasons now. The way I’m packing that Family Fun bag, I’m thinking my back would probably prefer the stick. And besides, it is always good to have a stick. You know, just in case.
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