So our trip to Washington started off with no sleep, or at least just three hours of sleep. I had worked hard the night before to try to get things ready for our week-long trip to Washington and was exhausted by the time I got to bed. Not more than an hour later Jennaveive decided she would scream and scream (Which isn’t normal) and so I got up and tried to calm her down. Unfortunately there was no calming her, so I took her to bed with us. Yeah…not such a good idea either. While I was able to get her to sleep, she was inching me out of my side of the bed and hitting Eric with her arms and legs. I tried to cope with this and just sleep, but no sleep happened for I think another hour or so. Then I finally gave up and took her back to her room where she fell asleep after a little coaxing.
I get to sleep and before I know it, we’re awake. The alarm didn’t go off, but we woke up anyhow. We packed and sorted and tried to organize the best we could and the house still wasn’t where I wanted it to be but I kinda gave up and said,”This is life!” (Or something like that.) We are blessed to have people watching it while we are away and good neighbors who keep an eye on things. The cat is being fed by Eric’s mom, who was very gracious in doing so. (Speaking of cat….if anyone wants one…please please please take him! He’s free and becoming a burden when we go on these long trips and have to always have someone take care of him. Talk to your friends, neighbors, old folks centers…etc. We definitely need YOUR help to get him a home.)
On the road I’d realized that in all the shuffle, I’d forgotten to eat. So we decided to stop at Denny’s in Kelso. Before we entered Denny’s I looked at Jenna’s hair and noticed that it was getting a little mangy, so I took out a baby band to pull it into a top ponytail. (You know, those classy baby ponytails on the top of their head…) When I pulled her hair back I saw brownish yellowish patches on her head! Yikes! They were the same tone as my freckles, so at first I thought,”Woah Weird, this baby is getting freckles on her head!” Eric thought it looked like she had gotten food up there. So we agreed that we might wash her hair in Denny’s to see, but we still weren’t sure if we’d do that or wait until we got to my parent’s house.
During Dinner Jenna got food all over her hair. So that solved our question of whether we should wash her hair. I got the baby shampoo, a new dress and hauled her off to the bathroom. When I got there I started talking to Jenna about how I was feeling like a homeless mom right now, or at least one that lived out of her car that needs to use the diner’s sink to wash her baby. I didn’t notice that there was someone occupying a stall behind me. As I soaked Jenna’s hair with water and lathered it up with soap, the lady came out of the stall.
“Hello! I am not walking too well these days, I have bandages on both legs!” she said.“Well you are doing great and moving around for having those bandages, that’s a good thing!” I replied trying to move along the conversation.“I’m 92 years old and still moving around! Oh my that baby is cute, her hair is all wet. Mom you should wipe her tear (it was a drop of water)”she told me. So I wiped Jenna’s face and explained to the lady that I was attempting to wash Jenna’s hair. The lady still didn’t quite understand me and after she washed her hands she told me to wipe the baby’s face off. Which made sense, because by that time some of the “no tear” shampoo was getting into Jenna’s eyes. I did and explained again that I was washing Jenna’s hair because she got food in it and proceeded to rinse Jenna’s hair off in the sink. The lady decided that she was going to “help” me by giving me a ton of paper towels.“Here, take these to dry her hair, she needs these. I’m not infectious, that’s not why I have bandages on my legs.” So I took them and used them on Jenna’s hair, even though I had just planned on using her old dress because I had changed her clothes. Then the lady, the one who has two bandaged legs and could barely walk, took some paper towels, put them on the floor and proceeded to wipe up the floor with her legs. ”I can do that, don’t worry about it,” I told her. She insisted on helping so I took some paper towels and began wiping up the floor with my hands.“No! You need to use your feet. Then after you do that you need to get a new paper towel for your hand and grab the paper towels on the floor,” she insisted.So what was I to do? This lady is um several years my senior and kept reminding me of how old she was practically every minute. (No I mean literally. She said, “Well I am 92….etc before every other sentence”) So I did what I was told while trying to wrangle Jenna to keep her off the floor. “Now you need to wash your hands,” she said. So I washed my hands and when I went to go out, the lady (you know the one with the bandaged legs) held the door for me. So I went out quickly and held the door for her.
While out I thanked her for helping me and she commented on how pretty Jenna was. We talked for a few minutes and I asked her what her name was,”Virginia, and I’m 92 years old” she said. She told me that she was in no pain from her legs, and I told her that was good. I walked with her to her table so her husband would understand what took her so long and I thanked her in front of him for helping me. Then we went to our table, paid the check and went off to Washington.
It’s amazing the people you find in the strangest of places. For some reason Virginia really really felt like I needed help. I think she was right. She was very selfless and even though she was having difficulty walking, she took the time out to help someone she thought was in need. May we all be like Virginia and seeking opportunities to help others no matter how we are feeling that day. It’s definitely something to think about and put into practice.