Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Life in the Postcard

I live in a beautiful place. There are majestic trees, stars that shine bright and clear, and I even have a swimming hole in the summer. As I was taking out the trash tonight, it dawned on me that I live in a postcard!

I love postcards!! It is away to capture a place you or a friend have been, or dreaming of visiting. I have postcards from trips that I have been on that capture a moment. I can almost feel the hot humid air (which is nice in subzero weather) when I look at a postcard from Savannah.

However, postcards never capture the whole story. Imagine that I started selling postcards of my house. While they would sell well and make me millions, few people would imagine that the very violent (yet deserved) execution of the two spiders that tried to sneak in my shower the other morning. Nobody could comprehend the awesomeness of my "clean the kitchen" dance.

On the other hand, I think that is what makes postcards magical. They hold imagination. As I was thinking about "postcard" moments, I thought about a very awkward moment on a wintry day.


 When I was college, I worked at a cafeteria, ~ 2 miles away from where I lived. For 3 out of 4 years, I didn't have a car, and this was a great chance to "stretch" my legs. While I typically worked the breakfast shift, I worked a lunch/dinner shift every 3rd Sunday.

One particular Sunday, my friend, who was working the same shift, invited me to her ward, since they held their Sunday morning early. After church, we would drive to the cafeteria.

I could tell that this was going to be a good day, so I got ready with a "skip" in my step. I got dressed in a cute skirt/top combo and some adorable shoes that used to belong to my grandma. My backpack was loaded with my work clothes and a blanket to nap with during the break in between lunch and dinner. Luckily, my backpack was big and could hold a lot off stuff, even if it stuck out a foot.

Prepared to face the day, I bundled up and started for campus (where her church was held). For anyone that has never been to BYU, campus is on top of a hill. I took a short cut through the duck pond. As I started to reach the first incline, I noticed that it was a little icy. However, there was a handrail that I could "pull" myself up with.*

This worked well, until the "shortcut" ended, and I reached the sidewalk. As I took my first step, I noticed that the incline was steeper. I also noticed that my grandma's shoes had NO TRACTION. Finally, I noticed that I had not moved up the hill, although my feel were moving, as if I was walking.

Unsure of what to do, I kept moving my feet, as if I was gaining ground. This only resulted in my falling to my knees, scrambling to get up-while wearing a skirt-and being very aware of how large my backpack was. Finally, I made it back to my feet, only to go no where and fall back down. At this point, I did not know what to do. Should I sit and slide to the bottom of this hill? Stay until the ice melts? Keep doing the same thing and hope that something changes?

While pondering my predicament on all fours, I noticed a group of ~ 5 guys, in suits and ties, watching me. It was kind of awkward, but all I could do was pull myself back onto 2 legs. There I continued to "walk in place." Finally, one young man came to me and asked if I needed a hand. It was obvious that YES, I needed "a hand." The very chivalrous young man grabbed my hand and we walked up the hill. I tried to make small talk, to make him feel more comfortable, but that did not seem to work. For a moment, I wondered if he thought something was wrong with me. Then, I remembered that the only thing he knew about me was...I could not walk up a hill.  As soon as we made it to the top, he dropped my hand and left with superman speed. I wonder if he was on the track team...

Luckily, I made it to church and to work. Unfortunately, it is difficult to capture the full awkwardness of the situation. I wish I had a postcard of it. While it would not capture the whole story, I can guarantee it would make me smile :)

*Note, if you ever notice that you are having difficulty making it uphill due to ice, TURN AROUND. Handrails do not last forever. Take the stairs!