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Here We Come a Caroling

This afternoon, our American Heritage Girls Scouting Troop was to entertain a local nursing home with popular Christmas Carols.  I had hoped to be able to drive the new and improved van, as I have yet to drive it any distance.  However, Fiddledaddy confiscated it on the pretense of having a new key made.

Sure pal.

So I piled my two scouts into the Prius, entered the address into our GPS System (aptly named Gypsy) and we were on our merry way.  Except that Gypsy was leading us astray.  I knew the general direction we should be going, and Gypsy was attempting to take me the scenic route.  A good 15 miles out of the way.  I aimed the car in the direction that I knew we should be heading, and in her irritated voice, she let me know she was “RECALCULATING.”  Wherein she then instructed me to take a u-turn.  Which I did not.  And for the next 5 miles, she instructed me to take a u-turn, each time with a little more impatience.  I had Emme call Fiddledaddy in case he was at his computer, so he could check Mapquest.

He was out taking a joy ride in the new van.  It was hard to hear him over the speaker on the phone because Gypsy was all RECALULATING, IN POINT 2 MILES MAKE A U-TURN.  U-TURN.  U-TURN.  I’m pretty sure I heard her begin to curse, but I ripped her off of the windshield so that Emme could re-enter the address.

I had already turned down the street that I knew would get me there, and within a mile of the nursing home, Gypsy got with the program and announced that we had arrived.  Then I threw her into oncoming traffic.  Just kidding.  But really, I have no idea where she is, honey…


The caroling went well, and I think the residents enjoyed themselves.  I stayed out in the hall and had a lovely conversation with a sweet elderly lady named Billie.  I have a heart for the elderly.  I was in tears on the way to the nursing home, as I talked to my girls about my Nanny, who had to be placed in a nursing home a year after she lost her husband of 63 years.  None of us lived close enough to be able to care for her.  She died a week after going into the home.  I will always regret not being there for her.

And then our conversation in the car turned to the last time we attempted this caroling venture four years ago, wherein we made it within a mile of the nursing home, and Cailey threw up all over her uniform, the backseat of the van, and some possibly may have landed in my hair.  The incident was chronicled here, if you of a strong ilk.

On our way home (without the aid of Gypsy, btw) I heard Cailey from the backseat, OH. OH. OH. MOM!  MOM! MOM!  I thought, dear God, she’s going to barf.  But then she finally blurted out.  MOM!  THERE’S A SPIDER!  BEHIND YOUR HEAD!  ON TOP OF THE HEADREST. AND IT’S HUGE! And then she began shrieking.  Emme turned and offered, “Oh cool!  A Black Widow.”

My first inclination in times like those, is pretty much to freak out.  But since I was traveling on a busy road, going at a good clip of about 40 mph, I couldn’t jump out of the car.  I was driving, after all.  But I have to tell you, I thought about it.

As calmly as I could, I asked Cailey to shoo it off of the headrest, AWAY FROM MY HEAD, and crush it with my crutch, which was handily in the back seat floor board.  I did not dare look into the rear view mirror, but kept my focus on the road ahead, choosing instead to go to my happy place in my mind.  There was much commotion in the backseat, distracting me from getting to my happy place.  I pulled into the first driveway I could find, and as soon as I was in park, all 3 passengers bailed out of the car.

Emme, the only occupant who is completely unafraid of spiders, came around and extricated the spider from the floorboard, using a soiled Chick-Fil-A napkin.  When all was said and done, the Black Widow turned out to be approximately dime sized.

But still.

You can never be too careful.

The A.H.G. caroling extravaganza is a yearly event.  I’m thinking that next year I may ask Fiddledaddy to chauffeur his little scouts.  I have a strong suspicion that my dance card is going to be full.

13 Responses to Here We Come a Caroling

  • I have woken my hubby up to kill a spider so I can shower! Oh yes I have!! And I don’t care that he has been asleep for only 40 minutes! So I am so proud of you not bailing out of the car and if you had taken your new van then your husband would have had the spider with him so any car accident that would have happened due to all of you bailing out of the car would have been his fault. How’s that for logic!
    Any how—- I’m glad you got to the nursing home to make there day better.

  • The most humorous part of this post is that along with your three kiddos you ALSO FIT CRUTCHES IN THE PRIUS!!! How does that even work????

  • I love how the GPS offers absolutely NO apology for trying to lead you astray and then acting like it got you to the correct location in the first place. I refuse to own one (I can’t stand the thought of someone constantly telling me what to do…. ha), but several of my friends have mentioned that their GPS voice is pretty obnoxious.

  • Your gps has a cuter name than mine. We just call ours Lee since Lee’s voice is easiest to understand. I would freak out if a bug got on me while driving, so good job!!!

  • We have GPS too and I am fairly sure that woman is trying to get me lost! She clearly doesn’t know where she is going and she is giving women a bad name everywhere!!

  • My admiration for you just soared through the stratosphere. I am MORTALLY AFRAID OF THE SPIDER, and the black widow?? Honey, I would have died either of (1) heart attack or (2) traffic accident because I would have pulled over WHERE-EVER, and smashed that spider until it was a greasy mush.

  • On the first day of school this fall, I was writing names in my second graders’ books when one of my new little angels approached my desk and asked, “Do you have a really big plastic spider?” When I said that no, I didn’t, and asked why, she said, “Well, then I think you have a really big real one under your table.” Lo and behold, there was the most enormous spider I’ve ever seen — about 4 inches from leg tip to leg tip — under the table next to me. Well. You can imagine the havoc that little announcement created. While I wanted to run screaming from the room, I pulled it together long enough to whack the thing to death with a dictionary. I was instantly a hero to my 21 little angels. I now keep a large dictionary with me at all times. And maybe a little Raid.

  • Having been Eric’s den leader for 4 years for Cub Scouts, and also being responsible to set up our annual Christmas caroling at my mother’s retirement community, I could SO relate to this one! Glad you got the spider before she got you.

  • Funny. Creepy. Scary. Just like my life. Love all your posts!

  • I can only say this. I HATE SPIDERS!! I would have run us off the road, jumped out of the car screaming like a nut! I would have made the boys hunt it down and kill it and then show me the proof before I ever even put one toe back in that car. You are a might brave woman!! Santa should reward you big time!!

  • I love how annoyed sounding the theoretically emotion-less GPS can sound when it says “recalculating.” Like you alone have just caused her to chip a newly manicured nail, spill milk all over the freshly cleaned carpet and made her brand-new pantyhose run in two places by not turning where she told you when she told you.

    And then there’s the built-in GPS in my 2001 Odyssey. We call her Kim. But Kim? She’s a little dim. She refuses to acknowledge that the road I live on exists. Even though the road is at least 21 years older than she is.

  • I feel your pain and terror.

    I know you take the full month of December off for Christmas. Are you ready to start teaching again? Oh my word. I am so ready to start school again because I’d have to STAY home for a pair of minutes. 🙂

    • Virginia,

      NO! I haven’t even finished grading tests from our last week. I’m certain I won’t start thinking about planning for the start of our 3rd Quarter until AFTER Christmas! 🙂