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Where do we go from here?


Fri, Feb 23rd, 2001
Posted in

Monday, February 26, 2001

My friend, Jack lives in Austin and whenever he can get away from his business, he likes to come down here to Forestville to relax and unwind. He was here last Sunday. It was 11 oíclock in the morning when he said that he wanted to go into Spring Valley and pick up a few things at the IGA. He asked me to come along and we would take some back roads on the way.

I told my wife that we would be back in time for lunch. I was wrong. It seems that Iím wrong more often than Iím right these days. We started out for Spring Valley on a winding township road and after about forty-five minutes we managed to arrive in Greenleafton from the west. After a tour of Greenleafton, we drove southwest and about five miles south, we stopped to watch some deer. We then drove on for half an hour and came into Cherry Grove from the south.

Leaving Cherry Grove, we turned to the left and after crossing Highway 63 we made a right turn and found ourselves in Ostrander. It seemed to me, as navigator, that if we stayed the course we should end up somewhere in Spring Valley and then it should be a simple matter to find the IGA. Well, I got that part right.

We got to the store and found that the parking lot was full, so we parked next to the bank and walked back to the store. When we got into the store, we split up in order to save time. I knew that Jack wanted some peanut butter, so I picked up a jar and a box of crackers. I went back to where we split up, but I couldnít find him in the crowd. I hadnít seen that many people in one place since the county fair. I went back to where I found the crackers, but he wasnít there either.

I went back to where the meat counter is located and thought that if I stood there for a while he might come by. He didnít. Jack thought that if he waited up by the checkout counters, I would show up sooner or later. After twenty minutes or so at the meat counter, I decided that it might be better if I went up to the front of the store. Jack had decided that if he went down to the meat counter, he might have better luck.

I stood near a checkout counter with the jar of peanut butter and the box of crackers for about ten minutes thinking of some movie titles that I have: Lost Horizon, The Lost Patrol, and The Lost Weekend and wondered how two people could manage to get lost in an IGA. Then I had an inspiration, I asked myself what sailors do when their ship is going down for the third time? They get on the radio and call out a MAYDAY is what they do.

I asked the young girl at the counter if she would call Jack on the PA system and ask him to come to the front of the store. She wanted to know why, so I had to tell her that we had become separated and we couldnít find one another. She asked me how old he was and I felt rather uncomfortable when I had to tell her that he was just a couple of years younger than I. It is very unsettling to talk to a young high school girl and have her roll her eyes and shake her head as she listens. She did call Jack to the front of the store and he walked up carrying a jar of peanut butter, a box of crackers and a small bag of onions.

We checked out our jars of peanut butter, boxes of crackers and bag of onions and drove back to Forestville staying on the highway for as long as possible. When we got back to the house we decided that it might be best if Jack went in first. When my wife asked me where we had been for the better part of the day, I wasnít too sure about how much she should know. After all, how many people are there who couldnít find their way out of an IGA? I just told her that we made a couple of wrong turns on some uncharted back roads and our trip to the store took longer than anticipated.

She listened to our story but all of the while I knew, by the expression on her face, that she was mentally comparing us to Laurel and Hardy. She did say that she could understand how the two of us could lose our way and reminded us of the time that I showed Jack a short cut from our house to Wykoff and we got lost in Fountain. Well at least we arenít going to need any peanut butter and crackers for awhile.

John Flaherty

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