I love shopping at Costco! It is usually a lovely experience…usually…
At first I was nervous about paying for a Costco membership, because I didn’t think we would get our money’s worth out of it. Now I shop there twice a month. It really has become inconvenient to NOT buy in bulk.
Frequently I shop with some of the children with me. This particular Saturday morning Chris was able to come along too. What a treat! We had a delightful time trying all the samples, browsing the aisles, and filling our cart to overflowing. We finally paid and pushed our heavy load out to the exit. We found the place packed with shoppers with their carts, watching the torrential downpour happening just outside the large open doors. We tried to maneuver our cart close enough to the exit to see what was actually happening outside.
A perfect summer storm! Sheets of rain pelted down, unrelenting. No one was willing to go out into it, yet new shoppers with full carts kept pushing towards the doors from the checkout lines. A few people rushed in from the parking lot, wanting to start their shopping, only to find an almost impenetrable wall of people just inside. With grumpy, disgruntled faces they tried to wiggle their way out of the rain. I felt very in the way.
Chris decided that he would make a dash for it. He was going to get the van and pull up to the entrance. A good start to a plan. Without discussing the details any further, he plunged out into the rain with his phone in his pocket.
I waited and waited with two very antsy boys and an ever increasing mob of people. We were lined up by the door, but no one was going out. Where was Chris? I couldn’t see him through the rain.
“Do you have the big van out there?” a nice woman asked. “I see it back there behind my daughter.”
I inched my head around the corner and saw our van sitting behind a rather long line of vehicles. Yet no one was moving, no one was loading up their groceries.
“What is happening?” I thought? “Should I wait for Chris to get to the entrance? But no one is moving. Is he waiting for me to come out to him? He is always accusing me of being slow. Maybe he is wondering where I am.”
Cooper and Chai kept urging me to go out to the van.
“Come on, mom! Let’s go!!!” they kept saying.
After several more annoyed looks from incoming shoppers, I decided to risk it. It could rain like this for the rest of the day, and we couldn’t stay here forever.
“OK guys, we are going to run as fast as we can to Daddy. Stay with me! Ready?” I said. I was no wimp! What is a little rain?
As soon as we left the building I realized what a mistake I had made! The “little rain” soaked us to the bone in one millisecond. It was too late to go back inside so I plowed on, pushing my load up the sidewalk which had been transformed into a river. The water covered my shoes and was soaking my pants.
Through the sheets of water pelting me, I caught a glimpse of Chris’ face in the front seat of the van. The van that was so close yet so…far…away. He was shaking his head with a look of bewilderment that said, “What in the world are you doing, woman?!”
I knew that I had made a very bad decision, yet I had to keep going.
“Boys, help me push!” I yelled.
They tried to help until we came to the place where a drain pipe exited the side of the building. Water from the roof was shooting out of the pipe like a fire hose. The boys stopped moving forward and began to play in the water!
“This is the life!” I heard Cooper say happily as I was still struggling to get our very soggy groceries upriver to the van. I finally get there and Chris jumped out.
“What are you doing?” He yelled with a crazy kind of laugh and immediately started loading groceries in the back. The boys began to help, although it pained them to leave their fun. We all threw ourselves into the van in a matter of minutes, dripping and soaking the seats.
“Cutie, I wanted you to wait for me. I could see on the radar that this storm is about to pass, but I couldn’t call you because you left your phone at home.”
I was trying my best not to sink into a disgusted, self-loathing depression for all the groceries that I had just ruined. I was thinking about all of us having to change all our clothes – more laundry! Arghh! I was thinking about having to dry out the van. I was thinking about my sopping wet hair matted to my head. When it finally dried, the humidity was going to make it poof into a frizzy mess.
The words of Bishop Joseph Garlington came to my mind.
“If it is funny later, it is funny now,” Chris said as though he was reading my mind! I was trying to see the humor in it, but I was just feeling foolish and oh so very wet!
Chris began to maneuver the van out of the parking lot. Before we even turned out onto the street, the clouds cleared. The sun came out and painted the most beautiful pinks onto the now blue sky.
“See, if you would have just waited a few more minutes!” the sun seemed to say, as if to mock me!
What have I learned from this unfortunate event? Clear communication is very important. Discuss a plan thoroughly and understand what the other person is thinking. If you are unable to obtain the needed clarification…simply wait! Have patience! Wait on the Lord and listen to His wisdom. His radar is perfect and He knows exactly when those storms are going to clear.
I have gleaned a few more pearls of wisdom:
Don’t take advice from impatient pre-teen boys.
Don’t worry about the rude looks of other people or what they might be thinking.
Almost all of Costco’s produce are wrapped in plastic so you don’t have to worry about a little rain.
Even a wrong choice is not the end of the world and can make a pretty good story.