Bal and I packed up camp haphazardly that morning. It reminded me of my backpacking days. My bag would start with a few carefully select items rolled meticulously to prevent wrinkles and conserve space. Everything had its place for easy access. This would last a week. Tops.
After that, chaos in the bag reigned. Frantic searches at border crossings for my passport. Ransacking through all my contents to find one desperately needed band aid. Flinging clothes in desperation of finding some clean undies. By the time I made it home, things were torn, stinky and in a permanent state of wrinkledom.
A similar state permeates our campsite. The rain has started so we toss things into the car. We pile things one on top of the other and cram as much as possible into a very small space. Dishes are wiped but not cleaned. I peer into the cooler. “Should we throw this stuff out?” I ask Bal. “There’s the leftover porkchop, an apple and some margarine.” Rain droplets, heavy and unwanted, splash on my hand. I close the cooler lid without waiting for an answer and shove it in the trunk.
Feeling like an hour after turkey dinner, our car, overstuffed and lethargic, slowly winds its way out of camp towards the journey home. We hit the highway, turn on some tunes and fall into our long drive silence. We haven’t talked for awhile when suddenly, the breaks are slammed. Hard. My seatbelt tightens and I am pinned against my seat. But we are fine. I look at Bal who is looking in the rear-view mirror to ensure nobody is going to slam into us. They too come to an abrupt stop.
A few cars ahead of us are not so lucky. There are screaches. Metal grinding. People screaming. Bal and I look at one another in shock. There are about five cars ahead overturned, upside down or smashed into. Some people crawl away looking bewildered. Others are trapped. We jump out of our cars to try to help but others are already on scene. Several people have called 911. A woman approaches us running asking for a medical kit. Shy says she’s a nurse and her husband is a doctor who’s helping any of the injured but they need some medical supplies. As packed as our car is, we have nothing.
After some time, it is apparent that most people are unscathed. But my eyes can not avoid the one casualty. One man. Lying motionless on the pavement beside an overturned truck. I want to believe he is okay, just in a daze or preventing a neck injury. Yet nobody is talking to him. Nobody looks at him.
Medical teams soon arrive. We are useless bystanders on the scene now and we realize traffic will not be moving in this direction anytime soon. So we cross the grassy division of the highway and head back North from where we came. This backtracking and taking another route will delay us anywhere from two to four hours. But we do not complain. We are alive.
Bal drives the speed limit now. The silence this time is not a lazy, driving zone but a tense quietness of shock. We playback the crash over and over in our minds and I can not help but play the ‘what if’ game. Out of the silence, my tummy grumbles. Affirmation of a life still living. I am hungry.
“Thank God for the porkchop!” I blurt.
Bal looks over to make sure I have not lost my mind. Then we both giggle at my inappropriate resourcefulness. Now that the tension is broken, we can be grateful. Grateful for our lives.
All that for Action 24- Be Resourceful
Looking around my house now, I realize I am a very resourceful person. Well that or cheap. Probably a little of both.
From the thumbtack used as a necklace holder to the old planter stand being used as a TV stand (albeit an unstable one) to the floor beside Bal’s side of the bed used as his laundry hamper to the ball used as my chair to the bamboo we bought 6 years ago at the dollar store now finally getting a use- as a curtain rod, there is resourcefulness all around.
The obnoxious bathroom fixer-uppers have ripped our floor, chipped the new bathtub, smashed the wall, had to redo the shoddy re-tiling job and had holy caulk (which I now know is not ‘cock’- look at me all grown up and owning my own home!). This I can do nothing about except make them fix it. But knock down one of my favourite frames holding a picture of Bal and I in Scotland and destroy it, well, I will just glue that baby back together and not lash out at the bathtub-guy offender. Why you may wonder seeing as they more than deserve a lashing out at. Because I just want them out of my bloody house already!
Resourcefulness at its best:
Actually my sisters brilliant idea. Finally I have a use for the gorgeous origami paper I bought in Japan almost 10 years ago. I have no clue how to origami but here, on display in my bedroom, an impressive peice of art.