Happy 1st Day of Spring! I am so looking forward to shedding this winter white skin and infusing some color into my life. March 20th not only represents the change of seasons but it is also the birthday for two of my dear friends. Here’s to wishing Miss Carrie Marie and Mademoiselle Emily Johnston the happiest of days celebrating their birth!
I decided for this week’s edition of “What’s Cookin’ Wednesday” to incorporate a little mixology. This decision was probably a direct result from the week I’ve had. After Tuesday concluded, I needed a drink. And not just some rinky dinky drink. I wanted something sweet and fruity that would charm the edge off while leaving me with a giggly not-a-care-in-the-world buzz. Let’s talk a bit about how I reached the need for an adult beverage, shall we?
As most of you know, my grandmother passed away last September. She had been paralyzed for years and in order to transport her to and from her doctor’s appointments, she had a handicap van. And not just any handicap van. It was a 1986 retro Chevy van complete with orange shag carpet, old school radio dials and a wheelchair lift. A week before my grandmother died, my brother totaled his car and was given the van until he could afford to get a new car.
I had never paid any attention to the van until Andrew suggested I use it to transport some items to a wedding I was working last fall. Up until that point, I had been borrowing trucks and renting U-Hauls to move things to weddings which always cost me money and always took more time than expected. Andrew had found a new car and the van was available for my undivided usage. It was a life saver. There was ample room, it was readily available and it certainly got attention while I cruised down the road. Since Chase claims I like to walk on the verge of being weird, it honestly fit me perfectly.
There was only one minor problem with me owning the van. I had nowhere to store it. From the moment we moved into our neighborhood in 2008, Chase has complained about residents parking their cars on the street and not in their driveway. By complain I mean pretty much every day as we have to swerve around a parked vehicle, he expresses his frustration. And where do you think I parked the van? You got it. On the street right in front of our house. I’m sure you can see where this is going.
The van became one of those control issues that we face as a married couple. I saw it as a resource. He saw it as an eyesore. I saw it as a money saver and he saw it as a money pit. He wanted it gone and I didn’t want him to tell me what to do. After two months of having the van at our house, which I did use multiple times, I decided to implement the teachings of my therapist and have an adult conversation about the future of vehicle. After some negotiation and promises, I decided I would sell the van and in the interim, I would park it at my office so it wouldn’t inflict such anger on Chase as he arrived home each night.
I arrived at my office on Monday night to pick up the van to move it and take it to be sold. I was swinging the keys back and forth and had a little skip in my step until I reached the spot where I had parked it. The van had vanished. It wasn’t there. I immediately assumed it had been towed by the Town of Wake Forest for improperly parking it so bright and early on Tuesday morning, I called the police to see if it had been towed. This is an exact account of how I spent my day.
I called the police to be told they didn’t tow it and that I needed to check with who owned the public parking lot. I called the Town of Wake Forest, who owns the parking lot, to be told they couldn’t tow it without the police. I call the police back to inform them the town can’t tow without them only to be told the town can tow and I should check again. I call the town to tell them they can have it towed only to be told they don’t “think” they had it towed. I finally get a designated officer assigned to my case who does some research and finds out a local business owner had it towed. However, because it was in a public lot, the business owner didn’t have the authority to do so. Only the police can tow from that lot. The business owner claims the police told him to and the police say if they wanted it towed they would have towed it and wouldn’t have told the business owner to do so. Of course the police officer who spoke with the business owner was off of work so my officer needed to wait to speak with that officer before releasing any other pertinent information. As of Wednesday morning, I still have no idea where the van resides.
I’m not going to lie. For a moment I was convinced it had been stolen. And quite honestly, I felt relieved. I was taking it as a sign that God had intervened and removed something that had been causing friction and unnecessary stress. The only thing that really upset me was the fact my beach cruiser was inside and I envisioned some homeless dude in the park riding circles around the van on my turquoise bike giddy as could be. Unfortunately, God thinks I’m capable of handling a little challenge so the van saga continues. I feel like I’m Scooby Doo searching for the Mystery Machine.
As I doubt anyone else is searching for their handicap van, maybe you’re dealing with some sort of stress of your own this week. Or perhaps you just want something refreshing to drink. I whipped up this recipe, poured myself a glass, turned off every light in my house, lit candles and laid flat on the floor in complete quiet to find some sort of calm and to remind myself to let it come and let it go. That was also my attempt to take the frustration toward Chase for making me move the van from the security of our home and redirect it internally in order to assume responsibility for being stubborn and not handling the van issue in January. The combination of the alcohol and zen allowed me view this entire situation as comical and as a teaching tool for the future.
If you’re looking for a means of relaxation, you can use any brand of Moscato or Reisling to create this delicious beverage. And yes, my nails match my straw. Drink up buttercup.
1 Bottle of Moscato or Reisling
1 Can of Pink Lemonade Concentrate
Splash of Sprite
Lemon and/or Raspberries for Garnish
1. Mix all of the ingredients together. Serve. Enjoy. Forget about misplacing a van.