Monday, March 16, 2015

Trouble is on its way

One of my dearest friends in the entire world is coming to Charlotte tomorrow. I suspect we’ll get into some kind of trouble because we always do.

I met Donna when I was in my twenties, pregnant with my second child. She was living in Ohio at the time and I was living in North Dakota. We were both attending a meeting in Minneapolis. Our Lutheran publishing house was introducing new Sunday school material and they had recruited people from all over the American Lutheran Church to be trained so they could return to their respective geographic areas and introduce the material.

Although Donna and I had never met before this event, we clicked like lifelong friends. 

During our first lunch together at the Marriott, we were deep in conversation when a huge cockroach started strutting across the linen tablecloth. Donna spied it while she was speaking. Without missing a word, she calmly picked up a coffee cup and nonchalantly placed it over the roach, trapping it inside. We finished our lunch and left the surprise for the waitstaff. I was duly impressed by this woman.

Throughout the training we had great fun, even when things weren’t particularly designed with fun in mind. When it came time for us to part, I grieved the fact that we lived so far apart and I would never see this person again.

About five years later, I moved to Ohio and guess who was a short drive away! I gave Donna a call and we picked up right where we left off. At the time, I had no idea what a lifeline she would be for me over the course of the next decade as I walked through the darkest time of my life.  

Then I moved again. Leaving Donna was one of the worst things about moving away from Ohio for me. 

Since then, I’ve gone up her way, she’s come down my way, and we’ve met up in the middle for some adventures from time to time.

So she’s coming to North Carolina tomorrow. And that got me to thinking about the first time she came to visit me after I moved to Charlotte.

The two of us decided to make a trip to Asheville. We drove over in my new car.

Back when I lived in Ohio I was always complaining because it seemed like I was the only person in the world who still had to crank her car windows up and down and I had vowed that my next car would have power windows. So, now I had them. And I was going to make a big freakin' deal out it!

On the drive to Asheville we stopped at a McDonald’s and while we were going through the drive through I started showing off, making my window go up and down, down and up, over and over again. “Do you see how cool that is? Is that not the best thing ever!”

After about a dozen times, the window suddenly stopped half-way down and wouldn’t budge. Yep, I broke the damn window and had to drive like that for the remainder of the trip. Donna was amused by this, but I was not. Especially when it started raining.

Roughly six weeks before Donna arrived I had made arrangements for us to stay at a Bed & Breakfast in the Asheville area. A friend highly recommended the place. When I called and made the reservation, they told me they would mail my confirmation that day. (All of this stuff happened before people used the internet for such things.)

I waited and waited, but the confirmation never came. And here's the really bad part. I didn’t write the name of the place down because I figured I would have the name when I got their letter. 

I tried to call the friend who had recommended it and she was in Germany. (This was also before people used cell phones like they do now.) Oy.

I had made a reservation for two nights at some mystery place with my credit card. So, now what did I do?

I decided that if I saw the name of the place I would recognize it. And really, how many Bed & Breakfasts could there be in the Asheville area?

Donna and I arrived in Asheville in the pouring rain. We drove around for a while and found a visitor’s center. We went in and I described my dilemma to them. After making some sarcastic remarks that Donna appreciated more than I did, they handed me a listing of B & Bs in Asheville and said that if I needed to use their phone, I could.

Well, if you've ever been to Asheville, you probably realize that there are a lot of cities that have smaller phone directories than the book they handed me.

I sat down and started randomly calling places. “Hello, do you have a reservation for Nancy Kraft for tonight?”

They weren’t allowed to give out that information, they would tell me. So then I’d start whining, “No, you don't understand. I’m Nancy Kraft. I want to know if I made a reservation there. I made a reservation somewhere and I can’t remember where it was.”

I suspect most of them thought I was making a crank call because of all the laughter they could hear in the background. Donna was thoroughly enjoying this.

After about twenty calls, I finally called a place that assured me they were the B & B where I had made a reservation. So, who’s laughing now, Donna?

When I got home the long-awaited letter of confirmation was waiting for me in my mailbox. It was not from the place where we stayed. 

So, tomorrow afternoon another installment in "The Adventures of Donna & Nancy" begins at Charlotte-Douglas Airport and I’m expecting more trouble. Of course, I mean that in the best way possible.  

1 comment:

  1. OK OK OK, now tell us about your adventure !


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