It was suggested I use the Men’s bathroom today. Somewhere in Nebraska near the South Platte River; we stopped at the Pump and Pantry gas station. It had a wolf statue or some similar type animal character standing on the building like a guardian over all things petroleum.
Steve pumped gas underneath the watch of the wolf while I went in to find a bathroom. It is a small gas station and I find the bathrooms quickly. I see the Men’s restroom first and then around the corner I see the Women’s restroom. I move in that direction, but am stopped by a kind, older looking gentleman. “My wife is in there.” He points in the direction of the women’s door. “She’ll probably be a while. She has a little bit of a disability”, he continues. “Ok.” I respond verbally. My bladder has an entirely different response. It is saying, “How long is a while?”
I wander a few feet away and notice an interesting display of what I assume to be local fare. Jars that read: Pickled Quail Eggs and Spicy Pickled Garlic line several small shelves. I’m trying to get my head around quail eggs and ignore my bladder at the same time when the kind, elder man says, “Why don’t you use the men’s restroom? You can lock it and I’ll stand here and let people know that both restrooms are occupied.”
I stand there. I have no words. I don’t think I’ve been asked that question before. The speech-language pathologist and female in me is processing the question and struggling to come up with a reasonable answer. First pickled quail eggs and now this.
I don’t want to use the Men’s Bathroom is what I think. There’s a reason we have signs and categories and protocols. However, it seems rude not to take him up on his offer and my bladder is voting yes and agreeing with kind, elder man’s suggestion to use the Men’s Bathroom. I walk on in. I wonder how I end up in these situations.
He seems happy I chose his solution. I’m still not sure of the whole thing. It feels uncomfortable and odd. I think of Greenville Public Schools’ superintendent, Linda VanHouten and the commencement speech she gave on Sunday. She spoke of greatness starting where our comfort zone ends. Whoo Hoo!!! I think. I’m bound for greatness and I shut the bathroom door behind me.
I also look down and notice the bracelet on my wrist that Pastor Don gave me on Sunday. It says Live Grateful and then I am humbly reminded of the woman in the Women’s Restroom who has to work a bit harder and take a while longer to do what takes most of us just minutes to do. That same woman who is blessed with a husband who loves her enough to wait patiently outside the gas station bathrooms for her and also help a stranger with a solution he thought might work for both of us.
I’m also reminded of a question Ian asked me yesterday: How can I be last when I am part of the whole body? He’s talking of spiritual matters and I think using the Men’s Bathroom near the Pickled Quail Eggs, at the suggestion of a kind elder oughta count for something around this idea of being last. At least that’s what I’m hoping.
I also hope you’ll leave comments, questions, lovely thoughts, and fill me in on life at “home” and how life is with you. I want this to be a conversation.
I really do.
I believe our words with each other create beautiful stories of this one collective life we have together.
Leave a comment on this blog and I will randomly select one or two people to receive a small gift from me!
Some photos from today:
#1 Yellow Columbines. My favorite color and one of my favorite flowers.
#7 and #8 Posh bed and bathroom at the Hampton Inn in Lincoln, Nebraska. I feel like I will miss them both at some point on this trip.
Hours traveled- 9
States Visited-For the love of Nebraska, Wyoming, Colorado.
Books we listened to or read: The Small Great Things by Jodi Piccult. Score- Cheri 8. Steve 9.
Thankfully 15 by James Patterson had a glitch in the audio file. It wouldn’t play and I say hurray!
Odd Instances: we stopped at Walmart twice today. I’m cringing as I type that.
Final Destination Moraine Park Campground, Estes Park Colorado.
Peace and JOY.