Black Friday deals upon deals

Earlier in the week, I made the bold proclamation (on Facebook, no less) that I would be spending Black Friday morning snugly in my jammies, sipping hot coffee, and lounging around the house. I really shouldn’t do that. Despite inviting our nephew and niece over to spend the night in an effort to ensure I had to stay home Friday morning, my oldest daughter had other plans. Todd, I must say, was the accomplice. Once he announced that Hannah’s favorite store, Plato’s Closet, had everything 40% off from 6-9am, the game was on. After maneuvering and plotting (and a bit of wearing me down at my weakest; I was, after all, already attempting to avoid the inaugural batch of Christmas Crack. Seriously, how much can one person take?!), I agreed to drive her over there at 6am. Not a problem, right? My life isn’t so busy that I can’t miss some sleep.

All eight kids came home with us after 10pm and promptly got crazy! The older kids went to bed around 11, but the youngest four couldn’t bring themselves to settle down until after 1am. They had so much to talk and laugh about, you know… I set my alarm for 5:40 later that morning, hoping I wouldn’t sleep through it. I know that many other crazy shoppers were already in the throes of Black Friday shopping, and had been at it for several hours by the time we even went to sleep. Still…I was hoping not to be one of the crazies.

I almost did sleep through the alarm! Dragging myself out of bed, I hoped I could do as little personal grooming as possible without embarrassing the fire out of my teenaged daughter. She didn’t say anything about it (which doesn’t necessarily mean I passed, but at least I didn’t hear a word). We saw other fine folks shopping in their Angry Birds pajama pants later on, so I was suddenly proud of myself for at least changing my clothes and brushing my teeth.

We snuck out the back door of the house so as not to wake up the four youngers snoozing in the family room, and drove mostly in silence to Plato’s Closet. I was curious to check out the traffic (not so curious that I would have gotten up to drive around and check it out had Hannah not asked me to….but I digress), and it wasn’t too bad. Plato’s Closet was surprisingly busy, however.

It was a discouragingly slow start in terms of finding what we came for. Hannah must have tried on ten pairs of jeans before we found the right fit and styles, but she was ultimately quite successful. I thought for sure she was going to give up and we would go home empty-handed. I should have known better. My first-born doesn’t play that way. If we hadn’t had to get back home in time for the rest of the morning’s activities, I do believe she would have been content to look over every piece of clothing in the store before leaving. Alas, we left around 8, with a bagful of clothes that made the trip worthwhile. 40% off will do that for you.

As I rounded the corner of the van–you know, the quirky van I only recently wrote about, extolling its virtues–I noticed some plastic on the ground. Then I realized that before this morning, that plastic had been attached to our van, and namely the rear tail light. No way! Someone, obviously in their haste to rush into Plato’s Closet (the only store open in the strip mall at that time) and get the best deals–or their haste to get away, I guess, after feeling like they stole clothing from the store, had backed into our van and had broken the tail light. Ugh! How ridiculous! While certain aspects add character to a vehicle, this wasn’t one on my list.

While I wasn’t sure what I should do, I was fairly confident that said “backer-inner” was gone already, I went on about my life of quiet desperation. And drove home.

If it’s been a while since you’ve seen a busted tail light, here’s a refresher.

But in the back of my mind…..a past order came to mind. A couple years ago, when we drove a Chevy Venture instead of our Pontiac Montana (virtually the same vehicle, but shhhh, don’t tell anyone. I don’t think they’ve caught on just yet), we broke a tail light doing something silly like riding scooters or playing basketball near the van. Instead of paying full price–I am married to Todd, you know–I did an online search for a replacement tail light and found one. The website had great prices, so I ordered a left light. The problem was that I needed a brand new right tail light. (Sometimes the blonde just takes over…) I cannot for the life of me remember why I didn’t send the left one back at the time, but if I had to guess, I’d say that life happened and one day turned into another which turned into a month, which caused me to file the box with the left light in our highly efficient garage organization system. And there it sat. A few times it got moved from the front of the garage to the back. While I was driving home with Hannah this morning, though, it had been so long that I couldn’t remember which light was in the garage (or if it had moved from front to back to dumpster), but at least there was a chance.

I didn’t go looking for it right away. By the time we got back home, Todd and Patrick had just left to go finish a job at a house. The kids were waking up after a short winter’s nap and they needed breakfast. It wasn’t until I had taken a shower that I thought to go out there, and sure enough, it was still in the front of the garage. It was a left light!! Woohoo!

I was going to do a tiny victory dance, but the cold front had already come through Lexington and it was true to its name! No celebrating until I came back inside to the warmth. It looked like our mini disaster was going to be quickly and easily repaired! Thanks be to God for taking care of even the trivial details of life.

After Todd came home, we had an errand to run that kept us from making sure that the light I thought would fit actually did fit. I was so happy when it took less than five minutes to take out the broken and install the new.

Unfortunately, we couldn’t remove the small scrape that the “hit and run” driver left on the bumper (drama, much, anyone?) but the major damage was indeed gone. What a blessing to have the exact part that we needed in our garage. Now we can keep on driving and notifying everyone of when we brake and when we plan to turn left. HA. Thank goodness. I’d hate to take anyone by surprise….

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