Technology hates me. I explain that in a bit, but, it seriously hates me.
A while back I joined a Jeep group that is big on family, big on local charities, and big on caring period. Super nice people. I drive a Jeep Compass. Most of the other Jeeps are Wranglers, so its almost like odd man out, but a Jeep is a Jeep. The group has held many events, a few I have gone to, some I have wanted to go, but for various reasons was unable.
Today, the group was having their chili cook off. When the plans first came out, I thought I would be unable to go, because the address said Charlotte. I don’t drive in Charlotte, NC. Checking though, I found out that it really isn’t in Charlotte. The place where it was being held is only about thirty minutes from where I live. The directions looked relatively easy to follow. So I thought, maybe I can make it after all.
I got busy this morning and got my chili simmering in the slow cooker. I browned meat, I cut up onions, I added tomatoes and other ingredients until the bowl was brimming and bubbling. As it simmered the entire house began to smell so good.
As I waited for time, I tidied up the house a bit, then went out to wash my Jeep. Well, prepare to wash my Jeep. First I had to get both dogs inside as Bella goes insane when the water is on. I had to go around back for the garden hose, drag it around to the front. Toss it over the fence then go inside to get the bucket and rags. I hooked the hose back to the well and turned the water on. It sprayed everywhere. I had to pull the Jeep half way up the drive so the hose would reach. I managed to get that done, the hose back in place and the water turned off. I got myself physically ready then began to watch the clock and debate.
Was I, or was I not going? I could go, I can’t go. It will be fun, I may be ignored. I can go, I’ll get lost. The plan was to start gathering at 3PM. I didn’t leave the house until nearly 4PM. I had placed the slow cooker inside a plastic box and sat it down in the front floorboard of my Jeep. I had cornbread and a drink. What I didn’t have was courage.
Taking a deep breath and making sure both dogs were securely in the house. I started the car and began driving. I did have my phone, I had the directions up. But no matter what I tried, my phone would not talk to me. I was having to try and make quick glances down to see if I was still on the right track. As I followed the directions, I wondered where the phone and google were taking me. I figured they were in cahoots and planned on my ending up in Atlanta, Nashville, or somewhere in Virginia.
I was doing okay even when I had no idea where I was. Right up until I drove past a road I was supposed to turn on and the recalculating map wanted me to drive another mile and a half to some other road. Nope, I know how to do a u-turn. Going back, I found the road and was back on the right path again. I finally found the place.
I really, truly, actually, managed to find the place. There were Jeeps everywhere and I had no idea where I was going to park. I knew that my Compass was not going to be able to go down the embankment to where the others were parked. I did see a place, I wasn’t sure if it was okay to park there, but it was the only place I could park so park there I did. Moments later another Jeep pulled in beside me, filling the last spots on the front row. I got all of my offerings out and into the building. Found a place for it and my cornbread. I’m glad I remembered to bring a spoon.
We had to name our chili and place that tag in front so that the judges wouldn’t know whose was whose and no one who brought chili could judge. After the judges had been designated and were inside taste testing what was there, my son showed up. We sat and talked with some friends while we waited. Someone had brought a tiny goat and another had their chocolate lab. The goat was a hoot to watch as it had some dance moves that would be hard to beat.
Finally the decision was made. The three winners were announced. Mine wasn’t one of them, but there’s always next year.We stayed for a while longer, but since my son had ridden his bike and the temperature was fast falling we left. I got my stuff and carried it to the car with my son’s help.
He changed one setting on my phone and of course it began talking. Show off. It was getting dark and I hate driving at night. My son had given me a pair of those yellow tinted, aviator glasses. I thought I would try and see if they made any difference. They did cut down on some of the glare and brightness. All the way home I had my son leading the way, but google talking to me as well.
Thing is, I did it. I managed to find the place without having to first go through Louisville, I managed to park, get set up and visit. Then a while later, google welcomed me home. So, my chili didn’t win a prize. There were no honorable mentions. The cornbread must have been liked as there was only a couple pieces of it left. But even though the chili didn’t win, I did.
I won because even though I was afraid. I went. Even though I’m still unsure of myself- I went. Even though I don’t drive a Wrangler or Cherokee, or Gladiator- I went. Even though I am probably the only person who goes alone, I went. Even though I had never been to this place before and I never like going anywhere for the first time alone- I went. Even though, my late husband’s voice echoed in my head, demanding to know why I was going since he couldn’t go- I went. I had made every excuse in the book not to go- but I went. So I win.