Van Problems

Hollie has no idea that we’re locked out of the house, I thought to myself as she happily played with a friend at a local indoor playground.

It all started when someone from the dealership called to say that they would not have my van finished in time for me to pick Hollie up from Kindergarten. Actually, it started a few weeks earlier when the keys were left in the ignition (in the on position) after returning home from a family vacation. The dead battery required a jump start and the jump start shorted out the airbag system. Now—three trips to the dealership later—I was still digging out as I realized that I didn’t have a key to the house and the only garage door opener I had access to was the one that was built into my van.

Who would think that one decision (leaving the keys turned on in the ignition) would create so many challenges? More than that—who would want to? Maybe it’s best to have just enough information to keep moving. Although inch by inch, life’s a cinch—knowing every yard can seem overwhelmingly hard.

Dishrags

Every morning after returning home from taking the girls to school, I spend a few minutes cleaning up the breakfast mess they left behind. Today my actions were no different as I reached for the dishrag draped over the sink and gave it the smell test to see if it was clean. It seemed okay to me but, just to be safe, I put the rag in the laundry basket and got out a new one to wipe off the counter.

Dishrags are a privilege, not a right, in our kitchen. I learned this the year after Bill and I were married and there never seemed to be a dishrag around when I needed one. Where they could be hiding in our tiny apartment baffled me until one day, when I asked Bill if he had seen the rag that was in the sink the night before.

“I threw it away.” he said matter-of-factly, as if it was the natural thing to do.

“Why wouldn’t you put it in dirty laundry?” I asked, dumbfounded that he would throw something away that could be washed and used another day.

“You let them get so bad that I don’t want them near the rest of our clothes.” he said, showing no remorse.

Looking back on this conversation, I realize that relationships are a lot like those dishrags. How easy it is to discard one when it becomes too unpleasant to deal with. Rather than take the time to restore a relationship to its original condition, we leave it behind and choose instead to make a fresh start.

Relationships, like dishrags, can be salvaged with the proper care and, when we take the time to do so, we find they are never in short supply.