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Autism: Unexpected Joy

24 Dec

The day started out as Mondays have for the past few weeks. My husband has the day off, and so it has become errand day… well, become is a bit strong, as he has had this routine for a long time. It is just that I am now joining him in it, since we are down to one vehicle, and it is the one day a week that I can get out.

Not that I want to go out, but there are things to be done, and since I have to go out and do them, it is nice that he is there to do the driving.

Only the day didn’t go as expected. Things can go wrong, and they usually do… I think that is the saying, anyway. Today it was the van.

The battery has been giving my husband trouble over the past few days. The battery itself is only a year or two old, so we knew that wasn’t likely. He charged it overnight, and planned to take it in this afternoon – only the trouble came sooner.

We stopped in to order my prescription, then drove up the street to the library, and to do some shopping. On the way to the library, we stopped in at the mechanics, and made the appointment for the early afternoon as they needed to look around for the part.

And then, upon driving out from the library, the short distance to the pharmacist, we could both feel and hear the power leaving the van. Trouble. My husband kept the van running, as I went into the (busy, crowded, cringing, shaking, anxious) store (it is 4 days to Christmas, after all.)

We knew on leaving that we would have to just drop it off at the mechanics, and walk into town while they worked on it. The mechanics was practically across the street – only we never made it that far. The van died coming up to the lights – a very bad location to break down, but it isn’t like we had an option.

He got out of the van, and was going to walk to the mechanics to see if we could get towed (alone in a broken down van, with streams of cars, upset, swerving around me… anxious, shaking, stressed, want to go home, don’t want to be here, ready to cry… bad.) At that point, our backyard neighbour passed us, and offered to boost our van.

They drove up the street in order to turn around and face us – only as they drove up the street, a vehicle behind us swerved to get around us, and hit another vehicle. They stopped and got out (thereby blocking both lanes right at the light) and the lineup of vehicles behind them started driving into the incoming lane in order to get out.

To make a long story short, it was a very stressful time for me. We got our boost, and barely made it to the mechanics. And then we started walking into town… and that is when the day that could have/should have/probably would have left me with a pounding headache, and no reserves to fight off a meltdown turned into a beautiful day.

At it was at least a 20 minute walk to town, we decided to stop in along the way and check out wood burning stoves. We didn’t buy, but we did get the information, and my husband and I both left excited about the possibility of investing in a wood burning stove at some point.

We then went to the mall restaurant for lunch. I have never been there before, and change is really hard for me. It took a while to choose, but they had a similar meal to what I order at our ‘regular’ (we may go there once or twice a year) restaurant. It was really good.

After that, we went to see the model train display in the mall – which was very interesting – looked at the fish in the indoor pond, and sat reading in the library, before walking back to get our van.

It was expensive. For a time when our income is so low, that is a challenge, but the alternator was dead, and had to be replaced. But the time I spent with my husband because of this issue was priceless. I can hardly remember the last time we had such a day together – likely in the summer while we were camping.

And that time – that wonderful time, in a busy, crowded mall, that usually has me stressed and exhausted in minutes – made up for all of the challenges I experienced today, and I was thankful… truly thankful, to have our day turn out that way.

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