As soon as the plane touched down, Ash and I were talking on the phone. He had landed not too long before I did, but he landed at Ft. Lewis with the med evac. He was going to be checked into the hospital. I was to call him when I was settled in at the hotel. I had to make my way from the airport in Seattle to my hotel on the other side of Tacoma.
To be honest, I was not sure how to even rent my car! Thank the good Lord again for Stephanie Rowland—she had everything set up for me. The airport was quiet for as busy as Sea Tac usually is. I made my way to the car rental counter. There was a young woman working there. She must have been having a bad day or something as she was so very sullen! I would have thought she was taking offense at my headcovering, but she was wearing a small cross around her neck. I was not sure what to say to her. Not that I am trying to be judgmental at all! This is not a dig against her at all…I cannot imagine what must have been going on in her life to make her so thoroughly unhappy. It seemd that it was not just a “late night tired” sort of thing, but something upsetting her. I just tried to be as smiling and gentle as I could as she got my paperwork done. I left her wishing I could have done something to help.
I found my car—a non-descript, dull grey, sub-sub-sub compact buggy. Oh that car cracked us up! It TOTALLY ruined my parking skills (ask Ashton, he’ll tell you!). It took me days to figure out how to park that car, then took me weeks to relearn how to park my suburban at home! We joked that that car was small enough to parallel park in a straight parking space. It also had very low ground clearance, so I invariably ended up scraping the bottom of it on the curbs. It only drove up to about 59 mph comfortably, and started a very disconcerting shiver at 60 mph. The great thing about it, though, was that it could zip-zip in and out of traffic with ease, like a little mouse scampering around 18 wheeled cats. I even found myself making “zip zip” sound effects when changing lanes or pulling into traffic. I told Ashton that it was good that it was maneuverable, as that was its only protective feature—if we were in an accident, we were toast. Our only hope was to be able to skitter out of the way of danger.
I do not know what time it was at this point. I want to say 2 am-ish. I had about 45 minutes of drive to go in a town that I was wholly unfamiliar with. I should probably mention now that I have a very loose association with direction. I never worry when I am lost (I am optimistic that “eventually” I will find my way), but I am also rarely certain of where I am. I have lived in Alaska for over 10 years and am still not sure what some of the main roads are called.
With map in hand, I start driving towards where my hotel is (at least I think I am). It felt kind of good to have to take care of “grown up things” like car rentals and finding hotels, though really I was not doing it, the Lord had everything taken care of. It still seemed like a “big girl adventure”.