Many years ago I was by myself during a terrible blizzard. I lived alone, and recently broken up. I was the sort of single person who is somewhat dreadfully unprepared to be a single person.
Case in point, when the storm hit I had almost no food in the house. I decided that I would dig my car out and go get some.
The problem was that I didn't have a snow shovel. When I did have was a plastic snack tray, the kind of tray that you carry your food on in a fast food restaurant.
So I dug out, using that tray. I'm not kidding when I say it took me hours to do it, at least two, maybe closer to three.
I remember that I cried a few times as I did it. When I finally got to the grocery store, all they had was Tostitos pizza rolls, Eggrolls, and french fries. Oh and grape soda too. I bought it, all of it. It was what they had. Not my best day ever.
So, cut to many years later, just a few days ago, we got another big snow storm. We had plenty of food In the house, but somehow alarmingly no snow shovel. I borrowed a neighbor's to dig out.
Yesterday, I knew a bad snowstorm was coming again. Missy and I got out early, ran errands, had a great breakfast, went grocery shopping for real food, and stopped at Home Depot, where I bought this:
As you can see, it already got use.
I'm really really grateful for bad memories. I'm not even sure you can really call them bad memories. I've told that snack tray story a lot over the years. Sometimes I really laugh when I tell it. Sometimes, not.
The thing that strikes me about this whole situation is that past experiences are what you build on. Without a starting point, I can't make any progress. I needed to have that snack tray so I can trade it in for a shovel.