December 18 – Our day of giving back

Merry Christmas!

 

When I was in LA, I was telling Auntie Kelly that I hadn’t found time to give back yet this holiday season and I was feeling pretty bad about it.  To fix this, Madison and I rented a Zipcar today and dropped off a box of canned items at Martha’s Table.  We then drove up to Target, and picked out some toys to donate.  I had so much fun picking out little presents!  We settled on Candyland and Barbie the Veterinarian for a little girl and Hot Wheels, Green Lantern action figure and a Star Wars nerf gun (guess who picked that out) for a little boy.  We hope someone is very happy to unwrap these this on Christmas.  As I mentioned, we were a little late in the game in donating toys, and the only place we could find still accepting toys was at Giant Food in Van Ness. The picture above is what that one store has collected so far – so great to see!

We were glad we rented a car because we literally were running all over DC but ohhh my goodness did Zipcar give us a fright today. I consider myself to be very calm in unnerving situations, and think of quick solutions to get me out of them. However, today I hit my panic button and I really wish someone caught me on film. Madison and I picked up our Zipcar at 11 Dupont Circle. It was in a below ground parking garage and the garage door was open so we walked right on in. We found the car, hopped in, and drove up the ramp to exit.  The garage door, however, was closed.  It didn’t open when we pulled up. So, we backed up, and made sure to be in the lane to hit the sensors. Nothing. No one was around. Hmmm.

Madison got out of the car and tried to push some buttons, but nothing happened.  We backed the car back down the ramp to think of what to do. Madison tried calling Zipcar, but didn’t have service.  I got out my phone to call as well.  I saw a pda system and tried calling, but no one answered.  I began to panic.  I got very hot and ripped off my scarf and started circling the garage, trying to open  random doors very aggressively, none of which opened.  The stairway was locked. I was wondering if anyone else was down there with us (it was very small, just one level). I am not claustrophobic but suddenly I felt the walls closing in on me. At this point I was crying and yelling to Madison “We are going to die down here!!” I ran over to the car and turned it off because in my head I saw “Carbon Monoxide Poisoning Kills Two Zipcar People.”

I was trying to call Zipcar but I couldn’t hear the options (why wasn’t “press 5 for locked in my car garage” one one of them??).  I kept shouting “operator” into the phone.  I was about to call 911 when Madison’s phone found enough service.  The Zipcar operator told Madison calmly to press “0011” on the keypad. Just like that, the door opened.  We got in the car, turned it on and left the garage and didn’t say anything for several minutes. I turned to Madison and said, “Well, I’m glad we didn’t panic!”

Can someone help me find a lesson of the day?

 

-V

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One thought on “December 18 – Our day of giving back

  1. Steve Devine says:

    Seriously, you cannot find the lesson of the day in this experience? How about – “No matter how much you worry about something (or panic) you cannot change the circumstance.” Or how about “Patience is a virtue”… Or how about “cooler heads will ultimately prevail”… Or how about “Shallow breaths when trapped in a garage so you don;t use up all of the oxygen!!”…

    By the way, whenever I get one of those voice recognition operators on the phone I yell “OPERATOR” over and over also!! You may have gotten that trait from your dear old Uncle Steve! Love you!!

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