I gave myself plenty of time. For several days I had been thinking ahead to be sure I would remember to shut off all the battery/inverter users (lights, the booster, printer) when leaving, to bank the stove properly, and to remember to clock in. You see, I was excited about going back to work at last.
Except for one day in September I haven’t been on the job at Northwood Outdoor since July. Never mind all the why’s of that … that’s not what this is about. Now I’m back, one day a week, in our Duluth store.
To be honest, it’s a little quiet in the mall store compared to the Hayward store. There’s no phone to ring, no Susie, the secretary, to exchange news with when I get in, and only a few, quiet, curious customers. I miss the Hayward hub-bub. I almost miss the wild piles of new stock to unpack and stock and stage. But I am happy to be back to the familiar of our own collection of rustic furniture and gifts.
This morning while finding my way across the hill; google maps had given me due warning that the mall would not be open. I was getting in too soon. I hadn’t ever opened at this location so I needed to find the correct door in the back of the building. I wanted plenty of time. I thought the mall opening time immaterial to the likes of me. I had my old key, which Rosie assured me would work.
The mall really was still closed. After driving along slowly trying to locate the one door with a black handle with no success; I tried the main entrance. Yeah, not open. I called Rosie who gave me better directions for back door, so I finally found it. I still had plenty of time left to get reacquainted before opening the gates for which I mentally congratulated myself as I gathered up my things to head in. Unfortunately, my key didn’t work. In disbelief l kept trying it. No, it just really wouldn’t turn, at all, not even a little. Frustrated, I scuttled back to my car distracted by an annoying need of a rest room, and drove around toward Culver’s for that. Closed there, too. I still had plenty of time left to get the store open in time, so I called Rosie, again. My phone had switched to efficiency mode in the mean time. I just hoped to solve this before having it go dead. She insisted the key should be fine. I drove back over to that heartless door. Nope. Then my phone died. So. Fine. I’ll just go in through the front doors and hope the key works on the inside gates that are fixed across the front of our store. I waited in the car this time until I saw the doors opened, then gathered up my lunch, keys, purse, and wits to finally go to work and still on time. The key didn’t work on the gate either. Can I cry now and just go home? I turned away after trying twice, forced myself to act like a grown up and found a rest room. I needed it for prayer if nothing else, as well. I prayed for that key nestled in my hand. You know God, this is what I have to use. Please make it work.
I suppose it wouldn’t have been the end of the world if we would have not been able to be open for one day. Or that I missed my first day of work. The truth is that God cared about me enough to fix my key in the end. It turned a little hard dragging that dead bolt back, but I was in, finally, and only a minute late when I snapped on the lights and lifted the store gate up for business. That scramble took me 45 minutes! Afterward, Rosie said, “God answers prayer.” Yes, He does.