*insert blank page here* Oh wait, I didn't say GOOD luck, did I?
Based on a conversation with Sydney and a Twitter-versation where it was pointed out that if I took my kids to a birthday party at the Baltic Sea, it would probably be "out of order," I thought I'd share some stories that show that my good fortune started young.
I say good fortune, because I"m pretty sure it's a miracle that I lived to celebrate my 29th birthday so many times. (Speaking of that...it's in a month, people. Get your packages in the mail soon to avoid the rush!)
These stories may or may not be 100% accurate as a couple of years have passed since they occurred - and well, I was a kid - so I saw it from that perspective.
Lake Michigan (1977-78ish) shoot, inserting dates is probably going to blow that whole "I'm still 29" thing right out the window. - O.K. I don't think I really remember this. I think I've just been told the story so many times that I think I remember it. If you've ever been to Lake Michigan, you'll know that you can sometimes walk for 100 feet with the water only at ankle or knee level and then suddenly, it's about 40 feet deep. Apparently, I took off running into the water and just...dropped. Luckily, my aunt was close and was able to pluck me out of the water before I ended up hanging with some of Capone's foes.
Gulf of Mexico (1980) There are currents in this body of water. Lucky for me, this day, the current was only running parallel to the beach. As I sat belly deep in water, playing in the sand, I was unaware that the water was carrying me down the beach. I looked up and didn't see my mom anywhere. I'd drifted, well, to me, what seemed like a really long way down. Drowning danger aside, I'm glad some creeper didn't pick me up and toss me into his windowless van*. (Van story coming shortly.)
Houston, TX (1980 or 81) We lived in an apartment complex. My aunt lived in another apartment complex. To get to hers, I had to cross a ditch. The ditch had water it in. (I used to catch turtles and lizards in it) and you had to walk across a plank to cross said ditch. Also, on the banks of this ditch were dirt bike paths. I was returning home from her place (alone) and crossed the dirt bike paths. Two bikes were heading towards me and in my 5 or 6 year old mind, I was sure they were going to hit me and knock me into the water. So, thinking I had plenty of time, ran back across. I did not. I got hit. I'm guessing I wasn't seriously hurt because I didn't even get taken to the doctor. Mom had a nurse who lived in our complex come over and look at me from across the room and say I was alright. I, however, was not convinced. I mean, if you get hit by a motorcycle, you're supposed to DIE right?!? I spent the night drawing crayon pictures of my grave onto my suitcase.
Hindsboro, IL (1982) First, I should explain that the population sign for Hindsboro has always read a very generous "400." It was a place where in the summer, you could sit in the street for hours popping tar bubbles (What? We were poor, it was cheap entertainment.) and never see a car. Anyway, I was on a church hayride. For some reason, we had stopped in front of my house. I decided that I wanted to get my new baby sister (only a few weeks old at the time) to go on the hayride with us. I jumped off the wagon and ran around the back to cross the street just as a white pedo-van went by. I was close enough that my hands were slapping the side as it went by. They didn't even stop to see if they had killed me. They were probably making a quick getaway after their failed kidnapping attempt.
And finally (although, hardly the final incident) Raccoon Lake, IN (1986). Mom's boyfriend had a cabin that we visited often. I believe it was Mother's Day and I wanted to bake my mom a cake. I turned on the oven for preheating purposes. We were camping, so supplies were limited and I should have known to just give up when I broke off the tines of the plastic fork I was mixing the cake with - right into the batter. Once the batter was mixed, I grabbed the matches to light the pilot light. Are you following this? Yes, I turned on the oven, mixed the batter, and THEN tried to light the pilot light. I was quite literally blown across the cabin into the wall on the other side of the room. Amazingly, I was not burnt or physically harmed in any way. I do believe that the hour that followed was the most silent I have ever been in my life though.
So, you see, it's no surprise to me when I show up at a hotel that I've booked for my daughter's birthday party, only to find out that the pool is out of order and that the rest of the hotels in town are 99% booked. I expect these things. It's the Luck of the Sloth.