Here’s my new motto: “If you’re feeling low get up from that chair and go out in the world.”

Here’s my new motto: “If you’re feeling low get up from that chair and go out in the world.”


Here’s why:


Last week I had to begin a trip of over 200 miles at rush hour and thought for sure the adrenaline alone would keep me going. No such luck. I felt my eyelids starting to close a mere 20 minutes into this drive I so dreaded having to make.


I pulled into the next rest stop, tilted back the seat and slept like the dead for half an hour; then woke to the sight of two little pups frolicking in the grassy pet area and felt instantly cheered.


Once inside the service plaza, I ordered a scoop of Ben and Jerry’s, bought some coffee and was just capping my thermos when a gentleman addressed me:


"Did I see right? Did you just put ICE CREAM in your coffee?”


"COFFEE ice cream in my coffee,” I said. “I once fell asleep in the passing lane of the Interstate and I don’t ever want to do that again!”


“Where you headed?”


“Northwest Connecticut.”


“Ah! What town?” he asked, but my mind was a perfect blank. That's how it is for lots of us these days: the calendars on our phones remember where we’re supposed to be and our GPSs get us there. 


“Salisbury!” I finally said. “I’m going to the town of Salisbury.”


“Ah very nice,” said the man.


“You’ll have a good time!” he called after me as I walked out into the sunshine, which felt so good on my still-pale hide that I decided to linger a moment by one of the stone tables. There I noticed the woman who had stood behind me as I ordered my ice cream.


She smiled and said, “Um, can I... fix something on you?”


Oh no! I flashed instantly on that time in Fifth Grade when I returned from the girls’ bathroom with the whole back of my dress tucked into the waistband of my Lollipop panties.


"What ‘s wrong with me?” I squeaked.


“Oh, nothing too bad. The lining of your jacket got flipped out here at the top. I hope you don't mind. Some people don't like to be fixed.”


I didn’t mind at all. Who would mind? I think of the dog-tails of toilet tissue people are seen trailing from the soles of their shoes now and then. I think of the time I showed up at the ER with a sliced-open leg and Santa Claus stickers all over my forehead. My young husband and I had been tumbling about like puppies ourselves, trying to wrap our presents even while hiding them from each other. I made as if to jump up from my seated position on the floor, but then fell back down, landing smack on the sharp double points of the only pair of scissors that we owned. The nurse on duty didn't even mention the stickers I forgot I had pasted to my head. I sure wish she had.


“There!” said my lady-in-waiting, giving my shoulders a motherly pat. We compared notes on our ice cream flavors and wished each other well. Then I headed back to my car.


And I can't tell you now if it was the cavorting pups or the friendly gent or this kind woman who helped me with my wardrobe malfunction but the rest of that trip was as easy as pie with the memory of them all right beside me as I drove.


Write to Terry at terrymarotta@verizon.net or care of Ravenscroft Press, PO 270, Winchester MA 01890. Read more every day at her blog Exit Only at http://terrymarotta.wordpress.com/.