That Girl Scout Motto

I grew up with the Girl Scout motto. You know the one…..”Be Prepared!” So I was all packed up and ready for a long wait at the Army War College clinic knowing that I was probably going to be facing several hours before my new prescriptions were ready. After all, it was right after a holiday weekend and that usually meant a rush of folks scrambling to get things filled.

I wasn’t even worried about facing the screaming babies. I usually sit in the “old f__ts” section where we all look like the retired military folks that we are. The bearing isn’t quite as erect as it used to be, hair is thinning and often covered by ball caps that proudly bear the insignia of the units we served with, middles are thicker, and sometimes we doze off and have to be roused by kindly neighbors when our numbers are called. No, I wasn’t worried about any wait because I was PREPARED. I had my bag packed with my current knitting project and two hours of wait time was going to be two hours of the sheer bliss of uninterrupted knitting.

I turned in my prescriptions, got my number, found a seat, and settled back to start some heavy knitting that just might finish up my project. I pulled out my partially-finished scarf and reached back into the bag for the other needle and………I couldn’t find it. IT WAS NOT THERE! Do you have any idea what panic swept over me? I rooted through that bag like a woman possessed but NO NEEDLE. With a sinking feeling, I realized that I had left it on the table beside the couch.

Suddenly those two hours loomed before me like an eternity. I had a moment of insanity where I was tempted to go up and down the rows of chairs asking folks if they had a pencil I could put alongside my needle to see if it was a close enough match that it could be used in a pinch as a substitute needle. Reason prevailed.

Just as I was reaching for a tattered ancient copy of Good Housekeeping, my number was called. Not even 20 minutes had elapsed. It was a miracle, plain and simple. Believe me, from now on, I’m checking that bag twice before I leave the house to make sure that all needles are present and accounted for. My former troop leader, Mrs. Marshall would be proud.


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