Tuesday, March 21, 2006

My Family... The Fahcowee Tribe

One of my dad's favorite stories is about the time that he and his best friend (Chuck) were eating in a diner somewhere. The waitress was wearing roughly her weight in silver and turquoise jewelry, and when Chuck commented on it, she made herself comfy and proceeded to spend the next 20 minutes or so of their lunch break regaling them with her entire Native American family history.

So Chuck told her that he, too, was part Indian. She got even more enthused and demanded to know specifics of what tribe, where, etc. Chuck told her that he was a member of the Fahcowee Tribe. At this, she looked puzzled and said that she'd never heard of them.

Chuck kicked back in his chair and proceeded to spin quite the yarn around the lineage, culture and traditions of his tribe. Finally, she asked if he knew how they had gotten their name. His answer was that his tribe was woefully lacking in any sense of direction, and that every now and then, they'd send a scout up a tree to look around and try to figure out where they were. As the scout was looking around, he would chant 'where the fuck are we?' and eventually, this chant was shortened to form the name 'Fahcowee.' This tale ends with the waitress belting Chuck hard enough to flip him and the chair backwards, and Dad and Chuck having to find another restaurant for lunch, but it leads in to my adventure last night. Sorta.

I cross-stitch, and I'm currently taking a class (My Stitching Treasures by Jeanette Douglas) at a wonderful little shop - that is unfortunately located a bit over an hour from my work. The class started last night at 6:30. We had to complete the border around all the boxes as homework prior to the first class. Since I procrastinated until the last minute, as usual, I had planned on spending the whole weekend doing it. Then a friend showed up unexpectedly to visit, and I ended up finishing the last box at about 4:45 am on Monday morning. I fell into bed for a couple of hours and then I was up and on the way to work.

So I wasn't exactly firing on all eight cylinders by the time I left work to head to the class. But the traffic light gods were smiling down on me and I went soaring right along - until a major intersection, where the light was down. Gah! You don't realize how much traffic lights help the flow of traffic until one dies and that intersection becomes a very backed up four way stop. Finally got through that, turned onto another road, that leads through a dinky little town and got jammed up again. I sat for 45 minutes, and the only time we moved at all was when someone snapped and turned around. The problem was that I don't know the area well enough to have any idea where to go.

After enough time had passed, however, I no longer cared. Screw it! I'll make my own road! I thought I could just block it and get away from the worst of it. Then I picked up a duckling, which always makes me feel guilty. [A duckling, in my world, is one of those people that decide that you must know where you're going, so they'll follow you as you attempt to make your own detour.] My poor little duckling is probably still wandering around out there somewhere. I tried to be logical about the whole thing, but the very curvy roads thwarted me. I got so lost! It was dark, and I had NO idea where I was and then the deer started jumping at my jeep... Oh, it was awful.

I spent significant portions of my life wandering around in an automobile with no real idea where I am. It's actually one of my favorite activities. But I don't like it when I'm already late to someplace that I'm supposed to be. And I really don't like it when I'm also cold, hungry and exhausted. I've never been so glad to see a speed trap! But, by the time I found a place to turn around (losing the duckling in the process), the cop had moved on. *sigh* So I continued on my way, and by this point, my sense of direction had abandoned me completely. Finally, I wandered into a small town, complete with - Oh happy day! - an open gas station.

I went into the station, and in a desperate rush babbled something frantic about how glad I was to find the station, and could you please help me find the city I'm supposed to be in, please, please, please?!? The attendant's response? "Hello. Today is Monday!" delivered with a big smile. When I blinked at him and tried again, it became obvious that he didn't speak enough English to help me. He was friendly though.

I gave up on him and moved on to the next gas station. The man working at that one told me that I couldn't get there from here. Crap. But, he called his cousin in the next town, who did know how to find the town I was headed for and then he gave me directions to that gas station. Once I arrived at the third station, the nice man there had already consulted maps and such and had directions written down and waiting for me.

Once I arrived in the right town, I figured out how to get to the store and I was there - and only an hour and a half late. I was so stressed and freaked out that the remaining hour is kind of a blur, and I was very glad to get home that night.

Before next week's class, I will have figured out an alternate path that will let me avoid that little armpit of a town. *grumble* As a special bonus, maybe I'll manage to get my homework for next week done before the night before. Okay, probably not.

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