Mielke: It’s the journey not the destination that counts

  • May. 23, 2017 12:30 a.m.

I took pictures of my grandson’s last hockey game, which was played in a month that I can’t even remember now.

I took them with the idea that I would purchase one of those little things that have four or five frames all hooked together, get the pictures printed and put them in the frames and give them to him.

And both he and his parents would be pleased and happy and I would top their list of cool and awesome grandmas.

Of course, many of the ideas that spring forth like a light bulb in my head, dazzling even me with their brightness, never materialize.

That was one of them.

I took pictures of the same grandson when he had his first communion about two weeks ago.

Of course the hockey pictures were still on my memory card, as well.

And as I snapped pictures of this little guy all dressed up, complete with a very grown up dress shirt and tie, I saw him clearly in my photo lens. I also saw him clearly in the photo lens of my mind, dressed in his oversized hockey jersey that stretched to his knees, hockey stick in hand.

I need to get those pictures developed, I said to myself.

And so I did it. Finally. Last week I stared procrastination in the face. “Be gone with you,” I shouted. “I am a woman of action. Get ’er done,” that’s my motto.

Even saying the words inside my head made me tired.

But, I persevered.

“I’m going to Walmart. I’m going to get those pictures done,” I said to my husband, nonchalantly, like I trot off to Walmart on a regular basis to get pictures done. ‘Shouldn’t take more than half an hour,” I added, optimistically.

As it turned out, it took me half an hour to even figure out what slot to put my memory card in. Finally my card was accepted.

I started to feel good. “I’ve got this,” I tell myself.

I selected six-by-six for the size of one picture. But I only wanted one six-by-six picture. For some reason, I couldn’t get the machine to get that. It kept making all my pictures six-by-six. I refused to blame myself for being incompetent.

“Stupid machine,” I muttered.

I pushed a whole bunch of buttons desperately. Sometimes that works. Sometimes you accidentally hit the right one. Finally, I decided to go for broke. I pushed the button that said complete order. The machine said I owed $148.

I said that machine is crazy.

At that time, I decided I needed to humble myself and get some help.

It was quite clear that either I had no idea what I was doing or the machine had malfunctioned.

I suspected it was not the latter.

I looked around helplessly. There were people at other machines talking and laughing. It seemed like they all knew what they were doing.

I glared at the backs of all these know-at-all people.

Finally, the lady using the machine beside me glanced at my pictures and said sweetly “Are those your grandchildren?” I allowed myself the grace to smile at her and acknowledged that these were, indeed, pictures of my grandchildren.

“Oh, they are so sweet, so lovely,” she cooed. I allowed her to coo, even making the pictures bigger so she could coo more appreciatively.

Finally, the lady from the photo lab materialized. She was like an angel, a helping angel wearing a name tag instead of wings. I’m not sure what she did, but when I got out of there I had all my pictures and it had only cost me six bucks.

I put the pictures in the frames, set them on the counter and waited for the accolades to come pouring in.

My daughter saw them first.

Mmmm, she said. “Nice.”

Her sister looked at them next. “That’s a terrible picture of me,” was all she said.

I poured myself a glass of wine and reminded myself it’s the journey not the destination that counts.

And I felt better!

Treena Mielke lives in Sylvan Lake. She is the editor of the Rimbey Review.

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