Our Kansas City Chiefs have had a remarkable season this year – unfortunately for us, they waited until we skipped town before they decided to adopt these new incredible winning ways!
So when we saw on the schedule that they’d be playing the Washington Redskins in Landover MD, a short two-hour drive north, we leaped at the chance to buy tickets to the game to support our team in person.
We decided to get a hotel room within walking distance of the stadium, and Grandma even drove the 45 minutes down from Baltimore in the snow and rain to babysit the girls while Rach and I had our game day date. Even though it was very cold and snowy, we had a great time routing for our Chiefs, which reminded me of the good ol’ days when we were season ticket holders and were regular visitors to Arrowhead stadium.
The game went down without a hitch as the Chiefs trounced the Redskins 45-10.
We said our goodbyes to grandma, and we stayed the night in Landover. The next day before making the trip back down to Charlottesville, we took the girls to Chuck E. Cheese, which happened to be one of their favorite joints back home in Olathe, but sadly (for the girls) there isn’t one in C-Ville. The minute they saw it from the highway, the hooting and hollering and begging began, so we pulled over so they could have their own uniquely fun Landover experience.
Oh yeah, we had a bash!
It was early in the afternoon, so we were the only ones there, and had the run of the place. We ate, played all the games, and took lots of pics – even Chuck E. scurried out of his hole to pose with us.
We were inside the restaurant, reveling in a cocoon of contentment, oblivious to the sinister events that were transpiring just outside in the parking lot.
All things must come to and end, and it was time go. As we were gathering our things preparing to leave, our blissful bubble was burst when a woman anxiously entered the restaurant, and urgently approached us to ask if we were the owners of the VW minivan – who’s side window had been broken out!!
And just like that, we went from having a bash, to having our window bashed out!
I quickly ran out to the car overwhelmed with a feeling of shock and bewilderment. A terrible sense of dread filled my thoughts, as I knew what we had in the back of the van. Dude, we were out of town, so we had several pieces of luggage, not to mention my camera, and both laptops! All I could think was that this thief had seen the cache of items we had stored in the back and had hit pay dirt.
During those 7 seconds it took me to get from the Chuck E. Cheese to the car – I was completely sick!
My pace slowed and my apprehension increased as I neared the van feeling nervous and ill at ease. At first I couldn’t see a broken window, so for a brief moment, a bit of optimism flashed through me – maybe she had the wrong car? But as I rounded the back, the sight of glass on the pavement slashed all inkling of hope.
Immediately, I began to take inventory and to my great surprise, it seemed that everything in the back, the luggage, the camera, the laptops, were all still in tact!! I couldn’t believe it…everything was still there! You wouldn’t imagine how relieved I was to find that all of our stuff was still in our possession. But then I went from being alarmed to feeling agitated as I wondered, why on earth did this clown bust our window out only to take nothing?
When Rach came out to survey the damage, she verified for me that thieves don’t break into cars just for the hell of it. As it turns out it was her purse that they had spied partially hidden beneath a baby blanket, and for these crooks, it had become the Catch Of The Day.
Ironically, earlier as we were driving slowly around the outdoor mall on our way to the Chuck E. Cheese, we had both acknowledged how nice we thought the area was – Rach even briefly posted to Facebook that she could even see herself living in Prince George County. And then some fool goes and breaks into our car, thus instantaneously nixing the idea of us ever residing there!
As it turns out it was a terrible score for these jive time criminals because there was nothing of value for them inside her purse…thank goodness. However for us, the break in turned into two weeks worth of heartache, headache, and a stressful load replacements and repairs.
Along with some brand new make up (that Rachael is still hot about), a checkbook, address book, and God only knows what else, Rach’s only car key was inside her bag – this of course was expensive to replace. We had to tow her car to the Volvo Dealership, so she was without a car for a couple of days.
Then, the company that we chose to fix the window on the van, broke the dang latch on the sliding door, so the door wouldn’t close. This turned into a week of back and forth with them, and with VW to determine the problem and who was at fault. Once they admitted (to themselves) that they had in fact broken the latch while replacing the glass, they agreed to pay the damages – but I was without a vehicle for two days while VW fixed the door.
Fortunately everything is now back to “normal” and as the old adage says – “what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.”
This whole affair truly served as a test of our patience and perseverance. We may have simply wanted to see a ball game, but life has a way of stepping in to remind us that “things” happen.
How we respond to these “things” is completely up to us – but it would behoove us to be mindful to remain calm, peaceful, and to have faith that all things work together for good, even in the mist of our issues and dramas.
It’s all a test to see how well we play the game, but if we lose our cool, we are only playing ourselves.