Moving from small town to big city involves lots of change and demands a certain amount of both perseverance and patience. There’s more traffic. Surroundings are less familiar. Some of the challenges that come with big city life do become much easier over time. But I’ve found that one thing remains ever-present, always lurking, even tempting, on occasion, to steal my adventurous joy.
Where Did I Park My Car?
I birthed and diapered the bottoms of three babies, my friend.
Then, I made sure they were fed and clothed for a collective 28 years.
I have pulled a camper behind my Suburban all by myself!
I’ve helped shampoo show pigs and mucked out a couple horse stalls.
Even messier than that, I’ve trudged through some exhausting and muddy obstacle courses. Otherwise known as raising teenagers.
Let’s just say, I’ve done some stuff.
I’ve lived some life.
I have earned a few stripes.
But sometimes I flat can’t find where I parked my car.
It’s a Pesky Question
Many times, I try to blame this dilemma on my cell phone.
After all, studies have shown that talking on a cell phone while pulling into a crowded lot can render a person less able to recall the location of his parked car than the man in the moon.
And while finding a parked white Lexus with all black wheels in a crowded lot is definitely a first-world problem, it does happen.
Once, when parking in a large garage in downtown Austin, I determined to set myself up for success by taking a picture of my parked car.
Aha! No way could I lose my car now.
But, when I returned to the seventh floor, right where I had left my car, it was absolutely nowhere to be found.
Uh-oh. Now what?
If not here, then where did I park my car?
Is it Genetic?
Usually at this juncture is when I begin to berate myself with negative self-talk.
You can’t help it, Hon.
Remember, your mom had the same disease. Shoot, she probably spent two or three years looking for her car, and she never even lived in a big city!
You just got the same ishuh. It’s probably a matter of genetics.
Face the facts. It’s in your genes, and the struggle is real, Sista.
Maybe you can relate?
The Big Fix
Since my hubby and I began living the empty-nester big city life that we now LOVE, I’ve searched for my car many times in huge parking garages and sprawling parking lots.
I’ve hunted for it on dimly-lit residential streets and in neatly designed diagonal spaces of bustling shopping centers.
Even locating my parked car at our big city Baptist church can be a chore.
Credit (or fault) surely must be placed upon my genetic predisposition, at least to some extent.
However, on the other hand, my man and I both grew up in the Texas panhandle, which is six hours away from the nearest metropolis. We simply didn’t know what we didn’t know about the challenging parts of big city life.
That is, until we made an adventurous midlife move.
One city was big, but the next was even bigger!
What fun we’ve had! Mike and I are extremely grateful God saw fit to set our feet on this path. Together, we’ve learned to navigate our way through, and we’re loving every minute of our empty nest adventures.
When it comes to searching for a parked car?
Ain’t nobody got time for dat!
7 Helpful Tips for Easily Finding Your Parked Car
Here are a few tips to keep track of your parked car – one of the biggest challenges of big city life.
- Make every attempt to park near an identifying post. Take photos of your vehicle and its position to the post or marker.
- Use the beeping function on your key fob when searching.
- Make note (or take a photo) of the closest entrance/exit into the building from your parked car.
- Speak a few cues out loud for an additional method of recall.
- Don’t be on your phone when you park.
- Establish parking habits, like always parking near the cart return.
- Keep the hope alive! Pray for direction and think positive thoughts.
Keep the Hope Alive
When I “lost” my car in that big downtown Austin parking garage, God sent an angel to help me find it.
His name was Cornelius.
And I’ll never forget his comforting words.
Don’t get the wrong idea. My emotions were intact, but the fact that I had walked up and down several winding floors of that garage was simply working on my ever-loving last nerve. I was confident that I had parked on the 7th floor of that garage, but my car was simply no longer there.
That’s when I found Cornelius at the security desk in the building’s first floor lobby.
And that’s when he did something so smart. So kind. Utterly compassionate.
He spoke a soothing balm over my I’m-so-embarrassed-it’s-probably-been-stolen-or-towed-and-will-cost-$327-to-get-it-back self.
Now, we aren’t going to get beside ourselves,” Cornelius said. We will find your car. This happens all the time, and we always find it.
And then he inspired me to follow his lead.
We’re just gonna keep the hope alive, ok? That’s what we’re gonna do. We’re just gonna keep the hope alive. Say it with me, now.
A few minutes later, Cornelius had located my car and explained why it had been such a difficult task for me to accomplish.
Turns out, there were two identical sides of that parking garage. I had been searching on the wrong side!
If a car was parked on the east side, but its owner entered from the west elevator, never were the twain gonna meet.
Without the help of an angel named Cornelius, that is.
Have you ever searched for your car so long, you were convinced it must be stolen?
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