Light Notes

Lost in the parking garage

SPOKANE — If memory serves me, there’s a rule somewhere — maybe in the well-worn pages of a Boy Scout Handbook — about what to do when embarking on new territory.

As I remember — at least I think I remember — it says you should always stay together. That way, if one member of the party becomes disoriented, befuddled or has an attack of stupidity, the group can pool their brains.

Unfortunately, our gene pool was empty the other day when we drove into a dimly-lit Spokane shopping mall parking garage.

My excuse was that I was playing “This little piggy went to market” with our great-grandbaby as we whizzed into our parking spot.

My husband, Bill, on the other hand, was literally weeping with excitement about shopping at Nordstrom's — not to mention the distraction of blurred vision.

Daughter Tiffany, who always has great jeans, had driven her own car to the mall as a safety measure since she had to soon pick up her son from school. If something should go wrong — she’s traveled with her parents before — she had Plan B.

We parked across the aisle from each other in the multi-level garage, wheeled the baby-stroller across the dark asphalt and rushed inside the brightly-lit mall.

Our mission was to lead our visiting granddaughter-in-law, Jessica, on a quick guided tour of the shops and then catch an outside glimpse of the Spokane River.

Later, with only minutes to spare before Luke would be dismissed from class, our entourage raced to the prepay booth inside the mall. Bill arrived first and then waved Jessica and me to the elevator.

“Just hold the door!” he shouted. “I’ll make sure Tiffany catches up,” as he ran back to assist.

While Jessica and I were adjusting the stroller inside the elevator, in stepped another rider who pushed the “up” button — and away we went. But while we were heading up.and then back down, the rest of the gang was already on their way up.

We reversed our elevator car. But on which floor was our vehicle parked? Was it the pink, green, or yellow level?

Anxious and weary, Jessica, baby and I finally arrived at our parking spot.

“Where’s your Dad?” I yelled across the way to Tiffany who sat in her car, ready to roll.

“He went to look for you,” she hollered as she held her cell phone to her ear. “But he forgot which level we’re parked on,” a grin crossing her face. “I’m talking him back to the car.

What a scout — always prepared!

And I’ll bet she even remembers the rule: Stay together.