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A few weeks ago, I parked my car, went into a store, came out and could not find my car!

Ever happen to you? It makes one feel so stupid walking around in a parking lot with a beeper going full blast with no success. Just about the time I felt like crying, I physically turned around to find myself standing behind my car. Oh yes, that really happened.

Arriving at home, I did need a bit of sympathy, so I emailed my good friend in Kentucky. Explaining the situation to her, she understood and told me to take a deep breath and get over it. No feel sorry for Nola, just good advice. So I took a deep breath, felt better and life went on.

She also told me she had a story to share with me.

My friend is a horse owner/lover. She went out to the cross country competition for the Kentucky Rolex Three-Day Event which takes place at the Kentucky Horse Park. Since she could not stay for the whole day, she drove her own car, parking in the appointed place in a field which was being used as a parking area.

Cross country day was usually the largest day. There were more than 30,000 people there for the event. Can you imagine finding a parking space in that crowd? There were rows and rows of cars being parked. My friend had gotten there early enough to find an empty space by a big sycamore tree, thinking that would be a good place to park and easy to find when she got ready to leave.

She met some friends and walked around, watching different events and attending the trade fair — it was a good outing. Looking at her watch, she parted from her friends and headed to the parking area. She had walked around and through areas she couldn't even see the tree. She wrote to me that she wandered around looking for her car for about 40 minutes. After she was in the parking area in the hot sun for so long, a man and his wife noticed and offered to drive her around to help find her car.

"It was awful!" she wrote. "It taught me to put some sort of identifying mark on the highest point of my car so that I could find it more easily. Good grief! I laugh about it now, but it was disconcerting."

My sister Ginger's experience may top all the stories.

Ginger is the vice-president of the Quilts of Valor for the United States. This entails a good bit of travel for her. That particular day, she was traveling out of state to present with quilts to veterans. Her husband, Mike, says she has a nose like a Bloodhound when it comes to certain stores. She parks her car, uses the facilities and then does some shopping.

This particular day, she had made her purchases and was looking in her purse for the car keys as she was walking to the exit door. Not finding the keys, Ginger scooted down a wall and dumped her purse onto the floor. You see, she was driving a rental and had no spare key. She was still a good ways from her destination and getting concerned. Some other shoppers walking by offered to help while most of them went their ways staring at Ginger and her situation. To those offering help, she assured them she was just looking for the car key and would be fine.

Now you have to know my sister is a peacemaker of problems and does not get frazzled. Somehow, she manages to work her way through whatever needs fixing with out losing her cool. Her motto is "It's OK. We will figure this out. So don't lose your cool."

Now, she was almost on the edge of crying because the car was not theirs, and if it could not be found, how were they going to pay for a new car, let alone missing her appointment? So she called her husband, Mike, who was at home in Tennessee. His suggestion was for her to calm down, to find a car the same color and model and things would be fine.

Remember that I told you she how patient she is. She was on the verge of tears with this whole thing. Her reply to Mike went like this: "DO YOU KNOW HOW MANY WHITE CARS THERE ARE ON THIS PARKING LOT?"

In the end, all worked out, and that is the end of my stories for today.

Try this recipe if you need something to help you cool down. It is from the P.E.O. Recipe Book, Chapter DY, Fulton. 1950, from the late Mrs. Hugo Harrod.

Williamsburg Fruit Punch

2 cups lemon juice (strained)

2 cups sugar

1 quart raspberry juice or fresh 4 cups orange juice (strained)

2 cups water

2 cups strong tea

1 quart ginger ale

Mix tea, fruit juices and sugar. Chill. Just before serving, add ginger ale and pour over large pieces of ice in punch bowl. Makes 2 gallons.

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