We may never travel again. (that's probably not true...but here's why we'd give it a thought):
Benny booked a flight to Phoenix at Christmas-time to do some recruiting at a tournament out there, and to see his family (including his sweet baby niece who was born in July). His flight was scheduled for 3:30pm yesterday afternoon out of the Weyers Cave airport, so he left the house at 2pm in plenty of time to get checked in at this small airport.
But, at around 4pm, Benny walked through the front door. His flight had been canceled (his plane was stuck in DC), and after about an hour on the phone with the airline customer service, they got another flight for him Friday morning out of Weyers Cave. He was disappointed to miss a day of recruiting, but we were thankful to have him home again.
So this morning, he woke up at 3:45am and drove to the airport. When he walked in, he knew that something wasn't right...again. His airplane was having "maintenance" issues, so the flight had been cancelled. He was able to get a new flight that would leave out of Charlottesville at 10:40am, connect in Dulles, then to Chicago and then to Phoenix. I was watching the status of his flight online, and just as he was arriving at the airport in Charlottesville, I saw that that flight had been cancelled as well. He called the airline and told him that he was just going to drive to Dulles, and verified that his seat wouldn't be given away. So...off he drove to D.C.
Meanwhile, back in Bridgewater, the boys and I were having a nice morning. I woke them up, had breakfast, went to the library, and then went to Walmart for our weekly shopping trip. As we were pulling into Walmart, Benny called and said he was sitting at the gate at Dulles. He had his ticket and it looked like the plane would be taking off on time. Whew. Finally!
But wait...there's more.
I made it into Walmart with the two boys, their winter coats, my purse, a diaper bag, and our canvas shopping bags. Alex decided he wanted to sit in the giant shopping cart with the big blue seats (something we hadn't done in over a year), so I buckled him in, arranged all of our things, called out all of my "reminders" (stay close to the cart, no whining, have a good attitude, etc.), handed out snacks, and we were on our way. The boys were doing great... we went to the toiletry section, then walked back to look at the fish, and were on our way to the drink isle when Andrew asked if I had any more snacks. Of course I did! This mom was prepared! I went to look into my purse to get the second round of snacks out when....I COULDN'T FIND MY PURSE. I searched all around the cart, and tried to stay calm. We walked to the front of the store and I pulled all of our stuff and Alex out of the cart and we walked out to the car so I could be sure I hadn't left it in there. Nope. So we went back in and found an employee at customer service to help me. We walked through my path through the store in case it had fallen out of the cart...no luck. So, the employee found a security guard who said he was going to walk through the store and look for it.
I called Benny and asked him to cancel our debit card. He wanted to know if he should just come home, but we decided we'd wait to see what this security guard said. I called my wonderful friend Ann, and she was on her way to pick us up (my keys were in my purse so we had no way home.) 30 minutes later, a woman told me that the guard had walked through the store 3 times, that he hadn't found it, and that I'd have to follow up with the police. I called the police department, and they were sending an officer over to meet me at Walmart.
Sweet Ann arrived, and she told me to go ahead and get my groceries and that she'd pay for them for me. (We have really incredible friends who are really like family.) I grabbed some granola bars and oranges to feed to the boys for lunch. The officer arrived, we spoke, and he went to talk to the security guards. As we finished checking out, the officer said he was going to have to come back later that afternoon to look through the surveillance videos. We loaded up in Ann's car and headed back home.
Benny decided that he was going to come home, and I was really thankful. These criminals had our address, keys to both vehicles and the house, so he wanted to come back to help me sort everything out. I spent the next 3 hours on the phone with various people...getting the locks on our door and cars changed, cancelling and replacing cards, etc.
I got a call from the officer at 3pm and he said my purse had indeed been stolen (he saw it happen on the video surveillance). I asked him where it happened in the store, and he said, "I don't want to tell you that because I don't want to scare you. The good news is that you're ok and your kids are ok." Yikes. I didn't know what that meant, but I tried not to think about it.
Benny came home and we kept making calls.
Then, at around 4pm the officer called back. They found my purse and had two people in custody! I was elated!! I told the officer he was "such a good crime buster" and thanked him over and over. He said I hadn't been the only victim that day. I will eventually get my purse back, but it's being detained to be processed for evidence.
Oh. My. Stars.