I Did Not Want to Pop Corn! Tim, where is the money box?

I hesitated to share this story, battling with what to title it as. The words, 'How stupid' could be in it, or, 'Amazing.'  For sure, 'An answer to Prayer,'  maybe, 'Incredible!' or, 'Old and Forgetful.' 

I will let you decide. 

It was going to be a very busy week. 

Wednesday morning we were at the Flea Market. Thursday evening the first Harvest Market for the month of October was starting. Friday, Tim would be at his 'road side' spot all day, but only after we got up early that morning to pop 110 bags for a wedding, and finally, our first Saturday at Justus Orchard for the month of October. 

Believe me, lists were made and checked! We were ready! 

Thursday afternoon, Tim came home from work early to get loaded up for the Harvest Market in Traveler's Rest. It was a perfect evening, along with a full Harvest Moon that would be happening they said! We took off, wanting to get there early, because we were going to be right beside the Noodle Lady food truck, and believe me, there is an immediate line that forms for that delicious food! And, lines are helpful for us, even though its for others, because we have popcorn, and while they wait, they smell us and we benefit! 

(The Noodle Lady, a husband and wife team become friends of ours, having met them when we were both at the Summer Evening Concert's last year at the park. Tim follows them on Instagram to see where they happen to be on a given night. We will drive 40 min sometimes to a neighborhood where they are parked, serving up their yummy stuff. That is how much we love it! By the way, this Covid virus has been such a boost for the food trucks. People couldn't go out to eat at first, and some are still nervous about it, so they ask the food trucks to come to their neighborhood and it has been a life saver for the food trucks, since festivals and other events have been canceled. Sorry, I went on a bunny trail!) 

We arrive at the park early, feeling very on top of the situation, to get started and pop ahead before The Noodle Lady arrived. Last Saturday at the Farmer's Market, Justus Orchard was set up beside us with apples and their famous Cider Donuts and Cider Slushies, also causing a very long line right in front of us, which was good, people like to munch on popcorn while they wait. We could not keep our counter full of popped bags! We did NOT want that to happen again. We wanted to be ready!

We were now all set up, Tim was just ready to pop. The last thing I usually bring from the truck is the money box. I looked in the truck and it was not there. I checked the drawer in the serving counter, thinking Tim may have already put it in,,, and it wasn't there either! 

Me: Tim, where is the money box? (relatively calm yet)

Tim: I don't know, you put it in the truck. 

Me: I don't think so. You did! (a little excited by now)

We went back and forth for a bit and all at once it didn't matter, we needed it! I had probably left it sit on the dryer where I sat it down when I realized it wasn't locked and couldn't carry it by the handle, my hands loaded down with other paraphernalia. Tim said he locked it for me and thought I carried it out. I had no recollection of carrying it out at all.

A stinger of despair flashed through me. This is not good!

I quickly called Shana who was bringing Hunter out at 5:30 to help us for the evening, asking if she could swing by our house and bring the money box. 'It's either on the dryer or somewhere in the garage where one of us set it down and totally forgot about it!' She said she will leave right away.

We popped two batches. About 15 minutes later Shana called and said, 'Mom, it was not on the dryer or in the garage,, we looked everywhere in your house, it is not there!' 

The phone against my ear suddenly started shaking, my mouth flew open. All at once I knew exactly where the money box was! 

Probably in a ditch beside the road! 

On our hurry to get to the Market, about 4  miles from home, we had to wait at an intersection while big trucks in middle of the road were cutting down trees. I remembered the spot because we were getting antsy waiting! After all we had to beat the Noodle Lady to the Market! 

We finally got cleared to go and about an 1/8th of a mile from there I heard a loud noise, and me always 'aware' of any sound when we are pulling the trailer, immediately looked in the rear view mirror.

(I'm always afraid of the side door flying open, a tire blowing, you know, things a good wife will think about, but Tim always says, 'Mary, I have pulled a trailer for a 100 years! Those sounds are normal.' Hard for me to believe, so my first instinct is to look in the rearview mirror to make sure the trailer is still hooked on and nothing is the matter! lol)

I saw bits of paper flying through the air, down by the trailers tire. I said to Tim at the time, kind of laughing, 'you must have hit a bag with paper in it or something, stuff is flying through the air!'

No bells or whistles went off in my head, no 'ding ding ding' was heard! I remember thinking, 'that looks like money' but it was of no concern to me, we were on our way to the Market. We needed to get there before the Noodle Lady!

Back to my phone conversation with Shana, 'Are you past that intersection on Center Rd and Thurston?' She was just coming up to it. I told her where I heard the noise, saw paper (now knowing it was $$) flying around. The sound I heard was the money box falling off the back of the truck, where I must have placed it on the black leather cover on the truck bed, to free a hand so I could open the door when loading up.

Can you believe! 

Her and Hunter drove slowly through that area, not knowing where exactly it would have been. Luckily it is a back road, few cars and hopefully no one else had found it already! Both of them looking as they drove saw nothing. Shana was also in a hurry, because she had to get back to drive Tanner to his football game. Not finding anything, she told Hunter they will turn around and go back over that area again, just hoping to find something.

 Thank God she did, because one of them saw what looked like a paper and getting out to check, sure enough, it was money! This was the area! They looked some more along the grassy ditch with a woods beyond. They found the money box, a lot of the money and even one of the two squares we have for sales, the chip reader! She called me, very excited, as I heard Hunter in the background having a fit that they even found it, on a road, in a ditch, and not even knowing where the exact spot was! Thank you God! 

Hunter arrived at the Market. We counted the 'found money' and there was $100.00 of the $140.00 I always have in there to start our sales! We were so happy and grateful that Shana and Hunter had such a successful treasure hunt! 

The time was a bit after 5:30 starting time, and yes, the Noodle Lady's line was now at least 50 people deep in a semi circle and with social distancing, stretched way out past us. Our smell wafted out over them, making it irresistable to not get Kettlecorn. But, we could not keep up! We even had a line at times! We popped and popped, our counter just didn't stay full! I know, that is a good thing, but had we started off like we wanted to, minus the 'money box incident' we could have done it! Ugh! Lesson learned! 

Finally at the end of the evening, as Tim was bemoaning the fact that we didn't even have a chance to order his favorite meal from the Noodle Lady, low and behold, they brought us the left overs and Tim and Hunter started chowing down.

He brought a second box with shrimp in those noodles and then two more bowls with pepper steak.

Oh. So. Good! Probably especially good after the foodless evening we had, because we were too busy. Usually, the Boova like to go in search of the food they want, a rodeo of food trucks are parked in a circle around the Vender Barn, making for a large assortment of choices. 

Actually, I love it too, as do the 100s of people who come out to shop and then spread their blankets on the large lawn and eat their food and listen to the musicians hired for the evening.

Oh, and on this night, the full Harvest Moon was shinning down on the whole thing! 

We went home, tired, and ate some more food, knowing that the next morning, Mr. Sommers and I would go out to the ditch beside the road and look again. Tim, for the $40.00 still missing, and me, for the 2nd square, the card reader that I was bent on finding! 

Shana was smart and got the address where they found the box, and google earth gave her a picture of the house across from the 'ditch' so we could drive right to the spot. Tim found some money immediately, and then crossed the road to a 'mowed ditch' where he found $28.00 more wet dollars. 

I stayed on the side of the road where the box fell, thinking the white card reader would not have blown across the road. 

This is my favorite part! I was bent over, looking and looking. I prayed, asking God to just let me find that card reader! That little thing isn't even an inch square, how would I find it in this grassy ditchy mess? Not even a minute after I prayed that, didn't my eyes fall on something white in the grass, right up against the road!

'I found the card reader!' I shouted. I was elated.

You know, God cares about the little things for us too! I had carelessly placed that box for its eventual fall from the truck, and thank you God, we got most of it back!

I think the money box will now be handled with extra care! 

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