We made it to the hotel in Monroe around 10 pm with a very wound up little girl. She had slept most of the way in the car and was really excited to be in the room where she could crawl around and climb on things without us trying to wrangle her. So, we were up pretty late. I don’ t think my sweet husband did a lot of research on the hotel we stayed in though because that night we realized there were train tracks right outside and man are those trains loud. Between sleeping in a hotel bed with a one year old, a very pregnant belly with a very active baby boy, and that freakin’ train, I got no sleep. Oh well. Up at 6 am to get ready for our big day in Monroe!
We all ate breakfast in the hotel real quick before taking Devin to the course to meet with his potential boss around 8am. Rylea and I dropped Devin off and then we drove around for a bit to check out the town and then made our way back to the hotel to wait for Devin to call us to come and get him so we could go see some potential places to live. Devin called us around 10 am but I was on the phone with a realtor and didn’t switch the phone over to take his call so I just started making my way out to the car to pick him up. He was actually standing in the parking lot with the general manager of the course because they came to pick us girls up to go out and see some places. So, we did that and saw one not so good house and then one really nice house (for less than we would pay in Naples in rent of course), and then we were out on our own for the rest of the day. That’s when we decided to go to Walmart and get a new diaper bag because the one I was using was about to bust at the seams.
Now let me give you a little background. The actual city of Monroe is about 60% black and 40% white. Which is no big deal to us really. The people directly in the city are definately struggling. They are what I would call poor, and are not very fortunate in that area. The crime rates are a little higher, and I guess it’s gotten a little worse there since the economy tanked. But, if you go a little outside the city, the houses are absolutely beautiful and you just get that southern charm feeling everywhere you go. It was great. So, we ventured into the Walmart which is in the city in a pretty poor neighborhood. We weren’t prepared. Besides being 1 of maybe 4 families of white people. I think we were 1 of 4 families who were wearing shoes. No kidding. People were mainly either barefoot or wearing slippers or just socks. That was really odd. But, I have to say, whether they were wearing shoes or not, those people were the friendliest people Devin and I have ever met in our lives. Everyone stopped to make conversation with us and offer to help us do something. All the people that worked in Walmart were smiling with a “hello” to go along with it. It was really refeshing. Another thing we noticed is the constant “Yes ma’ams” and “Yes sirs” that we got wherever we went. People were just insanely polite.
After getting in the car and leaving Walmart Devin and I reflected on what we had just experienced. You know, we really struggle here in Naples financially being that I stay home now and being that we really want to do what the Lord wants us to do, and we have had some pretty rough patches. But, we still have so much more than the majority of people in that Walmart on Friday, and we have nothing to feel sorry for ourselves about. I think the Lord really used that time to put it in perspective for us. I’d gladly be where I am now than switch places with someone who doesn’t even have shoes to put on their feet to make it to the store. I think a lot of people there are really missing the Lord and I would love to have been able to stay longer and hear some people’s stories and share Him with them.
Well, Friday was coming to a close and we still hadn’t heard about our car seat so I made a bunch of calls and got online to figure out that they still didn’t know where it was, and we made sure they we put the airline on high alert because we couldn’t go home without it. This is the car seat that my dad got Rylea for her birthday. You know those Graco 3 in one convertible ones. Yeah, they’re like $180. Perfect thing to lose. So anyway, they FINALLY found it and said it would be in the Jackson airport late Friday nighth and they could deliver it to the hotel. I told them to hold it in the airport and we would pick it up around 9 am when we made our way back to fly back here to Naples. So a really nice man gave me his cell phone number and said he would keep track of the seat for us until we came into the airport. Then we called him on his phone and he hand delivered our seat to us at the ticket counter. I was really fed up with the airline at this point, but this man was so nice and took great care of it for us, so I felt a little better about the people that work for USAirways. He pretty much redeemed the airline from getting a really unhappy letter from the DeWitt family.
So, we were on our way back home with a lot to talk about. And a big decision to make…