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On Sunny Lane: Extra Time

Well, Sweetheart and I embarked on our journey to Pittsburgh last weekend.

I programmed in lots of extra time, so we would have time to eat and find the location where we would see the performance of Shen Yun. Pittsburgh is unfamiliar territory for us, so we wanted to have lots of time to find it. Even though we use the services of our GPS, we can still get lost.

We stopped halfway to our destination for lunch. Since we were going to see a Chinese troupe, we thought it would be appropriate to eat at a Chinese restaurant. Trouble is we didn't see any along the main highway. So, we stopped at a Pittsburgh-based restaurant and had a Reuben.

It's a good thing I programmed in lots of extra time. Even though we found the theater, it took us half an hour to find the parking garage. Turns out it was half a block away and we had driven past it three times.

On the way home, we stopped in the same general area where we had eaten lunch to eat supper. We were only interested in soup and a salad, so we stopped at a chain restaurant that is known for that very thing.

And that is when the fun began.

There were only a few customers there at the time, so we wouldn't need to wait long to be served. However, there was a sign posted on the wall saying, "Skip the line. Order online."

There were kiosks nearby where I could do that very thing. I have ordered by using the kiosk at convenience stores, so I felt confident in my ordering ability. Besides, I had a loyalty card and a gift card to facilitate matters.

Upon further thought, however, I realized that they were both in my purse, which I had intentionally left at home. Given my track record of misplacing personal items, I thought it was a wise thing to do.

The first step to ordering on the kiosk was to enter my telephone number--which I did. The kiosk refused it.. Then I remembered that I had got a new phone number a couple of years ago, when I switched carriers. I entered my old number and I was good to go.

So, I keyed in our order and was ready to check out. The kiosk was not ready to check out. The screen refused to go to the checkout screen.

There was a young woman at one of the other kiosks who seemed to be breezing right through her order, so I asked for her assistance. She was only too happy to help.

The kiosk asked if I wanted to receive a text message when our order was ready. Well, I knew that there was a man in the community where I lived before I married Sweetheart, who now had my old number. I thought he would be terribly confused--and maybe upset--to get a text informing him that my order was ready, so I declined.

The next requirement was to enter my pager number. I didn't see any pager, so I asked the nice young lady for more help and she obliged. We did, eventually, get our food and, since we hadn't found a Chinese restaurant, we had an Asian citrus salad. It was delicious.

In this world, it is always a good thing to have extra time and friendly people.

I can't help but wonder, though, if that man back home got my text.


Dorothy is the author of two books—“Miles and Miracles” and “Getting It All Together “. You can purchase a book or make a comment by emailing her at

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