Girl Scout Drop Off Day brought us many blessings.  It enabled us to provide the gift of a binky to over 1200 children.  But the binkies has to get from here to there somehow and then to another place before they got to the recipients.  Roland Berndt is our Publicity Director, Carolyn Berndts’s sweet husband. Please read his tale of an afternoon of volunteering for Binky Patrol.   Roland has a great sense of humor and story telling.  He is such a great husband and father — read his funny take on volunteering and you’ll see why we all love him.

It started as just another cinco de Mayo, but the day ended with one of the most amazing feats ever accomplished.  This day would have never been possible, had it not been for previous circumstances orchestrated by my lovely trophy wife (if any of you have seen Carolyn, you’d know this is true!  She’s VERY pretty inside and out).  On the Friday prior, I was summoned to meet my wife at the Girl Scout’s HQ in downtown, Costa Mesa.  Mimi, the scout master, was not working on Friday, so my trip was in vain.  I did gather the courage and volunteered to make a “binky” pick up a la SOLO on Monday, May 5.  This is where the odyssey begins.       

It was partly cloudy, yet pleasant.  The air hung heavy with the sweet smell of spring flowers and car exhaust.  While most people were thinking about celebrating Mexican independence by having a Tecate and tortillas……no no, not me.  Lunchless, I moved forward.  Truthfully, I was some what nervous knowing the importance of my mission.  I did not know what to expect…..girl scouts make me nervous.  As I entered the office, there was no one there to greet me.  How ever, after my own extensive search, I encountered Mimi.  She referred to me as “Mr. Carolyn”.  I accepted the acknowledgement.  There were no chocolate chip, shortbread or Samoans on a plate for me to sample.  As 3(three) women escorted me to the great storage shed, they could only speak of how many binkies there were.  As the doors swung open, there were giant black bags, medium long white bags, rolly-polly round bags, small kitchen plastic bags and even the rogue loose blankies.  The wall of binky bags came tumbling out as the SUV started to fill.  Every bit of space was taken….binkys stacked from ceiling to floor.  The rear view mirror was rendered useless as binkys were so tightly packed, there was barely room for a driver.  After packing an overloaded load, there were still 4 huge bags remaining.  My only move was to come back later.  The girl scouts agreed.

As the vehicle careened out of the parking lot, a nervous sweat beaded on my large forehead, knowing that I was driving with an overloaded payload that could be ticketed by officers representing the HEAT.  I proceeded nervously on my journey back to All American Mini Storage knowing the law could ticket or even harass me due to the over sized load.  Finally, I arrived without incidence.  I parked the car.     

Now came the real challenge.  The transport cart was about 5 feet by 2.5 feet wide with no guard rails…no protection.  As I opened the back of the cargo carrier, binky bags from the top came tumbling out.  I knew I was in for a challenge.  Slippery odd shaped plastic bags would need to be stacked for the trip on the cart to the elevator and on to storage unit 366B….on the second floor?  I knew that the cart would have to stacked very carefully.  It was obvious that the largest black hefty-type bags would stack best since they were so large.  Load # 1 had lots of promise.  The load was stacked in a stair step method.  The asphalt in the parking lot was a bit bumpy and slightly sloped for drainage.  Unfortunately, the cart was listing slightly due to the slope.  I made it out of the parking lot and into the elevator.  It was there where load # 1 collapsed.  As the elevator hit level 2, the restack began.  I sprinted down the hallway with cart in tow, but a side blowout of a medium white bag led to another collapse. 

Finally, sweet mother nectar, the storage room….fairly empty for now.  Load # 2 seemed to be going well.  I had made it in and out of the elevator unfettered.  As the cart pushed on down the hall…..a front blowout with several bags falling in front of the cart immediately stopping progress. 

 Load # 3 started as a good stack with black and white bags intertwined… my tightest stack yet.  How ever, the momentum of the turn out of the elevator caused plastic to plastic contact and a collapse. 

Load # 4, another momentum blowout. 

Load # 5 was not looking good.  I did not have very many good bags to deal with, mostly odd shapes.  I just figured I would be picking up bags at some point with the geometrically distressed load.  As I loaded into the elevator, I thought it was a miracle that I had made it so far.  I came out of the elevator gingerly hoping that the plastic to plastic friction would not make me lose my fifth load in a row.  I sprinted down the hall with one hand over the top keeping a generous amount of pressure on the load.  As I rounded the last corner, it appeared I was going to make it….only 10 yards to go.  As tears blended with sweat, I realized I made it.  My hands raised into the air as to signal a superbowl touchdown.  If there were a crowd, certainly there would have been cheering, a victory celebration.  The crowd chanting Load # 5, Load # 5 , Load # 5.  As I stuffed the storage room even fuller, I could only bask in my own glory. 

While most people were celebrating Mexican independence, I was celebrating possibly the greatest victory of all…..Load # 5.  While load # 6 also made an arrival without incidence, I had to be mindful that it was only a 60% load as it was the last load for that trip.  But I was confident with load # 6, knowing that # 5 had made it in with mostly wimpy white bags, # 6 load was loaded with fat rolly-polly bags….some of the toughest to transport. 

After 1.5 hours, 2 trips and 7 total cartloads, I felt very relieved.  Load # 5 was the crowning moment.  After such a day, I now have some credit built up with my woman as her crazy in-laws are coming to town for five fun filled days.  As she approaches every hurdle with the folks, she should keep in mind that all of us must face the music at some point, but always remember that load # 5’s are not only a dream, but possible.