I just picked up a whole set of Junior Edition encyclopedias, and an accompanying set of atlases from a freecycler in Des Moines. Yay! I can't say enough good things about freecycle. I've gotten rid of some books and random household stuff through freecycle, and have picked up some huge finds. Freecycle kicks butt.
And speaking of BUT, I had a hell of a time finding this place this afternoon. I was driving on fumes and hoping I had enough gas to get home again, becoming more and more worried about it the longer I spent driving around. Then, to top it all off, I got lost on the way home again.
There are not many places I can get truly lost in Des Moines. Usually I know that even though I'm not familiar with the road I'm driving on, if I keep going North (or West, or whatever) long enough, I'm bound to find a street that I do recognize. Not the case this time. This time, every street I took ended in a roadblock, an accident, a parking lot or a construction site. I was doing really good at not swearing at first, but the longer I drove around, and turned around, the more (and louder) cursing I did. I tried to get on the freeway going East, but because of an accident, all lines of traffic except one were blocked off - the one left open being the entrance to the freeway going West. At this point, I was so flustered I didn't even notice I was going the wrong way for several exits. Ugh. By the time I got home, I was a complete wreck.
It's kind of a dirty little secret of mine that I'm terrified of heavy traffic. I'm not frozen with fear or anything, but I'd rather drive 30 miles out of the way than drive down one street with heavy traffic. When Vic flew to Japan, he flew out of St. Louis and I saw him off alone. That meant I had to drive home again alone. Twelve lanes of heavy traffic, it was a nightmare. I cried until I got back on a good old two-lane highway. Today, the directions to this pickup were from the freeway. I sucked it up and took it, the same way I do when I go to the hospital, or anywhere else downtown. But I didn't like it. This getting lost thing just really frazzled me.