God isn’t finished with me yet
The sunbeam awaits
God isn’t finished with me yet
The sunbeam awaits
I left work a little late but before 5:00 – around 4:50. I knew enough not to leave at the top of the hour. Those that do, just sit in an endless line of cars waiting to get off the premises.
I was ahead of the game.
My reliable bomber Camry hummed down the street not wanting to sit in city traffic. I arrived at the railroad bridge fairly quickly so I could cut over to the highway. I liked this shortcut because the next entrance was too far into the city.
In front of the railroad bridge was a sign.
“Local Traffic Only”.
I didn’t exactly ignore it. I just rationalized how it didn’t apply to me:
I drove passed the sign, around the ballfield and in front of the condos, so I could turn left onto the highway.
As I approached I saw the blue lights. Cops in this neighborhood must have been the reason for the locals sign.
When I readied to turn left toward the Interstate, I saw the DPW roadblock. Suburbanites that cross into this neighborhood must have been the reason for the bigger sign.
I could see where I wanted to be but couldn’t get there. Worse yet, now I needed to go back into the city – after 5:00!
I was behind the eight ball.
I had to wait at the ballfield crossing. I stopped at the railroad bridge. I played stop-and-go down the country state highway with its multiple traffic lights. I got stuck in front of McDonald’s because their drive-thru lane was out into the street.
The highway is ten minutes from work. It took me forty-five to get there.
I’d been the first to start but couldn’t catch a good break.
…until I got some medium fries for the ride home.
In college I wrote a childhood story about a station wagon game appropriately named “smoosh your sister”. While Marsha Brady was taking her drivers test in the Bunch wagon, I was taking my sisters to task in the wagon crusher. It was a simple and competitive game to pass time. We invented it while our parents shopped for groceries.
That Saturday, that event, has stayed with me for 40 years. I suppose all near death experiences do. I stretched across the back seat and waited for my sister’s to put the collapsible back on top of me. They walked around the wagon, climbed in the back and sat on top of the folded-down seat. I remember telling them to keep adding weight. I wanted to be smooshed the most. I wanted to win.
Sometimes you get what you ask for…I remained smooshed until my Dad was found in the store to come rescue me. I felt my lungs being crushed at the same time I realized my yelling father couldn’t even see me.
He finally gasped, released me and pulled me out and into the open air.
We were all together, yet I was all alone.
I remembered the ordeal after a more recent smooshing. While my colleagues were still at the office, I was on my way back from the doctor’s office. It was the story of a lovely lady, that had just received her mammography. It’s a simple and recommended procedure – so you can hopefully pass more time in this life.
Yesterday, that scan, created another memory as I enter my 50th year. I slipped off my robe so I could hug the machine and waited for my technician. She walked around me, lifted up my boob and tightened it into a vice. I remember counting out the seconds. I wanted to be done in four pictures. I wanted out.
Sometimes your wishes don’t come true…my girls remained in their trap until she could take a fifth scan. I heard my boobs crying at the same time the technician told me to relax and “not move”. Trust me, you can’t.
I finally gasped, when she released me, and I took in some air.
I was soon all alone (removing stickers) but knew we were all in this together.
Continue reading Smooshed!
I literally had my life in my hands. Both hands were on the steering wheel but luckily had enough instinct to save me. I pulled into the local Asian restaurant and quickly paused at the entrance to decide if I should go straight and park in the back or turn left and park in front of the door.
My hands held tight to the wheel and decided not to turn. The driver of a parked vehicle looked left but not toward the entrance and backed toward me. He had no idea I was there.
I stopped altogether and decided to stay there until the driver realized he almost took me out along with his crab rangoon. I thought about what expression, or gesture, to give him once he attempted to exit alongside me.
He realigned his wheels, changed gears and looked up.
He moved toward my bitchy face just as I recognized his face.
I was suddenly in a much worse position than him. One of, if not THE, nicest guys in town. Genuine and sweet not just to me but our girls. Welcoming and interested not just in my husband but our entire family.
He recognized me right away and acknowledged my vehicle in a way only he could. He flashed his infectious smile and yelled out, “Hello darlin’!”
The stress of the day rolled off as I rolled my window further down to appropriately respond, “Hi sweetie!” I moved forward to now get out of his way.
“I’m so sorry. You know I love you.” I heard him yelling an apology as his vehicle moved toward the exit.
I drove to the rear of the lot screaming,”I love you too!”
It was a scream – literally and figuratively. We had the instincts to save each other from embarrassment before we died of it. I’ll always remember Kevin trying to take me out the day I went to get take out.
He was retired stock himself and loved talking about the good ‘ole days.
“Back then we didn’t junk our old stock cars. We honored them for all those extra years they held on to race,” my father-in-law explained passionately.
He went on to describe the events attended by an entire racing community. “It was a ceremony at a lot on the edge of town, not just a short tow to Jake’s salvage yard! We buried them Stonehedge-style and everyone added their personal spray paint tribute.”
Clearly, years ago, goodbyes were said with class.
Rochelle’s 100 word challenge.
If I wanted DVD’s or belt sanders, the third stop could have been a charm. It just wasn’t worth the time to go out of our way. However, we went over one more block and our arrival proved to be very timely. I bought an hour glass for $2.
After the side detour, we went to the local flea market before driving to the next town.
It was getting hot and I needed a drink of some sort.
I started out by buying an empty bottle. I spent $1 for one from our childhood:
We used to go to the soda factory to watch the conveyor belt. We’d also bring a case of soda home. They are a great memory and also resell at the local stores for $5 to $7. In other words, they help pay the rent.
I figured the empty mug I found would too. The store it advertises is very popular with the kids and is on The Vineyard:
We got back to the car and I downed a ginger ale my mother had packed in her cooler.
She opened a root beer for herself and we drove away…
…The root beer opened up on me when we turned a corner.
Evidently, cars didn’t have cupholders back in the day. My mother had put it on the floor. I shook off my foot and helped navigate to the next yard sale. When we turned left again, the sofa spilled a second time.
The car was literally a root beer float, my sandals were sticky, the floor mats were carbonated and it wasn’t charming.
As I listen to a movie in the background, I remember that my big brother had a Gran Torino when we were kids. Well, I was a kid. He was ten years older than me.
While Tao tried to steal Walt’s car in the movie, he didn’t succeed. Whoever stole my brother’s car was successful. My brother never saw it again. What I remember as a little girl though, was that he talked more about losing the golf clubs in the trunk than the car itself.
That car always needed so much fixin’, I think it was an albatross to him. The problem was, I think the golf clubs were too.