Pulling a camper is like being followed by a shadow that’s gained 2,000 pounds.
Sure, I’ve spelled my husband en route to nearby campgrounds. When straight roads send him to Lullaby Land, I save our lives by driving short stretches on state highways.
But brave roaring, dragon-like semis on interstates? Motorcycles whipping in and out of lanes at Star Wars speeds? Han Solo, I’m not.
Especially as the rearview mirror is rendered useless.
My husband installed extended mirrors. However, they warn that reflected objects are closer than they appear.
That’s nice. Even humble, and I admire humility. But sorry, nice mirrors, when changing lanes, I want accuracy. And if up-close-and-personal encounters with construction barrels throw you off, I really don’t need views up my nostrils.
Especially when parking. We often need to stop for gas, food, and/or restrooms. Those paltry reasons pale, however, as we focus on more profound questions: Will we find a place to park the camper? Afterward, can we get out?
Once, as I contorted truck and camper in my 100th effort to leave a convenience store, Hubby lost all hope. “Will we spend the rest of our lives behind Kwickie Mart?”
Not exactly the retirement we’d envisioned.
I tried to console him: “Living on Little Debbie® cakes and beef jerky wouldn’t be so bad.”
My attempts scared traffic to a dead stop. A hundred yards away.
Thus, we finally left Kwickie Mart.
Hauling a camper never bores us. Once, while I was driving down South, purple-cloud giants charged us. They spit lightning and smothered us with avalanches of rain that drowned car taillights ahead. If I had risked pulling over, my flashers would have disappeared, blown out like candles.
Did I slow down? Not much. Storm or no storm, drivers who never drive less than 85 mph — on roads, shoulders and in parking lots — can be found everywhere. Even in easygoing Mississippi.
My prayer life shot up several notches.
Hubby’s, already flourishing, set new records.
Jesus took the wheel.
Afterward, when He had guided us to sunshine, Hubby tried to talk Jesus into taking all my shifts.
He smiled and said, no, we needed to grow in faith. Together.
Though Hubby still had theological doubts about Kwickie Mart experiences, and I struggled with mirror-nostril crises, we indeed have learned to depend on Jesus and each other. With His help, we and our 2,000-pound shadow return home, safe and sound.
We will hit the interstate again soon.
It’s only fair I give other drivers advance warning: Look out, I’ll be pulling a camper!
Prepare to grow in faith.
Your Extraordinary Ordinary: Have you ever pulled a camper? Driven an RV?
Sunday, when I worship Christ with His family and grow in my faith, is my favorite day of the week. However, even a confirmed church lady occasionally experiences a Sunday that makes her wish it was Monday.
Those tough Sundays happened more frequently during my years as a church music director.
One unholy morning, my pastor met me at the door. He’d changed his sermon topic on the way to church. Would I please restructure the service in five minutes? Thank you.
Half the choir music had disappeared. Who steals church choir music?
The regular accompanist had left on vacation. Our substitute struggled, but she played loud to make up for it. During practice, I sneaked a signal to our young sound man, Dylan. Turn the piano down.
I fastened a microphone to my lapel and hung its little black box on my waistband. Dylan usually did a good job, but this morning, the sound system hated us both. After squawking and squeaking sound checks, I quickly made a restroom stop before heading downstairs to warm up the choir. Without warning, the microphone leaped from my lapel and dove into the toilet, followed by the clunk of the little black box.
I screamed, clearing the restroom of primping churchgoers.
Did I really have to fish the mic out of the toilet?
Its green power light no longer shone. I wiped the microphone with a dampened paper towel, then tried to dry it. As I headed to the sound booth, I pasted on a toothpaste-ad smile and avoided shaking hands.
Dylan was also a church board member. What could I say?
In a microsecond, I evaluated my fib files. None came close to explaining this.
I held out the still-damp, $200 device. “Dylan, I dropped the mic in the toilet. I’m sorry.”
He stared, then whipped around to test a second mic. “Hurry! Service starts soon.”
No threats of dragging me before the Inquisition. Or the budget committee.
The little green light on this second mic shone like a candle of compassion. I rewired myself, incredulous at his forbearance.
Decades later, I remember that complicated Sunday, when I wished with all my heart it was Monday.
Thanks to a fellow Christian’s maturity, not so unholy, after all.
Your Extraordinary Ordinary: Have you ever experienced a complicated Sunday?
T-ball, the kiddie variation of baseball, didn’t exist when my husband and I were kids. Instead, we played neighborhood softball. I discovered my talent for missing flies. Hubby learned to hit the ball — when new eyeglasses revealed its existence.
Thank goodness, our five-year-old started his baseball career with T-ball and a caring coach.
Most of the team managed to hit the ball, yet challenges abounded. Four-year-olds who had not learned to count demanded seven strikes. Batters chopped as if cutting wood. The tee, instead of the ball, flew into the air. Confused fielders stared. Were they were supposed to catch and throw this thing to first base? Napping outfielders found a hurtling ball a nuisance. One future ballerina at shortstop practiced pliés as it whizzed past.
Though everyone wanted to tag the batter out. Can you say, “gang tackle”?
Eventually, our son left T-ball behind for competition in which nobody took naps. Nobody practiced pliés.
Where was the fun in that? While I celebrated his Little League team’s championship, I missed T-ball’s creativity.
Fast-forward three decades. Again ripe with sunblock, bug spray and pride, I anticipated another T-ball game.
He joined a flock of pint-sized ballplayers wearing shirts that reached their knees, shorts that reached ankles, and hats that reached noses. Fielders lifted mitts half their body weights. Our son, the assistant coach (aka crowd-controller) walked players to positions, as some might get lost. He and the head coach demonstrated catching, throwing and hitting.
T-ball, like everything else, had become educational. That’s good.
My heart warmed, though, when an outfielder picked daisies. This pitcher jitterbugged rather than doing pliés, consumed with the joy of playing. The brave assistant coach refereed fielder pileups.
Having inherited his father’s early baseball passion, our grandson had been smacking it off a tee since he learned to walk.
“He’s a better player than I was,” our son admitted during a family Zoom session.
“A great trend,” his grandfather said. “Your dad was better than I. You were a better player than he. Now, your son’s even better.”
“Someday,” I interjected, “I’ll look down from heaven and watch our descendant in a Cubs uniform.”
Fun to project our dreams on future descendants.
But do such extravagant visions rival T-ball’s fun?
Your Extraordinary Ordinary: Have you attended a T-ball game lately?
O Lord, You know that Hubby and I disagree on which describes our lawn best. He says, Prairie Preservation Plot. I say, Best Bee-Feeder on the Block. OMG, Creator of all green things, will You settle this? What do You think?