"We're doing it again, following a wrecker towing our motorhome. Ah, but the scenery is different: Mississippi was hot, humid and green; Texas is hot, dry and brown. Maybe we aren't prayed up?"
"Maybe we are. It could have been worse," JB replied from deep-thought mode. It's Saturday. Repairs can't begin until Monday. We need to be in Tucson, Arizona, Sunday evening by six - 635 miles away.
At Big Springs, Texas, the king-sized wrecker deposited our forty-footer, minus it's drive shaft with scattered bearings, at Rip Giffin's Texas-sized parking lot. Seeing no alternative, in his soft, Southern voice JB asked, "Could you stay behind, get it repaired, and drive it the rest of the way?"
I don't believe it! I've driven this forty-footer once with him in the passenger seat. Shocked, barely audible, I responded, "You want me to do what?"
"I'll come back and get you, if you can't," he assured.
With my guts in a knot, it took everything in me to say without choking, "I'll do my best."
Sunday morning, driving my car towing his, JB left for Tucson with a week's clothes, water, a can of smoked oysters, and some crackers. Left behind, I wilted knowing I couldn't do the job alone. When all else fails, consult the Master. While I prayed, the 23rd Psalm came apart: The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want. Hmm, that's encouraging.
He makes me lie down in green pastures. I looked at His pasture: asphalt and light poles; the horizon interrupted by oil wells perched like greedy grasshoppers sucking rich black syrup; a humming Freightliner to my left radiating cow-calf security. Thank you.
Alone, a little housework , nonstop munching on cheese, crackers, lunch meat, apples, walnuts and cookies - anything not nailed down, and calling everybody I knew for support, I managed to make it through the afternoon, but nothing eased my panic.
The wrecker man replaced the drive shaft with new, well-behaved bearings. I called JB. He'd stopped for gas, and opened the can of oysters. I couldn't imagine eating them while driving and not spilling them, but he could better. "Just drive it around the parking lot to get a feel."
"You know it takes three-hundred pounds more than me to stop it." Terrified, I shook my head in disbelief that I could possibly drive it to Tucson.
I walked around it: forty-feet, eight-feet, forty-feet, and eight feet - a monster. "Put it in drive and look forward, the rear end will follow. Just go slow, and don't turn too fast or you could wipe out a lane of traffic." That's encouraging.
I crept around the parking lot like a low-slung cat stalking prey: once, twice, three times.
Yeah, I had a feel for it, but cherished parking next to the humming Freightliner. As I stood up from the seat, a woman drove by maneuvering an eighteen-wheeler. Well! If she can do it, so can I!
In quiet prayer more of the Psalm unfolded: He leads me beside still waters. He restores my soul. Feeling nudged to step off in faith, I let go surrendering all to God. In an instant peace settled on, in, and through me. Oh, why didn't I do that in the first place? Now I knew that with God in charge, it would work out okay, the how didn't matter, but I suspected it would be an adventure.
(watch for part 2)
copyright 2005 Red Convertible Travel Series