There are days that are just…blah, right? I know you’ve had them. Times that are not really bad, not really good, just not much of anything. You only know that something seems to be missing.
Chores are done. Dinner is in the Instant Pot. TV programming is pitiful. My thoughts are amiss with “if only” or “I wish.” Why do we do that? Why do we always need more?
I was out front replacing the newly filled hummingbird feeder when I heard a clatter. I looked up to see a decrepit old van about to maneuver the speed bumps.
I was instantly entertained and expected to see a Laurel and Hardy moment when a bemused Laurel bounces out of the van to watch all bumpers crash to the ground.
And just when you need to remember something funny for a change, the memories come flooding back.
I was a newly licensed 16-year-old. Our family vehicle was a 1965 Pontiac Bonneville 4-door sedan. It was a boat. Learning to drive in it was awkward at best. Parallel parking was next to impossible.
My older brother got his own car – a sweet little Corvair. But I was expected to drive the family pontoon.
Our family were avid tent campers. We would whisk away almost every weekend on an adventure to a nearby campground. Our transport vehicle was a less-than-perfect, gaudy green, snub-nosed, Chevrolet Greenbrier van.
Oh, it wasn’t a boat. It was a bloody train car. It was a six-to-nine-passenger window van with a manual transmission. On a normal day, I wouldn’t be caught dead in it.
But this day, my dad was having minor chest pains. I have no recollection of where my mom or my brother was, but he needed a nitroglycerin prescription from the pharmacy now. The Greenbrier was my only option and I had never even tried to drive it.
Laughingly, I remember Dad telling me it was easy. He had been a teacher in his younger years and expertly instructed me on how and when to shift gears. “No problem, pop. I got this.”
Yeah, sure. Guided by what I now know to be God’s hand, I made it to the pharmacy and was feeling a bit confident in the big green atrocity. Until I got stopped behind traffic at the railroad tracks on the way home.
You see, before the tracks, there was an incline of, oh let’s say, 20% grade. It was a big damn hill. Have you ever tried to get past first gear on a steep hill when you have no clue what you are doing?
The farmers at the grain elevator by the tracks were laughing hysterically at me. It must have taken me 20 attempts to cross those tracks. I am almost certain I never drove that ugly beast again.
Dad knew I had struggled because a 15-minute trip took almost an hour. He laughed so hard at my story, he had to hold his chest. But I got his pills. And on that day, he was fine.
So… “What if” today you just find a fun memory and let it transport you to wherever it takes you? Who needs Laurel and Hardy? Ah, but that is fodder for yet another rant.
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