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Friday, November 2, 2012

My Best Thanksgiving - Part 2

Hello FFFs,
I'm writing this a week before you'll read it because when you do read it I'll be much too busy to post. :) AGC will be in full force. Who knows which team I'll be with. (I'm Staff) And we'll be doing lots and lots of lit drops, phone calls and sign waving! Some of my regular readers will be with us. :) I wish the rest of you could come too, but you can pray for us and if you are of age to vote, DON'T FORGET! If you aren't old enough to vote, remind your parents. And if you live in Missouri, please, please, support Todd Akin in the polls!


My Best Thanksgiving - Part 2

    After we’d dressed and had our quiet time with our Bibles, Lee and I headed downstairs to help Dad load the trailer. He wasn’t up.
    “Come on, Ray,” Lee whispered, jerking his head towards the door, “we can pack it.”
    “Just us?” I asked. I wasn’t sure we could do it. Not after looking at all the piles of things we had to pack.
    Lee didn’t have any doubts. “I usually pack most of it anyway,” he told me. “Dad just brings things out.”
    I guess I hadn’t ever thought about that fact. It was rather fun helping pack the trailer. It was dark out still, so we had to turn the porch light on and set up one of our large flashlights so Lee could see the back of the trailer.
    We were about half way done when Mom came out on the porch with her sweater on. “Wow, you guys sure work quickly,” she exclaimed. “Dad was so tired this morning that he slept through his alarm.”
    “That’s okay,” I said. “Is he still sleeping?”
    Mom nodded. “I was going to wake him but thought I’d see how things were going first. I heard you guys come down.”
    “Ray,” Lee called from inside the trailer, “where’s the next things?” Coming to the door he looked out. “Oh, good morning, Mom. Dad still sleeping?”
    Again, Mom nodded.
    “Let him sleep. He has to drive today.”

    By the time Dad woke up some thirty minutes later, we had the trailer all loaded and were only waiting on the last things that went in the van. Mom and the older girls had breakfast packed and I couldn’t wait to eat. They made these great boxes for each person, rather like a carry-out meal from McDonalds only better, with hot cinnamon-raisin biscuits, tater-tots, dried apples and, for those of us who wanted it, juice. I always loved eating in the car on road trips.
    Amazingly, we left the house ten minutes early, but we had to go around the block because Emmy had forgotten her bag for the van.
    At last we were on the road. This time for real. Dad said that if we’d forgotten anything else, we’d just have to do without it. At that Mom looked back at us and asked, “Does everyone have shoes and socks on?”
    We all did. I remember one trip where I had gone out to the van in bare feet and it wasn’t until we stopped at a gas station that we realized that I had no shoes. Dad wasn’t too happy about stopping at a store to buy shoes for me. Ever since then I’ve been extra careful to wear shoes when we leave on trips.

    Since we lived in west Texas and had to drive all the way to the middle of Virginia, it made for a long trip. But I enjoyed road trips. I still do. I like watching the scenery change, looking for license plates (one time we saw all fifty states, except Rhode Island, and five Canadian provinces.), listening to books on tape or better yet, listening to Lee read books aloud. He’s a great reader.
    But I must get back to the story.
    I had been sleeping for a little while after breakfast when I was awakened by hearing talk about a detour and a storm. Sleepily I opened my eyes and sat up. There was no sign of construction but I could see a dark sky up ahead. Now, I’ve always been fascinated by storms so I decided to stay awake and watch. Glancing around I noticed that Lee, Carol and Mom were sleeping. The younger three were in the very back and were busy with whatever they had brought. Ginger, sitting behind the driver’s seat with me, was leaning forward and talking with Dad.
    “That doesn’t look like a regular storm, Dad,” she was saying.
    “You’re right, it looks different,” Dad agreed.
    I leaned around so I could see out the front better too. For a while we were quiet, watching the dark mass before us. It was growing closer. Suddenly a gust of wind shook the van.
    “Wow!” I exclaimed. “That wind is strong.”
    Dad was slowing the van down somewhat and didn’t reply.
    “There’s another detour sign, Dad,” Ginger pointed out. We must have turned onto a detour before I was fully awake.
    The wind was blowing stronger now and it was growing darker. The others woke up and Dad slowed even more. With our bigger van and our trailer, the wind really shook it when we went too fast. We began to drive into the dark cloud. But it was strange. There was no rain, no thunder or lightning, but still it was dark and things were blowing.
    “What’s going on, Dad?” I asked, watching some tumble weeds race across the road before us. The lights of oncoming traffic appeared like two eerily glowing eyes approaching from the midst of a mystic vapor.
    “I think it’s a dust storm,” Dad answered, making sure the vents on the van were closed.
    “Well, there hasn’t been much rain for a while,” Lee put in, leaning forward.
    “Imagine trying to walk through it!” Carol exclaimed. “Or living in a log house right now.” She always thought of things like that. Perhaps it came from reading so much. I like to read too, but I never think of those things.

    On we drove through the storm of dust which swept and swirled around, hiding nearby objects, blocking out the sky and slowing traffic to a crawl while changing each vehicle to the same color: dirty grey. Tumbleweeds, trash and small branches were flung across the road or smacked into the side of the van or trailer. We could hardly see more than a few yards in any direction. Carefully, cautiously, Dad continued to crawl forward. In the van, all was silent.
    “Dad!” Lee exclaimed suddenly, “There’s a car over there with flashing lights.”

Come back next week.
Thoughts or Comments now?

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