Thursday, December 14, 2006

Gonna ride around in style, gonna drive everybody wild…

…You’ll know it’s me when I walk through your town. --One Piece at a Time, Johnny Cash

So, here I am in TN again, and although this could be a story of unfortunate events, I’m going to try and make it a story of how good God is to me. I am becoming increasingly convinced that having a good life is all in the perspective. Cheezy, maybe, but it usually works. And when in doesn’t work, it makes it better in retrospect.

Anyways, so here we are in TN, a day away from PHC, and the car has been doing goodish so far—especially considering the knock-up it got the other day. Oh yeah, I should probably start with that. So, I was driving to BWI (I keep having to remember it’s BWI, not BMW or DWI or anything else) to pick up my mom, and I was all up tight, because I had a ton on my mind to do, and I’d just gotten out of my last final so I was still mumbling the presidents of the US in order and all their policies or the ten conditions for Democracy according to Sodoro or it might have been the system of classification designated under EO 12958—whatever it was, I managed to get to the airport and get my mom.

On the way back, some obnoxious truck dropped some metal spiky thing off onto the interstate. It wasn’t very far in front of me, and so I had to choose between running over it (it was still bouncing and I couldn’t have straddled it) and swerving. I swerved (I was going about the speed limit—no more than 5 over, if that much) and the car went out of control somewhat. Well, quite honestly, it was only by the grace of God that the car didn’t totally flip over and we both died in a massive explosion, because although I’d like to say that I had it somewhat under control, (and maybe I had more than I felt like I did, but probably not) it was fishtailing and flying from one lane into the next. I was lucky not to hit anyone (again, by the grace of God). I finally bashed the tail of my car into the guardrail along the median and came to a halt. The car was still running ok, we were shook up but ok, so, since I was facing oncoming traffic, I pulled the car onto the right-hand side of the road and got out to check the damage. About four cars pulled over to see if I was ok—the back fender was pushed in, but the tires were all ok, and we kept going.

So maybe I should have done something different then and there—but I’ve never done anything like that before! Well I mean, when things like that have happened, I’ve been in control of the car enough to come to a stop (even if I went off the road) and I’ve never run into anything before. But it was simply not possible this time. At least, it didn’t seem so at the time, though I was operating on about three hours of sleep (which is kind of like being drunk, I’m told) so perhaps I’m not the best judge. My mom thought I made the right decision too—to swerve—because a guy behind me ran over the thing, and it blew up his two right tires. I doubt I would’ve been in better control of my car if I had suddenly lost two right tires going 70 mph. Thank You, Lord.

That sort of shook my driving confidence, so to speak. Driving has always been one of my stronger points—I felt like I was actually taught well, and I love the feeling of controlling a car. But after that, mom offered to drive, but I knew if I didn’t drive again right then, then while my knees were still shaking and the adrenaline was pumping and I could still feel the jarring crunch of my bumper and the squeal of the tires across the pavement and the smoke from the burning rubber (there was some pretty slick tire action going on) still hovering in the air, I would not be able to drive again for a long time. So I drove us home, and I’ve been the one driving ever since. (That was on Tuesday.)

So then, today, my car decided to stall or die or something—after coughing miserably—as I was trying to back out of a parking spot. Eek. I freaked out (it was like a nightmare, first the little “fender bender”—my first wreck!—then this freakish death cough my car developed) and finally got the car to start and run. Once it ran, it was fine; it just didn’t like to idle. (It never has. We’re a lot alike that way. Both of us feel the need to be doing something all the time!) So it sort of coughed every now and then when we started it the rest of the day, but it never totally died again. I think I’m going to do something to the transmission fluid tomorrow because it seems a little low and blackish. I made sure not to let the engine idle too low at lights—I shifted to neutral and revved it sometimes just to be safe—but it seemed all right by the end of the evening.

We’re just going to trust God that it’s only the transmission fluid, and that it’ll get us home all right. If anyone reads this, they could pray. We’d appreciate it. But even if it is broken or if we break down, God will provide. He always does. And we’ve got cell phones and there are car repair shops everywhere, and if all else fails we can sell the car somehow and rent a car to get home. Not that I think it’ll come to that. Point being, God is good, even when your car has an ugly dent in the back bumper, is coughing and being a drama queen and pretending to pass out, (it sounds more and more like me…) is totally full of junk from school, and you’re still a good 1,500 miles from home.

It’ll make a good story, anyway.

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