Sunday, December 26, 2010

The Wild Ride


During my years as a newly wed teenager and living in a place without friends or family, I would be thrilled over anything. One day my ancient landlady (she was probably in her 70’s, but ancient to me) asked me if I would like to go on a little jaunt with her. Her brother and his wife lived in a neighboring town by the name of Tieton.

She was going to spend the day visiting with them. I jumped at the opportunity. She had an old one seated car with a rumble seat and it must have been 40 years old. One of the first cars ever made I am thinking.
When we reached the highway she put the pedal to the metal. It felt like we were going 90 miles an hour, but in that old car it was probably only going 50. I white knuckled it all the way because I thought we would go flying off the road any minute. She could hardly keep in on the road. I literally held my breath when we met another car. Will we ever reach Tieton I kept thinking.
I chewed my nails and prayed as I watched the fence post flying by.
I was a timid soul back then and would never have asked her to slow it down. There is an old song with a line in the lyrics being, ‘Coming in on a wing and a prayer’.

We were coming in on one wheel and a prayer. Or so it felt. We finally landed in Tieton without landing instructions.  Her brother came out to greet her and looked at me  and says, “My dear, you are a brave soul to ride in a car with Mae driving.” I said (under my breath), “yes, I know and I didn’t bring a change of underwear.
We visited with her brother and wife. It’s been so long ago I have forgotten their names. I don’t remember much about the visit except worrying about the ride home. The return trip was exactly the same. I felt so blessed to be able to climb out of that car and I never climbed in it again.
Mae lived to be 100 years old. She lived her last few years in a nursing home, just a stones  throw from our home so my husband and I walked up to visit her.
I asked if she remembered me and told her we used to rent from her and she lifted her head and blinks her eyes a couple times and said, “Yes, I remember you. You're the one that left your husband and ran away with that truck driver”. My mouth fell open and I looked at my husband and said, “I didn’t run away with a truck driver.” I could tell he was about to crack up so we said our good-byes and left. She had already fallen back to sleep.