Seven miles from home, an accident had funneled the interstate traffic into a twenty minute a mile crawl. Finally, after we crept past the fire and tow trucks we hit clear interstate.
Rob prepared to enter warp speed.
And then the unthinkable happened.
I saw it peripherally from the mirror on the visor. Peripherally, because I’d turned to stare at Rob when he groaned. The green leather couch, airborne, headed toward a maroon van. We watched in hind-sight horror as Rob pulled onto the shoulder. The van stopped in time, and the loveseat wedged against the bridge railing.
We couldn’t leave it -- visions of late night traveling child-laden vehicles careening into the couch tormented me. Rob threw the truck into reverse and wobbled toward the wayward furniture on the nearly non-existent shoulder. I glanced into my side mirror and spied a light pole rapidly approaching.
My husband hates it when I gasp or scream when he’s driving. (Okay, so I get nervous sometimes.)
I whimpered and yelled, “Pole!” It sounded something like this. “Pole! Screech, crumple. Pole!” Need I tell you that he kissed the pole and flattened his fender on his almost new white pick up?
Not only does my husband have an excellent sense of humor, he also possesses great self-control. A tiny trickle of negative words were expelled in his sigh. He straightened up the truck and backed as far as he could.
Cliches best describe the atmosphere in the cab -- deafening silence and tension that could be cut with a knife.
He parked, waited for barreling semi’s to pass and jumped out of the truck. I followed, urging caution. The traffic flew. My hair whipped around my face, slapping me, and tiny sand shrapnel pelted me. At one point a semi kissed the shoulder as it barreled past and the resulting vacuum made certain that I’ll never need a face lift. (I don’t recommend this, though.)
I made suggestions. He answered them with muttered comments through a locked jaw and took off to push the couch out of the path of the traffic. I am smart enough to know that sashaying onto the interstate to help him would be a very bad idea. So I crawled back into the truck and prayed.
After back-tracking to the previous exit and four-wheeling into the ditch beside the interstate, we arrived home with our hard won couches.
And after a few short hours my husband spoke to me again.
Ahhhh, the joys of marriage, and free furniture.
Change. I've learned to embrace it, ride it out til the end. Sometimes I'm kicking and screaming, other times weeping with my eyes clinched tight. Once in awhile I ride like a dog in a car, head out the window snorting what life has to offer. Mother to young adult children, a marriage of thirty years, and a desert to mountain to valley waltz with God have shaped me into someone I never imagined I'd be. Life is short and I want to live it. Tears, sighs, laughter and change. Every morsel granted to me. Scrambled, shaken or stirred.