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Thursday, July 14, 2016

Fear, Faith and Fresh Skunk

Despite the cranky storm signals blasting our phones, the boys and I lingered a bit long at a McDonald’s in Council Bluffs the other night. (No french fry was wasted.) Besides, the weather seemed fine...there. Even after we left, the sky was blue. It had been a fine day and my stomach was full, rolling from the fast food frenzy.

Then, as we edged closer to home, the memory of the storm signals haunted as ominous, black clouds swirled over the sky. I even closed down Facebook to watch the weather.

As we drove deeper into scary, I did a sign of the cross and a hasty, heartfelt prayer. Once we hit Portsmouth, I suggested to my hubby we take cover at Charlene's. Do you even know where Charlene lives? Not exactly, but...Hubby shook his head and communicated his intent to avoid hail bullets on the car.

Doug's pedal floored the metal and we clipped, clipped, clipped as lightening approached us. Raindrops didn't just patter, they pounced the windshield. I felt my heartbeat speed up. I continued my conversation with God, explaining how I didn't really care about hail hitting the stupid car. I just didn’t want us to get swept away in the storm. Please God, I said, just get us home.

I had just begun to consider how impressed I was by my son, who was quietly sitting in the backseat not saying a word. Perhaps he had grown out of his fraidy-cattedness! That’s just about when I heard, “Whoa! It's storming! I've been napping!” Fear took hold–of two of us anyway.

As we turned on to the last leg of our road, I saw two bright lights from Westphalia in the distance. Whenever I see two bright lights together, I'm always overcome by a sense of calm. Because it's my sign. They are the eyes of my guardian angel. We were going to be fine.

So on the last stretch of the trip, as Doug raced full-speed ahead, we hit a bump. (I thought I had seen something on the road.) Then after a few seconds, it was sufficiently clear. We had hit a skunk. The car wreaked. And I had gone from reveling in my faith, thankful for our safety, to shallow disgust. My new car smell had been eradicated in mere seconds. Then I slapped my cheek. Hadn’t I just been telling God how I didn’t care about the car? I only wanted us to be safe! I swear I heard God laughing at me. Then I laughed at myself. Such a human.

Anyway, skunk still wafts a bit in the car. But I can handle the smell. My family is safe.

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