Monday, June 28, 2010

Stories from Reunion Weekend: Leaving Town

There are so many stories from this past weekend. One of the best happened before I was even completely out of the Austin area.

I was behind a big vehicle (truck or SUV) in my little 350Z. I decided I wanted to pass him, because hello? Sports car! So I pulled into the left lane...

Or at least I started to. That's when I saw the boulder sitting on the stripe.

Maybe it wasn't a boulder by your definition. But when it exceeds the clearance of my car, it's a boulder to me! It was probably ten or twelve inches in diameter. The clearance of my car is eight inches, max. And it was too late to swerve. I straddled it to avoid blowing out a tire. The rock was big enough that my car lifted off the ground as I went over it. I watched it crumble and roll from beneath my car in the rear view mirror. I may have said an unprintable word; I honestly don't remember.

I pulled over at the next service station -- a Shell at the corner of 183 and 29. I pulled into a parking space well away from the building and tried to look under my car. Now understand, I'm dressed to go straight to my high school reunion. In no way am I lying on the ground peering under my car. I'm more bent at the waist looking to see if anything is leaking.

A woman walked out of the Shell and asked me what I'm doing. I related the tale of the boulder. She gestured at a large tent off to the side, where chocolate Labrador puppies were being sold. "See that man in the work shirt? That's my husband. He used to own an auto shop. Pull your car over there, and he can take a look for you." Breathing a quick prayer of thanks to God for taking such good care of me, I moved my car. Meanwhile, she walked over and told her mechanically inclined husband what was going on.

I pulled up and barely had time to register the name embroidered on his denim work shirt before Elvis was on the ground halfway under my car. "I've always wanted to meet Elvis!" I chirped. Yeah, I'm sure he's never heard that one. He offered me a quick handshake from his prone position and went back to looking around under my car.

He hopped up a few minutes later, telling me he didn't see any leaks or anything seriously wrong from his quick exam. I thanked them both profusely, complimented them on their very cute puppies, and went on my merry way.

It's not every day that Elvis works on your car.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

The Dads in My Life

First, a confession: I didn't realize it was Father's Day until church (online, of course, since what could be better than going to church in your pajamas?).

But to my point, today is Father's Day. And I have two really awesome examples of dads: my own dad, and my husband.

First, my dad. One of my earliest memories is of a game my dad used to play when he came home from work. He would hide behind a wall by the front door, and I would go find him, delighted that my daddy was home. We both loved our little game.

My parents divorced when I was ten, but both my parents worked very hard to minimize the impact on my sister and me. For several years, my dad stayed in the same town, but even when he moved away, he called every Saturday morning at 10am. We could always count on hearing our Daddy's voice every week.

Now that I'm all grown up (Snort! Does that ever really happen?), my dad and I are still close. We live in different cities, but we like to stay close by phone and email often. His social life is as busy as mine, which keeps him young. Many of my friends have met him, and they all love him. I'm proud to call him my Daddy, and I love him.

When I married, I was too young to know what I was doing, but somehow (and I'm gonna have to go with "grace of God" here) I ended up with a man who loves me and our two sons madly. I can hear the snorts of derision from our younger son now, but it's true. He's not as good at showing his love verbally as I am, but he serves us with his actions every day. Right now, he's downstairs doing laundry. He's stuck with us, doing his best with the crazy in our world, for over 20 years, and I love him.

Happy Father's Day to my favorite dads -- and to my brother-in-law too, who is an awesome husband to my sister and an amazing dad to my nephew and niece. You men are the best!