A Mountain Drive

Driving uphill on a winding two-lane road, I was the head of a small convoy of cars, people going as a group to do something exciting like base jumping. We’d been told by a man at the motel that this particular two-lane road led to a breathtaking view of the Grand Teton mountain range, and it wouldn’t be far to go, and it was well worth the detour. I drove ahead of everybody, in my new Toyota Camry, gray-brown SE. October early snow patches lay everywhere. There were absolutely no signs telling drivers anything about a viewpoint or dangerous curves, so I just kept driving at a reasonably safe speed.

I noticed a beautiful area plot on the left that could make a nice homestead with a view, and as I followed the road on a curve to the right, thinking about what it would take to build a house there, I abruptly found myself on a dead-end, turnabout-circle, black top area, iced over. There were several men apparently working around the edge of the circle, without tools or vehicles. As my car slipped forward, I gazed at the cliff that seemed to magnetically pull me to its thin strip of grassy edge. The Camry slid sideways in slow motion, while I struggled to unlatch my seatbelt and get the door open so I could jump out. The men looked up and tried to wave me off, without themselves stepping onto the icy black top. I could hear them shouting, but obviously, too late. I saw no fencing at all, of any kind,  fixed on the cliff edge to keep even a cow from going over. I tried to open my door, but I was already at the edge, seat belt still holding me in, and a sinking feeling of despair sucked my stomach into a heavy knot. Strangely, I was able to notice something like a nature-made piton right on the edge of the precipice and thought that if I could grab that and get pulled out of the car…but it all happened so fast that I had no time before my car and I sailed out over the cliff edge, sailing, lowering, into a deep, deep mountainous chasm stretched far underneath.

With a sharp start, I woke up in my bed, slightly sweating, heart palpitating. I slid out of the covers and sat on the edge, thinking, “Okay, that was some you-gotta-wake-up-dream to have!” I walked to the bathroom, did my duty, drank some water, and timidly returned to bed. My husband was sound asleep. Hoping that dream was a thing of the past, I gently rolled onto my side, and fell asleep.

Driving uphill on a winding two-lane road, I was the head of a small convoy of cars, people going as a group to do something exciting like base jumping. We’d been told by a man at the motel that this particular two-lane road led to a breathtaking view of the Grand Teton mountain range, and it wouldn’t be far to go, and it was well worth the detour…

(This was a real nightmare that occurred midnight morning on October 28, 2014. It might have something to do with the precipices I’m facing right now in life—the coming loss of my parents (within the next year), the change in jobs, moving to a part of the country I’ve never lived in before with new scenery, history, climate, and adventures, saying goodbye to friends…when I told my little sister this morning, she said, “Sounds like you’re excited to go to the new place, because it seems promising…You’re going uphill because it’s been a struggle…Snow patches represent the obstacles along the way… Your convoy is your truck and car….I’ll be back after lunch and finish,” leaving me without the rest of her analyzation!)

Small Creatures

I found a cockroach in the bedroom one morning. It missed dying by a hair’s breath, as it frantically scooted behind the dresser in time to avoid a slamming shoe.

It gave me the shivers, but after two days of constant lookout, I began to let my guard down. On the third morning, I opened the top dresser drawer to grab some nylons, but sixth-sense made me look first.

In the nylon box, full of brown knee-highs, nestled the shiny, dark-brown cockroach, all comfy-like.

Making heroic efforts not to scream, I carefully lifted the box and dumped it all in a trash bag, then hurriedly closed the bag. I ghoulishly watched the little life form as it realized what had happened and began scrambling to escape. A couple minutes later, I figured out how to kill it without opening the bag.

Strangely enough, for a couple of days, guilt actually followed me around. The little guy had found a nice warm home and wasn’t trying to “bother” anybody. Since I took offense, though, I wiped out the cockroach without even a fair trial.

People are not much different than bugs and other creatures: we move around on earth and find comfy places to live, not realizing that they belong to someone more powerful than us—God.

I’m so glad that God doesn’t react to us the way we react to cockroaches! At least, unless we’re wicked. Then, I imagine the similarity in disgusting looks and revulsion is there—after all, God did wipe out Sodom and Gomorrah, and the Canaanites. But, they each did have fair trials that lasted several hundred years before their sentencing and execution were carried out.

This is just something else for me to think about as I open dresser drawers.

(P.S.: I’ll still kill a cockroach if I see one!)


Almost Gave It All

Almost gave it all

to pass an 18-wheeler

the last in a row of four

all vying to be first

which I didn’t know

until it was too late


Decided that 55 was too slow

I revved up and passed

number four who sped up

and number three slowed down

and a vehicle heading toward me

forced my sneak in

between three and four

against their will

Then three suddenly moved out

and passed two

but oncoming traffic

forced him to cut back in early

which forced two to shimmy

swerve over on the shoulder

wiggle back and forth

with me behind taking my last breath

Then four quit speeding up

and three was stuck behind one

who slowed down forcing all of us back to 55

which I, with tears of gratitude in my eyes,

thankful to be alive

decided was a pretty good speed

after all


Tempest Temper

We, like the birds outside, huddle inside, while a

severe thunderstorm swoops down at nightfall

with heavy rain, flood warnings, high wind gusts

lightning exploding everywhere

Not interested in the ground, blinding electric white arms

poke through the clouds, arc jaggedly back around up to

stab and jab at neighboring cloud bellies repeatedly

We, like the birds, huddle and watch


The Possible First Plunge

I climb the long ladder

quaking inwardly

fearing what hasn’t happened yet, but will

fearing the changes that must take place

the call came early this morning, three thousand miles away

my aged yet actively-living Dad paralyzed

rushed to the hospital

now I climb out onto the narrow, high, diving board

an hour later a call saying no stroke, but high fever, vicious infection

toes and soles feeling the material rubbing them, damp

my nerves very aware of the distance beneath the board

deep water below, tears of certain grief

nothing to keep me from falling to the side or back

must balance, stand tall, straight

waiting for the call to explain the infection and what it all means

standing alone on the board, having to move forward

step by unwilling step

noticing all the eyes below, upturned, watching

eyes belonging to folk who have all made the plunge and survived

will this be the time I dive in

or will it be averted


for another reprieve?