Country Comes to Town

I needed to go to Wal-Mart yesterday and I needed to go badly. I wanted to make Southwestern Potato & Corn Chowder. I also needed to pick up some medicine for my poor, congested husband. He said he needed pills. Lots and lots of pills.

He didn’t really say that. That’s just what I say when I have a head cold. I hate, hate, HATE colds. Out of all the sicknesses, they seem to make me the most miserable. I used to be a teller and cold season is always the worst because you are pretty much guaranteed to get sick no matter how  obsessive-compulsive you are about washing your hands. It should be in the job description. I all but sprayed my co-workers with Lysol if they even so much as sneezed.

I digress. This is not the point of my post.

Anyhoo, I couldn’t find my keys and this would be nothing out of the norm in my daily life except for the fact that the farmer was the last one to drive my car. And he is notorious for always taking the key out of the ignition when he gets out. I, on the other hand, have grown very lax about this now that we’re in the country. I knew what had happened before I even called him: The keys were in his pocket…at the dairy farm.

I was angered.

After calling my sister who lives about 5 minutes away only to find out that she was in the city doing some Christmas shopping, I had to make a choice. Stay at home, not make potato and corn chowder, and fantasize about making the farmer eat celery and olives for supper. (Those are the two things I know he hates.) Or take this to town.

I lovingly refer to him as Roger. Trust me, with as many farming vehicles as my dad owns, we’ve taken to naming them to conserve words. The-92′-tan-Dodge gets a little old after a while. There is another truck I could have taken that would have been a little less of an adventure if I knew how to drive a stick-shift. Unfortunately, Roger is the only automatic vehicle my dad owns. The other unfortunate things are he’s a behemoth of a diesel truck that is very possibly on his last limb, the speedometer doesn’t work, the steering is quite loose, whether the brakes are going to work or not is always a surprise, I have no concept of where on the road I am at any given time, and he’s been known to start only if he wants to.

Desperate times called for desperate measures. I really wanted to go to Wal-Mart. I loaded Peanut’s car seat up and said a little prayer as I backed out of the driveway. Something to the effect of “Lord, help us all. Me… and the people I encounter on the road. Let us all arrive safely at our destinations.” I made it into town after having to put all of my 120 pounds on the brakes a couple of times. At stop lights, I didn’t make eye contact with anyone. I wasn’t ashamed to be seen in Roger. No, no. I just knew people were laughing at how silly a girl like me looked driving this truck. And I knew how inept I felt was radiating from me.

Roger brought us safely back home and everyone was in shock and awe that I actually drove him to town. (I told no one that I was going to do this. I didn’t want them to talk me out of it.)  I’m a brave soul when I set my mind to do something. The whole experience of fear…fear…and some more fear was very humbling for this accidental country girl. Never again will I follow farm trucks so closely.The poor person inside probably doesn’t have a speedometer that works! And she is probably uneasy about the vehicle she’s driving and the fact that you’re on her tail is taking her already frazzled nerves to a new point of frazzled! (Not that this was my experience…I’m just very passionate about it.)

I also will make sure the farmer never takes my keys again. So I never have to take Roger to town again. Chalk this lesson up to new experiences that I don’t necessarily want to relive.

However, I’m pretty sure that I could now qualify to drive a semi.