short excerpts...other writings...upon occasion or as prompted...
The tiger in the water? A representation of my life -- spirit and environment!


Saturday, September 25, 2010

The Value of an Open Ear on the Open Road

Mommy talks a lot, including in a lot of different languages, but she does not listen very well. At least, that's what Daddy says. He is probably right. At least, he has some very good examples of when Mommy did not listen when she should have.

Many years ago Mommy and Daddy were returning to Montana, where they were living at the time, from visiting my grandparents in Maine. Daddy usually does not like to let Mommy drive, especially if he is asleep. You can probably figure out why.

Mommy and Daddy drove through many northern states. It was winter, and driving was tough. Daddy did all right, but Mommy sometimes had problems when it was her turn. For example, she fishtailed across the entire state of Iowa. Daddy kept telling her to pull over and let him drive, but she could not get stopped until she reached South Dakota. Then she did.

When Daddy got to Wyoming, he was really tired. He had driven most of the way, except for the state of Iowa, and he could not sleep in Iowa because he did not like Mommy's crooked driving. It made him nervous.

In Wyoming, however, he got really , really sleepy, so he decided he could let Mommy drive again. That was a mistake.

As soon as Mommy started to drive, it started to snow. It snowed and snowed.

As soon as Mommy started to drive, Daddy started to sleep. He slept and slept.

So, Mommy drove while it snowed and Daddy slept. Pretty soon, she was driving high in the mountains. There was snow everywhere, and no place to stop. She turned on the radio. The radio said that Wyoming was getting the biggest snowstorm in 100 years.
Daddy woke up for a minute, and Mommy told him that it was snowing too much to drive. He told her to pull off in a rest area, and then he went back to sleep.
Mommy found a sign that said rest area. She pulled over, but it was not an on-road rest area. It was an exit. She drove off the exit and down another road, where she saw a rest area. It was full of snow, and she could not get in.

Mommy wanted to turn around and get back on the highway, but she did not know whether the road she was on was one-way or two-way. She could not stop to look at the map because the road was isolated. If she stopped and got stuck, they would not be able to get any help.

After another 4-5 miles, driven very slowly, Daddy woke up. He asked Mommy where
they were. She said that she did not know. He looked ahead. There was nothing but a road leading into the wilderness with no tracks at all in the snow. He looked behind. There was only a road through the wilderness with only our tracks.

Daddy was not happy. He said that he told Mommy to stop at a rest area, not get off the road. Mommy did not think that there was a big difference, but Daddy did.

Daddy figured out that we were on a two-way road. We turned around and went back to the highway, and Daddy took over the driving.

Daddy no longer sleeps when Mommy drives. He especially does not sleep when Mommy is driving in snow.

Daddy has continued to drive with Mommy. He has also continued to be frustrated that Mommy does not listen to him very well when she is driving.

One time, several years after the Wyoming experience, Daddy changed places with Mommy at a gas station in Nevada. He did not plan to sleep, but he did want to rest.

However, they were driving a very small truck at that time, and the only place to rest was the covered bed. Daddy crawled into the bed, as Mommy pulled out of the gas station.

As Mommy blinked to turn back on the highway, Daddy began pounding on the window. Mommy figured she would stop and see what he wanted as soon as she was back on the highway and could pull over, but he stopped pounding once she merged. Then, she found out why he was pounding: She had got on the highway going in the wrong direction — back where they had come from. Worse, the next exit was ten miles away!

Daddy no longer rests when Mommy is driving. He especially does not rest when he cannot sit right beside Mommy.

Conclusion: Sometimes it is wise to listen, even when you think you already know something.

This story is excerpted from a collection of vignettes that I helped Doah, my severely mentally challenged youngest son, to write and publish several years ago (copyright 2003). It was my attempt to help him understand literacy and the purpose of writing and reading.

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About Me

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I am the mother of 4 birth children (plus 3 others who lived with us) and grandmother of 2, all of them exceptional children. Married for 42 years, I grew up in Maine, live in California, and work in many places in education, linguistics, and program management. In my spare time, I rescue and tame feral cats and have the scars to prove it. A long-time ignorantly blissful atheist converted by a theophanic experience to Catholicism, I am now a joyful catechist. Oh, I also authored a dozen books, two under my pen name of Mahlou (Blest Atheist and A Believer-in-Waiting's First Encounters with God).

My Other Blogs

100th Lamb. This is my main blog, the one I keep most updated.

The Clan of Mahlou
. This is background information about various members of the extended Mahlou family. It is very much a work still in progress. Soon I will begin posting excerpts from a new book I am writing, Raising God's Rainbow Makers.

Modern Mysticism. This blog discusses the mystical in our pragmatic, practical, realistic, and rational 21st century world and is to those who spend some or much of their time in an irrational/mystical relationship with God. If such things do not strain your credulity, you are welcome to follow the blog and participate in it.

Recommended Reading List

Because I am blog inept, I don't quite know how to get a reading list to stay at the end of the page and not disappear from sight. Therefore, I entered it as my first post. I suppose that is not all that bad because readers started commenting about the books, even suggesting additional readings. So, you can participate with others in my reading list by clicking here.
I do post additional books as I read them and find them to be meaningful to me, and therefore, hopefully, meaningful to you. One advantage of all the plane traveling I do is that I acquire reading time that I might not otherwise take.