Momlife, part 1 “The Big Truck”

Life is super serious these days. Worries we never thought we’d ever have overwhelm us as we struggle in the midst of an ever-shifting culture. A culture that’s changing…and not for the better.

We all need a break from the craziness that has enveloped us at every turn. So I decided to reach back into the past and dig into the archives of momlife stories of yesterday. Several years ago when my girls were younger, life seemed easier, more laidback, and the world in which we live was a kinder one.

In those days, things that are commonplace as of the past year were completely unheard of a little over a decade ago. We had a little more freedom, a little less chaos, and a whole lot more compassion for others. People were more honest and toilet paper, lumber, and common sense were plentiful.

So, over the next several weeks, I’ll share with you some of those momlife memories – ones I wouldn’t trade for the world and ones, some of which, I’m sure you can identify with. We’ll start off our new series with a question…

What happens when an innocent mom of two with a serious depth perception problem has to drive the big truck while her SUV is being repaired?

Enjoy…and I hope it not only brings a smile to your face, but gives you a moment of escape in these crazy times.


Once upon a time in a land not so far away…

Our SUV wouldn’t start last week. Praise the Lord it decided to conk in the garage and not on the road somewhere or at the grocery store full of kids and groceries.

So, needless to say, I spent last week driving our big pickup truck.

My husband’s diesel, his pride and joy, became my mode of transportation. Not only is it high off the ground, but it’s also LONG. This isn’t a problem for most, but for me – a person with a severe depth perception problem – this is a concern! Let me give you some background information…

I have hit three vehicles. Yes, three. Now, this might not sound too concerning until I admit that these were PARKED vehicles. Yep, they weren’t moving. I was, but they weren’t.

The first victim was when my husband, Lon, and I were dating. I had a sweet souped up old-fashioned antique 1971 Chevy Malibu that was a classic long before I drove it. He was driving his dad’s little orange Nissan pickup, nicknamed “The Puke”. He parked behind my car when he came over for a visit one evening. I didn’t realize his dad’s truck was behind me.

You can probably see where this going…

I backed up and heard a slight crunch. I didn’t see any damage, so I didn’t think anything about it until later when Lon asked if I knew anything about the green bit of paint on the front of the The Puke.

Oops.

Now, I’m a firm believer in honesty in relationships – especially those with whom you might someday marry.

So I came clean.

All these years later, I’m thankful for the forgiveness they showed me when Lon’s dad’s orange Nissan suddenly became multi-colored.

Secondly, I hit a vehicle at the bank while trying to parallel park in my black Ford T-bird about four years later. I should have known better. I was the one in Drivers Ed in high school who hit the orange cones while practicing to parallel park.

Good grief. Of course, it had to happen during rush hour. Hopefully no one else saw that old station wagon drive itself forward a few inches.

Good news, though. I don’t parallel park anymore. It’s just too difficult when objects are closer than they appear.

And then, the saddest of all. I was backing our Ford T-Bird out of our driveway and didn’t realize my green Malibu was still parked at the curb in front of our house the same year. I backed the T-Bird out and smucked the Malibu. Ouch. Two more dents. Fortunately they were VERY small dents that could be popped out.

So with this background information, you can see my apprehension at driving the big truck. This is why I normally drive a mid-size SUV with a hefty grill guard. This is also why I wear glasses when I drive. And why my girls wear protective gear.

And why it’s important for my passengers to wear seatbelts.

And why, when I’m driving the big truck, vehicles on the road in our small town part ways to allow me to pass peacefully down the middle of the road.

So on my first day of driving the big truck, my children loaded, I rode the elevator up to the driver’s side door and climbed in. As I backed the truck out of the driveway, I didn’t realize a minor detail in the way.

Okay, so it wasn’t that minor. It was a large green garbage can ready and prepared for the trash truck to empty it since it was garbage day.

“What was that noise?” I asked. (It’s hard to hear anything over a diesel).

A gasp arose from the back seat.

“Uh, Mommy, you just ran over the garbage can,” Sunshine, my oldest, told me.

“What?!” I exclaimed.

Surely not. I had checked my mirrors – had done everything right that that old Driver’s Ed instructor had taught me over a decade ago.

But sure enough, I backed up further and saw the proof. The tire tracks on the green garbage can were unmistakable. The worst part of all? It was our neighbor’s garbage can!

Thankfully, our neighbor is a forgiving soul.

And thankfully garbage cans can be replaced.

And doubly thankful for God’s mercy in all things, big and small.

So, there you have it, my experience driving the big truck. A memory forever embedded in my mind and the reason why my husband won’t buy me that big new Chevy truck I’ve been eyeballing at the dealership. The one that I can barely see over the dashboard with an attached step ladder.

But he has offered to buy me a smart car. To which I say emphatically – no thanks!!!!!

Oh, and a teeny disclaimer: the pictured truck at the beginning of this post isn’t our actual truck. Ours has a grill guard. 🙂


Before you go, check out these other posts:

training for the mom olympics

you might be a homeschool mom if…(15 clues)

the great toilet paper caper

kids write the funniest things

what’s in a name?

15 verses for strength in challenging times

10 Bible verses to start off your day

10 ways to help your kids choose good role models

Movie Monday: Fearless Faith

Should we cancel 2020?

should we cancel 2020

I recently printed off our camping list. As I gazed at the things we would need (some I can’t even find in stores anymore) a thought struck me. I already miss the “olden days.”

Olden days as in the era I grew up in? Olden days as in the 1800s where I like to place my characters for my historical books?

No. Olden days as in last year. 2019.

A friend of mine said he wished we could erase 2020 from the history books. His comment gave me pause. What if what we are facing at the present lasted forever?

Should we just cancel 2020 altogether? Maybe start over?

One thing 2020 has taught us is that life can change on a dime.

One minute we were going about our days waiting for spring and the next minute we faced the news of a dangerous virus, sheltering at home, businesses closed for the foreseeable future, unemployment, isolation, and a toilet paper shortage. Simple freedoms we took for granted slipped away before we even had a chance to notice. Social distancing replaced hugs and handshakes and masks became the new great divider.

Fast forward to riots, violence in the streets, cities burning, the taking of innocent lives (including children), civil unrest, and unparalleled division. Personal safety threatened.

The issues that struck fear to our very core struck us in ways that escalated heart rates, blood pressure, and the peace we longed for.

For those of us in Christ, we know this is not our permanent home. We have an enduring hope, knowing this craziness we are experiencing is but a blip on the radar of history.

When all history – and not just 2020 – fades away into the distant past, one thing will remain.

Take His hand. Revel in His peace. Cling to the One who gave you life and who gave His life for you. Our hope is in Him.

So while we can’t, and shouldn’t, delete 2020 from the history books, we can look to the One who will never change. Whose love endures forever.

Isaiah 40 8

the great toilet paper caper

It was early evening when the classified documents indicated there was toilet paper to be found. Lon, a man who prided himself on providing for his family, decided he was up for the task. Sturdy, burly, and strong, he set his eye on the prize: a pack of plush tp for his family. So, climbing into the family truck nicknamed “Little Gray” (although it is brown in color), Lon zipped out of the cul-de-sac to embark on his mission.

lon tough (2)

As he drove down the main avenue to the local Walmart store, he happened to look over and see a car that reminded him of a pregnant roller skate. A man of about his age glanced over at just that same time and their eyes connected. Both accelerated.

And then Lon knew.

He was in for the race of his life.

Feeling a bit like Mario Andretti, Lon lurched Little Gray forward and stepped up his speed. He was up for the challenge.  He only wished he had added some souped up options on Little Gray. An engine tuner, a lift kit, a turbo kit, a supercharge… all would have been helpful at this time, as the pregnant roller skate threatened to overtake him.

Were it not for the 30 mph speed limit, Lon knew he would have smoked the competition.

Not to be deterred, Lon rounded the corner into the Walmart parking lot on two wheels with the speed and finesse of the expert he was. He pulled into a parking space only to find the pregnant roller skate pulled in right beside him. Lamenting that he’d worn his camo crocs instead of his running shoes, Lon leapt out of the truck and began to sprint toward the store. Those grueling hours of high school track were coming in handy as he zipped through the front doors, his competitor at his side.

“You get the call too?” his competition asked as they strode side-by-side toward the sacred toilet-paper aisle.

“Yep,” Lon replied.

They continued their race to aisle B26 “Look, man, I got a family,” the driver of the pregnant roller skate said.

“Me too.”

Lon sized up his competition. Similar height, similar build.

But he had this. Failure was not an option.

Everywhere in the store, chaos abounded. If necessary, he would draw upon his former experience as a football lineman and use his massive shoulders to push through the crowds (in a gentlemanly way, of course). Carts overloaded with multiple counts of bizarre items no one would have purchased before the Great Hoarding Phenomenon of 2020 threatened to hinder his quest.

Lon dodged into the tp aisle, the competition on his tail. His eyes settled on the prize: a pack of six rolls of fluffy white toilet paper. Only a couple packages remained on the otherwise empty shelves. He exchanged another glance with his rival. Heart pounding, muscles burning, he made the final leap to the shelf, and in one fell swoop, achieved victory. His competition did the same, securing his own pack.

They both stopped for a minute and chuckled. Were it not for the new social distancing rules in place, they might have shook hands or fist bumped.

The former competitors walked toward the checkout together with their prized purchases, discussing, at the appropriate distance, the ridiculous nature of toilet paper shortages.

Only later did Lon learn the hard sad truth. The toilet paper was one-ply.

white-toilet-paper-roll-on-woven-basket-3958196 (2)

*This story has been slightly exaggerated. The toilet paper pack actually contained 12 rolls, rather than six. 🙂

 

10 good things that could come from the corona virus pandemic

What Good Covid-19

In the news recently, a woman was assaulted and her groceries stolen outside a grocery store. Two men in another state broke into a hospital to steal gloves, masks, and toilet paper. The stock market is struggling. Unemployment has become rampant. Our freedoms are stifled.

What good could possibly come from the Corona virus pandemic?

  1. Our faith is and will be strengthened. We are reminded once again that God is in control, that nothing escapes His watchful eye, and that He cares deeply for us. No matter what we walk through in this crazy life, He walks through it with us.
  2. This gives us an unprecedented opportunity to share where our hope comes from and the hope that lies within us. Although there are many wonderful things to celebrate in our lives, a Christian’s permanent home is not in this world. We who have put our faith and trust in Jesus Christ are just “passing through”. In that time, we share with others that deep abiding hope that guides our every thought, action, and decision. May we take this time of fear, panic, and chaos to share with others why, even though this is a frightening time, God is still on His throne.Isaiah 12 2a
  3. Families are spending more time together. A friend a few weeks ago admitted to me that just getting everyone around the table at dinner time is a challenge. Our world moves at an exhausting pace and the days are sometimes little more than a blur. With the pandemic, families have no choice but to spend more time together, to eat dinner together, and to share in each other’s company. Not to say that we don’t all get on each other’s nerves at times, but what an amazing way to grow closer and to further appreciate those precious people God has placed in our lives.
  4. People are helping each other more. Sure, we hear about the bad news all the time. Read or listen to the media and you’ll get an earful of negative stories that spiral our already-burdened anxiety levels to a new height. However, if we listen hard enough, we are hearing of people reaching out and assisting each other in a way that hasn’t been done in recent times. Neighbors are shopping for their elderly neighbors, people are sharing what they have, and kindness is making a comeback.Speaks loudest
  5. People are practicing better hygiene. We should have been washing our hands after restroom use and keeping our fingers away from our faces long before this pandemic. However, the fear of getting this virus has turned into something beneficial…we as a society are doing a better job of stopping the spread of viruses and bacteria. This is good news!
  6. We appreciate things more and don’t take them for granted. After this is all over (and it will be), we will never look at toilet paper the same. We are doing better at appreciating even the small things like a can of fruit or a roll of paper towels. We won’t take for granted the awesome privilege of meeting together for a church service, shaking hands, or giving that encouraging hug to someone who is grieving. We won’t take for granted the opportunity of being able to go to the gym for a run on the treadmill or to attend a group fitness class.Unknown future
  7. We are more creative with time, exercise, and meals. As I looked at our canned goods on our pantry shelves, I noticed we have a lot of olives. While my husband loves olives and my daughters enjoy them from time to time, I detest olives. But if this pandemic lasts longer than we hope it does, I will be getting mighty creative with those olives and feeding my entire family with that creativity. (Yes, even I will be eating those nasty things!) This pandemic has taught us to make more meals at home, use what we have, and be grateful for what variety (or lack thereof) lurks in our freezers. We will be more creative with exercise now that the gyms are closed. (Jump ropes, hula hoops, and platform steps anyone?)
  8. We will pull together as a nation. Many of us recall where we were on 9/11. We also remember how our nation pulled together and patriotism gripped the nation. We recall how people banded together to help each other and how we, as Americans, put aside our (sometimes ridiculous) differences to remember that we are in this together. And that together we are stronger.Faith
  9. Homeschooling will be better understood. With schools closed, parents are now homeschooling their children in what is the largest growth in homeschooling ever. As homeschool moms and dads, we stand ready to assist our fellow parents in this endeavor.
  10. On a long list of requests, it will remind us to be grateful. The seemingly “small” things – the ability to take a breath, that we have water to drink, that we have people who care about us – will surge to the forefront in the midst of our trials. My husband is dependent on an oxygen machine at night (due to a mistake during his heart surgery). I thank the Lord often that we were able to purchase him his own machine a couple of months ago. At this point with possible unemployment looming in the distance due to the virus spread, we would not have been able to afford the steep monthly charge to rent one.

Of all things, I remain grateful that no matter what happens in this world, I will always have my relationship with Jesus. Even when we can’t meet corporately for church, that doesn’t stop me from praying. From relying on the One who sent His Son for me. From finding hope within the pages of His Word. Nothing can take those things away. And for that, I am eternally grateful.

Romans 12 12