Yesterday was the day we traveled to Ohio. This has become a sort of girl’s ritual for my mom and me, traveling from Iowa to Ohio, Ohio to Kentucky, and then back on to Iowa. I worked half the day, came home and traded my skirt, blouse, and heels for a tank top, shorts, and a pony-tail. It was such a hot day that I found myself slipping to the bathroom, where the door had been shut, for a few moments here and there. It would act like a quick reverse sauna, cooling rather than heating, when I was feeling like it was cooking outside, like I was cooking outside. I came home from work around twelve, and found the van pretty much packed and meatloaf on the counter for a quick sandwich… way to go mom! Grabbing the bread and meatloaf, the messy though tasty concoction was wrapped in a paper towel and the last minute to do’s were worked down. After about an hour of grabbing a bit of sandwich here and there, warning one of the dogs away from snitching it, and finishing packing; it was declared, “We can leave now, and I think I packed the kitchen sink.” I’m not sure why the kitchen sink is always the home tool that is used, but in this case it seemed appropriate.
With the van packed, CD’s appropriately playing, and sunglasses donned, we headed out of the driveway and Eastward. It wasn’t too far out until we started talking. One of the beauties of this arrangement is that it gives us time to talk and catch up. Starting off with how the day was, I heard about the rain-x that had gone onto the car in-case of rain. I didn’t give it much thought until the lightning caught my eye to the left of me, way out in the distance, and then to the right. Pretty soon great big drops started falling. I will gladly admit that the rain-x did its job beautifully. The rain was whisked away. I wondered about that rain, those great big drops fell fast and hard for a while, with wind blowing and making the trees on the sides of the roads sway. The rain, the wind, the lightning, they can all feel pretty much like a great big metaphor for life sometimes. Things will, people will batter and bruise us, sometimes with actions, but even more with attitudes, words, and omissions of the kind word. Wouldn’t it be great if we had some sort of a Rain-X Human that we could use? The ad could read, “One spritz and your troubles will roll right off.” I know it doesn’t work that way, but what about the protection that we can receive under God, “refuge in the shadow of your wings,” (Psalms 36:7b). A refuge is given because God knows that at times we are pelted by rain and wind, maybe even struck with lightning, deafened by thunder, or bruised by hale. We need a refuge where we are safe, one that is even better than a Rain-X for Homo sapiens.
Driving out of the rain, we continued on, changing drivers every now and then. Of course the shoes were off and the van dual climate controls were in full use. I was being frozen alive and would have arrived either in all of my clothing at one time, or a solid Popsicle. But we had fun, and then pulling out the map (thanks for the binder Dad!); to go around Indianapolis, we discovered that our exit was closed. Well, we decided to just keep going and make the other loop. Thankfully traffic wasn’t heavy and it was still a way around town that worked just fine. The thing about closed exits is that they are generally closed for a reason. I wondered what kind of work was being done on this one. Road repair? Bridge repair? The signs over the highways were encouraging carpooling and I had an image pop in my head of how many well dressed executives could you stuff into the mini cooper in the other lane. It was definitely time to get out and stretch.
We finally arrived, not in record time, but safe and sound. Welcomed graciously into my aunt and uncle’s home, with accompanying tail wagging by the dogs and sidelong mildly curious glances by the cat, we collapsed and slept. It’s good to be here, even though I am sure that the kitchen sink is still somewhere jammed under a seat in the van.