“It IS a big deal to drive to Olympia!” Dawn yelled into the phone. Rose countered with, “You’re acting like an 83-year-old. And besides, we’re not driving. Pastor Laura is. We’re just going along for the ride.”
“What if something goes wrong with the car? Her car doesn’t look any too safe to me. And it’s small. What if we won’t fit in the back seat?” Dawn paused after she spoke these words. Even she knew these questions were just silly. Rose was laughing on the other end of the phone line.
“All right. You win, Rose,” Dawn conceded. “When is it?”
“Well, I don’t rightly know,” Rose puzzled. “I think she wants to visit some of her Olympia congregants next week.”
Pastor Laura loved the older members of the church because they were always available for weekday adventures. She had arranged for Rose, Dawn, Pat, and Hazel to come with
her to visit some old church friends in Olympia on a sunny, Wednesday afternoon. The women showed up at 11am, right on time as always, and met at the parsonage.
Rose took one look at the 12-year-old Toyota Corolla’s back seat and did some quick mental calculations on the size of the “bottom halves” of the women standing around the car and immediately called for Shotgun. Pastor Laura stowed the picnic lunch in the small trunk and invited the members of her flock to enter her “chariot.”
Dawn, Pat, and Hazel squeezed into the back seat without a word—thighs touching and overlapping. Rose, in the front seat, was feeling smug about her comfort until Pat said, “Honey, could you move your seat forward just a little?” Rose pulled on the seat adjuster and Pat pushed from the back at the same time. The effect of this push-pull put Rose practically through the windshield. The glove box was pressing on her belly.
“Ah. Much better. Thanks, Rose.”
“Sure,” Rose choked.
Pastor Laura jumped into the car and started the tentative little engine. “We’re off like a herd of turtles,” she said. Laughter in the car for the first few miles made the comfort issues a little less important.
The Tacoma Dome loomed in the distance and the girls knew we were truly on the road. A bathroom stop was definitely the next thing on the agenda. With a group of 80-something women, this bathroom stop was a very important part of the agenda.
“What in the world was that noise?” cried Pastor Laura and the passengers all screamed like a bunch of girls. Pastor applied the breaks, requested that the screaming stop, and pulled the limping car safely to the side of the busy freeway. Pastor handled the emergency with her usual aplomb. She grabbed her cell phone, called AAA, and arranged for a tow truck.
“I’m so sorry about this, ladies,” Pastor apologized. “But I think we can take this in stride and know that God will take care of us.”
When the tow truck driver arrived, he agreed that the car needed to be towed and asked about other transportation since they couldn’t stay in the car while was being towed.
“Other transportation?” cried Pastor Laura. “Of course none of us has other transportation. We’re staying in this car. It’s too dangerous to even step out of the car. You’re just going to have to tow US with the car.” “Hmpf,” we all nodded. So there!
The frustrated tow-truck driver scowled at the group and walked to his truck to make a call. Within minutes, a huge flatbed truck pulled up. He lowered the back of the flatbed, pulled in the Corolla and raised the bed again. All of this was done with the entire crew of Methodist women in the car. He secured the car and took off with the octogenarian women riding high and looking regal on the back of the truck in their Corolla.
“I hope this guy knows that God is taking care of us,” Rose muttered.
“And I hope God knows that we need a repair shop that has a restroom!” Dawn whimpered.