The rental car was dirty. I rent cars all the time when I travel. I have never had a problem before, but this car was yucky. I drove straight to the car wash, which was ridiculous given that by the time we reached Idaho and the storm, the car got a good washing anyway. (By the way, those of you living locally, that automatic new car wash in town? Yeah. Keep your $10.)
It took F-O-R-E-V-E-R for Tim to get ready.
We already knew that we probably wouldn’t pull out until early afternoon because Tim had to work half-day. Of course, I ended up sitting with the car idling in the drive for half-an-hour while Tim futzed around. It’s best not to get too worked up. Tim was always the last one dressed for church. Always. Ask the girls. I am not kidding. I could get myself and four babies dressed and buckled into the car and he would still be looking for his shoes. This notion that women are supposed to be the ones late to everything is totally lost on him. He’s always one for breaking through the stereotypes.
We stopped at the home place in Baker City to see Uncle Mark and Cousin Lane. They are both very well-tanned from that farming gig. Funny enough on the couch were two very oversized Alabama pillows. Uncle Mark is a big Bama fan.
Where y’all headed? Mark asked.
We didn’t stop again until we reached our evening destination – Burley, Idaho.
The gal at the front desk – Dee- was very welcoming. Shelby’s middle name is Dee. My mother-in-law’s middle name, too. This Dee had an odd lilt to her voice. She sounded like one of those hosts for NPR that I listen too so much. And almost identical to some of the characters on the Netflix series Broadchurch which I had just binged watched a week ago. Several of my writer friends had recommended the series and it did not disappoint.
Where are you from? I asked Dee.
Scotland, she said.
Scotland sure has been on the horizon for all of us lately, hasn’t it?
I recommended Broadchurch to Dee. She wrote it down and thanked me. I went on to my room while Tim parked the car and got his bags. But once in my room, I felt that prompting that I sometimes get, you know that one that says, “There’s a story here. Don’t miss your chance.”
So grabbing a pen and paper and a business card, I headed back out to the front desk and asked Dee if she minded if I interviewed her for a project I am working on. Not RAIN, but a follow-up to Will Jesus Buy Me a Doublewide?.
By the time Tim came into the hotel, Dee and I were deep into conversation about her leaving Scotland for America and how a girl like her ended up in a place like Burley, Idaho.
Turns out Dee is married to a pastor. Are you laughing at the serendipity of that? I did.
God never disappoints when I follow his prompts.
We are off to Utah this morning. You might should anticipate some photos from Arches National Park. I broke a window in a van in Utah once simply by propping a foot up on the dashboard and leaning my seat back as Sister Tater drove on another long-ago cross-country trip. The heat index was so high just touching that windshield shattered the right passenger side. I expect we might run into that sort of heat index again today.
When Tim and I run out of stories to tell each other, I read aloud from Pat Summitt’s auto-biography and we both weep a bit. It’s a deeply stirring story of a remarkable woman, made all the more remarkable by the actions of the father who believed in her and made great sacrifices for her.
Of course, there is a father who believes in each of us and made great sacrifices on our behalf, isn’t there?
Karen Spears Zacharias is author of Burdy (Mercer University Press).