He would speed up. Slow down. Slow down some more. Speed up. Ugh.

I glanced at the speedometer again feeling slightly annoyed by the truck ahead of me. I noted that he was now slowing below the posted speed limit and driving erratically. I hummed along to the tune on the radio and consciously counted one Mississippi, two Mississippi, three… in order to ensure a safe distance — just in case the driver of the truck had spent his afternoon not at a book club but at a happy hour.

He turned right. I turned right. He pulled over to his mailbox on the left, and I glanced over my shoulder and continued on. As I passed his truck and neared the bend in the road I noticed headlights. I glanced in the rearview mirror to find that he was now behind me. I kept one eye on the rearview mirror and kept driving.

He followed me down the road and all the way up my driveway to my back door.

I pulled into the detached garage and emerged from the mudroom door on the side to find the man walking toward me.

“You were just driving that red car?” He said pointing at the garage.

“Yes, can I help you?” Hmmm. Maybe he just wants to tell me I have a taillight out. But that thought wouldn’t override my gut which was telling me that this guy was trouble.

“Are your parents home?”

The blood ran hot and cold in my veins as he continued to walk toward me.

“My parents? Excuse me…”

This man thinks I am a teenager. A teenage girl? I mentally high-fived myself, then  within a millisecond my eyes widened as I realized that he thinks I am a teenage girl, and he followed me up to my back door inquiring if my parents were home. What if I was a teenage girl and my parents weren’t home? What if I was MY teenage girl and I wasn’t home? OH S#*T!

With my jaw clenched, I stammered, “I AM the parent.” He stopped in his tracks.

He let out an audible, “Oh!” paused a minute, and then as if thrown for a loop he started yelling at me.

“You. YOU are the WORST driver! Where the hell did you learn to drive?!”

“Me? I am the worst driver?” How dare… who in the world does this guy think he is? I asked for his name, and with the great self-appointed authority of one who is in charge in these them parts, he gave me his name. He wasn’t letting up, so I opened the kitchen door and leaned in, “Ken, sweetie, I think you need to come here.”

Ken emerged looking a little perplexed. Why is there a guy outside my back door yelling at my wife?

My level-headed husband moved the man away from the house. There really is no reasoning with an angry (drunk?) hot-headed control freak, so Ken asked him to leave. Then after a few more minutes of asking, demanded that leave immediately.

Finally, the guy got in his truck and drove off.

We called 911.

Fast forward a couple months.

Ken was already at work as the kids and I headed out the door for Sunday school. After a considerable amount of debate about who got to sit where, we were on the road.

Along a straight section of dirt road the distance between me and the truck ahead of me, which looked vaguely and uncomfortably familiar, was shrinking until I determined that, yes, that’s quite possibly the guy. I said a silent prayer that he wouldn’t be turning left at the stop sign.

He turned left, and (surprise, surprise) proceeded to drive erratically. Slow. Slower. Faster. Slower. Seriously! His passenger (wife?) turned around a couple times. I kept a fair amount of distance between us.

The kids confirmed that he was indeed a wacky driver.

He took the same right turn that I needed to take. I took several deep breaths and sighed loudly.

Before I knew it, there were a couple more cars behind me. One was a white pick-up with dually tires. He was clearly irritated; his diesel engine roared and snorted angrily. After several miles of driving below the posted speed limit, Mr. White-Pick-Up-Truck had had enough. He pulled out in the opposite lane and stormed past the line of cars piled up behind the guy.

“See! He’s not just irritating me. He’s just plain irritating.” I kept my distance and continued on, grumbling and mumbling. “Oh my gosh! He’s doing it again. What a jerk.” My blood ran hot and cold again as I remembered him walking toward me asking if my parents were  home. My anger was resurfacing.

After about a half an hour and several turns we were still behind him, and one of the kids laughed and said, “Hey mom, wouldn’t it be funny if he was going to our church?”

Kids say the darnedest things, don’t they?

What would I do if he showed up in the seat next to me at church? 

The question is still with me.

What would you do?

 

But I tell you who hear me: Love your enemies . . . (Luke 6:27)

 

I’m about to completely ruin winter break for my boys. We have to do some math work before I leave town for a soccer tournament and I’m about to make that announcement. I’m going to be wildly unpopular! Oh math, so often I hear parallels being drawn between you and life. Math and God. Math [...]

Jan 242014
 

The internet is a strange and wonderful place. It takes approximately three seconds to find out the average temperature in Phoenix in February, which is helpful when planning a trip to Phoenix in February. It takes about 15 seconds to figure out that the cat’s psychotic behavior doesn’t mean she’s demon possessed, but it means [...]

Nov 162013
 
Stanley 2.0

We’ve moved a lot, so we have friends all over the country, which means that when our little friends around the country are in about the second grade and it’s Flat Stanley time, folks think of us. I’m flattered. They think we live in an interesting enough place that their second grader wouldn’t be embarrassed [...]

 
Laughter and Napping

On the right side of my mouth where a molar used to live, I now I have a hole in my head and a throbbing pain. On the left side of my mouth I have a new inlay which took the duration of the entire movie Maid in Manhattan to place. Remember back in the [...]

May 092013
 
Oh! Humanity

I’m kind of down on humanity right now. Someone smashed the driver’s side car window to bits in order to take what didn’t belong to him. The man from the bank said the thief had made purchases already. The phone’s battery was at 6%. Don’t put me on hold. Please, no! I can’t wait. Then [...]

Apr 162013
 

As the kids do the dishes and sing along to the Les Misérables soundtrack in the kitchen, I hum along in the next room and log into Facebook. Recently, I took a bit of a break from Facebook. You might think that I gave up Facebook because I worried that I wasted too much time [...]

Mar 202013
 

The pages are still blank, but there is a miraculous feeling of the words being there, written in invisible ink and clamoring to become visible.” Vladimir Nabokov

 
February 24 (was a few days ago): Vision

  Today’s . . . err . . . February 24th’s lenten photo-a-day challenge word was Vision. I’ve worn glasses since I was in my teens. I am so accustomed to having glasses on my face that I adjust my glasses even when they aren’t on my face. I remember vividly the day I got [...]

 
This should have been posted on February 19th. Oh Well!

I failed right from the start. I started five days late. (I give myself some slack on that since I discovered the challenge five days late.) Since then I’ve soundly failed the “daily” part of this challenge. I make this so much harder than it has to be. I could just put up a picture [...]

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