Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Illustrate the meaning of “A Stitch in Time Saves Nine” (without using the actual phrase or literal example). (01/03/08)
TITLE: Motorcycle Mayhem
By Sue Gagne
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Why oh why do I keep doing this? Time after time, my husband has told me, it only takes a minute, just lift up the wipers and see if they are stuck to the windshield before you jump in and turn them on.
What will he think of me if I go back in and ask him for help after stripping the wipers again? It’s not snowing that bad, and I only work a couple miles away. I can make it, he’ll never know, besides, I’m running late for work.
Backing out of the driveway, pausing for the passing car, I hear the swooshing sound of wet spray on the pavement. As I head out on the road, I realize that this isn’t going to be good.
I imagine God, shaking his head, and with a warm smile saying “silly girl when will you learn?” I know He is right, He has blessed me with a wonderful husband, who would have come out and fixed my wipers without saying a word. If it hadn’t been the third time this winter I had made the same careless mistake, I may have asked him for help.
With both hands on the wheel now, I am even more determined to handle this situation on my own. Come on school bus, move your rear, I’m going to be late! How many kids at this stop anyway? One stubborn little girl standing there, catches my eye. She is in no particular hurry to get on the bus or help me get to work on time.
She reminded me of my sister as a child. I couldn’t help but think back to the summer afternoon at my grandfather’s house, when the two of us went exploring in his garage. It always fascinated me how neat and organized he kept the place. Everything in there had a home, there was even a string hanging from a rafter that would hit the windshield, showing the driver exactly how far to pull the car in.
The garage was also where he stored his shiny motorcycle. Knowing exactly how to impress my little sister, I got on and pushed the kick stand back. I was just tall enough (on my tiptoes), to balance that big machine. Oh, was I was cool. Well, for a few minutes I was. It wasn’t long before I felt the pressure on my leg. I lost my balance, and then my confidence.
Not wanting to alert my grandfather to the situation, I shot my sister a look and growled at her to help me as the blood rushed up to my face. Panic set in as I felt the smooth shine of the gas tank press harder into my leg. It felt like I held that bike up for an eternity. As I struggled, my sister stood frozen. Enraged by her reaction, I gathered up so much strength, I was able to swing my leg over, and push the bike up to standing position. Both relief and fatigue settled on me after I got the kickstand down. I backed away gently from the bike with my palms facing it…praying it wouldn’t fall.
I don’t know how or why that bike didn’t hit the floor. But I was able to acknowledge that no one else helped me. I believe that was the first time I was aware that I couldn’t rely on or trust anyone by myself.
Thinking about it today still makes my shoulders ache.
Or is it because I have such a tight grip on the steering wheel? Finally, the bus is moving. Yes! I’m going to be on time after all.
Now I just have to get these wipers fixed.
I hear God whisper, “that’s not all that needs to be fixed!”
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