Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: ROAD TRIP (vacation) (07/02/15)
- TITLE: The Big "Jack"
By Trudy Newell
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My heart beat faster as I looked at my engagement ring. We had bought the rings right before Christmas 1999. I pulled myself up into the Dodge Caravan, ready for the adventure. In less than two weeks, I would become a wife, a step-mother, and a grandmother – all in one day.
Mike and I met in England. God put us together, and now here I was sitting in the front seat next to my bridegroom-to-be. We prayed a lot about whether I should fly back to Dallas - or drive back with Mike. We also asked some wise and godly friends what they thought. No one seemed to think it would be misinterpreted. So with a commitment to ‘hands off’ on the trip and separate motel rooms, we were off.
The eighteen days in England did not give us much time to get to know each other. It was fun to discover all the great things about Mike. We needed to get to know each other. At the same time we didn’t dally. We wanted to get to Dallas.
As we rode along, Mike asked, ”Have you ever seen a jackalope?”
“Jackalope?” I responded.
“Yes, it’s a cross between a jack rabbit and an antelope.”
“Mike, what are you talking about? There’s no such creature!”
“You’ve heard of the okapi, haven’t you?”
“The jackalope is another strange animal.”
I didn’t comment. It sounded fabricated.
Off and on during the trip, he’d make comments like, “There it is, another jackalope, road kill.”
Always on his side of the road, of course. I wasn’t buying it.
We arrived in Dallas. The next day we went to see Mary, the church secretary, about the arrangements for the wedding. She had a whole list of things.
Did I want a limo?
No, thank you. With our budget, I became very practical. We still needed to take care of medical expenses. Mike’s first wife, Ruth, had died of a brain tumor.
I confided to her about the jackalopes and told her I didn’t believe the animal existed. Mike stood there. She looked at him, and then smiled.
“Trudy, I’m with you. I don’t think there’s such an animal.”
We laughed, and Mike didn’t say a word.
As we were eating lunch later on, Mike looked at me.
“Trudy, I’m really hurt. Here we are getting married in just a few days, and you don’t trust me.”
“Honey, it’s not that. It’s just that your joke has gone on long enough.”
The wedding was beautiful; it was one great blessing to become Mike’s wife. We spent the night in a hotel, and then went to church the next morning. Dad and Mom knew that we would be there, but no one else. It surprised everyone to see us there, but we wanted to start our marriage with God in the center. After lunching with Dad and Mom after church, we headed back to California.
This trip was fun. We took our time, enjoying the sights and sounds, such as they were, of west Texas. I was sure glad when we got to El Paso.
We stopped to see Carlsbad Caverns. I’ll never forget looking up at all the wonders and Mike planting a kiss on my lips in the semi-darkness.
The discussion about jackalopes continued. We laughed and kidded back and forth, but Mike was adamant that there were indeed jackalopes.
Somewhere in Arizona, he took me to Crackle Barrel for supper. As we were wandering around in the gift shop, he stopped me.
“Trudy, see what I found.” He handed me a postcard of a jackalope.
In total surprise, I gazed at the animal.
“Oh, Honey, I’m so sorry I didn’t believe you.”
We bought several of the postcards, and walked to the car. I was still apologizing all over the place.
Suddenly Mike burst out laughing. “Honey, there is no such creature.”
“What? Mike, what about the postcard?”
“One hundred percent doctored.”
I took a second look at one of the postcards, and even in the semi-darkness realized the head was not an original part of the body. The big joke or big “jack” was on me.
I sent Mary one of the postcards, with the message “One hundred percent doctored!”
I have one postcard in our wedding album under “The funniest thing that happened on your honeymoon.”
I learned then that Mike is not only a godly man, but he also has a great sense of humor.
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