The torrent of language flowed over Jane and Steve as they stood at the ticket counter. What was the lady trying to say? Jane tried again.
“Two,” she said, holding up two fingers. “Two tickets please.” She indicated herself and her husband, and pushed the money across the counter.
Again the unfathomable torrent raged forth. Fortunately their grandson, Tim, came running up at that moment. He listened to the woman and cracked up laughing.
“Gran,” he spluttered. “She is saying you are too old, you can’t go on the ride because it is dangerous for old people.”
“Old people!” huffed Jane. “We’re not old.” The lady was indicating a notice board beside the ticket office but Jane couldn’t read a word of it. Tim interpreted the long list of rules, among them something about blood pressure problems.
“I’m on blood pressure medication,” said Jane, “but I’m OK, there shouldn’t be any problem.”
Tim assured the ticket seller that his grandparents felt they were not too old to go on the water ride. Reluctantly she said Tim must accompany them and handed over three tickets. She had a scared look on her face as they moved away.
“We’ll be fine,” Steve said, “we’ve been on these sorts of rides before with no problem.”
It surely was fun. They clambered into the wooden ‘boat’ and they were off, carried swiftly along the chute on the flowing water. Twisting and turning, Jane waved and yahooed to the other children below with their father, who by then were watching their grandparents get swept along. Then it was time for the finale, a sudden drop down the waterfall to the finish line. Jane and Steve had watched several times so thought they were prepared. When the boat dipped over the edge, Jane felt as though her heart flew up to the sky! It was steep and it was sudden.
They came to the end and the assistant helped them out. They were beaming and glowed triumphantly at the ticket seller. See, we’re fine.
They stood outside the ice cream shop while the children bought ice creams and candy. Suddenly Jane felt as though a huge black weight was crushing her head and shoulders. Should I sit down, she thought in panic? Lord, don’t let me die here in a foreign land through my own foolishness and be a bother to my family.
But she didn’t want to give in and show that she had indeed been affected by that sudden drop. She leant hard against the wall to keep from falling and stayed quiet. The chattering children noticed nothing amiss as the pressure weighed her down, and gradually it passed. By the time the family was ready to move on, she felt better and could walk off with them without saying a word.
I took a foolish risk, she thought. I didn’t listen to advice, but thought I was invincible. Thank you, Lord, for your mercy in spite of my foolishness.
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