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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Cousin(s) (05/22/08)

TITLE: Driving Over Jesus
By Debbie Wistrom


I dialed her number and got voicemail. This sighting was too crazy to leave a message. I continued my journey. An Oriole crossed my path so I took it as a good sign.

She was missing many sights. The trip isn’t officially started until we are in the car together, but these two were good. More than good, they qualified at the high end of our list. I needed blinders.

Over the years we discovered, my Cousin Gaye and I, that we had the same eye. Not the same eyes because our fathers are brothers, but the same eye for seeing God in our surroundings.

Gaye was the oldest grandchild and ten months later, I came along. Growing up, we only saw each other for a month each summer. During those weeks, we were inseparable. We stayed either at her house or at Grandma’s where I bunked during that precious month.

We waited for the first firefly, learned the names and locations of the constellations, we smelled the night air full of honeysuckle. We picked perfectly ripe strawberries. We couldn’t wait for the first taste of ripe tomatoes. Summer was our delight.

Now that we had retired and our husbands had passed, we got together each summer for a month-long road trip. We sketched out a route, recorded what we saw, and of course, what we ate.

“Do you have the rules?” I asked as I loaded the cooler in the back seat.

“Check,” said Gaye, the supervisor.

“Our old lists?”



“Check! Dot, why don’t you stop asking, you know I have it all together.” Gaye hipped me, head first into the back seat.

“Binoculars and map?” I mumbled under my breath as I gained solid footing. “Is this the pie trip or did we decide on burgers?”

Gaye looked wistful and said, “Burgers. Don’t you remember that exquisite Rhubarb Custard pie in Hannibal? Right after we saw the herd of buffalo in the pond?”

“Burgers it is.” I situated the CD case on the floor in back, lifting out the Chris Tomlin disk. Indescribable is our theme song. “Do you have the player? Want to make sure we start our days with praise and anxious expectation.”

As girls, in her bedroom, we would listen to the same Patsy Cline album repeatedly. Today ‘Alternative’ Gospel rocks our world. Our grandchildren think it’s cool to buy music CDs for their ‘rockin’ cool’ grannies. We like it too because that means no more useless trinkets for us to dust around.

“I wonder what God is going to show us this time?” Gaye arranged the trunk, making sure our husband’s old hats and overcoats were there. A bit of security, a bit of the old days. “You just never know. Do you have postcards stamps this time? I don’t want to have to search for a post office again.”

“Yeeeesss, deeeaar,” I replied. “I have the kids’ addresses too, even those for your brood. Why do we second guess ourselves, if there is anything we forgot there is always a Wal-Mart.”

“Okay,” locking her front door, Gaye said, “Let’s hit the road, cowgirl!”

Pulling out of her drive, I sighed and said, “Now I can tell you what I saw on the way over. I called but got your voicemail so I hung up because it was too nutty to leave a message. I know it doesn’t qualify because we weren’t together, but it was there just the same. Road crews have been repairing the cracks on the old highway. Splotchy with black tar, the new patches really stand out. About two miles outside of town I came to a curvy hill and the black patches looked like Jesus. Two eyes, mouth and the hair, you know the way he looks on that website where the guy throws the paint onto the canvas? I was already driving over it when my mind registered what my eyes had seen. It didn’t feel right, driving over Jesus. I couldn’t believe it, I had to turn around and go back to make sure.”

“That does sound nutty; maybe it will still be visible when I come over for the Fourth. We can take a mini trip and officially add it to the list.”

As the power-filled voice of Chris Tomlin escorted us out of town, I said a prayer, “God keep us safe and help us to keep you in mind as we survey the wonders of Your Kingdom here on earth.”


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This article has been read 644 times
Member Comments
Member Date
LauraLee Shaw05/29/08
Enjoyed the bond these cousins shared, especially the music!
Seema Bagai 05/30/08
Good story. I was confused by the opening, but you tied it together in the end and then it made sense.
Cheri Hardaway 06/01/08
I love Chris Tomlin! So, do I get to join the cool granny club?

Your title is precious and tied in perfectly throughout the story.

I love the relationship you have described between these two lifelong cousin friends.

I had a bit of a hard time following along for the first couple paragraphs, but as soon as it became evident what was happening... the road trip... everything plunked right into place. Good work, Cheri
Jan Ackerson 06/02/08
I loved these quirky cousins, and the equally quirky writing. Lots of fun from beginning to end, and a really awesome title.
Joshua Janoski06/03/08
Haha. The title is so unique, and it really got me curious.

I liked how these two ladies had every little detail of the trip planned out. It was fun seeing them go back and forth about the checklist and their plans.

Oh, and Chris Tomlin is awesome! :)
Beckie Stewart06/04/08
Love the delightful relationship of these two cousins. Nicely done. I like th POV.
Deborah Engle 06/04/08
This was fun. Good dialogue, too.
Sara Harricharan 06/04/08
These are some really cool 'rockin' grannies! ^_^ I loved their characters and how they got together for this whole trip. The dialouge was such fun, I really loved to see how it all folded out. ^_^
Caitlynn Lowe06/04/08
I like it. The relationship between the two cousins is described very well, I think.
Lyn Churchyard06/04/08
Loved the story, loved the cousins, loved the title. Great job all round Debbie, well done :-)
Joy Faire Stewart06/04/08
I was right there with the ladies. Loved everything about it! Excellent.
Aaron Morrow06/05/08
Excellent job Debbie!

The title and explanation of the title in the article were absolutely super.

The detailed checklist dialogue and paragraph about the CDs were very engaging!

Great work, keep it up!
LaNaye Perkins06/05/08
I really loved these two quirky grandmas. This was just fun to read all the way through. Well done!
Helen Dowd06/05/08
Very unique title. I wondered about it until I understood the "why" of it. Great, leaving that until near the end. I don't relate to the "rockin' grannies" though. I still have a bit of the "old fashioned" in me. And since I don't have children--thus no grandchildren--to keep me up to the times, I couldn't relate to that part. But I did have a close-in-age cousin, whom I love, but we live far apart now and I don't get to see her...Loved your story. It was so NOW....Helen