“Yes, Julie.” Flo answered into the phone. “What’s wrong? I can tell by the sound of your voice something’s up.”
“Corrine’s not feeling well. Think she got too hot the day we cleared the brush from over the septic tank. She wants one of the sisters to spend the night.”
“Why can’t one of the other four go?”
“You know what old grannies they are! They’re staying home close to their storm cellars. Severe thunderstorms are forecast for tonight. Can you stay with her?”
“Well, I’m seventy-six, older than any of them! But if you’ll come get me, I’ll go.”
“ Be ready. I’ll be there in about twenty-five minutes. I hope it doesn’t start raining again! My wipers are wired direct to the battery. Remember? If the wire gets too warm, the wipers will stop. I’m still trying to find the part at a junk yard , maybe off a wrecked car. It’ll be cheaper. I do have Rain-X on the windshield though.”
Julie put food , that she had cooked for Corrine, in the car, along with her emergency supplies. She kept a watchful eye toward the sky. She drove cautiously through water that had collected in the coal truck ruts on the main highway.
“My, don’t you look nice, Flo. New jeans?” “Oh yes! Wanted you and Corrine to see them.” “We'd better get a move-on. The sky is beginning to look darker."
“Wish you lived somewhere with a better road, Flo”. “Why? This one’s just been patched.”
“Yes, but it’s a narrow black road without white lines. I can’t see good after dark, and car lights blind me.”
Just then, a banged-up, red pick-up truck come speeding down the middle of the road. “It’s not getting over, Julie!” Julie swerved to the right, but too much! She managed to keep control of her white Escort station wagon , stopped it then killed the motor.
“Man, Flo, that was close! The good Lord was with us... “Let’s sit here just a minute til our nerves calm down.”
When she tried to pull back onto the road, one tire was spinning. “What’ll we do, Julie?”
“Let me think a minute. Dang! Wish I hadn’t forgotten my cell phone!”
“Got it! I know something to do that will get us outta here. But you’ll have to help me Flo. Let’s pray first. I once helped Daddy do this when I was about thirteen.”
After they prayed, they got out of the car. “Watch out Flo! That ditch has water in it.” “Now you tell me! My Nikki’s are soaked!” “So are my Reebok’s, but at least mine’s an older pair.”
Julie got her hatchet and battery-powered spotlight from her supplies. “Good thing I brought my emergency tools, huh, Flo?”
“You pull on these small, green pine limbs and I’ll cut them off. When we have a pile, I’ll show you what to do”.
Julie focused the spotlight toward the small trees near the side of the road, and began to hack away. Flo pulled and stacked . “Just a few more should do it, and some of these small broken limbs laying underneath. Pull harder on this bigger one Flo.” Flo did, and when it was chopped free, she lost her balance. She stumbled backward, ending up sitting on her rear in the ditch of water! “Oh. Flo, are you alright?” "I’m fine. I landed on mud and grass, but just look at my Jordache jeans! “
” Don’t rub your face Flo. You’re getting mud all over it!” “Well, I almost knocked my glasses off!”
“Here, I have a paper towel in my pocket. Uh oh, it’s beginning to rain. Back into the car.”
“Wrap that old quilt around you. I always keep it in here during cold, or stormy weather.”.
“I’m hungry. Got any snacks?" "No, just the beef roast and potatoes I made for Corrine."
“Have you got a spoon in here?” “Might be a plastic one in the glove compartment.”
“I won’t eat much, just enough to stop my stomach from growling. I didn’t eat supper.”
“Go ahead, but save Corrine some. There’s saltines too.”
"Got anything to drink in that six-pack cooler ?"
“A quart of sweetened tea and bottled water. I can’t smoke unless I have something to drink. That reminds me... I’ll keep the window cracked. Did you bring your round tin of Timber Wolf?” “Has a cat got a tail?” replied Flo.
When the rainfall eased up they went back to their task.
“Flo, I’ll start the car. Each time it pulls forward a little, throw some of that stuff close as you can underneath the wheel. Please be careful! We can do this!”
Little by little, the car inched forward. Finally the Escort was back on the pavement!
Flo got back in and spread the quilt across both of them Simultaneously, they breathed, “Thank you, Lord!” Then Julie said, “Flo, you’ve heard that old saying, “Daddy didn’t raise no fool.” Well, neither did ours.”
It was still drizzling rain when they reached their old homeplace where Corrine lived. The living room light was on. Julie shined the spotlight so they wouldn’t fall on the slippery steps. She handed Flo the food at the door.
“You can tell Corrine about our mis-adventure, and what went with part of her food. Borrow some dry clothes from her. Sorry you got your new jeans ruined. You really did look nice.”
“Thanks, Julie. I will, and maybe a large safety pin to make them fit better. Guess Rob might be worried about you.”
“No way!. He’ll be sound asleep with rain pelting down on that tin roof. Probably never even missed me. He’ll sleep good knowing our garden got a good watering from Mother Nature.”
“Call if Corrine needs anything else. Like Mama said, We sisters got to stick together.” I’ll be ready. Just pray my wipers will last five more minutes so I can get home...
Until next time, Flo... until next time!
Copyright2004 Martha J. Currington