Angel of the Road

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Today is the last day that Matt and I will ride to and from work together (at least on a regular basis). It has been so much fun, believe it or not, to car-pool and get to listen to Matt’s morning gibberish, squirrel-like talk and the ridiculous jokes that go through his mind so early in the day. How does he do that anyway? Where does that energy come from? My mind is still half asleep then. I usually grunt and laugh and grunt in between his lovely psycho babble for the first 15 minutes, and then finally give way to laughter at his goofiness around 8:00; just in time to start my day off with smiles. And nothing has been able to beat the joy of seeing my little green car driving down the road, as my best friend comes to pick me up with love, joy, and hugs after a long, tiring day. Sigh. I have enjoyed each moment of the little blessings God has given us both over the past 6 months. And I will miss this one in particular, dearly.

Although my new job is with the same company, I will be in a different building that is just north enough of Matt’s plant to be inconvenient to ride together. Besides for getting used to driving to and from work alone, I also will be taking a slightly different route in the morning that no longer includes this one road that Matt and I have a spiritual (not really) connection with. As I have been reminiscing over my favorite things about the past 6 months, this one funny stupid story comes to mind that I thought I would leave you with:

Matt and I take the back roads to work so that we have a shorter commute with less traffic. This back route includes a lot of windy, rural roads that lead you through wooded areas in which you naturally find many animals. Deer, squirrels, foxes, and birds are among the most frequently spotted animals, whether alive or dead. Now if you know me well, you know that I am just not an animal person. Gasp! Where’s her heart?! I have never had a single pet in my life. Not even a goldfish from the county fair. That being said, I am not used to them nor did I develop a soft heart towards them. Hey now…stop your judging. So whenever I pass road kill, it does not typically bother me; I just keep on driving. No point in stopping now! So one would think that if an animal scurried out in front of my car while driving, I would calmly remember the safety rules to driving and not swerve or stop abruptly if it would endanger myself or others around me.

While driving on this one particular road that I mentioned earlier, Matt and I would almost always see a squirrel dart out across the road right as we where coming. There were usually no cars behind us, so we’d be able to slow down enough not to hit it, but each time we came close to ending the fur ball’s life, I would gasp SO loudly and throw my hands up in front of me, that it would be more startling to Matt than the squirrel was. I’m not kidding; think of the noise that you make when you gasp – you know that inhaling noise – and imagine that loud, drawn out, and dramatic. And the strangest part was that I’d always have a 2 second delay. It was like you could see the (slow) process in my brain: driving..squirrel…going to hit…it will die..slowing down…missed the squirrel…GASSSSPPPPPPPP ::hands thrown out in front of me::

It was so out of character for me that Matt would look over, stare at me for a few seconds, and then burst into laughter. I couldn’t explain why, but it stopped my heart each time we almost hit a squirrel. It became predictable each time an animal would run across the road, and even though I’d intend to not dramatically GASSSPP, I just couldn’t help it.

One day we noticed that we often passed this girl in a red car zooming by us down this same road around 8:00. It became part of our morning routine to look for her and spot her from a far as she came flying by. It wasn’t every day that our timing would match up, but Matt began to realize that whenever we did see her, there weren’t any animals on that road that would run out in front of our car. In our discussion of why that could be, one day Matt said in his morning talk, “Maybe she’s an angel. The road angel! The angel that keeps all the animals away”. “Yeah! I bet she is” I replied. After that day, every time we turned onto that back road, we’d look for the angel in the red car and when we saw her, we’d point and start yelling “ANGEL!!!! There she is! ANGELLLLL!” It was even more exciting when it’d been a while since we last saw her; the anticipation and joy would grow.

We thought it was hysterical that we would so often pass her in that red little car on the same road, morning after morning. But hey, how could she not stand out in that red car flying down the back road, with crazy, trendy hair cuts that seemed to change each month? She was a site to see. We wondered if she ever began recognizing us…. you know, the bright old turquoise-green car with two people inside, staring at her, pointing and flaring their arms in her direction, seemingly shouting something that according to their mouths, sounded something like “ANGELLLLL!” I guess we were probably the site to see. Crazy. Stupid, many would say. Ridiculous. But having a blast? Oh, you better believe it. 🙂

This morning we passed the angel of the road. I will sure miss that game.