Watchin' God Book One - Listed Alphabetically

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Friday, November 11, 2016

A long short story

The story, as of Sunday afternoon, October 2

FOR THOSE WHO WANT THE CLIFF NOTES, I'LL MAKE AN OUTLINE AT THE END, SO JUST SCROLL DOWN.
     Thursday morning I woke up on the wrong side of the bed. Edd keeps insisting I must move 'home' and marry him, or at least stay at his house when I'm in town, since my house is rented out. That always makes me angry, at worst, and frustrated, at best. I mean, who does he think he is, anyway?? He gave up that option decades ago, and hasn't endeared himself to me by his repeated demands of the same over the years, no matter where I live, nor to whom I'm married.
     I've not been very faithful with my bible reading (I'm being generous) nor even the devotionals that show up in my email daily; those I tend to read the title and think “okay; got the idea” but don't delete them because “I'll read it later.” Sure. Well, for some reason that morning I read both of them. The first was Romans 12:8c he that sheweth mercy, with cheerfulness.
So, Lord, you know I'll need your help with that...and then I Cor 15:58 Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye stedfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord.
     Go see Edd, help him cheerfully, work as unto the Lord, ask him the questions about his life to justify his claim of 'being ready to die'. Carry on.
As the day went on, I was thinking about 'what if's': what if Edd has advanced cancer, and he needs someone close who can take him to the doc frequently? What if I have to move back to Jesup to do that, because no one else seems inclined to help him, nor does he seem inclined to ask him (mostly estranged) family? Basically, since I have no serious commitments anywhere (even my TX lease has a 'buy-out clause', which the manager was certain I'd be interested in) I can relocate at the drop of a hat. And could this trip by why God keeps telling me to get rid of stuff? Because if I were to move back, I wouldn't take much with me – I might, maybe, put that hitch on the car and pull a 4x8 trailer. Or I might pack what will fit in the car and one box to mail.
     Wanderlust was taking over, but there was no reason to leave before the next morning, so I went to lunch at Golden Corral to tell my favorite server I would be gone for a week or so, then drove around town aimlessly for a bit. Oh yes! The oil needed changing, so got that accomplished. On the way home, I saw a walking trail, and stopped. Amazing how the view is so beautiful, but my eyes were on my feet most of the time...
     I threw a few things to take on the trip in a pile to take: tent, small tool box, electric drill and charger, 4x6 tarp, small carry-on bag still mostly unpacked from the trip to Alaska 2 weeks ago, important legal papers. My new vitamin regimen was prepped for the morning. I debated what route I would take, looking up the location of a festival in GA where friends were selling stuff, and a few campgrounds along the way. I made a few different arrangements for where to stay in Jesup, depending on my mood when I arrived. I went to bed around 11 – very early for me.
The dang alarm clock went off at 7am... A friend called at 7:15 to remind me to get out of bed. Good thing. The snooze didn't work. My plan was to be out of the house by 8am. Since packing the car the night before is almost unheard of, there was still that to do. It was 8:20 when the car rolled out of the parking lot headed southeast.
     The trip was uneventful, except that I missed the exit off I-20 just across the Alabama line. No problem, that just solidified my decision to take the interstate all the way, except the last few miles.
Except that at Tuscaloosa there was an accident on the interstate that the GPS said was expecting to take 45 minutes to get through. Well, it seems more logical to drive instead of sit in traffic, so I located a route that would get me back to the original route. Sort of.
     Did you know that on the west side of the Eastern/Central time zone line it gets dark about 6:30 or 7? I had no idea! Skip the camping idea. I drove as far as Columbus, GA and would have gone much further had I realized that US 80 was a 4-lane road almost all the way to I-16.
     Saturday, and Google maps and I became good friends. One would expect nothing less from me. There were probably half a dozen 'route changes' (I got lost.) When I saw the Dublin VA sign on I-16, it seemed a reasonable idea to take that exit to see where I'd be going on Thursday. Well, since US 257was headed north, and US 80 (the highway the festival was on) was north of I-16, so it seems logical that they should cross. Lo! Some days my brain wins!
     A strange thing happened. There were myriad yard sale signs along the way, and cash was in my pocket; but I didn't stop, because – what did I need?? Except one out in the middle of nowhere. God said to turn around and go to that yard sale. Okay. I pulled in and offered to buy the red 2001 Silverado that was for sale for the $20 in my pocket and trade the Civic. In jest of course. Which was replied to in the same manner. Bill and Melissa were inclined to talk, so I mentioned that I had no idea why God wanted me to stop, but he did. Melissa said last year the same thing happened. I mentioned that I'd seen a cool way to make yard sale signs from poster board: take a wire coat hanger and bend it into a diamond shape, then tape it on the back of the sign to keep the paper from sagging and being unreadable. Interestingly, she had a whole stack of wire coat hangers. Since I was only traveling, and being uncertain of my next move (literally) there was no point in buying anything. We talked a bit more about their lives – log truck drivers, new car, needing tires for the truck, unnamed medical issues – and Melissa seemed to want me to pray for her, so I did. Then she showed me a bruise about the size of an egg, saying that they come and go, and she is worried she might have cancer.
     Instantly I knew why God had me stop. In the car was the set of Wholetones CDs. I gave them to her, with instructions to look up the website. (www.wholetones.com) Who knows what they will do for her, but God does. She gave me a handful of wire coat hangers. We both laughed and said they might come in handy sometime... Pray for them, would you?
     After I left, the realization that I had everything with me I absolutely need to move to a new location (not including family stuff that I could have Susan mail to me.) That feeling is strong. What it means is questionable.
     “In The Bosom of the Father” by Alyosha was still in the CD player. I was going to link up to it on youtube, but this is, instead, the search result.https://www.youtube.com/results…
     The festival wasn't far from the yard sale, and I visited with my friends for a little while when I arrived at the Turpentine Festavil. When I mentioned going camping for a few days, they suggested Hillside RV Park in Cochran. Before leaving town, of course there was a junk shop or two that bore investigation, now that I had decided to go camping. The one thing I didn't pack was a pair of tennis shoes... As I was out by the road, someone stopped to ask for directions to the festival. I pointed out the road, and suggested they stop to see my friends, and to buy a ping pong launcher. Which reminded me! I had intended to get one of those myself! Back I went. There were only 2 left. Hmmmm... what can I use for a target out here in the wooded area of the campground?
     On the way into town, just off the interstate, I passed a cop on the side of the road. Whew! Only doing 65. With out of state tags, I'm fair game. They probably wouldn't be impressed with the GA tags in the trunk...
     I found the campground with no problem. How's that for a surprise?! () The price was good, and they have free wi-fi! Thanks, Lord! Because my data is about used up for the month. The … (I must remember to pay the bill!) month starts on the 5th. Or it will, if I pay the bill!
      Ah, tent camping... It's not so bad.
     Those wire coat hangers? They were because I forgot the tent stakes!
     The brand-spanking-new twin air bed with built-in pump? Sure. I didn't feel like finding the hole in the other one in the back seat of the car, so I broke the tape on the box, albeit hesitantly. You know, of course, that once you open the box, the air mattress belongs to you, no returns. I failed to purchase the $4 2-year warranty, so...
     Say what??
     Inside the $44.94 box was another sealed box – with an $8 air mattress!
     It was getting late, and now I had to make a trip to Walmart to try to convince them to replace the air mattress. I figured worst case, I would have to keep the flimsy one. But no! The manager at the Cochran Walmart said without hesitation “Go get a replacement.” Except there was no replacement on the shelf. And mine run up at Customer Service as $11.95. It had been on clearance, and since I had no receipt, that's the best they could do. That amount would get a pump... but they'd want to keep the $8 air mattress. So I asked if someone could call to Eastman and see if there was one on their shelf. After checking twice, the clerk in Eastman said, yes, they did have it, complete with onboard electric pump. The price quoted was what I remembered the air bed without a pump to be, but things cost more in Texas, so I figured it could be. She did, after all, insist it was what I was looking for.
Away I went, in the almost dark. I don't like driving in the dark...
     I pulled in at about 8:20, after getting lost a few times. Good ol' Maps to the rescue. My data is running lower by the minute.
     I went straight to Customer Service, assuming they knew what was going on. After waiting in line for a while, I simply put the box on the counter, the lady behind me said she'd explain to the cashier, and I headed back to pick up a new air mattress, with onboard electric pump. Only they didn't have one! As I expected. The stocker looked in the batch of boxes and didn't find one, either. The only thing I could do was get the air bed without electric pump and pick up a pump to go with it. That would be about the same price.
     When I got back to Customer Service, I expected to have to try to convince the cashier of the story. There was a nice young man with gorgeous long blonde hair at the register, and I mentioned that it seems the guys get the good hair. He smiled and said his girlfriend threatened to cut off his thumbs if he cut it in response to a picture of his hair stuff up under his hat. Is anyone else singing “Signs” by Ace of Base? The 20-something cashier is the one who supplied the name of the group, much to my surprise. The blonde school teacher sounded interested in the song, and more so when I mentioned that it was a story, so I wrote the info on one of my business cards – any excuse will do to pass them out, as the gospel is clearly presented on the back! It would be fun if he sent me an email.
When it was my turn to explain that the box she had put on the shelf in back of her was mine, she said no problem, she was willing to be the problem solver. When I explained, she shook her head and said someone probably forgot to check the return. “No,” I said, “the box hadn't been opened.” More head shaking, but she scanned my original $44.94 box. I was afraid it was going to come up the same $14 as at Cochran. Lo! God was watching over me! Full price! She rang up the replacements, called the manager to approve the over ride, and gave me the difference of $2 and change. The manager was also shaking his head at the situation.
     Through that whole exchange, not once did anyone try to give me a bad time about returning an air mattress! Unheard of! Thanks, Lord!
     So, a quick trip to Dollar Tree in the same parking lot. Except that I forgot to get the two things I planned to get earlier in the day.
     On the way back to the campground, I ran a red light trying to figure out where to turn... Lord, you're going to have to drive from here to the campground... When the town was behind me, the road got dark. There was one truck ahead of me. I hadn't seen a speed limit sign, so when I passed the cop sitting in a parking lot with no lights on the black vehicle at all I was hoping we were good, Texas tags and all. Since he didn't turn on any lights, I was feeling safe. However, I made sure not to exceed what I assumed to be the 55mph speed limit (plus allowance.) The truck pulled off, and a car was ridding my bumper. It was tempting to tap the brakes and say “back off” but I didn't. I also didn't speed up. Since there was no good spot to pull over and let him pass, I just maintained 60-64 mph. When the road widened into a 4-lane, I immediately moved into the right hand lane, but the car lagged in my blind spot in the left lane. After half a mile or so, I got tired of that and stepped on the brakes, sending the car well passed me. It was the cop!
     The campground was right there, so I pulled in, muttering something about 'attempted entrapment'.
With the new air bed inflated, I decided sleep was a good plan.
     This morning the church I planned to attend wasn't where I thought it should be (I turned around about ¼ mile from it!) so I went to another one. The sermon was about the Kingdom of God, and many things the preacher said were reminiscent of the blessing from “In the Bosom of the Father”, specifically that we are loved by God for no other reason than that we are alive; there is nothing we must do to earn it.
     That brings you up to 3:25 Sunday afternoon. I'll probably leave hear tomorrow morning, but it's up in the air yet if I'll head to another campground or go down to Jesup. Morning will tell.
**************************************Cliff Notes:
Left Friday. Missed the exit off I-20, so I decided to take the Interstate the whole way. Ran into bad traffic in Tuscaloosa, AL. Rerouted back to original route via US 80. Got lost several times. Stopped at a yard sale Saturday. The lady gave me wire coat hangers, which was good, because I forgot tent stakes. Visited friends at a festival in middle GA. Set up my tent at campground suggested by said friends, and was going to set up the air mattress, only to discover the one in the box wasn't the right one. The manager at Walmart would have happily exchanged my erroneous purchase for the proper one, but they didn't have it. I went to another one where the merchandise was supposed to be, only they didn't have it either. I ended up with a slightly lesser product, but in the end it works. And then a cop followed me for a long time, on my bumper. He evidently was satisfied that I wasn't a risk because he didn't stop me. The end. Thanks Lord!

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