Under a waxing gibbous

The company truck hummed, its large headlights trained on my car. I shivered, thankful for a warm knit hat a friend recently made and gave to me.

Tim, shop light in one hand, inspected under my hood. "The hose is way down by the drive shaft," he said, frustrated.

I read his mind. Why do they make engines so inaccessible these days? He placed a foot on the front bumper and hoisted himself to stretch flat, belly down, across the V6. Tim reached far into it with his crescent wrench.

He lifted his feet, straining, and his pants slid from his ankles to reveal Santa socks. I smiled.

Throughout our married life I have spent uncounted hours pacing beside insolent engines and transmissions, with thingies called breathers and release valves and their assorted greasy bolts and clamps strewn over the ground, waiting for Tim to complete his testosterone-infused mission, to rescue me.

Last night, though the scene looked similar to many others, I differed inside from the reactive me I've often been. In the past I've conjured a thousand anxietized thoughts: Why did this happen - what did I do wrong - how did Tim force us into this circumstance - what if we're stuck here - are those people safe in their warm cars laughing at me bobbing next to our dorky, older, broken vehicle??

Last night I looked up.

Not that doing so - peering through fog at a waxy smirk of moon - saved my spirits. The fact that I could lift my head evidenced my buoyancy. Two reasons existed for the change.

First, I just spent four and a half years driving a newer car, a van that took care of me and my children. Not once during the months we made payments on my Plymouth Grand Voyager SE did I require rescue near a ditch on the road. Never mind we couldn't really afford the sticker price or the maintenance. I enjoyed my van every minute.

This week I sold the Voyager. I bought a '91 Dodge Dynasty from friends. We paid off the van, made an extra dimple in the mortgage, and, best of all, I can continue staying home this next year to finish my book. I'm happy. Thanks again, dear Plymouth.

Second, I saw things differently last night because of what happened yesterday morning. A friend and I walked through our neighborhood to the park where my kids used to dig in the sand beneath volleyball nets, devising stories of fanciful deserts. My friend is suffering right now.

She's going through a very rough time. I tried to forge a smoother path for her with words yesterday, then recognized my kinship to Job's friends of old, and mainly listened. My friend expressed the same pain I would face in the same situation. She struggles; the grief chafes raw. She weeps. But after our long walk, in the middle of a residential street leading back to my house, this friend spoke words that bolstered my heart. I can't quote her exactly, but she said to me and the chilled breeze and sunshine, "There's no escaping God. I accept that he's given me blessings and that now he is giving me heartache. I can stand nowhere else. I know God is good."

Beneath a waxing moon last night I remembered this Truth. I nearly laughed for joy. The joy of peace on earth, between mankind and the God who is there. Who is good, though he press his thumb forcefully upon the heads of those who love him.

Snug in the hat knit by my other friend, I drove home, Tim in the truck behind me, and I parked our faulty new old car in the driveway.

Joy to you this Christmas. Truth, love, and peace with God, dear friends.


Cherie said…
Lovely, poignant retelling of a flickering moment in your life, Deanna.

And a Merry, Joy-filled Christmas to you, to your kids, and to Tim and his Santa Socks!
Marianne Elixir said…
Lovely and true!
Kalitsu said…
I echo your wish for Joy and Peace, Deanna, and send hugs from Havert your way!
Anonymous said…
My thoughts are with your friend... SO glad she has you there to talk things over with and support her through her tough times.
Deanna said…
Cherie, the socks say much about his good heart, my kind, hard-working guy. Merry Christmas.

Marianne E., may you all spend a happy Oregon holiday. God bless you dearly!

Kalitsu, thanks for the hugs - give your hubby one for us. We've been talking to people who've made trips to Germany...how long will you be there, do you know?

A Life, you're so good at sharing friendship and love. May you and your cute sister and family share a warm, wonderful Christmas.
Carol Jo said…
And joy to you this Christmas, dear friend. Thanks for another story that connects us to Truth.
Kalitsu said…
We should be here at least another year - possibly longer, if asked to extend. We're willing, so could be a couple more years after that.
Deanna said…
I hope your Christmas was wonderful, Carol Jo! We sure enjoyed our tree.:o)

Kalitsu, I will gladly keep in touch regarding your later developments.
Cecily said…
Deanna I love your reflections here! Thankyou.
Deanna said…
Yay, Cecily; thanks for reading.