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20 Questions on the side of the road

Sometimes the storm really is followed by a rainbow. It's been a while since I've offered any maternal sentimental musings in this space, so this week seems like a good time. Actually with the holidays and all the local events, maybe it isn't. But this column looks at life through my eyes, and this past week, I saw the rainbow.

For several months now, my parents, my sons and I have juggled car trouble. The car in trouble is my own, but the other mentioned parties have been affected because they've graciously supplemented my lack of transportation.

When my car died on the way to church about a month ago, my father came and rescued me. After pushing it out of traffic, my father towed the car to a friend, who took the sad little engine apart, diagnosed its troubles and repaired it.

My father eagerly returned my car last Monday, and it ran smoothly all week. But apparently my car has something against my religion, because Sunday evening on my way to church, I again found myself stranded on an exit ramp of I-20.

At least I was able to get it out of the way of traffic this time, and I was not alone. Both my boys were with me, although I won't mention which one won the "shotgun" argument that evening.

I do have to admit that I fought back tears as I tried to think of other options besides calling my father again. My father is always willing, but my pride isn't. I considered walking back home, but low temperatures and high heels quickly scratched that option. Not to mention the fact that I was at least 12 miles away.

As the options diminished, the pity party grew. I called my father. While waiting for his arrival, my sons had the audacity to crash my pity party. "Let's play 20 questions since we're just sitting here," my eldest suggested.

I was not in the mood for a game, especially one that would distract me from my self pity. I looked into my son's eyes and it sparked a memory of all the times we were going on road trips and I prohibited video games, TVs or DVD players. I always insisted that sitting in the car was the perfect time for stretching one's imagination.

Practicing what I preached, I agreed and the game commenced. In the 30 minutes that followed, there was so much laughter that the entire car shook. There was also a great sense of satisfaction because we each managed to stump the others at least one time.

"That was fun," my son said when we were back home. I had to agree. And my 12-year-old car is increasing in value all the time with each new part it acquires. I think I see a silver lining.

Web posted on Thursday, December 14, 2006

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