Once, long ago when we were young, able to drink coffee after dinner, and still sleep, there was an incident. I’d made a perfect pot that night and couldn’t bear to not finish it just because I had to leave for choir practice in ten minutes. So, I decided to take it with me.
Okay, we're talking ancient times here. I did not have that excellent brew in a travel mug. No, just a regular old kitchen mug was fine enough for me. And if our car – clunker #8 – had any cup holders, I didn’t see fit to use one. Uh,uh, I drank that coffee as I drove and was probably singing, too. And, to foreshadow a little here, I have to tell you singing while drinking and driving can be hazardous to your health. Really, that should be on a poster somewhere.
So I’m zipping along Route 9H and coming up on the short side road by the Rescue Squad building attempting to slow down. You who live around here know whereof I speak. And did I say it was winter? It was winter. That mug of joe was warming my hands and it was nice.
Do you know what black ice is? I kinda did. But I never for a minute thought it would introduce itself to me in the following dramatic manner.
Right where that road curves to hook up with Route 9 where the church sits, I hit a black icy patch going about thirty MPH, and Whoa, Mama. Those clunker tires thought Ringling Bros. was in town because, sister, it did a 180 on me and I was suddenly looking at where I’d just come from with an eye out for the clowns. Panic! At this point I’d like to say a beautiful angel appeared in the road and “signed” to me, “Drop the dang coffee!” No, no. It was left totally up to me, this tricky little bit. But it only took a nano second to grab the steering wheel with both hands and that cup of coffee was on its own. In times of peril like this the fight or flight response takes over and let me tell you, I fought and I'm afraid the coffee took flight.
When I got to the church, heart thumping, I ran inside and grabbed seventy two paper towels and attempted a cleanup. Not so easy when it’s cold and there’s only a weak clunker light to aid your efforts. I did the best I could and called it good. But for many months, every time I got into that car, I was reminded of the “incident.” That lovely cuppa joe aroma lingered and, you know, it wasn’t so bad.
It was a Romans 8:28 kind of thing. Go look it up.
Image: Grant Cochrane Free Digital Photos