When all else fails, just drift off

There’s something to be said for spontaneity—for just letting go and letting life have its way with you.
Believe me, if you’re looking for something you can’t find, just forget about it. Life will stick out its foot, you’ll trip, and find it.
Last Thursday afternoon, I sat here at my desk—fingers and keyboard at the ready. I stared at my reflection in the computer screen and searched the archives of my brain for the next “The View From Here.”
Alas, the attic was dry, the kids were behaving, the dog was still simple-minded, and Pete’s housecoat still was on the bathroom hook. I had nothing to write about. My life was suddenly boring.
Hey, does Greek mythology have a literary God? How about Athena, Goddess of Wisdom? Does she take e-mails or maybe even a telegram?
“SOS. Stop. Foggy window on the “View.” Stop. Dry cell battery in head. Stop. Send chariot to light fire under my. . . . Stop. Give me a funny. Stop. Give me anything! Stop.”
Friday afternoon and still nothing—save a sore butt from sitting here. I had brain drain and no return mail from Greece. Much against the teachings of my editor, Mike Behan, was I to be forced to do the unthinkable and procrastinate?
Hey, I still had Saturday. Maybe I’d catch the dog flushing the toilet instead of drinking out of it? Surely, something would pop into “View.”
Mysteriously, though, my family and my dog had become a quiet bunch. And while on a cleaning mission Saturday afternoon, as I came around the corner in the hallway, I caught my husband with his back against the wall, arms raised as if he’d just been held up—an “I didn’t do anything” look on his face.
What’s up with that?
Surely I could write a column by Saturday night, skulk into the office, and transfer it into the “Ready to be Edited” folder.
Not a chance. By 9 p.m. I gave up. Besides, everybody was in bed, having pooped themselves out avoiding me.
The sun came up Sunday morning, and with it all resolve. My life really was boring. I was a had-been columnist.
A trip to town in the early afternoon that day cheered me up. Nearly five cm of new snow meant we’d take Peter’s “gumbo chewy” four-wheel drive Expedition. It would stave off any worries about getting stuck on the country roads.
I’d drive in to town and Pete would drive home (it’s a 50-50 thing).
By the time we headed home at 4:15, the snow had stopped. We grabbed a hot coffee and chatted our way to Burriss. Country roads, single lane through the snow.
I was one with everything. Life was a mystery to be lived, not a puzzle to be solved, and I was okay with that. It was then, about 200 feet from the house on that last ‘S’ curve, when life stuck out its foot.
In a microsecond, I had my story.
Soft snow caught the left front wheel. Pulling, pulling us. Steering wheel compensation not working! Hold on, we’re going in! At the last possible second, as I saw the world start to take on a 45-degree angle, Pete saved the day and straightened her out.
Don’t let anybody tell you we haven’t had a lot of snow this winter. And the meaning of “plow” isn’t just something you put on the front of your truck.
I must admit, Pete did a much better job than I could have ever done of sinking that truck in the ditch—and straight like an arrow parallel to the road. We could hardly open the doors. It was awesome.
We looked at each other and laughed. “Wow! that was cool!”
Thanks, honey. It was the most excitement I had all weekend.

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