Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Attack of the Animals

A week or so ago, as I was driving home to Kingman on the country road from Haysville, I soon learned that I had made a mistake.  It was just after dark, and the roads were swarming with wildlife.  I deftly avoided five or six deer, a skunk, and a turtle.  When I reached Highway 54 at Midway, still I scanned the ditches for whatever might emerge from the shadows.  Finally I approached Kingman.  Ah, here's the sign to slow down to 40 mph.  Home free!  At that moment a deer came at me from behind, and smacked into my rear fender.  Great. Oh rats.  I got my name in the Leader-Courier for filing a police report, so next day everybody in town was asking me if I was all right, and laughing at me for "going deer-hunting after dark."

Sooo... a couple of days ago I went out to start my car for church.  I had parked it across the street because Roy Erdman was riding his giant mower around my so-called "lawn."  He does a beautiful job, but still, he is a charter member of that great fraternity of "guys with tools."  I was carrying flowers for the altar, and the wind was blowing, so I thought I would drive, rather than walk.  When I started the engine, it made an unusual noise, "Thunk!" and the engine died.  I started it again, and found that there was something wrong with the steering.  Halfway up the block, a red engine warning light came on.  Oh, terrific!  Now my car is broken, and I can't afford to fix it.  After church I looked up that warning light on the internet and found out that it is the generator light, and you absolutely cannot drive with it on, because your engine will be cooked.  Unless it's really the generator, in which case you can't drive because your battery will croak.

My cousin Carl came by to bring me some new potatoes, and offered to take a look at it to see if the belt was broken.  He looked, did a double-take, pulled a flashlight out of his pocket (Yes, he has a flashlight in his pocket.  He's an amazing person!) and looked again.  He told me to look in and see if I could see a cat.  What???  I couldn't see anything in there.  Then I saw it -- a patch of fur deep down amongst the machinery.  He said one belt was broken and another was twisted upside-down.  Ewwww!  Yuck!  One less feral cat in downtown Kingman!  Nightmares all night.  At least I have the comfort of knowing it didn't make a sound -- never knew what hit it.  But still....

Next morning Ed Meis towed the car and its problems to the Volkswagen dealer in Wichita.  I've spent the last two days talking to insurance people and car repairmen.  They're going to take it to the body shop to get an estimate for the deer part after they finish fixing the cat part. Between phone calls, I've been finishing my big final paper for one of my classes -- an exegesis on Ezekiel's dry bones, and trying to get my garden and house in order.  I have to get that Christmas stuff sorted, washed, and put away before my dinner guests come on Sunday.  This was going to be the paycheck when I would finally catch up on all my bills, and maybe have enough left for a pair of new shoes.  If the weather hadn't been so gloriously beautiful these past few days, I might be depressed right now.  But I'm not.  I'm just tired.  And financially worried.  Here's something to listen to at the end of the day when you feel tired and somewhat discouraged.  It lifts your soul and opens your heart for Evening Prayer.


  1. Sorry to hear about your car. When Dad told me I never heard of one crawling up in the engine compartment in the middle of summer!

  2. I'm glad you didn't send any pictures of the massacre. It wouldn't have been as cute as the mouse-in-the-printer picture. Still my office colleagues did sympathize with the story. Some of them are fond of cat jokes such as why we have catapults and not cowapults. That person was a gentleman rancher until the drought forced him to sell his herd of about 100 head. Also, my boss's son was rear-ended by a State of Oklahoma vehicle so he was curious how a deer could rear-end a car!

    Dave Z.

  3. So sorry about your vehicle issues. Have thought of how it would be to not need to depend so much on those money eating contraptions. However, never having lived in a city where public transportation easily sufficed, I can only have the perspective of a rural Kansas resident. Am sure you are probably contemplating these incidents searching for the positive, as we tend to need to do when God intervenes. Many times we have to look change our mind set of negative incidents and know that God will provide a positive. So what could the positives be........ Maybe you learned something new about animals, your vehicle, insurance???? May be God put a new person in your path, or worked through the kindness of a family member or neighbor to help you through this time and share your blessings with. Whatever it may be, I think we can know that God is in control. He may simply be building our character, patience, perseverance, and faith while we attempt to stay within the guidelines He has provided for our lives. God must see those guidelines as simple, yet our human nature often causes issues to become clouded and complex.
    May our Lord Jesus Christ himself and God our Father encourage you and strengthen you in every good thing you do and say. God loved us and through his grace he gave us a good hope and encouragement that continues forever. 2 Thessalonians 2:16-17

  4. Thanks for the kind words. I am thankful that God has surrounded me with a community of the Faithful (of which you are a member), and I am learning more and more to rely on that community to help me keep my perspective.

    1. Beautiful music...very peaceful...thank you Carolyn.