Thursday, July 23, 2009

Into Every Life Some Rain Must Fall

July 20

Most of this trip has been top-down weather, except for the brutal heat of Death Valley and some rain in the Rockies. But today in Flagstaff, Arizona – one of the driest towns in the U.S. – the skies have opened up, pouring torrents on the town as we sit in our car outside the Flagstaff Post Office.

No matter. We can sit this one out. We have checks to write, letters to complete, while we sit in the car. We figure that the storm is likely to blow over quickly; we can see the sun already fighting its way through the clouds.

But as we sit engrossed in discussing our checks and letters, Garry and I are rudely interrupted by the jarring sound and jolt of metal upon metal. Startled, we look up to see a large white city utility van that has just missed its mark while attempting to navigate its way into the parking space in front of us. The driver knows tat he has “touched” us, and tries to right a wrong by backing up. Bad move. Garry honks the horn, but maybe the driver can’t hear it through the pouring rain. He hits us again. Again a honk, louder. Again he backs up. Bam!

Three strikes, and the passenger in the truck gets out into the torrential downpour, and asks us to back up. He knows he’s hit us now.

I am as crushed as little Sebrina (my pet name for my pretty blue Chrysler Sebring). “Don’t be that way”, I try to tell myself. Nobody is hurt, the car is still operational – just dents and cracks and bruises to the front bumper, side panel, and headlight.

The young city worker who miscalculated so badly is duly apologetic, remorseful. Perhaps he can read in my face how this pains me. Sebrina has been our faithful companion from coast to coast and partway back again, the key player in this big road trip. And she’ll continue to carry us, with fine performance despite a bruised face. We’ll get her fixed when we get home. For the rest of the trip, we’ll have to remember to take photos only of her good side.

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