Nothing gives a fearful man more courage than another's fear.
A timid person is frightened before a danger, a coward during the time, and a courageous person afterward.
~Jean Paul Richter
I've been afraid a few times in my life.
The time I was walking 6 year-old Bella to her best friend's house and two largish barking, angry dogs came running down a driveway towards us. I pushed Bella behind me and knew I'd take whatever those dogs had to give me before they'd get at Bella. Apparently my conviction changed their minds and they went back up the driveway without bothering us. Whooo ha!
Or the time I had to hang my head out of our truck while my wasband and I drove north in a snowstorm to find our Lorenzo who had flipped her car into a ditch. I couldn't breath. I just wanted her young-yet-grown body in my arms so I could feel all of her limbs and know she was okay.
Fear is weird because when you're in it you have really no control over how you'll react.
Saturday morning Pup and I (or the Griswolds as his family now refer to us) packed up The Guest House and drove it south to Iowa for a party at his sister's house.
We were looking forward to this weekend and I had convinced Pup that it would be fun to take The Guest House so we could free up the spare room for his other sister and brother-in-law to use.
We're humming along. I'm reading a pile of magazines that had been growing for a time. Nothing like four hours on the road to get you caught up on all of your magazines.
I had just reached behind my seat to pick up my iPad.
"Sheesh - this thing is really hot!" I say.
A second later we're both sniffing the air. There's a burning smell coming from outside we think.
"I sure hope that's not us," Pup laughs.
He turns to look in the back. Smoke is billowing out from behind my seat.
His look of alarm makes me turn around to look. Smoke spewing out. What the hell?
I hop in the back to see. What do I think I'm going to do? I really don't know, but Pup is driving and we need to know, yes? I'm brilliant in my reasoning.
I am just getting on my hands and knees when
flames start shooting out of the spot where seconds before there had been smoke.
The crazy-ass thing about crippling fear is that it was only one half of me. The other half of me was dead-calm. I could have rational thought. I'm thinking
I grab our heavy chenille blanket and place it over the flame, pushing it down. Meanwhile Pup is pulling off the highway. Mind you, seconds before we were hurtling along at 70 miles per or thereabouts.
I start to crawl towards the back of The Guest House where I know we have a fire extinguisher. Of course I cannot figure out how to get that thing out of its holder.
Now, I am making it sound like I'm the calm in the storm. I am not. Even though I'm reacting rationally I can feel a fear bubble in my chest. An adrenaline I've never felt before.
My mind is calm, but my lips are saying over and over and over, "Are we going to blow up? Are we going to blow up? Are we going to blow up?"
Who knows how many times I say it? A dozen? 20 times? Luckily no one is listening.
Pup has gotten onto the side of the road and brakes. I fly against the back door, bumping my head and sliding on my knees.
He then grabs a jug of water we have in the galley and pours it over the smoking hole.
Meanwhile I get the back door open and hesitate to jump out - it's a longish way to the pavement.
Pup says emphatically, "Get out." I do. He does.
We are standing away from The Guest House. Listening to everything creaking and cooling.
My chest is still pounding. I am bent over trying to get my breath.
Pup is doing the same.
The rest of the story is good. We are alive. And nothing blew up. :)
Pup quickly figures out it is the catalytic converter that blew its top and started the nearly 25 year-old wood under The Guest House on fire.
|It doesn't look like much, but when flames were shooting out it was something!|
|It looks innocent doesn't it?|
We'll get The Guest House fixed and we'll be back on the road in no time I'm certain.
On the way back to Minnesota that thing blew a couple of times more, but Pup now knew exactly what it was and could remedy the situation. My reactions were not so remedial. Let's just say that crying and irrational fear took over both times.
Yay! We're alive! Nay! Hole in floor of The Guest House!
Smooches to all of you.