I should have known things were going too well.
The Prairie Players’ performance of Sleeping with a One-Armed Man at the Glesby Centre went swimmingly last week. We felt overwhelmed when an audience of 265 showed up and collectively donated $1,380 to Manitoba Farmers with Disabilities. Thank you to everyone who came. Your generosity and support are deeply appreciated!
Next, we drove off to the ACT Festival in Dauphin. I hoped the team would do as well as they had at home. I hoped the adjudicators wouldn’t criticize us into the ground. I wondered if I’d find my way, especially since I was staying at my niece’s home and would need to navigate country roads after dark with my dicey night vision. Would the weather turn horrid? Had I packed the right outfits? Would my old car hang together? Would my sometimes precarious energy levels fizzle before the weekend ended?
|The bench AND the armful. Sweet!|
Not only did I arrive with no wrong turns, but the adjudicators offered much praise and helpful suggestions for making our play better. I enjoyed extraordinarily restful sleep in my niece’s spare room. The weather was perfect. The camaraderie delightful. The food too good to be true. The cherry on top occurred at the Saturday banquet when I won TWO fantastic prizes in the silent auction fundraiser! I rarely win anything, but this time I needed help lugging my loot to my car: a large flower pot filled with gardening supplies and a beautiful hand-crafted deacon’s bench!
I headed for home the following afternoon belting out happy songs, feeling like a competent playwright, a capable adult, and a truly fortunate individual. In Neepawa, I stopped and used the free McCafe coupon we’d each found in our goodie bag.
It should have occurred to me that my car might be equally thirsty.
It’s not that I didn’t look at the fuel gauge. I just didn’t look at it soon enough. And when I did, it told me seven liters and a range of 110 km. remained. Already past Westbourne, I should reach the filling station at #16 and #1, no problem. Right?
Wrong. My singing stopped.
At least I had enough warning to pull onto the shoulder. Now what? It’s a busy highway, but flagging down strangers when you’re alone is not widely recommended. I called home and left a message. Then I tried my sister’s house and didn’t bother with a message. I debated. I could call CAA and wait a couple of hours or I could try Mom. She’s generally looking for something to do on a Sunday afternoon.
But what competent, capable, 56-year-old calls their mother to rescue them from the side of the road?
Then again, what 56-year-old is fortunate enough to have that option?
I dialed Mom’s number. She arrived in 20 minutes. I climbed into her car and the first words out of her mouth were not, “what were you thinking?” or “I can’t believe you ran out of gas.” As we made eye contact she said, “I smell a column in the works.”
Indeed. I had already been scribbling notes while I awaited her rescue. Think she’s on to me?
She drove me to the nearest station where I purchased a jerrycan and the two of us figured out how to fill it. Back at my car, we emptied it into my tank and got behind our respective steering wheels, both smelling like gasoline. Mom followed me back to the station, waited while I filled, and continued to trail me into Portage in case I did some other dumb thing.
Thank you, Mom. You are part super-hero, part cheerleader, and part guardian angel. And all grace.