Remember Your Roots and Keep Them Colored

Can dumb me get dumber?

The verdict is still out

By Trena Eiden
Posted 1/25/22

A couple years ago, Samaritan’s Purse was hiring for DART (Disaster Assistance Response Team). Gar applied but COVID happened and everything was shuttered. Last February, they contacted Gar, …

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Remember Your Roots and Keep Them Colored

Can dumb me get dumber?

The verdict is still out

Posted

A couple years ago, Samaritan’s Purse was hiring for DART (Disaster Assistance Response Team). Gar applied but COVID happened and everything was shuttered. Last February, they contacted Gar, and after hours at the computer and numerous interviews, he was hired.

It was a slow start, even by Gar’s standards, which are slow (think God then slower). Gar trained in North Carolina, then in December, operated a forklift for Operation Christmas Child in Denver. He was told winter was a down time because of few disasters happening. 

We flew to Texas for Christmas and on an 80-degree day, our son used his truck to put our camper in a lush, green RV park. Out of three sites, we chose the one that was: a) 30 steps from the dumpster and b) 20 steps from the laundry facility.

A friend looked at the park’s map and asked if we’d picked the spot for the dense green or for the proximity of amenities. I said, “I’m offended. Do you take us for slackers?” She cocked an eyebrow so I relented, “Yes, we are and yes we did. My motto is, ‘Grass, trees and ease.’”

We had barely gotten home when Samaritan’s called and asked Gar to go to Mayfield, Kentucky, and work tornado damage. My first thought was, “Really God, you couldn’t possibly have told us a few days ago, before we started paying fat rent instead of storage?”

Apparently not.

Gar said he’d only be gone two weeks and then we’d head south to the camper. Because I’m not right, and have a sixth sense for being dumb, I decided I’d stay home and work through the winter. After last week, I’m regretting the choice and calling it flawed judgment. 

Monday morning dawned with snow swirling and me barely able to make out the neighbor across the street shoveling his walk. Calling him a rat under my breath for not doing mine, I grabbed a shovel and cleaned off the deck, then took a broom and swept the truck. By the time I started back up the steps, the snow had covered the deck again.

I considered my options. I didn’t have any. I ate breakfast, got in my vehicle and went to work, stretching a 55-minute drive into an hour-and-a-half due to my poor decision-making skills about staying in Wyoming.

The next day powered itself up a notch. It was a near white-out as I drove. I considered cursing, but didn’t — at least not a lot of four-letter words strung together. I wasn’t super joy filled and knew if I really cranked my mad up, I’d melt the snow into ice and I didn’t want it any slicker than it was.

On the third day as I was traveling along, I heard a muffled road noise and thought my door was open, even though my vehicle didn’t say so. When a semi, coming from the opposite direction, passed me, I felt a breeze ruffle my sticky-up hair. If you’re able to move my load of hairspray, you have to have a full head of steam, so I thought it odd. Looking up, I saw that my window was down about an eighth of an inch. Oh well, push the button and shut it. Nope, it was broken. 

Did I tell you it was winter? Now I’m back to talking to God: “You couldn’t have allowed this to happen in July or maybe August? You wait till now?” I guess. 

The next day, because I’m batty, I’d forgotten about the window. I remembered when I felt a little splash of snow hit my eyebrow. Now the window was a quarter of an inch down. The only thing I can figure is God likes hearing me cuss. 

When I’m in four-wheel drive on bad roads, I slow down to what I deem reasonable. When I pass someone going slower than I, I always hope I don’t end up in a ditch and they wave and blow kisses as they creep by. I thought of that Thursday, when I came upon a trucker who had just slid into the borrow pit and jack-knifed. The highway was only two vehicles wide, so I couldn’t stop. As I dialed 911, I looked over and the driver was staring straight ahead, I’m guessing evaluating his life’s choices. I could relate.

Driving all week in snow, ice, whiteouts, wind and blizzards, and I’m staying in Wyoming for the winter? Can dumb me get dumber? As a friend said, “The verdict’s in.”

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