but it was not The Tale of Two Cities. It was my weekend. But in order to understand the weekend, I must first take you back to the weekend before it.
Pete has not been doing very well health wise for a while now. But he and Bug had managed to do a couple of little projects around the house and he was in one of his "up" mood cycles. Last Sunday, he noticed that my tires on the front of the truck were wearing bad on the inside. I heard him tell Bug that she and he would change out the tires the next weekend. Heard him mention it again on Monday. By Tuesday he was starting to feel worse again physically and was slipping into one of his "down" mood cycles. By Wednesday and Thursday, he was self absorbed and I might as well have been a sack of flour. (This is what happens to a man who has always done anything for himself and then finds himself being able to do less and less, less often. Who can't find answers for why or help to feel better.)
By Thursday night we were only co-existing. He told me that I'd better put some more tires on that truck this weekend or I'd end up having a blow out, wreck and die. Like I could do anything about that? He also muttered something about my son not caring or having the time.
Friday, I came home with groceries and expected to find him starting to cycle out of his down. But instead I found him curled up in the lazy boy. Too quiet and sullen. Hoping a list of options for a quick supper would bridge the gulf, I offered him his choice of baby-back ribs, hamburgers or hamburger helper. He refused to choose...said he didn't care. So, I turned to Bug and asked what she would like to have. She jumped on hamburger helper. So I started that and warmed some green beans to go with it. Soon as he realized what the choice was, he retreated to the bedroom. Besides, I was wanting to read and he hates the lamp on when he watches TV.
He later came out, opened a can of ranch style beans because he didn't like my choice of green beans and made himself a plate. I was feeling thrown away, wore out, ignored, unappreciated. There wasn't much conversation between us from then until bedtime.
Saturday, I focused on making myself catch up the laundry and worked in the kitchen. I read when I paused to rest. He stayed to himself and I let him fend for himself. Wondering to myself if the tires were really that bad, wondering what to do and repeatedly coming to the conclusion there was nothing I could do myself. I prayed Pete's mood would lift. Told God I was leaving it in His hands.
Bubba and Candi came so he could get something he needed and I got to play with Baby Ruth some. That was a bright spot. Dark, heavy clouds loomed overhead and as it was getting very late in the day I didn't even bother to mention my dilemma to Bubba. He had worries enough to attend to. Soon they were leaving and the bottom fell out of the sky right as they were driving off.
Pete and I still weren't really speaking. He went into the kitchen and starting frying deer meat he had defrosted earlier in the week. I thought of offering to do something to go with his meat, rice and gravy as a gesture toward reconciliation...but knew I didn't have the heart to handle it if my offer was thrown back in my face. So I determined to just go ahead and cook the supper I had planned. As he was finishing his, I went and started my ribs, potatoes sauteed down with onion and beans. We each ate our own meal. Bug happily enjoyed some of both. Another estranged bedtime.
Sunday morning I was up in time I could of hurried to be ready for Sunday School, but didn't feel like rushing. I told Bug I'd run her around the corner to the church and meet her there for worship. When she was ready, we left. Pete was still feeling lousy and his mood did not appear to have improved. I pulled into the church parking lot, pushed my break peddle down and THUNK!! The truck leaned to the drivers side front. I told Bug to look when she got out and tell me if the tire was still on. Yes, but the truck is sitting on it. Dejectedly "Great!" Then inwardly, "Praise God! I happened in a safe place, off the road, not going 70mph on my sixty-seven mile round trip to work and back each weekday!" I asked Bug to fetch one of the ladies to run me home to the house. Two of the gentlemen walked over and confirmed that the lower ball joint had fell out. Pete's cousin's wife came to run me home.
When I walked in the house, Pete was in his lazy boy. I told him what had happened. And without asking, I text Bubba to tell him we'd need his help that afternoon and why. Without saying much, Pete got in the shower and I could tell he was making preparation to join me for worship. We took the jeep over. In worship, I still didn't know how it was all going to work out or how Pete would be about it all, but I couldn't help making a praise report about God's watch care.
After worship others offered Pete a hand with it. One even offered me the use of a vehicle to go to work in if it couldn't be repaired in time. By old testament standards, we considered the truck to be and ox in a ditch and perfectly acceptable to our Lord to fix it on a Sunday afternoon if possible to do. Bubba called in answer to my earlier text and he and his daddy made plans to meet at the church after Pete had some lunch. I warmed him a plate of the supper I had cooked the night before. Being at church always lifts his spirits, but he still wasn't all the way out of the dark. But his gritty determination was kicking in.
He changed clothes, loaded the jack and tools he thought he might need and went to the church. He was back shortly, looking for transmission fluid as his jack was low and wouldn't lift the truck. He said there was no sign of Bubba. I started toward the phone to call, and he sternly said not to call him. Leave him alone. Not because he knew he'd show, but because he was writing him off. Surly and mad he said Bug would have to come back with him to help. At that moment the phone rang!! It was Bubba!! He and his friend Parker were at the church wondering where Pete was. They had already changed out the ball joint!! But the truck had bent a tie-rod when it fell, so he had called and had Candi on the way to the parts store to get that and a ball joint for the other side, which he deemed also needing changing!! Thank you dear Jesus!! Thank you for vindicating and redeeming my son in his father's eyes! When they got here with the truck and Candi with the parts, I offered to cook hamburger steak and cream gravy for supper for everyone. The offer accepted, I went to work in the kitchen, playing with my delightful Baby Ruth on each break.
When the guys were finished with the truck, including changing out the tires, Pete had me test drive it. I brought back a good report and praised Bubba and Parker and asked God to return their good to them three-fold. Pete, smiling, added his amen. We went in and enjoyed our meal together around the kitchen table. Pete's mood, though tired, was once again up. This road we are on is hard, so I don't doubt that circumstance will once again turn his mood to the dark. And although we missed Sunday night worship service, my heart was as full of worship and praise as it has ever been inside the walls of the sanctuary.
God knew our many needs, including those that went beyond the problem with the truck. And He met all those needs in this afternoon.
Barbara in Caneyhead