We’ve all inherited certain traits from our parents that we have to deal with as we grow in the grace and knowledge of the Lord. This story illustrates just one of mine. Thank God for my dad’s gene pool or I’d be in big trouble.
Years ago my mother, Flo, and her mother, GG (short for Great Grandmother), decided to take a spontaneous drive from Atlanta up to New York City in order to deliver to my brother, Jack, his beloved drum set. Individually, each of these ladies can exhibit loopy tendencies. However, when they are together, situations often become memorable.
At day break, she pulled out on to Peachtree Rd. in her black SUV. Flo carefully fit her tortoise sunglasses on to the bridge of her upturned nose and at the stop light looked in to the rear view mirror to stroke her blond bob. One neighborhood over, GG sported her freshly washed gray locks, baby blue eyes, and favorite silver “earbobs,” as she called them. Patiently she sat on the screen porch swing, suitcase at her side waiting for Flo.
Flo helped GG into the car and after visiting the drive thru of a popular coffee shop, they merged excitedly on to the interstate towards New York City. They drove all that day and into the night catching up on every possible topic that interested them. Eventually, exhaustion and claustrophobia set in and they abandoned their original plan of driving non-stop for spending the night in New Jersey instead. They decided they would make their way into the city early the next morning to meet up with Jack and deliver the coveted drums to his apartment.
Around ten pm, Flo finally spotted a decent looking hotel and gladly pulled off at the exit. Upon inquiry at the front desk, the place seemed nice enough, she thought. Flo noticed especially the large colorful sign announcing free coffee and donuts served in the lobby each morning. That was the icing on the cake, she decided, ideal for their one night stay. She informed the desk clerk that they would be staying, but for only one night. Flo wearily signed the paper work, thanked the clerk, took the room key and retrieved their luggage from the car.
Flo and GG settled in, unpacking minimally, knowing that they would be leaving very early the next morning. Bedtime routines finished, they took turns in great relief falling into the twin beds as GG turned out the bedside lamp between them, welcoming the darkness and closing her eyes. Flo then dutifully set the alarm to wake them promptly at six am. They said their good nights and fell fast asleep.
Six am came quickly as the alarm rang out waking them both out of a very deep sleep. Flo groggily reached over and turned off the alarm. She slowly stumbled out of the bed and into the bathroom turning on the light. GG stirred and moaned. She tried to lift her head but could not get it off of the pillow. After a while, Flo peeked out from the bathroom. “C’mon, Mom,” she encouraged GG to get up.
“What is wrong with me today?” GG slurred in complaint. “I’m a morning person, but I feel like I just went to sleep.”
“Oh, come on,” encouraged Flo, rubbing her eyes, “we can grab some of that free coffee downstairs on the way out. That’ll wake you up.” In a semi-coma, GG struggled with all her might to pull her body from the mattress and slowly dress herself. Suitcases packed, the ladies couldn’t help but anticipate the smell of fresh coffee and donuts as they pushed the elevator button and waited heavily for it to take them downstairs to the lobby.
Flo approached the front desk as GG took refuge in a nearby arm-chair closing her eyes with her suitcase at her feet.
“That was a short stay,” replied the hotel clerk as Flo placed the key on the counter. Flo looked around puzzled and disappointed to find no coffee or donuts at all.
“Hmmph-!” Flo huffed out loud in aversion at the hotel’s incompetence and lack of amenities, remembering that she had decided to stay there in particular because of the free breakfast. “Come on, Mom. Let’s get out of here-” she hissed. Flo rolled both suitcases behind her to the car, looking back to check on GG who stumbled sleepily behind her. Flo loaded the luggage and the ladies buckled up and began their drive into New York.
“I suppose we’ll have to stop for coffee,” Flo commented resentfully, rolling her eyes, as they merged onto the highway.
“Yeah, Darlin’, I could really use the strong stuff today,” GG slurred, closing her eyes and lowering her seat all the way back to rest. In silence they travelled north for several miles anticipating the imminent sunrise.
“We are less than an hour and fifteen minutes from the city,” calculated Flo carefully, “so that means we should be arriving around….(long pause)…..” She studied her analog wrist watch intermittently while watching the road. “My watch is slow. It reads 1:22. What time do you have, Mom?”
GG heaved a sigh and with great effort propped herself up to reach and turn on the overhead light. She squinted in annoyance looking down at her small, upturned wrist watch. With sleepy eyes, she studied it.
“1:19?” she posed in contemplation.
“How can all these clocks be wrong?!” demanded Flo impatiently…
Silence broke between them. For several woozy moments they continued driving in the dark. It slowly became painfully apparent that Flo had accidentally set the alarm clock upside down for what had appeared to be six am but was actually twelve-thirty am.
Slowly absorbing the reality of their predicament, they couldn’t decide whether to laugh or cry.
Flo promptly pulled off at the next exit to an all night drive-through for two large cups of French roast. Sipping along toward New York City for the next hour, they finally arrived at Jack’s apartment before three am. They passed out in the parking lot.
At 5:30am, the sunlight woke Flo. She promptly called to wake Jack and deliver his drums, along with a painfully hilarious tale of disorientation.
What has been will be again,
what has been done will be done again;
there is nothing new under the sun.
2 Peter 3:18
But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and forever!