Thursday, November 3, 2011

The Patience of a Grasshopper

Driving to my cousin’s residence for a Christmas Open House Celebration, I was eager to see extended family for the first time since last Christmas. I was just outside of Montgomery, Alabama, on a winding country highway behind a car that I wanted to pass. It kept braking hard on every curve. How annoying!

I watched in anticipation for an end to the double-lines on the road that prohibited passing so that I could pull around. But the road was too curvy.

Growing impatience showed through my frequent sighs as I continued to trail this car. Because this was unfamiliar territory to me, I would take no shortcuts to save the monotony today.

I finally realized that I would not be passing this car until we reached the next road. For someone with the patience of a grasshopper, replacing my frustration with acceptance would require a fresh perspective. This was the Christmas season. So I needed to have a different attitude.

Besides, I thought, I am sure that on a road somewhere in Opelika, Alabama, my grandmother, Mamaw, was unwittingly doing the exact same thing to some other poor soul, bless her heart. (I don’t know about the North, but in the South, you can say anything about anyone you want as long as you follow it up with the words ‘Bless her heart’) I would want that person to be patient with her. I need to have the same patience with this car that I would want someone else to have with Mamaw. 

I sang to the Christmas carols playing on the radio as I noticed the autumn leaves blowing gently in the chilly breeze. I look back to the car I was following only by necessity. It was white. What a coincidence. Mamaw’s car was white, too. That made it easier for me to follow my scenario of treating the driver kindly.

In Alabama, the number on the car tags begin with a two digit number indicating the county of residence for the car owner. As my boredom forced me to look around, I looked at the numbers on the car tag. What a coincidence. They were the same numbers for Mamaw’s county-Lee County. Again, my scenario was valuable.

Then it hit me. That WAS Mamaw that I was following! Oh My! I HAD to stay behind this car now, whether or not the double yellow lines continued. For there was no way that I could arrive at the open house to hear my family fussing at me about blowing past my Mamaw on the way to the party.

I sat back, and took it easy the rest of the trip. I might as well sing louder…

copyright 2011 by Kathy Robbins

1 comment:

  1. Oh my, Kathy. This is hysterical.

    And this: in the South you can say anything about anyone you want as long as you follow it up with the words ‘Bless her heart.' Priceless.