Bam! Rip! Pop! Ominous sounds. I heard them one morning. They preceded feelings of shock, fear, and dismay. They produced thoughts of, “I better leave now.”
Have you ever had an epiphany? Merriam Webster online describes an epiphany as, “an illuminating discovery, realization, or disclosure.” I think we all have one now and then. Some can pop a profound “aha” into our consciousness. Some are not so profound. I’ll share one of mine; you be the judge of it’s profoundness.
Fall scents of dying leaves and hayfields tinged the early morning air as I left the house in my nursing uniform and cap. I worked at a nursing home and though in the 70’s, a time when nurses’ caps were becoming obsolete, our head nurse said it helped the elderly residents know who the nurse was, as opposed to aides and other workers. I loved my job, my husband, my two kids and our farm, the latter surrounded by woods and hills, and home to our cows, horses, chickens and dogs.
My husband and I had professions other than farming, necessary to support our small beef growing business. My “other” job started before his. Which is why he got to hear the same sounds I did; unfortunately, he was still home.
A little background is necessary. We had an old tractor. We had a hayfield full of bales. The night before we filled a wagon, pulled by the old tractor, with bales and drove into the yard for a late supper with unloading bales planned for dessert. Did I say the tractor was “old?”
After supper, the tractor, apparently deciding enough was enough, wouldn’t start. Finally, worn out ourselves, we gave in and left it parked—behind the car.
The car needed a little extra gas to start moving. So, like always, I started the car, gave the gas pedal a shove with my foot, and backed up like always to make it easier to turn around and leave the farmyard.
Bam! That was the loader arm which the tractor had pointing forward like a bug’s feeler, putting a big hole, right in the center of my trunk.
Rip! That was the loader arm leaving the trunk as I hastily gunned the car forward to get away from that monster.
Pop! That was the loader arm letting go of the trunk as the car jerked forward and stopped again when I braked, now free of entanglements.
Shock. That was the feeling that I could do such a thing.
Fear. That was the feeling I got when I looked at the house in time to see my husband looking out the door at me, then slamming the door with much gusto.
Dismay. That only barely encompassed the myriad of feelings rushing through my mind and limbs.
I drove to work. I gave medications and dealt with a multitude of tasks that day, all the while ruminating about what would happen when I returned home. (See, I can multitask.) Was my marriage intact while my car wasn’t? Could it be fixed while my car couldn’t?
Anticlimactically, my husband was calm and accepting when I got home. He placed duct tape on the hole. (It took a lot of duct tape.) The next day my little daughter, age 3, decorated her little riding car with duct tape on the back too.
So I had an epiphany–Sometimes it’s okay to leave the scene of the crime! Husbands do need time to calm down so don’t bother them with your stuff right away.
I also confirmed versions of some old proverbs I’d heard—get out while the gettin’s good, and time does help heal old wounds, (except on a car.) And sometimes you are teaching your kids lessons about life even when you don’t plan to: “you can usually fix it with duct tape, and an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” I should have had duct tape on the trunk already! After all, my daughter never got a hole in her trunk when she backed into things after that!