I love a good story. I love it even better when I get to be part of it! Let me set the scene for you.
Tuesday morning fairly early Ken’s phone rings. It’s Junior. It appears that he is looking for his suit, which he thinks is hanging in the closet in our guest room. I’m blogging, so Ken heads down the hall to the guest room for a look. There’s silence for a moment, and then I hear him say, “If you could see this room you’d understand that I don’t know how to answer your question.” I burst out laughing, because once again, the guest room is doubling as a staging area while my office approaches the final stages of its overhaul. But I digress.
Why is Junior looking for his suit? Apparently he plans to take Trisha out to dinner that evening. Since his suit is here and he is there (outside of Atlanta) we suggest that he make a trip to the local Men’s Wearhouse to buy one. A quick Internet search tells us that there is one five miles from him. We disconnect, and then Ken tells me, “You know why he wants the suit…this is the night.” “He’s proposing?” “He’s proposing to Trisha!”
Several conversations more with Junior take place. The store isn’t open until ten. He’s worried that he won’t find a suit that will fit him (he’s 6’5, lean, with broad shoulders…). He’s got a lot of things to take care of for the evening. The three of us are all thinking the same thing—meet him halfway and get the suit to him. He’s three and a half hours away.
The suit has fallen off its hanger and is crumpled in the bottom of the garment bag in which it was stored and needs to be steamed. We finish our breakfast, get dressed, and by 9:00 we are out the door and headed to the cleaners.
We are in touch with Junior regularly on the phone, trying to calculate where the “halfway” place will be. Between Nashville and Chattanooga the interstate takes a dip into Georgia, and there is an exit along that small stretch where we often get gas on road trips that take us along that route (GA gas can be cheaper than TN). We estimate that this is the exit where we’ll meet.
And then, about twenty miles shy of that exit we hit traffic. We’re pretty sure it’s an accident: this stretch of road, familiar to both of us, appears deceptively safe. With long, straight stretches between otherwise mountainous curves, drivers often relax their attentiveness and pick up speed. On the phone with Junior, we let him know we’ve hit a slow-down, but up ahead we can see traffic moving, helping us pinpoint the location of the accident. We should be clear of it and on our way in a couple of minutes.
Not! Ten car lengths from the accident site we come to a dead stop. More conversations with Junior. A sheriff’s patrol car goes by. A fire truck arrives on the scene. We wait. We wait some more. Eventually people start getting out of their cars and walking up to the accident to see what’s going on. Four cars are involved, but there are no fatalities. Everyone becomes friendly. Junior is anxious. We’re three miles from the next exit, and we encourage him to come to that point where there is a shopping plaza, gas stations and fast-food. We hope that by the time he reaches the exit we’ll be on our way again.
No such luck. He needs to buy flowers for the evening so he pops into a store at the designated exit to pick up roses. When he's completed that mission we’re still stuck in traffic. The last resort has presented itself: he drives the three miles farther up the highway until he reaches our location, we cross the median with the garment bag and freshly pressed suit in tow, pass the bag through the window, exchanged hugs and best wishes, and direct him to an alternate route that he can take to get headed back toward Atlanta without getting caught in our traffic. Phew!
Ten minutes later we are finally moving again. The holdup meant that we missed a chance to grab a quick lunch with Junior (we were stopped more than an hour for the accident), but our mission was accomplished and he was on his way to finish putting his plans for the evening in place.
Ah, what we do for love. Of all kinds! Tune in tomorrow for the rest of the story.