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Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Jake, Wanda and the Weather

This is the story of Jake and Wanda, Jake and Wanda are not their real names.  I have changed the names to protect someone from being beaten severely about the head and shoulders.  I like Jake and would not want to see harm come to him.

Jake and Wanda had gone to college together and at some point had fallen in love.  It was in Jakes mind to ask Wanda to marry him, but fear and lack of a clear cut goal had caused him to hesitate.  So he just vacillated hoping that things would just work out.  As is the case most of the time, Jake was wrong.  But that is not what this story is about.

Jake had plans to continue his education after college as a cowboy and horse trainer.  He was already a pretty fair hand, and had grand plans to have his own place in less than five years.  He had not thought of what it might mean to bring Wanda into this plan that was in his mind.  Wanda came from a different world, one of stability and steady paying careers.  In retrospect, Jake was going to be asking a lot.  He was going to be asking her to join him in the low paying, sometimes no paying world of the start-up professional horse trainer.  Obviously Jake had not thought things through, but that’s not what this story is about either.  This story is about Wanda’s Daddy’s truck.

Wanda’s Daddy had given her his truck to drive to college after spring break, and oh how her Daddy loved that blue Chevy half ton truck.  Instructions were given that no one, and he meant NO ONE but she was to drive this truck.  Wanda was true to her commitment until the weekend she was going to bring Jake home to meet her parents.  It had hurt Jakes manly pride to be driven around and after considerable begging he managed to convince her to let him drive that blue truck.  I suppose the begging did not bother his pride as much as being driven around, I don’t know…sometimes the workings of Jakes mind were hard to fathom.

The plan was to leave early in the morning and head south toward her home, but nature threw a wrench into the plans.  When they arose that morning, there was about a foot of snow on the ground and most of the roads were iced over.  But Wanda was going home to see her Momma and Daddy and Jake could not convince her otherwise.  On the upside for him, she was a little fearful to drive on the ice.  So Jake got to drive!

They headed out, going south and Jake drove as appropriately as the ice would allow.  After they had been on the road for about an hour the sun had come up enough that the ice melted off of the black top.  Of course Jake put his foot into the carburetor and they skedaddle down the road.  They were making good time and Jake had the idea they would arrive well before the timeline established by her Daddy.  This, in his narrow mind, was a good thing.

The country was starting to get just a little bit hilly, so a person just didn’t know what the road looked like until you topped the next rise.  Wanda, since she was in love with Jake, was sitting beside Jake in the courting seat and Jake, since he was in love with Wanda, had his arm around her.  They were discussing their plans for the near and far future.  Jake was hammering on that blue truck and they were scooting right along and the next rise revealed a horrific site.  They topped over that rise and there was nothing but snow pack on the road as far as they could see.  Being the prolific driver that he was, Jake immediately got off the gas.  But they were still going much too fast and the truck started to fishtail.

Jake never moved his arm from around Wanda and started to work that steering wheel back and forth to keep the truck on the road.  And in true cowboy fashion, Jake never lost his cool or removed his arm from around Wanda.  If fact, he wasn’t really concerned even when the truck started spinning around.  He said, “as long as we were on the blacktop I knew we would just slide, I didn’t get scared until we went off the road and hit the dirt”. 

Wanda, on the other hand, seemed to have lost the ability to speak but one word.  As the truck started fishtailing and spinning around like a kid’s toy, she repeated it over and over “jus... jus… jus…jus… jus…jus…”  It seemed, to her, like they spun for hours before the truck stopped.  In true Daddy’s girl fashion, the first thing she thought of was her Daddy’s truck.  She just knew they had hit the fence and there were dents.  But the Lord seemed to be looking out for them that day, because not only did they live, but the truck had come to rest about one inch from a fence post.  Not a scratch one!

Needless to say, they slowed down.  But they hadn’t driven much further when Jake realized they had a tire going flat.  It seems all that spinning had broken the seal on the sidewall of the tire.  So, Jake went out in the slush and cold and started working on the tire.  At this point, Jake had lost his sense of humor or maybe it had warped a little.  At one point, due to the design of Chevy trucks, he was on his belly (in the slush and cold) removing the tire from underneath the truck.  It was at the point a helpful trucker stopped to see if he could offer a hand.  You wouldn’t think he would state the obvious, but his first words were “did you have a flat tire?”

Jake, being just a tad cranky and somewhat of a smart alec, said “no sir, I rotate my tires when they are due no matter where I’m at!”  Needless to say, the trucker laughed got back in his truck and drove off.  Seems he did not appreciate Jakes humor and figured this dumb cowboy could change the tire by himself.

Jake finished changing the tire and they drove to the next town and got it fixed.  Jake called the Highway Patrol and was told the road was icy all the way to Wanda’s.  So they made the executive decision to turn back around and go back to the college.

There are more stories about Jake and Wanda, but this one is my favorite.  As I said before, this is not their real names and I won’t tell who they are.  If you recognize them, I hope you don’t tell either.