Memories from a Brownie

1:53 PM

It was a tiny little brownie that I was enjoying today. Just one bite and all these memories came flooding back to me....

Six years ago today, The Sis and I set out on our last great single-ladies-only road trip together. The Sis was in the middle of the frenzy of wedding-planning and big life couple-decisions. I had just lost my job, and been ridiculously blessed by the Lord with a new job, which I started only three days earlier. And we got the brilliant, madcap idea of going to the beach. 'Cause New Jersey isn't that far away. Independence Day (the 4th of July for you non-history people) fell on a Thursday and I wasn't about to take Friday off of my brand-spankin'-new job, so this was gonna be a fast'n'furious kind of trip.

Since we were still college students and full-time workers and the kinda people without alot of extra cash, we decided to camp out at a state park at a half-way point. Great ambiance, bug bites and CHEAP. It was a miniscule pup tent that we slept in. And it should've been roomy enough, except I guess I'm tall. So my feet stuck out of the door. Great beginning of a trip vividly tattoed into my mind!

July 4th dawned HOT and sunny. This fact seemed insignificant at the time. It was July, after all! We packed up the campsite and be-bopped our merry way on down the highway...

Side by side, driving the same highway
Leaving behind everything and everyone we love...

Everything was lovely, perfect summery put-the-windows-down-and-let-your-hair-fly times. And then, all of the sudden.. *Sputtering car engine* The car starts to jerk violently. *Sputter* The car engine dies. Completely. "What's going on???" I ask with worry edging my voice. The Sis lets the car coast to the road shoulder.

What can we do now??
Check the oil, of course!! Ya know, that's the answer to all your car problems! Bad gas mileage? Check the oil! Making funny noise? Check the oil. Headlight burnt out? "When is the last time you checked the oil??" -The Dad's wisdom. :)

Well, we checked the oil and that didn't help. The engine seemed to be overheating. We tried to get it started. All it did was click-click-click. There are no other options left. Get out the AAA card and call a tow truck!

It was an hour later by the time we and that sick little Neon made our way to the local Firestone. After waiting and waiting some more, the Firestone people didn't know anything. They told us that we'd be stuck here at least overnight, and they'd run a full diagnostic on it. We were stuck in some crazy town in New Jersey, desperately in need of a place to stay. This trip was majorly blowing the budget, so we find the cheapest, nearest hotel possible and call a taxi. (My first tow truck ride and first taxi ride, all in one day! New life experiences ROCK!).

The hotel was an experience, to say the very least. There were bird cages all over the "office" and you had to ring a bell to get in and out... and the hotel room-Oh my! There was a phone, with no phone cord. There was a mirror on the ceiling, and a grainy old TV that only got about 3 channels. I was sincerely hoping that nobody had ever been killed in this room. We spent another hour at the payphone (pre-cell-phone-era) trying to make calls to people, like The Sis's fiance who happened to be in a different country. And our family, who was in a different state. Finally, we just called our pastor's wife and told her the deal--so nobody would think that we died or anything like that.

Just to get out of the freaky hotel room, The Sis and I decide to walk to Walmart... and FOUR hours later, we returned. Hot. Sweaty. And thoroughly Exhausted.

My phone call to my new employer went something like this:

Service Supervisor: "Hello, (Company Name), How can I help you?"

Me: "Hi, this is (My Name), I just started this week and I went out of town and our car is broken down and I'm stuck in some little town in New Jersey."

Service Supervisor: "Oh really? What town?"

Me: (conferences with The Sis to look at map and discover location), "(Town Name)"

Service Supervisor: "Yeah, I know that town! I grew up nearby."

Me: (praying, THANK YOU JESUS, They know that I'm not lying!!!!!)

The night at the freaky hotel was scary, let me tell you! We ended up reading and praying through Psalm 91, and then putting a chair underneath the doorknob. We had fun, too. Memorable lines: "Budapest-a god that just won't go away!"-The Sis. "I wish I could fall asleep." -Me. Eventually I did fall asleep... after I stopped talking.
Long story short: God kept us safe. The car did not have anything wrong with it. We were on the road again by 11 am on July 5th, made it to the beach, swam and ate brownies. Rich, sickeningly sweet brownies with cool red-white-and-blue sprinkles on them.
I told this whole story just because of a brownie. It's funny to me that sometimes just a scent or taste or touch of something will bring vibrant memories back to our minds. Like an imagination vault, with our senses as the magic key unlocking those memories.

I had fun reliving this trip while writing this story. Lessons to learn: Never buy a Neon. Never go to Firestone. And never stay at really cheap hotels.
The end.

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