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Some of my stories are published in:
A Cup of Comfort Devotional for Mothers and Daughters (Adams Media, 2009)
Chicken Soup: What I Learned from the Dog (2009)
Love is a Flame (Bethany House, 2010)
Extraordinary answers to Prayer (Guideposts, 2010)
Love is a Verb (Bethany House, 2011)
Big Dreams from Small Spaces (Group Publishing, 2012)

Friday, August 28, 2009

Hero for the Day

I was six years old when our family went on a rare camping trip to Sequoia National Park. That was back in the days of canvas tents, cheese sandwiches, and powdered milk.

Mother and Daddy sent us five kids away from the tent site so they could catch a nap. (That was also back in the days when older children watched the younger children and no one called CFS.)

We hung out at the restroom/shower building, trying to come up with some exciting activity, like how many times Lori could punch your arm before you got a bruise, or how long Lee could stand to keep a daddylonglegs on her shoulder without screaming.

As we lounged on the cool cement under the eaves, pondering our choices, a shiny red cadillac zoomed up. The man driving it pulled around the corner. We heard the motor shut off.
"Quick," big brother Jay whispered, "you two go hide in there and we'll go in the other restroom." Never mind that he'd just directed big sister,Lee, and I into the men's room. Without thinking, we obeyed. Ducking into the restoom, Lee and I slid into the nearest shower stall, covering our mouths so our giggles wouldn't be heard.

In strode the man. Cick, click, click went his cowboy boots on the tiled floor. He chose the farthest stall for his business. He took forever and made the most darned-awful noises. I wanted to dash out of our hiding place, but Lee held me back, holding a warning "shh" finger in front of my face.

Finally, the man flushed the toilet and opened his stall door. But he didn't go out of the restroom. No. He started opening each stall door, one by one, loudly commenting on the condition of each toilet. Each toilet critique brought him closer to our stall. Lee's eyes grew as round and as big as pie plates. I'm sure the guy could hear our child hearts hammering at the thought of discovery and. . . murder.

The moment came. Mr. Red Cadillac slowly nudged our stall door open. Halfway. "My, what a clean shower."
The door eased shut. Click, click, click. The echo of his boots receded. Lee and I remained frozen in terror. Moments later, we heard Mr. Cadillac drive off. I took my first real breath in five minutes.

We high-tailed it out of that men's restroom like two Jack Russells chasing a rag bunny. Jay and Royce and Lori waited outside. As we breathlessly related our harrowing experience and how we'd --giggle, giggle -- hidden so well that that stupid old guy didn't even know we were right behind the shower door, our siblings looked at us with newfound admiration.

Throughout childhood, every time Lee or I needed an ego boost, we'd resurrect the story of Mr. Red Cadillac and our courage in the face of certain death.

I think I was somewhere around 25 when, in recollecting that day at the restroom in Sequoia National Park, it dawned on me that a good-natured man in a red cadillac played along in our child's game.


  1. Great story. I think I'll be smiling at odd times today. Add my giggles to yours.

  2. great story. Our childhoods are filled with them.