Friday, March 19, 2010

I sat in the driver's seat of my in-laws' Buick Rendezvous and tried to figure it out. Was it in park? Was my foot on the brake? Seatbelt on? Doors locked? Hair combed? Teeth flossed? What else did I need to do to get this thing rolling? Was this a metaphor for my writing career? Or just a blond moment?

"Mom ... is there a trick to starting the car? With the key?"

I was the one asking, not one of my kids. We were borrowing her car to go to the state-wide ACFW meeting -- if we could get the vehicle started.

First my mother-in-law came out. She climbed in the car. She couldn't start it either. After a "fahoodled" moment she sent me back to the house to get Dad.

He had to set aside breakfast, put on his work clothes and boots, then he came out to try.
The key still wouldn't turn. "Well, I'll be jiggered."

Mom and Dad started to worry about calling a mechanic and getting to church on Sunday. I called my husband, and then called Mary Allen, who had planned to ride with us. I felt like two cents about then, knowing how much Mary had looked forward to the trip.

My husband arrived next.

He couldn't start it either.

We milled around in confusion. Whoever heard of such a thing?

Finally we heard my daughter. "Mom, try another key -- that's the truck key."

"No, it's not."

"You put the car keys in your purse. You had the truck keys in your hand."

Just to prove her wrong, I reached in my purse. I found another set of black GM keys. I brought forth the set of keys my mother-in-law had just given me only minutes before. Of course the car started right away.

I could probably make a spiritual application about wisdom in many counselors, or listening to a still small voice -- even if it's the voice of your 13-year-old.

After a whole lot of laughing we finally got on the road. We picked up Mary Allen and headed down to Indianapolis, laughing all the way. That's one of the perks of ACFW. Christian fellowship is a blast but it's even better with all those together. We heard encouraging words, made new friends and as we used to say in MYF (Methodist, Mennonite or Missionary Youth Fellowship) had fun, food and fellowship.


  1. That sounds like something I would do. Made me smile. Glad your daughter figured it out!

    So many instructions in writing, too, and sometimes it is just a simple key to recognize to get things going! (And from someone you might not think would see it, LOL.)

  2. I wished I could have summarized your good advice when you spoke at the meeting, Crysital. I am still "up" from the Indy get-together!

  3. Michelle WeidenbennerMarch 19, 2010 at 8:25 PM

    I laughed out loud at this! My family wanted to know why I was laughing. I pictured it all happening--right here, in my garage, with my own car and the wrong keys, and my 14 yo daughter knowing exactly what I was doing wrong! Thanks for sharing!

  4. No one like a "tween" or teen to set us straight!

  5. It was a great time. So glad you all made it!