Highway 61 T’s into 62 at Birthday City. I have a decision to make: I can turn left and head toward Millstone, or I can turn right and go to Milestone. It would be so easy to get those two confused, especially for a directional dyslexic like me. Fortunately, I have my girlfriends with me. The consensus is that Millstone does not sound like much fun, so we decide to go to Milestone.
Once we decide to make the right turn, I have to pull over. There’s a shoe store on the corner. Vanity, who is riding in the front, slumps down and says she is not going in. She refuses to be seen at a Birkenstock store. But Comfort, who has been riding in the second seat, hops out and makes a beeline for the door.
I notice that Safety, who has been riding in the “way-back,” is writing something. She stays in the vehicle, and, although I am wondering what she has up her sleeve, I need some shoes, so I go into the store and begin to look for Comfort.
Success! I find some Birks that meet Comfort’s approval. Upon returning to the vehicle, I try to show them to Vanity, but she won’t even look at them. It hurts my feelings a little, as we have been shopping buddies for a long, long time.
I can’t dwell on it, however; just as I suspected, Safety has been up to something. She climbs out of the back and comes toward us with some slips of paper in her hand. Oh, no! She wants to play “Fruit-Basket Turnover” with our seating arrangement. I truly believe she rigged it somehow because she ended up in the front. Poor Vanity has to take the back seat. Comfort is still in the middle, contentedly changing her shoes.
I fasten my seat belt, look both ways, and head out on the highway. Safety is not nearly as much fun as Vanity. She insists on things I might otherwise neglect: systems checks, routine maintenance, and emergency preparedness. I hear Vanity muttering under her breath back there; although I do prefer her company, I can’t deny that it is Safety’s turn to ride in the front. And, I have to confess, she does help me watch for speed limit signs and potholes.
As we head toward Milestone, we encounter some road construction, along with the usual warnings: Road Work Ahead, Slow, Merge, One Lane Traffic, Caution, Uneven Pavement, and Detour. Our pace slows, and we come to a complete standstill for a while. I discover that traveling at two miles per hour and a half is too slow, even for me, on Highway 62.
Finally, we are on our way again, traveling at our usual rate of speed. Soon we arrive at Milestone, where we stop for an early dinner. There, we get a huge surprise: Hope is there, waiting for us. She wants to join us on our road trip. I am thrilled that she wants to go along; she is a good navigator. We begin to plan the next leg of our journey toward Future, and she has some tips:
“Take advantage of the rest stops; sometimes it’s pretty far to the next one. Do not bypass the attractions; you won’t pass this way again. If you don’t enjoy them now, you will miss them altogether. And if your vehicle breaks down, call Triple A.” (I had seen that billboard a while back; it said, “AAA for Boomer Babes on Highway 62. Remember our motto: Admit. Accept. Adjust.”)
The next morning I ask Hope if she would like to drive for a while. I climb into the back with my old friend Vanity. I think she’s been feeling neglected, and I want to reassure her that I am not leaving her behind. We have a nice, long chat about what we’ll do in Future, how to get along with Comfort and Safety, and how relieved we are to have Hope with us. We both feel better.
Continuing on Highway 62, on our way to Future, we decide to plug in our GPS. We feel pretty confident that we’ll be led in the right direction from here on out. All we have to do is depend on God’s Positioning System.
“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart” (Jeremiah 29:11-13).