September 4, 2009 by

We Have Done Made It to Denver-ly (A Short Story in Three Chapters, or Maybe Four)

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Categories: My Story, Rantings, what I did today

Cyberspace is once again available to me, and I’m enjoying my first morning as a Denver resident at a nearby coffee shop before hitting my looong list of things to do to get settled. But here, for your amazement amusement, is the story of our trip.

CHAPTER 1: The Turbulent Take-off

Some of you will understand the way I word this, and some of you might not–but it’s kind of like Tulsa insisted on totally kicking our butts on the way out of town. My 36 hours there were something akin to a nightmare, like all the stops were pulled out. It wasn’t that everything went wrong; it was that nobody would DO anything about it. It was uncanny how many people I tried to do business with would not listen, would not cooperate, and their only excuse was to tell me (arrogantly) how long they had been working there and how well they knew their job. It was like all these folks read the same memo. Even the lady on the phone from roadside assistance (who wasn’t even IN Tulsa) whom we tried to call at 8:00 at night was uncooperative. And I’m not even telling you everything that happened.

And it got worse.

After a day full of interruptions and delays from Tulsa kicking our butt, once we had the rental truck all loaded up, we could not replace the loading ramp. After having it jam on several tries, we inspected further, and found that the undercarriage device that guides the ramp into place had rusted clean through, and parts of it were ramming into the frame of the truck. Enter the lady on the phone from roadside assistance, who began by telling us we didn’t know what we were doing, and then told us because it was not an emergency, we would be charged for the service call if she sent someone out.

“Ma’am, what about this is not an emergency? I can’t drive the truck with the ramp dragging on the ground. I can’t even close my garage door!”

Again, no cooperation. How did Tulsa get the memo to her??

After spending a half hour underneath the truck myself, and breaking my cellphone by rolling around under there, we finally wrestled the ramp far enough in to close the garage…but no time to do much else besides grab a little food, throw into boxes and bags the remaining odds and ends left in the house, get a little sleep, throw our mattresses into the truck (without the assistance of a ramp) and drive the next morning to the rental place at opening time to deal with them directly.

And…you guessed it…uncooperative. All talk, no listen, I’ve-been-here-20-years, you’ll-have-to-wait… It wasn’t until the lady saw me outside on my wife’s cellphone calling over her head that we finally got honest help from a regional maintenance guy (not in Tulsa), who via telephone arranged for us to take the truck to a nearby fleet mechanic and do whatever it took to get us roadworthy without having to empty our full truck and re-load it. The mechanics took one look at the rusted-through carriage dolly and agreed that the rental shop NEVER should have rented us that truck. They yanked the dolly, manually inserted the ramp, tied it town for protection, and sent us on our way, two and a half hours behind schedule. And finally we left Tulsa–for good.

CHAPTER TWO: The Trip Itself

Once we left Tulsa, amazingly, the turbulence ceased, things calmed down, and besides being fully exhausted, we had a pretty peaceful trip. So even though the trip itself was about 12 hours, this is a pretty short chapter.

CHAPTER THREE: And the Colorado Heavens Opened Up and Welcomed Us

It was approaching sunset when we crossed the border into Colorado. And almost as soon as we did–still on the plains, hundreds of miles from the mountains–the skies began putting on a show for us. After a pretty mundane mix of sun and clouds all day…just about everything you can see in the sky, we saw in those last couple of hours. Driving westward…the southern half of the horizon was clear, blue, and brilliant. The northern half began filling up with a massive thunderstorm, backlit by the brilliant colors of the sunset as the sun went behind the tail end of the storm cloud. We watched this for probably 90 minutes as we approached it, called each other and talked about it (I was driving the truck, The Wild One and The Director followed in the car). It was constantly changing, so captivating and awe-inspiring that I had a hard time watching the road. As the sun set, the red hues backlighting the storm got richer and deeper, and the lightning became visible, and we began to see the dust kicked up across the fields as the rain hit the dry dirt.

And then, we drove through the tail end of it.

I thought it would be a little bit of rain left over…instead, it was instant wind gusts and torrents, and I found myself yanking the wheel to keep the truck on the road. For about 15 minutes we drove through this, finally exiting to clear dusky skies behind it. We stopped at a gas station to regroup and look back at what we’d just driven through.

And even the rest of the way into Denver, the dark skies entertained us as scattered storms came off the mountains and lightning struck the plains. Where the clouds parted, the skies were deep and clear, and I noticed looking back that through one of these openings, a brilliant full moon was illuminating the storm clouds from behind.

Like I said…almost everything you can see in a sky, we saw it all at once. Although by the end I was a little disappointed that a solar eclipse had not been included in the evening’s entertainment. 🙂

CHAPTER FOUR–Our First Full Day In Denver(ly)

Our first full day in Denver was spent doing all the things that needed doing–signing the lease for our flat, unloading the truck, taking the empty truck to buy apartment-sized furniture from the stuff we sold off in Tulsa. A contingency of new friends met us to help us unload our truck, and Kathy thoughtfully brought us dinner. And everyone among them welcomed us warmly to our new home. So this chapter, although short, is very sweet.

So, okay, not everything about Tulsa is evil. 🙂 There are dear friends and family we are leaving behind whom I will definitely miss–yes, even more than QuikTrip. But I am grateful that we recognized the change of seasons, and that God showed us in His own way where that season should take us.

We have arrived home.

Musician. Composer. Recovering perfectionist. Minister-in-transition. Lover of puns. Hijacker of rock song references. Questioner of the status quo. I'm not really a rebel. Just a sincere Christ-follower with a thirst for significance that gets me into trouble. My quest has taken me over the fence of institutional Christianity. Here are some of my random thoughts along the way. Read along, join in the conversation. Just be nice.

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