Escalators, Banks and the Red Dirt Road

Life seems to go slow when you are a kid. The wish of staying home for the first time by yourself, walking to school without your parents, driving your own car, your first date, graduating high school. The list could go on and on. Once you hit adulthood time seems to pick up the pace and it begins to fly by. The days of loving, playing and cuddling with your children pass in what feels like a blink of an eye. As a kid growing up I was always planning my “adult” life. As an adult I look back and realize what an amazing mom and dad I have and had. Mom grounded us in the love of Christ and Dad, well he taught me to keep my mouth shut and listen. He was a man of little words and I still to this day hear him telling me I talk too much. This is one personality trait I have to work on daily. Paying attention to others when they are talking and not trying to finish their sentences, figuring out an answer for them, basically working on seeking first to understand.

Dad working away from the house 5 days a week meant mom was the parent who disciplined us. She would tell us what to do and what not to do. Well sometimes as a kid you think, what is she talking about. We thought we knew more than she did. I see this in my children too and now I am in the role of the parent thinking why they aren’t listening. I’ve been there, done that and don’t they know I am only wanting to prevent for them the same mistakes I made. We all must grow up and learn from our mistakes. Letting go and letting them live their life with the faith that God has great plans for them is hard. I am not in control they are. They must make their own decisions and I will always be here for them if they fail or fly.

One thing I know as an adult and mom is that I am thankful for my mom teaching me to love and worship the Lord. This same love for Jesus I have instilled into my children. When you are young you feel you are invincible. When you’re a mom your prayer life increases, I believe once your child has access to drive. Praying and then leaning on your faith is the only thing that keeps you from going stir crazy with worry. Worry and fear cannot be in the same mindset.

Having faith and knowing my Lord keeps his promises that no harm will come to me, my children or grandchildren; as it is written in the bible. By following His commandments of teaching my children to love the Lord and the plan of salvation they will be protected and have guidance throughout life. Deuteronomy 6:2,5,7 so that you and your children and grandchildren may fear the LORD your God all the days of your lives by keeping all His statutes and commandments that I give you, and so that your days may be prolonged… Love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your strength.  Teach them to your children. Repeat them when you are at home and when you are away, when you are resting and when you are working. Praying that hedge of protection for us daily just as I know my mom did in the years, we were growing up allows me peace. You are my hiding place and my shield; I put my hope in Your word. Psalms 119:114

Psalms 91 As for you, the one who lives in the shelter of the sovereign One, and resides in the protective shadow of the mighty king- I say this about the LORD, my shelter and my stronghold, my God in whom I trust– he will certainly rescue you from the snare of the hunter and from the destructive plague. He will shelter you with his wings; you will find safety under his wings. His faithfulness is like a shield or a protective wall.  You need not fear the terrors of the night, the arrow that flies by day,  …….. For you have taken refuge in the LORD, my shelter, the sovereign One. No harm will overtake you; no illness will come near your home. For he will order his angels to protect you in all you do.  … The LORD says, “Because he is devoted to me, I will deliver him; I will protect him because he is loyal to me. When he calls out to me, I will answer him. I will be with him when he is in trouble; I will rescue him and bring him honor.

Every time my children complain about why I have to remind them, tell them all the do’s and don’ts of life my answer to them is, “I love you and when you understand the why, then I know you are growing up. ” As a mom, I began to understand my mom more. Looking back, I can see the diligent work she did raising us to love the Lord. This Saturday morning however I was not seeing her wisdom. We were going to town.

We, being my sister and brother.  I am the oldest.  My sister is the middle child and brother is the baby.  At this point of our life we were 5, 7, and 9 years old.  We moved in with Granny when I was entering the 4th grade. Granny’s house became home to us for 5 years. The red dirt road and surrounding woods was our playground. Our three-bedroom, white wooden house- with red shutters, sat bout 50 yards off the red dirt road.  You could smell the iron ore in the air, from the dust that blew into the unsealed windows. This small house had wooden and laminate floors.  The wooden walls had peeling, cloth wallpaper and paneling.   Our wooden home sat on cinder blocks.  The little wooden house was surrounded by towering cedar and oak trees, with one beautiful mimosa tree with a wisteria vine entwined in it. 

This Saturday morning mom woke up early with us and we all enjoyed Granny’s fluffy pancakes. These pancakes filled your plate to the edges. Granny taught us how to smooth the butter on top of the pancake, then cut the pancake up. You cut across the pancake and made one-inch rows. You then turned and cut your pancake the other way making rows. When you were done you had bite size pieces that you could pour syrup over. This method was perfect, because if you didn’t cut up your pancake the syrup would end up on the table, running off the edges of the plate.

Mom told us to go get dressed and to make sure we had “Sunday” clothes on. I balked. “I don’t want to wear a dress on a Saturday.” was my rebuttal.

Mom explained to us, “Just make sure you’re not in your play clothes. No holes, cut offs and put your socks and shoes on. We are going to town. I have errands to run.”

Town was about 30 minutes from our house. This all depended on who was driving. Mom could get us to town in a flat 30 minutes. Dad, he took his time. He never was in a hurry. He even let us take turns sitting in his lap to drive. It took him about 40 minutes. Town was a city that had paved streets, streetlights, stores, restaurants, a real pool, and the library. Maybe we could go to the library. This was my favorite place in town.

We all ran to the car calling shot gun. It was Brother’s turn upfront per mom. Sister argued, “He rode up front with dad last.”

“Dad’s not here and I heard Brother first.” Mom told her.

Sister and I climbed into the back seat grumbling and not happy. Brother jumped into the front seat, with his feet no where near the floorboard. They dangled right at the end of the seat. He couldn’t even see over the dashboard yet. We could at least see over the dash and where we were going. The shotgun person helped the driver look out for deer that may be on the side of the road. You always had to slow down when you saw deer on the side of the road. They had a tendency to jump out into the road and you didn’t want them to hit your car.

Once in town mom was right about the errands. She stopped at all the places she had to pay bills. She stopped at the gas company, the light company, and the insurance company. We stayed in the car and waited patiently. The last stop was at the insurance company. Mom stayed in their for it seemed like eternity. We saw the lady walking mom out the front door, finally finished we would be heading to the library. No, they stood on the sidewalk talking. They talked and talked and finally Brother reached over and honked the horn.

Oh shoot, we were in trouble. Mom gave us a look that was not a happy face. “You are in trouble!” Sister told Brother.

We waited as Mom conintued talking. Mom loved to talk to people. Brother reached over and honked the horn again. Oh, dear Lord we are in so much trouble. Sure enough there was that mad look again from mom.

“Brother you have to stop honking the horn. She’s not going to take us to the library.” I told him.

Sister put in her two cents too, “We aren’t going to get to go to Dairy Queen either.”

Oh, here she comes. Mom got in the car and we all sat perfectly quiet like good little kids. She got in the car and began to tell us how rude it was to interrupt adults when they are talking. I’m thinking, but we get to sit in a hot car and wait forever. I kept my mouth shut though. I didn’t want to mess up my trip to the library.

Our last stop was the bank. Mom told us to get out with her. “I can’t see ya’ll when I’m in the bank.”

Well that makes sense. We all piled out of the car and headed into the bank. First thing we saw was a huge escalator that took you up to the second floor. Mom told us to stay off the escalator. We followed her over to the bank teller. We stood by her side as long as a kid-humanly possible. Brother was the first to walk right over to the big escalator. Sister and I quietly slid over to where he was playing on the steps. He was trying to run up the escalator that was coming down. We all three jumped on the escalator going up. Then we rode it down. How is this hurting anyone? We are using these moving stairs appropriately.

Once at the bottom of the escalator Brother went back to trying to run up the down escalator. It was exhausitng watching his short legs move quickly. He could only get to the second step then he would land right back on the floor. Sister and I were watching him wanting to try, but there was only room for one kid to do this without falling. Sister began to tell Brother it was her turn when he came back to the floor on like his hundredth jump. But something happened! He couldn’t move his feet to jump again.

Before we knew it Brother was pulled to the bottom step of the escalator and floor. The escalator was eating him. Sister screamed, “Get up!”

Brother hollered, “I can’t, it’s got my shoelace!”

This commotion disrupted the quiet bank as I was pulling on Brother to get him out of the escalator’s teeth. The more I pulled the harder the escalator pulled. The medal step was scratching his leg and the shoelace was disappearing into the stairs getting closer and closer to his foot. It was going to suck him right under there. I pulled one more time as hard as I could, and his foot came out of his shoes. By this time, we had an audience of concerned customers, bank employees and mom. Mom did not looked concerned; there was that scrowl we saw when we had really messed up.

Someone turned off the escalator and pulled Brother’s shoe out from the mighty grip of the teeth from the stairs. Brother’s leg was bleeding but not dripping thank goodness. Mom’s response to us was, “I told you not to play on the escalator. Now look what you’ve done. Get in the car and get your shoe, you’re fine.”

So much for the library or Dairy Queen. It was going to be grill cheeses and Cheetos with Granny’s reader digest books. Oh well, we didn’t want our shoes on anyway.

Children obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right.  Honor your father and mother” (which is the first commandment with a promise),  that it may go well with you and that you may have a long life on the earth Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger; instead, bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord.  Ephesians 6: 1-4

Mom was 99.9% right in the rules and expectations she put on us. As kids, teenagers, young adults, and adults you will find your own way. Even if it does stray off the path of living for God, you will find your way home and remember God’s love and your parent’s love is unconditional and the prayers will never stop, even when you think your grown.

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