Sue had a wonderful meal waiting in Norman, Okla. Afterwards Linda stayed to visit with the family while I scooted out to visit with Beth G. and her son Mitchell. I first met Beth at Fort Stewart, Ga. not long after her husband Allan was killed. She showed me his tree on the Freedom Walk. We’ve been in touch ever since. Her sister happens to live in the same town as us in Oregon. Beth just relocated to Norman, where like Toby Keith, she grew up. I often say that with the veteran community the way it is there is hardly a town I can go to where I don’t run into someone I know. That’s been the case since 2003. Now, of course, that veteran community includes many war widows and children. Beth built a home in Norman and shortly after she moved in the neighbor across the street lost her husband in Iraq. Military families are in nearly every community.
As we left Norman the winds picked up. They were so strong I had just turned to Linda and said, “Why is that Doublewide out here? It ought to be against the law in this wind.” I had no more said that than a gust picked up the front trailer and blew it down the embankment, sending the semi hauling it over on its side. Gracefully, none of the drivers directly in front of me hit the semi. Worried about the trucks cresting the hill behind me, I pulled as far off the road as I could and put on my hazard lights while Linda called 9-1-1. Someone pulled the trucker from the truck.
The winds continued throughout our drive across Oklahoma into Texas. By the time we hit New Mexico the temperature dropped from the mid-60s to the low 20-s. I was ready to turn around and go back.
But instead I am just like Paul Revere. I keep pressing onward. Through rain and wind and sleet and snow, all in an effort to be the messenger.
Thankfully, I have Sister Tater to keep me good company and entertain me along the way. Plus, she’s pretty handy with a cell phone during those unexpected emergencies.