Angel alert! I’m on the road again — and stressed.
However, if history repeats itself, which I pray it doesn’t, my guardian angel has already called in recruits. Just in case.
The last time I was in a similar taxing situation an entire angelic regiment was on standby. A 2003 family emergency abruptly called me to Arizona. And from the moment I deplaned, my guardian angel was in a heightened state of fretfulness.
Once I picked up the rental car, my heavenly protector’s real work began: Could he steer while I studied MapQuest? Would the backup angel arrive to push a vehicle running on fumes. Might a hallelujah chorus rouse me from my catnap behind the wheel?
But most nerve-racking of all, could this guardian angel help me — a frazzled woman — exit her budget-priced, no amenities car?
I wish I were making this up. Exhausted from a week of worry and strain, an early morning return flight home had me zipping down the empty freeway hours before dawn. I’d been advised to toss my preplanned route and take a newly constructed highway to save travel time to the car rental facility. Unfortunately, they forgot to mention the road wasn’t quite finished yet.
As my eyes searched the exit signs mile after mile, fear jumped into the passenger seat. The off-ramp I was searching for was nowhere in sight — and undoubtedly on the freeway I originally intended to travel.
In the distance, a yellow blinking sign warned that the freeway would be ending soon. Panicked, I veered off on the next available exit. While I waited in the darkness for the signal to change, a sinister individual approached my car door. Automatically, my elbow tapped the door lock.
On I sped, searching for landmarks until miraculously the rental agency came into view. Whisking into the parking lot, nary a soul was stirring in the darkness. I peered at the distant building where a dim light shone.
I reached for the door handle. It didn’t budge. I searched for the lock. My hand couldn’t find it. I sat in the jittery blackness.
How was I going to get out of this compact car?
Overwrought, I cranked the window down, stuck first one leg out the miniature-size window and then the other while gravity did the rest. I stared at my huge luggage inside.
My guardian angel whispered, “Use the key to unlock the door.”
I only wish he’d have mentioned it sooner.