Vermont, The Full-Figured Sister

Thursday night all four in our little family gathered to watch something on Netflix.  We may only be four, but we filled the couch, spilling child bodies, blankets, and pillows onto the floor.  My daughter and I somehow talked the menfolk into watching an episode of the Take Home Chef.  If you remember, my daughter once declared she would marry Curtis Stone.  He will one day be my son-in-law.  I still haven’t come to terms with having such a good cooking Australian son-in-law, but we  watched.

Then I had a divine appointment with 18 Kids and Counting.

I’ve watched before, but I cannot say I’m a regular fan of the show.  I have great respect for the Duggars, because they parent well, at least it seems that way on camera.  This episode was just for me.  Two of their older girls were packing for a trip to New York.  Packing for their entire family!  I broke out into a cold sweat at the thought.  I pack for four and always manage to forget a toothbrush or deodorant or must I admit, a pair of underwear.  The Duggar girls are something I am not – organized.  I sat in amazement as they filled suitcase after suitcase.  Then I turned off the TV and packed for our short trip to Vermont.

The next morning as FringeMan carried out our bags.  He said, “That’s it?  I’m really impressed by how you packed.”

Thank you Duggar child.  Do you want to come live with me?

I put an outfit for each of us on a hanger, stuffed our pockets with underclothing and socks, and then covered the four full hangers with a contractor bag.  The next morning, we tossed all our dirty clothes into the contractor bag.  Ingenious right?  Add one toiletry bag to the mix and I was done packing.

Early Friday morning, Fringeman went to fetch us a rental car (the mechanic didn’t have time to fix our car last week), while I watched a live stream of the royal wedding.  Princess Diana’s wedding was the best fairy-tale of my youth, so I wanted my daughter to watch her son’s wedding.

Gosh I’m getting old!

A few hours later we piled into our little compact car.  FringeMan said, “I bought an extra $18 dollars worth of insurance.  It covers any damage inside or outside the car.”

We are doomed, I thought.   I knew this in my heart.

Three hours later, sitting at a stoplight in Vermont, there was a big bang and we four lurched forward as far as our seatbelts allowed.  I knew it would happen!  Thanking God for insurance, I looked over at FringeMan.  Coffee, thick with cream and sugar, dripped from his body.  Dern those Duggars and their efficiency.  I have no extra clothes!

As my neck creaked back into place, FringeMan got out to assess the damage.  Sure enough a bullseye punctured the fireberglass just below the back bumper.  Looking in the review mirror, I spied a slight wisp of blond pony-tail getting back into her car crying.

Not only did this very young new driver slam into our rental car, but she had to face a rather intimidating FringeMan dripping with coffee.  She needed help.

I got to her momma’s large SUV just as she hung up her phone.  Dressed in her rugby uniform, tears wet her face and pooled on her cell phone.

“Are you ok?”  I asked.  “You’re not hurt?”

Her pony-tail bobbed back and forth.

“Just shaken up?”  I questions.

Her y-yes came with a new flood of tears.

Because I remember calling my father the day I wrapped my little matchbox car around a tree, I asked, “Are your parents mad?”


“If it makes you feel any better, I’ve hit my fair share of cars, trees, brick walls, and an eight foot mound of snow.  This is nothing!  Your mom’s SUV has no damage and we bought extra insurance on our rental, so you’re off the hook!”  I tried to comfort her.

It was only when I returned to our not so new rental that I noticed my kacki short wearing son was covered in grease.  This cannot be happening, I thought.  I will never watch the Duggars again!  And so a rather tattered FringeFamily, smelling slightly like stale coffee and grease,  filed into the Michael W. Smith concert.

Michael W. gave testimony to how he did a good job of barely surviving for a long time.  Now he realizes the abundant life is his to live.  She shared how he learned to walk each day in God’s grace.  How for many years he functioned with a wrong view of God.  It was very good, something I needed to hear.

After the concert, we went in search of a meal.  Only nothing was open. Vermont is closed at 10:30 p.m.  We hadn’t eaten in almost ten hours and we were all starving.  Green-bean casserole was sounding appetizing.  We pulled up alongside a tow-truck and FringeMan asked him if he knew where we could get a burger or something.  The very first words out of his mouth were “You’re not from around here, are you?”

We knew we were back in the too far north.  Vermont is like a sister-state to Maine, the much curvier and more full-figured sister.  Vermont is all giant mountains, squirrely roads, and rivers.  Both states know we are from away.

After the tow-truck driver pointed us in the direction of a Burger King, FringeMan rolled up his window, turned to me and said, “I know the fishing industry has been hard-hit in today’s economy, but I didn’t realize the Gordon of Gloucester’s Fisherman is now driving tow-trucks.”

I lie not.  This bearded man was wearing the exact yellow slicker and rain hat as the Gordon of Gloucester Fisherman.  I wouldn’t have contained my laughter if he had sent us to a Captain D’s or Arthur Treachers.

Not only did we get to see a concert, a fund-raiser for a Christian school, but we also visited with friends.  Two families that attended our church in Maine now live in Vermont. We’ve all remained good friends and had fun catching our families up on life in different states.   Our trip was better than a chocolate cupcake with buttercream icing.

(for nostalgia’s sake)

What did you do this weekend?


9 thoughts on “Vermont, The Full-Figured Sister

  1. Megan

    I’m pretty sure my family is wondering why I am laughing out loud in the living room at 10 p.m. You and your adventures! 🙂

    On another note, I went to Max Lucado’s Outlive Your Life concert tour in the fall. MWS was the oldest guy on the list (Toby Mac, Third Day, etc.) but he absolutely had the BEST show of them all and was the BEST speaker…and that’s not 1988 me talking, either!

  2. Laura

    Sounds like a great weekend (car craziness and all). I’m glad you had fun at the concert!
    Too bad about the minimalist Duggar packing. Every time I pack light I regret it. I always pack one extra shirt & pants/skirt just incase of spills. And then one outfit that’s totally different than the others incase I become so inclined. I try to pack in colour families so that I can mix and match my tops and bottoms so that everything I pack will match (except that one crazy outfit). Also, I always over accessorize and usually never wear all the headbands/hats/jewellery I bring.

  3. Karen

    You put such a funny positive spin on things! I laughed, when, if it had been me, I would have cried.

  4. TheIdiotSpeaketh

    Ya’ll really know how to have an adventure! The wife and I are huge Micheal W. Fans! I envy you! We have not seen him in 15 years or so.

  5. Charming's Mama

    That is such a great song, brings back good times.

    This weekend we got the rare treat of brunch after church on Sunday with some snowbirds, finally home from wintering in Mexico.

  6. Adventures of a Middle Age Mom

    Those Duggars scare me, they really scare me.

    I am happy to know you weren’t hurt in that rear ender. No neck pain? Stiffness in shoulder? Hope not. Those small accidents pile up in the body over years until you wake up one morning with one shoulder tucked under your ear and you don’t know how it got there. Trust me; I know.

  7. Tori Nelson

    Oh, poor girl. There’s nothing scarier than explaining a bad driving deed to your parents!
    The Duggars put me to shame. They seem to operate (and pack) with such easy fluidity. I find myself fumbling around, stressing to properly stock one diaper bag and knowing that the whole Mother To Nineteen Children bit is not for me!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s