Tuesday, March 8, 2011

My trip down M-21

M-21 (locals know it as Fulton St.) has always held a special spot in my heart.

To me M-21 isn't just a long road stretching from the east side of Michigan to the west side. To me it has a beginning and an end. To me it starts at the intersection of Fuller and Fulton, carries on east about an hour and 45 minutes, and ends at North Kurby Rd in Corunna. I know, there's a much faster route, namely the highway. But I refuse to take it. I remember one year my dad taking the highway to Corunna because M-21 was just too dangerous. Boy o boy, was I mad. I've never taken it since! I brave the ice, snow and sleet. No matter the conditions, I A.L.W.A.Y.S. take M-21. Much to Mr. Goose Poop's dismay! (And my parent's, when I was younger, too!)

About a year ago, I added a special stop to my M-21 route. You see, Mr. Goose Poop's dad moved to St. John's about a year ago, and M-21 runs right, straight thru St. John's. He thinks I'm crazy to take M-21, but is there really any other way?!?

Sometimes I think to myself as I pass over Fulton St...My Corunna family and my father in law, literally live right off this road. Down this road a little, make one right turn and there's my father in law's house. Or, down this road a little further, make one left turn and there's my Aunt Mary's house. For some weird, odd reason, I find comfort in knowing that.

Now, thanks be to God, there's never been an emergency at the end of M-21. I've never had to rush the drive. Sure, I've been late to a party, or family gathering, but it wasn't an emergency. If I showed up late, it wasn't a big deal. one's ever later than my Just John!! So never any worries. My Grandpa Smith passed away December 6th 2000. But, I wasn't able to go to the funeral, because I was 17 months pregnant (or did it just feel that way?) and my family didn't want me to go into labor on the way. So I didn't make the emotional trip. So, like I was saying...I've personally never had an emergency at the end of M-21. It's always been an enjoyable, relaxing, rockin' out trip for me.

But that all changed this weekend. Mr. Goose Poop's dad got sick on Friday. He came down with the flu, and wasn't doing well. We were supposed to go there on Saturday afternoon to help him get some fire wood. He called Saturday morning saying he just wasn't up to it, and we'd have to re-schedule. He didn't sound good, so I said a little prayer. Monday I was supposed to go with him to a meeting for the photography studio. He called Sunday night, canceling that also. He didn't sound good. At all. Mr. Goose Poop asked if he needed anything, and he just asked if maybe at some point tomorrow if someone could bring him something to drink. Mr. Goose Poop told him someone would. Hung up the phone, and told me we had to go there to be with him.

An hour later, I had kissed the Gooslings & Mr. Goose Poop good-bye, was changed into pajama's, had a pair of jeans, a sweatshirt, a book, and a thermometer packed, and was at the pharmacy buying some supplies I thought I'd need when I got there. Benedryl and Gatorade for Sr. Goose Poop, and a 12 pack of Diet Coke and a Butterfinger for me!!

And I headed east on M-21. And I drove. And I drove. And I prayed. And I drove. And I prayed. And I prayed some more. I prayed for wisdom. I prayed for knowledge. I prayed that dad wouldn't fight me if I told him he was going to the hospital!!! I've never had such a frightening drive down M-21. Never noticed how many curves you have to slow down for. How many little towns you have to drive thru where the speed limit drops to 45, then 35, then down to the crawl of 25 for a couple miles. I didn't site see, like I usually do. Didn't admire what houses I'd loved since I was a kid. What one's had changed since my last trip. I wasn't paying any attention to anything at all. Accept where I need to turn.

I remember, on more than one occasion, looking around and thinking to myself, "Where the hell am I?!?" The drive seemed to take 4 hours.

But when the time came, I turned the truck right and arrived at his house. He was relieved to see me. I was mad he hadn't called earlier. The praying worked, and mommy instincts kicked in. He had a fever and hadn't eaten in a few days. I pumped him full of drugs, made him down a couple glasses of Gatorade, and sent him straight to bed. Not that he really had any other option besides bed. He wasn't able to get around much!

I nursed him back to health. Ok, well not full health, but enough so that I was able to leave him the next afternoon confident that he was fine to be by himself. I canceled his photo shoots for the next day, and told him under no circumstance is he to leave his house!!

And I drove home. And I prayed. I thanked God for the wisdom He had given me. For the knowledge He gave me to make the right decision. Thanked Him for getting me to dad not a moment later than I had. Thanked Him that dad is just an hour and 15 minutes down M-21, and not an airplane ride away. God is good. And prayer is a gift.

I don't know that I'll always think of M-21 quite the same anymore. But it'll always be the link that connects me to my family.


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