Alabama Gazette - The people's voice of reason

Tears and Laughter - The Answer Remains the Same

 

January 1, 2020 | View PDF



Over the Christmas season I only lost the car twice. Once I was looking on the opposite side of the mall from where I had parked. I kept setting off my alarm with my keyring, but was too far away to hear it blaring. I finally found it by process of elimination. The next week I lost my friend’s car. The main reason I lost her car was because I had lost her for a while too.

We went to separate checkouts thinking that would be quicker, only it wasn’t. Once I had checked out I headed on out to the parking lot thinking she was ahead of me.

I made it through the receipt check, and then explained to the guy ringing the Salvation Army bell that I had already given on the way in – to somebody else that had been in the same spot an hour earlier ringing the bell.

When I realized I was out of the store before her I tried to call her, but she didn’t answer. I figured she was still in the middle of checking out. I considered going back inside to find her, but then I decided I would rather try and find her car in the sea of vehicles in front of me and wait on her before I tried to explain it all to the guy ringing that bell or the lady checking receipts.

I started strolling through the parking lot with my buggy looking into every white SUV I passed trying to figure out which one was hers. It was almost dark, and to see inside I was having to get really close to the window and peer in. Then I started worried about what people might be thinking. Specifically I worried about somebody might call the law. But I took comfort in realizing I was not the only person wandering around the parking lot looking for the car they had arrived in, and I did okay. I found it on the third try.

Of course it was locked. I knew it would be locked. So since I was just standing there trying to look normal, I decided to shoot her a text letting her know that I had found the car and would be standing beside it waiting for her, but not to rush. I was fine. Which I guess was a good thing, because when I sent the text I saw her phone light up inside the car. She had left it so she wouldn’t be disturbed. Later we would laugh about it on the way home. We agreed one of my New Year’s resolutions needs to be to have more awareness of where I am parked.

Last year I finally slowed down enough to start thinking about New Year’s resolutions shortly before the kids decorated Easter eggs. I ended up not making any resolutions. I passed entirely. Some years will be that way. Some years you just have to live through.

There has probably been no more tragedy and sadness in 2019 than any other year…it just seems so many people are grieving the loss of a loved one or dealing with health issues or unexpected tragedies, problems or accidents.

I have been reading a book of essays from 1949, and in one short column titled, “The Answer,” Monroeville’s beloved writer Shorty Culpepper once wrote, “So many people are wondering, asking and groping to find an answer to our world problems; so many are asking, ‘What is this world coming to? There is so much turmoil, hate, strife, unrest, just what is going to happen?’”

He went on to write, “If you would like the answer to these world problems, and all problems, for that matter, the answer will be given in detail next Sunday morning at eleven o’clock from the pulpit of thousands of churches throughout this land. It will surely be given, and you need not look elsewhere for the answer; you won’t find it.”

That was seventy years ago…and the answer remains the same.

 

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