A church, a donkey, and a little girl…

That picture doesn’t do justice to the spectacle that was real life.

I drove the three hours there-three hours back trip to pick up my daughter yesterday.  We do this every couple of months when she goes to her dad’s.  But today, I decided to take a different route home.  Something to kick up the scenery a little bit.  I told her when we made the exit, and yet she stayed focused on her phone and texting her friend.  I told her to get out of her phone and experience the adventure with me, to which I got a raised eyebrow and a good amount of groaning before she just laughed at me and went with it.  Told her friend that “mom wants quality time” and decided to humor me.  🙂

The little road took us off the highway, into a rural area that felt held back in time a little.  The first thing we passed  was an old antiques store that had a covered wagon out front, that we marveled over the small size.  The second was that church.  I wish the pictures were as amazing as it looked in person, because we were both infatuated with it.  I was like, “Wait, we have to turn around and get pictures of that!”  And then it was funny because there were old men in cowboy hats staring at us like we were terrorists casing the place.  But I couldn’t help myself.  It was too perfect, and I needed to remember it, because we both decided it’s going in my next book somehow.

Then we passed a pasture of cows, which due to an old joke from my daughter’s childhood renders it necessary for anyone around to say “Neigh.”  But then just as we passed, I spotted a furry brown donkey, and she didn’t believe me.  Once again, I had to turn around to prove to her there was indeed a donkey there, and both of us laughing hysterically, we pulled alongside the fence and rolled down the window.  She waved at him and talked sweetly as he stopped eating and turned to look directly at us…probably in shock that someone would be talking to him from the street.

I wish I had a picture of that…it was priceless.

There were twists and turns, pastures and ranches and ponds and little dirt roads sprouting off everywhere.  As we were trying to think of a name for the donkey–because of course he needed a name–and of course we decided he was a he–we passed a sign for “Maynard”.

There will be a donkey named Maynard in my next book, mark my words.  🙂

Toward the end of the trip, we passed a church group at an intersection, asking for money for the kids’ church camp.  We passed once, and my daughter caught the eye of a little girl in a pink shirt.  “We have to go back, Mom,” she said.  After I groaned and told her we couldn’t, she said, “We have to.  We turned back for a church and a donkey.  We have to go back and give that little girl some money.”

Oh, they know how to work that guilt thing, don’t they?  So we did.  We turned back.  Passed the same group on the OTHER side, turned around AGAIN, so that we’d be lined up with the little girl in pink again.

And now we have a story.  Of an old church, a donkey named Maynard, and a little girl in pink.  🙂  And I wouldn’t trade those miles for anything.

Have you ever had a memorable trip that was unplanned?


About Sharla Lovelace

Writer of romantic women's fiction. Wife, mom, and wonderwoman...without the boobs. National Bestselling Author of THE REASON IS YOU, BEFORE AND EVER SINCE, and the e-novella JUST ONE DAY. Lover of anything red.

Posted on April 30, 2012, in Sharla Lovelace and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 7 Comments.

  1. my trip is stationary… yesterday I was helping my daughter polish a piece of choreography for an audition, when the lyrics hit home… Love is here, Love is now …in that moment, I realized that the “here” and “now” were, for me, literal. Therefore, I drank in that special moment that I was spending with my daughter.

  2. Yes Sharla, the kids can provide some unexpected magic. My daughter was visiting from NY and we decided to just drive down A1A … the beach road in south Florida. We drove from before breakfast until after dinner, stopping to eat or go off to the side of the road on a small “key” in the Florida Keys. We ate lunch at a picnic table that was not even one foot from the incoming waves. She is my budding photographer and took dozens of pictures and sends them to dear old mom. Great times, rare moments.

    Yes, this is great material for any of your future books 🙂

  3. What a memorable trip, Sharla! We’ve done that, too, driving down the highway, steering off to some out-of-the-way spot, turning back for pictures or because one of us missed something. It’s a great thing to share with your daughter. Next time, she’ll put that phone away quicker. 🙂

  4. Love this! 😀 and donkeys in novels are fun – Miss Emma the donkey in Sweetie 😀

    I now want to go “ride-about” – yes! 😀

    • Kat, last night I had my first book club meeting (scary but so fun) and I pimped your books out. 🙂 Had to! They asked me to recommend some and yours were the first to come to mind. The host put it in her email minutes and one of the ladies already ordered all three today. Yay!!!!!

      • *BIG OLE SMILE!I* —

        I have some speaking engagements coming up and I’d planned on telling them about your book, too –

        Thank you, Sharla – 😀 I think we all benefit when we support each other!

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