Saturday, June 8, 2013

A Tale of Luther

I think I might've mentioned that my daughter went off to Morocco with her husband about 10 days ago. Anyway, she did. And they came back on Thursday night. It was a hell of a trip to the airport and a hell of a wait when I got there – but that's another whole story. Suffice it to say that they were unable to pick up their luggage for about 30 minutes because some luggage handler had an accident, and we had a hold-up while an ambulance negotiated three lanes of vehicles parked there to pick up passengers. Waiting around and wasting time was the last thing I want to do at this point. Here's why.

A little background: when I lived in Germany, 20 years ago now, it was not at all unusual to see guys carrying what is properly described as a male handbag. Very handy and useful devices. I bought my first one when I was still living in Europe, and it immediately became just plain essential. I always say, "I keep my life in there." Almost literally. Credit cards, insurance cards, pocket knife, membership cards, business cards, writing implement, notepad, money clip, etc. But since I knew I was coming back to Oklahoma, a state well-known for its broad mindedness, I made the decision before I even left that I would never talk about my "male handbag" or (even worse) "male purse." So then and there my handbag was named "Luther," and he would always be referred to by anyone who knew about him--family and close friends--as "Luther." Which is really a great name for a purse when you think about it, kindest, suggesting "leather" and "Protestant" which fairly well describes somebody male who would carry a purse in Oklahoma. (And we're not talking about Protestant in the religious sense here, obviously.)
This is not Luther, but kinda like, so you can get the idea.  For one thing, Luther is leather, and another, he's bigger with a carrying strap.

 Plainly, the historian in me is taking over with all of this background. Long story short: I'm helping my granddaughter get her stuff packed up into the car on my way to the airport to pick up Tanya and Mitch--I'm going to drop her at her house on the way--and I put Luther on top of the automobile while I'm fiddling with stuff for the trunk and backseat. And I drive off with Luther still on the top of the car. I did not discover that he was gone until I got to the airport and went to get my reading glasses out so I could discern the words and symbols on my iPhone. Panic pretty well describes what ensued when I couldn't find him. Naturally, I freaked out – and then had to wait for all of the airport delay until I could get home and retrace my route on what I was sure was going to be a fruitless search for Luther. I was not a happy camper.

I will shorten what could certainly be a much longer story by my adding details about how my heart sunk with the futility of of this, and how Susan prayed and prayed (I have to admit I did too, but I can guarantee not as hard.). Lo and behold, I find Luther laying in the middle of the street right past Highway 9, which is where I would've accelerated since it was out of the neighborhood. He was none the worse for wear. It appears the car rolled over it because one handle for a zipper – I guess that's a handle, what you call those things? – was gone; one side had a couple of small nicks; the leather strap has disappeared (I'm not sure I wouldn't be able find it in the same place or in the vicinity even right now.); and some contents inside were destroyed: three ballpoint pens none of them expensive, and my reading glasses, of course, but not the glasses case. Everything else survived: money clip, credit cards and cash intact; pocketknife; and all the other stuff. No harm done. Amazing!

Susan says it was prayer, and I'm cannot argue with that. All I can say is that there was a purse of some sort laying right in the middle of a public, well-traveled street for about an hour and a half and nobody touched it. You had better believe that I have implemented corrective action on Luther's departure from home procedures to go with his already rigorous departure-from-other-places procedures.
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