Growing up, I became used to the term “Preacher’s Kid”. We stayed in hairy motel rooms where you had to wear your shoes just to take a shower. I’ve slept in the car, and even outside as my Dad brought the gospel to different churches around the country. One time, we were somewhere in South AL. We arrived there and it started to snow…in South Alabama! The temperature dropped like it was northern Alaska and the pastor was showing us the “evangelists quarters”. I tell you right now, I wouldn’t have given a quarter for it, that’s for sure! My Dad, Mom, and myself were standing there staring at a pop-up camper, that looked like it spent its summers in dark alleyways selling knock-off jewelry and watches in the city…it was pretty rough.
Being the optimist that I was (at the time), I saw this as a fun opportunity, climbed in, and my right foot immediately went through the floor. While my dad was trying to pick mom up off the ground, the pastor tried to explain how a couple of nails and boards would fix that and he would get right on it…tomorrow.
…fast forward to after the service…
I had gotten ready for bed, which I think was also called, “the driver’s seat”. I had noticed the camper was swaying to the rhythm of the outside wind. Not to mention the inside wind…that thing was leaky! At least it wasn’t raining!…See? I told you I was optimistic.
And it was blue cold!
No heater. You don’t really appreciate what a good heater will do until you need one and don’t have one. My mom and dad were in their bedroom a.k.a. the “kitchen”, where the bed was the table with a deflated mattress. If you can’t picture what that looked like, just imagine a doily draped over the table and that was about all of the cushion they had.
When I saw their bed, I was happy to be sleeping where I was at. Although at times, the steering wheel would get in the way, and I never could make friends with the gear shifter. But all in all, I had it made…we were roughing it! Finally!
I woke up to a mysterious humming sound in the middle of the night. I could smell it…heat! I jumped from my bed, taking about three rounds with the gear shifter before I got free, “Oo-ing” and “Aah-ing” the whole way because of the permanent crick in my back, and went in the kitchen where the humming noise was coming from.
Much to my surprise, two white ghosts, or maybe they were blue, I don’t know, I really didn’t want to stand there and speculate their color, were huddled around a hairdryer. It was my folks trying to get warm!
Later, with the hairdryer in hand, I commended mom and dad for giving me the heat source so quickly. Dad seemed so excited about giving it to me that he threw it in my direction and climbed the walls muttering something about a blue ghost…and mom just did her impression of a limp dishrag…and that is how I spent one of my summers…as a preacher’s kid.