“Dogs feel very strongly that they
should always go with you in the car,
in case the need should arise for them to bark violently at nothing
right in your ear.”
Things have been a lil crazy of
late. In order to hit all the
holidays important to us, newsletters have had to come out at about 10
day intervals instead of the usual 14. Thankfully, after this
month that'll end. But in the meantime I've found my own schedule
swamped so I've been trying to devise ways to save time. Cause
sitting at a computer and trying to think of three more items for a top
ten isn't really productive! So this idea came to me. Every
so often, as filler material, I'm going to write a "Moment with Andrew"
story. These will be short stories, usually not tied to any
particular time, about adventures and misadventures our beloved AOD
might find himself experiencing. Some will involve Dyeland, some
won't. Some will be funny, some will be serious, and some will be
both. I hope you enjoy the first one!
And now for a moment with
Andrew's New Car
Andrew waved at Tess as she drove
after dropping him off in the middle of the Arizona desert. Had
there been any casual observers, they might have thought that the poor
man had been ditched and left to wander the desert aimlessly.
However, Andrew knew that if he just walked for a little while he'd
arrive where he needed to be: Ralph's Auto Shop. Andrew smiled to
himself as he thought back on his memories of the angel Ralph. As
the Angel of Travel and Transport, Ralph had seen to it through the
years that Andrew had the proper chariot, covered wagon, buggy, and,
eventually, car. For some time Andrew had been driving a navy
blue Sedan but, alas, after fifteen years the Sedan had drove its last
mile. So there Andrew was, anxiously awaiting his new car.
Andrew was by no means vain nor a slave to trends. And he had
certainly never been as attached to a car as Tess had been to her
caddy. That fondness was now mirrored in Monica's affection for
the car. Nonetheless, Andrew was excited. He could just
imagine himself cruising down highways. His hair blowing in the
wind as the black convertible sped past tumbleweeds and
haystacks... His black leather jacket would perfectly complete
the image. Or maybe a red car would be good. There was a
certain nostalgia factor to that idea. Andrew couldn't forget all
the special times he had shared with Monica and Tess in that
Cadillac. Yes, red would be ideal. Andrew chuckled to
himself. He knew he was being silly and even a little
frivolous. Whatever the Father had chosen for him would be
appreciated and just what he needed.
"Andrew! Hullo!" a voice called.
Andrew could just make out the form of a building and a person in front
of it, waving their arms. He quickened his pace and soon reached
"Ralph, great to see you!" the angel of death greeted, shaking Ralph's
hand despite the grease that covered his fingers.
Ralph grinned. "Great to see me or great to be getting a new car?"
Andrew chuckled. "Both but mostly getting to see you.
How've you been?"
"Busy. We're trying to switch many of the cars over to
hybrids. Although yours... well, there's more than one way to be
'green.'" Ralph laughed again.
Andrew raised an eye brow. Something about Ralph's laugh gave him
"So how have you been? Still an angel of death, right?"
Andrew nodded. "Yes. I do some caseworking sometimes,
too. A couple weeks ago I was even a mechanic," he reported
It was Ralph's turn to raise an eye brow. "Really?"
"Well, yeah! Why? Don't you think I know my way around
under the hood of a car?"
"I seem to remember Tess questioning that," Ralph answered, laughing.
Andrew laughed, too. "Well, I got the caddy working...
eventually. Besides, I've learned a lot in twelve years."
"Okay, okay. I believe you. I know I'll be handing your car
over to good hands. You ready to see it?"
Andrew nodded eagerly and followed Ralph into the garage. There
were 8 vehicles in total and Andrew's gaze fell on them all, wondering
which was his...
"So what do you think, Andrew?"
Andrew turned to see Ralph gesturing to a... a mini-van!?!? A
forest green mini-van to be exact. Andrew shuffled over to where
the mechanic angel stood. "It's uh... it's... are you sure there
hasn't been some mistake?"
"Well, no. The Father clearly said you get the mini-van.
Why?" Ralph looked at his old friend curiously.
"It's just... I mean I don't even work with Monica and Tess any
more. Doesn't a mini-van seem a little... big for just me?"
Andrew opened the van's door and poked his head in, half expecting to
see a child's safety seat and soccer gear in the back.
Ralph shrugged. "The thought did cross my mind but I figured
maybe you had a lot of assignments with groups of people."
"I suppose I do sometimes. But I always have and... I've never
had a mini-van before. It just seems like... I don't know.
Aren't mini-vans for people with families?" Andrew continued to
stare at the green monstrosity, shocked. He noticed Ralph's
disappointment then and immediately changed his tune. "It is a
pretty color." He didn't point out that "pretty" wasn't exactly
his preferred descriptor for a car.
"There's a 5 CD changer," Ralph noted.
"That's really great.
Wow. I could probably go without
changing CDs at all during an assignment. I like the fabric on
the seats. Oh, hey, cup holders!" Andrew pumped his fist into the
air. He knew he was being ridiculous and he knew Ralph could see
through his charade.
"I'm sorry it's not what you had in mind. But maybe in time
you'll come to like it. Think of all the leg room." Ralph
got in and stretched out, closing his eyes. He laughed
again. "This is a really uncool car," he finally admitted.
Andrew couldn't help from laughing as he got into the driver's
seat. "Maybe I'm just not as cool as I'd like to think I
am." He grinned at Ralph. "I really do appreciate
this. And you're right. In time I'll come to like it.
I'm sure I will."
Ralph clapped Andrew on the shoulder. "You're a good sport,
Andrew. Well, I have another appointment in 10 minutes so I need
to get busy. But here are your keys and... enjoy." Ralph
winked as he dropped the keys into Andrew's hand.
Andrew stared at them. They were on a simple silver ring.
At least he could choose a masculine key chain at a later date...
With a start Andrew remembered that he'd promised to meet some of the
Dyelanders to show off his new vehicle. Of course, he'd had no
idea at the time that he'd be showing up in a mini-van. But
Andrew couldn't let his friends down so he started the engine, waved to
Ralph, and drove off into the dessert. Suddenly the sand gave way
to golden grass and Andrew knew he'd been transported to Dyeland, the
Fields of Gold to be exact. For a moment Andrew dreaded driving
through the field. There were no roads and he hated the idea of
trampling the grass beneath the tires. But autumn had already set
in and the grass had died. He supposed there was no harm in
it. Andrew drove to the area where he'd agreed to meet his
friends. He took a deep breath and stepped out of the over-sized,
massively uncool, non-bachelor-friendly vehicle.
Countess Jennifer, Lady JenniAnn, Lady Beth, Rose, Yva, Lulu and Adam
were all waiting for him. As they approached him they clapped
wildly (with Lulu barking) as if he'd just mastered some complicated
task. Andrew blushed. "So this is it," he gestured to the
van and then stooped to cuddle his dog.
"It's lovely!" JenniAnn cried. "It's the same green as your
Andrew tried his best to cover his laugh. Trust JenniAnn to rate
cars based on their similarity to his shirts.
"It looks very safe and comfortable," Lady Beth added.
"Yeah," Andrew admitted, running his hand over the hood of the van.
Adam could see his friend's disappointment. The mini-van was
wretchedly uncool. "We could fit all our instruments in it.
We could do a road tour!" the elder angel of death suggested, hoping to
lend some enthusiasm to Andrew.
Andrew smiled back at Adam appreciatively. "That's true."
"Can we get in it?" Rose asked.
"Sure." Andrew hit a button on the key chain and the doors
unlocked. He got back into the driver's seat.
"You were right, Lady Beth," Yva said as she settled in. "It's
"Sure is. I think it's a great car. Andrew, why do you look
so mopey?" Countess Jennifer asked.
Andrew had hoped he'd kept his disappointment hidden. He should
have known better. It was increasingly difficult to get anything
past the ladies of Dyeland. "Oh, no... I mean I guess I had
something else in mind but this, you know, it's a nice, practical
vehicle. I'll get a lot of use out of it. It is pretty
"Look around you."
Andrew swiveled around in his seat. There was Adam beside him in
the passenger's seat, examining the stereo. Countess Jennifer,
Rose and Yva were behind him. Behind them were Lady Beth and
JenniAnn with Lulu tucked between them, a dog-friendly seat belt around
her. They all fit. Comfortably and safely. Andrew
thought back on what he'd asked Ralph: "Aren't mini-vans for people
with families?" Andrew felt embarrassed and humbled for not
immediately recognizing the gift the Father was holding out to
him. But mostly he felt immense gratitude. The Father had
seen past his wish for a cool car and had instead chosen a car based on
who Andrew truly was: a friend, a brother, and member of a vastly
non-traditional but no less loving family.
Andrew had to clear his throat before speaking. "It's a great
van. I see that now and I'm very grateful the Father gave it to
Lulu barked in agreement with her caretaker.
Andrew looked over at Adam who was beaming and then into the dashboard
mirror and back at the ladies and dog behind him. "Who's up for a
The van was filled with cheers. Andrew smiled as he drove around
Fields of Gold in his massively uncool but very much appreciated forest
green mini-van which Rose and Yva would later dub the Jolly Green
Giant, Coolest and Loveliest of Mini-Vans.
(Photo Credits: The photographs
used on this page are from "Touched by an Angel" and owned by CBS
Productions, Caroline Productions, and Moon Water Productions. They are
not being used to seek profit.))