Last Thursday, the Adventure bug bit hard, so my husband and I decided to set out that afternoon for a motorcycle jaunt through Upstate New York and New England. Our trip was barely underway, however, when we received word that a good friend and ministry colleague had died. (The 58-year-old had fallen and evidently developed a blood clot that traveled to his heart.) So, we turned our bike around in Rochester, NY, and headed for home to attend the funeral in western Ohio yesterday afternoon.
On our long car drive back to Canton, we plotted and planned to get back out on the rode early this morning to continue our trek. This time, we thought we might head south to Tennessee and travel the Blue Ridge Parkway back home. David loaded the bike back up with clean clothes and we laid out our jeans and tee-shirts so we could slide into them and hit the open road at five a.m.
At four a.m., we switched on the TV to catch the weather forecast. By all predictions, the storm of the century was headed our way with hail and damaging winds. Needless to say, we canceled our riding plans again. Now, it's noon and we've yet to see rain materialize.
No matter how thoroughly a writer has plotted and planned a story's course, there always seem to be those unexpected detours and interruptions that arise to set our characters on a different path. How they respond to the new choices of action laid before them are dictated by their personalities, goals, and motivations. My husband and I could have decided to ignore the sad news and skip the funeral. . .forging our way ahead to New England instead. But that wouldn't have been true to our values. We had no other choice but to come back to Ohio to pay our last respects to a friend.
If we had been true motorcycle fanatics, we would have hit the road again this morning, come rain or hail or high water. But we try to sprinkle a bit of reasonableness amid our motorcycle mania.
Those twists and turns will come, just make sure you know your character well enough to remain true to the choices they would realistically make, based on their personality, morals and values.
As for me and my dear husband, we may just seize this moment in the sun and head for the open road after all. One can only be so responsible and mature. SKD