Road Trip of Delusion by Jean Ann Williams
Thanks, Jean Ann for providing this character interview with Kari Rose Holt.
I have Kari Rose Holt from Pismo Beach, California, here at the Shasta City hospital. Single-handedly, Kari drove her granny’s 1960 Cadillac through a blizzard of the century.
How are you today, Kari?
Let’s start at the beginning. How did you find yourself caught in this blizzard?
Well, uh, it’s a really long story, but, my great-granny decided to take a 500-mile trip to see her son, my papa, Joel. At three in the ridiculous morning, as my sister, Leah, has said. I think I was so sleepy, I couldn’t think straight and decided she couldn’t leave my sisters and me. After a while, I realized my mistake because our parents would be furious.
When did you realize this?
Only a few miles down the road, especially when my two sisters began complaining about the trip.
As the eldest sister, did you feel a responsibility to have your grandmother turn back for home?
I did. But, Granny was determined and even had a crying fit, and so we kept going. By the time the Cadillac broke down on the freeway, I was biting my fingernails. Also, I realized then the trip was about over because of the car.
This did not stop the trip, though, did it?
No, it didn’t. It seemed nothing could stop the trip. When the auto shop replaced the part needed, I made plans for Papa to meet us partway.
By then, something happened and you took charge. Would you tell us about this?
Well, yeah, I had to drive the Caddy because Granny had fallen and could no longer drive. I planned to go as far as the next motel, but the storm had hit and a blizzard was coming.
So you drove in a snow storm, correct?
Yes, and I didn’t have my license. It was Leah who pushed me to drive, because we were at a rest stop and we needed to get to a motel.
Did you feel it was wrong to drive without a license?
Oh, yeah! But, the weather scared me more. A lady we met back at the auto shop told us she feared it would be a blizzard like the one this area had back in 1860. I believed her, and so this pressured me to make my decision.
Tell us about when the blizzard hit. Where were you?
Oh, it was scary. I was driving really slowly as the traffic finally moved on the freeway. Snow was so thick it was hard to see even with the windshield wipers. This snowplow pulled off the freeway as it was plowing the snow. I quick followed it to an off ramp. We ended at the top of the hill at a vacant lodge. We were stranded there for three days, but safe from the weather.
What helped you the most with all the decisions you had to make?
Really? Just simple prayer?
Yeah. I even remembered a scripture while the Caddy tires skidded up the hill toward the lodge. I just knew God could help us.
And did God help you?
Yes. He helped me to make hard decisions. He sent the plow guy, Derrick, to help us get to the lodge. He gave me courage to do hard things like climb a roof. I feel braver now. He helped to save Leah from freezing and from me suffocating in a pile of snow. And, he heard our prayers for Granny here in the hospital. She’s going to be okay.
Because of the changes in you, do you still regret taking the trip?
Yep. Mom was really mad at me, but I think she’s starting to forgive me for my decision to go with Granny.
Kari, thank you for answering my questions, and I’m glad you and your family are safe. Watch this interview on tonight’s local weather news.
I’m going to be on TV? I wonder if Harry will see me.
Kari bowed her head and grinned.
Bio: Author Jean Ann Williams, the eldest in a large family, enjoys digging into her fascinating childhood to create stories for children. Having written over three hundred articles for children and adults, Road Trip of Delusion is her second book for ages twelve to ninety-nine. She’s a member of American Christian Fiction Writers. She writes regularly at Putting on the New blog, Book Fun magazine, and her own Real Stories for Real Girls website. Jean Ann and her husband live on one acre in Southern Oregon where they raise a garden, goats, and chickens. Her favorite hobbies are hiking through the woods, practicing archery, and her favorite game is Scrabble.
Road Trip Trailer: https://youtu.be/jYXeRQfqnvc
Book Fun Author Page: http://www.bookfun.org/group/jean-williams-author
A couple days ago I introduced you to Kimberly Rose Johnson and her latest release, AN ENCORE FOR ESTELLE. Kimberly was gracious enough to share an excerpt with everyone here today. Check it out!
Estelle Rogers willed her galloping heart to slow. Why had she come back to Oak Knoll, Oregon? It wasn’t like the people here had welcomed her with open arms six years ago.
But that was then. Things were different now. Helen Wood had invited her for a visit
over the summer, and she could never say no to the one woman who’d accepted her in spite of her flaws. Besides, she needed time away to think about her future. Estelle
squared her shoulders, raised a hand, and pressed the doorbell beside the farmhouse door.
The door flung open. “You’re here!” Helen’s smile lit her eyes.
Estelle blinked. Helen looked like a young Mary Tyler Moore—she looked fantastic.
Could this be the same woman she’d grown close to all those years ago? Granted when she’d last seen Helen, she’d been recovering from a stroke, but a different woman stood before her now. The rosy-cheeked brunette looked fifteen years younger than her fifty five years. “You look amazing.”
Helen blushed and waved a hand in front of her face. “Derek sent me on a spa
vacation. You should try one. You’d love it.”
The mention of her one-time boyfriend didn’t affect her like it used to. Helen’s son
was now happily married, and she adored his wife, Kayla. “If I didn’t know better, I’d
say you’re hinting that I need a makeover.”
The older woman shrugged. “Not at all. You look lovely as usual.” She stepped
back, opening the door wider. “Come in. I can’t believe you’re actually here. I was afraid you might change your mind.”
“How silly would I be to do something like that?” If Helen only knew how many
times she had almost cancelled the trip. But she would never reveal that to her dear
Helen looped her arm through Estelle’s. “I prepared lunch for us in the garden.”
“I love your garden. It’s so serene. I’m glad the weather is cooperating today. I
noticed you’ve had a lot of rain lately.”
“We have, but summer doesn’t usually start here until July. Welcome back to
Oregon.” She chuckled. “I remember how much you enjoyed my garden the last time you were here, so I’ve been praying the weather would cooperate.”
Of course she had. Helen was like that—she had no qualms about asking the Lord
for a sunny day.
“You’ll be staying in the guest cottage while you’re here.”
Estelle stilled. “I thought your . . .” What does one call a man who works around the
farm doing odd jobs? “handyman—”
“His name is Blake, and he moved into the barn so you could have the cottage.”
“That was nice of him, but the barn?”
Helen patted her arm. “Now don’t you worry about Blake. He’s a grown man and
can take care of himself. Besides, he and Derek built a nice room out there. He has all the comforts of home.”
Estelle raised a brow. “If you say so.”
“I do.” She guided them through the house and out the French doors that led to the
Estelle caught her breath. Water bubbled from a fountain near the cottage. A light
breeze rustled the leaves on the birch trees overhead. A large vase of multi-colored
flowers sat in the center of a round table covered with a white cloth. “It’s more beautiful than I remember. You’ve added some new features.”
“I’m glad you like it. This space has been a labor of love. I spend as much time as I
am able to out here.” She motioned toward a wooden chair padded with pillows. “Have a seat. I’m so pleased you finally took me up on my offer to take an extended vacation.”
“Me too. Although whether I stay the entire three months you had in mind is up in
the air. If I’m needed in LA, I’ll have to return.” There was no way she could put Jeff off for three months—it wouldn’t be fair to either of them.
“Of course. After all, you’re a woman in constant demand. What with your
restaurant and acting career.”
“I don’t know how in demand I am these days. I gave up acting years ago, and my
restaurant runs smoothly thanks to my executive chef and my fantastic manager. Between those two, the only thing I’m needed for is paying the bills.” She sat up taller. “What’s for lunch?” She wasn’t hungry, but anything was better than talking about her professional life.
Helen’s face lit up as she pulled the cloth off a serving tray. “I prepared a chicken
salad, fresh fruit, and for dessert I made homemade peach ice cream.”
“That sounds delicious.” She allowed Helen to serve her then bowed her head as her
hostess offered a blessing for the food.
“Amen.” Helen placed a cloth napkin in her lap. “I wasn’t sure what you like, but I
remembered you enjoyed this dish when you were last here.”
“You have a good memory, especially considering you’d had a stroke shortly before
I arrived. I’m surprised you remember much about those weeks.”
“I recall pretty much everything. It wasn’t like I had a lot to do to fill my mind.
Having you here helped with my therapy.”
How had she not managed to find the time to visit this sweet woman sooner, and
more important why had she been so nervous? Helen was as kind and genuine in person as she’d been in their weekly correspondence these past six years.
Helen’s face brightened as she looked past Estelle. “Good afternoon, Blake. I’d like
you to meet a friend. She’s the one staying in the cottage.”
Estelle turned to face the man. She sucked in a breath. He had to be over six feet tall. His dark hair had a messy look that she liked. Get it together. He wasn’t the first
ruggedly handsome man she’d ever met. Plus there was Jeff.
He looked down at her with chocolate brown eyes. “It’s nice to meet you. Helen has
told me all about you.”
Estelle shot a look toward Helen. “Don’t believe everything you hear.”
Oooh, I LOVE where this story is going, and I think you will, too.
Amazon buy link:https://www.amazon.com/Encore-Estelle-Melodies-Love-Book-ebook/dp/B071Z3C5SG