Wednesday, June 29, 2011

The man with the pork-n-beans.

"The man with the pork-n-beans will give us directions!"

We were headed to Virginia for my niece's wedding.  My Sister was driving.  Her husband was in the front seat.  Mother and I were in the back seat.  For the entire eight hours, Mother was anxious and fearful.  She asked the same questions over and over.

"Are we there yet?"
"How much longer?"
"Are we there yet?"
"How do you know the way?"
"Are we lost?"
"How much longer?"
"Are we there yet?"

These questions kept coming...... like a tennis ball machine, one after another. 

Then it happened.

“Stop the car!!!” she shouted.  “That man with the pork-n-beans can help us!  He’s right back there at the exit!” At this point.  Our collective response was "HUH???"  NONE of us were prepared (in our wildest dreams) for this one.   

“I told you to STOP THE CAR!” she shouted.  “The man with the pork-n-beans can help us.  He’s right back there!”

Had she possibly seen Jay Busch the real PORK-N-BEAN man?  My sister was laughing so hard she was swerving.  Her husband couldn’t stop laughing.  In the 25 years I've known him, I've never seen him laugh so hard.

Mother started praying....

“O LORD, please help us get there!  We need some directions, please help us!!!"

Mother was past the point of crazy.  I decided that the only thing left to do was to include my brother in this fiasco.  Maybe he could get her past this "broken record".   

"Mother! I KNOW that man holding the can of pork-n-beans! I have his phone number on speed dial!"

(Look of utter shock)...“How could YOU know the pork-n-bean man?" 

“Well, (think fast) I, uh, think he lives in Griffin, and I think I have his number on my cell phone!" 

(Skeptical stare)..."Okay....."  (God forgive me. )

I called my brother.  By now, he knows to just go along with whatever I say.  He answered and I immediately said, “Were you at the exit holding a can of pork-n-beans?”

(ULTRA long pause)..."Sure."

"Mother says we passed you about a half mile back on the interstate.  Were you holding a can of pork-n-beans? "


"Will you talk to her?" 

“Sure.” (I thought I heard a chuckle.)

I handed the phone to Mother. 

“Hello?????", she said loudly.  "Are YOU the man standing at the exit holding a can of pork-n-beans?"


“Will you PLEASE tell Ann how to get to Virgina?”


Mother hands the phone to my sister.  She switches to speaker phone.

“HELLO!" said Ann. "I hear you know the way to Virginia!  You want to give me directions?  (My sister could hardly drive and her husband could hardly hold his head up for laughing.  My chest is going up and down... and tears are running down my cheeks from laughter.)

There’s a long silence..... “Sure." (Pause.) Go about a thousand miles then turn right."

"Thanks!!!!  Goodbye!!"

This fiasco wasn't nearly over.  We still had six more hours to hear about the "man with the pork-n-beans and Mother was sure this man was standing at every exit for the entire trip!!!!! It was as if Jay Busch had turned into a supper hero who was able to fly to each exit with a single bound.  She spent the rest of the trip looking out the window, watching for this super hero with the can of pork-n-beans.  We were saying..."It's a bird, no it's a plane, no it's Super Pork-N-Bean Man."  The entire conversation was replayed like a loop as we passed every single exit.  Maybe in Mother's mind she really did see Jay Busch, the Pork-n-bean man.

When we FINALLY arrived at our hotel, I got Mother out of the car and into the hotel room as quickly as possible.  I got her comfortable and told her to rest because we would be going to the rehearsal dinner soon.  All of a sudden, she sat straight up in bed and said.  “ I’m NOT spending the night here tonight!!!  I’m going home!” 

“No Mother! You’re not going home.  We didn’t drive THIS far to miss your granddaughter’s wedding. Look!  You have a beautiful dress to wear!  NOW LAY DOWN!" 

“Okay.  But will you sleep with me tonight?"


"I'll pay you five dollars to sleep with me!"  (That got my attention..)

"Where would you get five dollars?"

"I'll borrow it from you!!"

"I want you to sleep with me because I'm afraid!!!!   I want to go home!"

“Mother, I’ll be on this bed right here next to you. So don’t be afraid.  Let's trust God to take care of us, okay?  God has a huge blessing waiting for you, but you have to claim it.  Don't let your fears keep you from enjoying this beautiful blessing." 

She stared with complete silence as if she was thinking about what she was going to do.  Then she smiled and said.  "Will you help me get ready?"

"Of course I will."

It’s easy to laugh at a story like this, but each of us deals with fear. The Bible tells us 365 times not to be afraid. (One for every day of the year.) So use up today's ‘don’t be afraid' before the day is over. I need to remember this in my own life.  I have to get back to making dinner.  Guess what we're having?.......
 "When I am afraid I will put my trust in thee." Psalm 56: 3

 My niece's beautiful wedding in Virgina.


  1. Oh my gosh! Too funny! I have to tell you something even funnier. I do know that pork n beans man. Jay Busch ( lives) is from my town, Appleton WI. You could have called me!! Hope the wedding was beautiful!?

  2. Wow!!! You know Jay? Please tell them that my Mother is looking for him! She things he knows everything! Even directions.

    Thank you so much for reading and following my journey. Keep the comments coming.

    Say "Hello" to Jay ;).

  3. Sorry...she "thinks" he knows everything.

  4. Dear Insanity,
    I tried to visit your blog, but it looks like it's invitation only. Let me know if I can stop by.