Bobbie Jo Morrell is a mountain woman, poet, writer, leather crafter, rustic furniture builder, cat owner, technical writer, website designer. She says, “Colorado’s Front Range, with the smell of pine trees in the cool air of morning, is my home.” Her blog address:


Highway to Reality

Wow, what a weekend, surrounded by a bunch of gung ho young Christian types. OK, so they say “Joke!”  in situations where I would use a different four-letter word (beginning with the letter “f”). Still, not a bunch of dour faced puritans, or those fakey smile types that you see on TV with plastic hair. Fun people.

At the end of the conference, all the students from our campus took off together, a four car convoy rolling straight up I-35. First went a car full of young men, followed by Christine and me in my Pinto, the other cars with two or three young women in each behind us.

The scenery of southern Iowa on a rainy March day lost some of its appeal to the women at the end of the line after a while, and they suddenly came roaring past us in the blue Citation, holding a piece of notebook paper to the window on which was written, “TAG – You’re it!”

Chris immediately grabbed her notebook to scribble a similar note as the next car went flying by us as well. I laid on the gas and we raced up to catch the women in the Citation, making faces at them as we went by. The three of us leapfrogged like this, orange Pinto, blue Citation, red Toyota, for several miles, until I got one of my brilliant ideas while we were ahead of the other two.

Seeing the tan coupe that the men were driving in up ahead, I thought it only appropriate that they be included in the fun game we were playing.

“Let’s pass the guys! Get the sign ready!” My foot moved to the accelerator again.

“No,” said Christine in an odd, flat voice, “Let the men lead.”

My foot fell off the gas pedal and I turned my head to stare at her, mouth hanging open. What? What?

Confessing her own doubt, Chris talked a little about how she was learning that women should “submit” and men should be the leaders because that’s what God wanted. She shook her head, puzzled and confused.

I said nothing. That was absolutely insane.

Shortly after this, we all pulled into a truck stop to get gas. The rain had revealed the pathetic condition of my windshield wipers, so I jumped out and shouted to everyone, “I’m going to see if they have wiper blade refills that fit here!”

Immediately all of the guys clustered around my Pinto, flipping my wipers over, pulling off my blades while conversing about them to one another, all without reference to or consultation with me.

Now, I had been doing my own car maintenance since I was fifteen: changing my own oil, adding water to the battery, replacing spark plugs and distributor caps. My dad trained me well. Wipers were no big deal; done it dozens of times.

So I stood there, watching young men who probably didn’t know what a distributor cap was messing with my car, ignoring me, and generally behaving like I was some helpless know-nothing. Rage began to warm my face, and I clenched my fists to keep from shouting at them to leave my car alone.

Chris, knowing me pretty well, came up and said quietly, “Stay calm, Bobbie, they’re just trying to be helpful.”

Yeah, helpful. I spun around and went to get new blades. When I returned they took them from me without a word, and began to do the replacement. Apparently I was completely irrelevant. I’m surprised they didn’t see the smoke coming out of my ears as I watched them put the first blade on backwards.

As we drove on, Chris kept a strained silence, and I tried to calm myself down. Men should lead! Women should follow! Men know it all! Women know nothing! Gah!

By the time we got home I had relaxed some—I did realize they were just trying to be helpful—and enjoyed Chris’s company again. But eventually I shut my door, stood in the middle of my room, and gave God an earful.

“Is that what you think about women, God? Is that what you really think? Because if it is, then I tell you, I am outta here!”

A long dull silence followed my rant. Then a sense of God – nothing so clear as a voice, no – just a sense.

Wait. Hang in here with Me. Find out what I really think.

Hmph. All right. I would wait and see.

story by bobbie jo morrell, all rights reserved

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