The Road to Dry Gulch Pt. 2

Dazzle Digest | 04.26.22

Previously on the Road to Dry Gulch…

My cousins and I hit the road to attend Camp Dry Gulch USA.
We encountered a rather rude dude along the way but learned an important lesson.
Missed part one? Click here to catch up >>

It was unbearably hot against the window of my uncle’s Bronco, but I couldn’t risk making even the slightest move lest my family realize I wasn’t actually sleeping.

“Whyyyyyy doesn’t sheeeee have to dooooo this?!” my cousin groused.

In a don’t-make-me-turn-this-car-around tone, my uncle retorted, “because her father just died,” before resuming his prior activity.

“The Lord is my shepherd,” he boldly declared.

“The Lord is my shepherd,” my cousins repeated, notably less enthusiastic.


“I shall not want.”

Them (out loud):

“I shall not want.”

Them (in their heads):

“I want it to stop.”

And so it went, mile after mile on the long, straight highway taking us from Florida to Oklahoma.

Somewhere between home and Camp Dry Gulch USA, we checked into a motel for a good night’s sleep. My cousins and I were thrilled to have our very own room, which adjoined my aunt and uncle’s.

My cousins quickly fell asleep to the hum of the window unit, but I was wired after all the “sleep” I got in the car. Intent not to disturb them, I crept to the bathroom, guided only by the light that escaped the motel’s pull-together curtains.

As I made my way back to the bed, I saw him. An intruder in our room. He stared directly into my (not so radiant) eyes, frozen in place just like a gunslinger from Gospel Bill’s show in the seconds before they pull their pistol.

Not about to be taken down in this modern-day duel, I grabbed the only weapon available to me — my shoe — chucking it at him as hard as I could, a primitive yell rising out of me by instinct and not effort.

Abruptly forced out of their slumber, one of my cousins quickly turned on the bedside lamp, revealing the stranger in our midst.

I caught my breath as I took in the sight of a bewildered young girl, equal parts intimidated and intimidating.

I was looking at myself in the mirror.

(Sadly, I’ve not outgrown these hysterics. I punched a Mickey Mouse shaped balloon last night, because I thought it was someone in the hallway.)

Recalling this story got me thinking about how many times I’ve let fear stand between me and something I really want to accomplish.

Fear of failure.

Fear of what other people think.

Fear that I don’t have what it takes.

So I end up stuck in a standoff between my fears and my goals.

Ever found yourself there too? Take a cue from Little Lauren and throw a proverbial shoe at whatever has you scared.

you just may find the thing standing in your way is yourself.



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