As a young American female, I never hitchhiked and never dreamed I might one day need to do just that. While living in the Negev Desert of Israel one scorching hot summer day, I watched the last bus to my village disappear into the distance. I had missed my ride home. Uncertain what to do, I stood at the bus stop on the main highway on the outskirts of Beer-Sheva, Israel and hoped a vehicle, any vehicle, would stop and give me a ride.
When I heard traffic approach, I held up my thumb and begged God to hear my plea.
Beersheba to Arad. Israel, Summer 1971
Missed last bus home.
No taxis or passing cars.
29 miles, 47 kilometers.
Tank barrels toward me, rattles to a stop.
Driver motions. “Climb aboard!
Car stops, offers ride. “Tanks take forever.”
Confused, I wave them on.
An hour later, I hear a raucous scream overhead
“Bomber,” driver yells.
“God!” I gasp.
“Friend!” Driver waves skyward, pats tank. “Soviet from Six Day War.”
Minutes later, second bomber buzzes tank.
Driver again waves.
Friendly fire? Feel faint.
After three hours, we arrive.
Wilted vegetables, melted ice cream.
Shaken, I thank him.
Wild ride! Shabbat Shalom!
Born in Los Angeles, California, Susan Joyce is an author and editor of award-winning books for children and adults. She spent most of her childhood in Tucson, Arizona dreaming of seeing the world.. A globetrotter, she spent more than half of her adult life living abroad.
She live in a sleepy, little beach town in Uruguay with her husband, two dogs and a cat. Oscar, the cat, is the boss.
If you want to know more about Susan's Journeys and when her next book will be released, please visit her website at http://susanjoycejourneys.com
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