Our Guardian Angel Has Silvery Wings


Since today is the second Friday the 13th in as many months, I thought I’d talk about superstition.  I don’t think of myself as superstitious.  I mean, I walk under ladders all the time, step on cracks, have had numerous black cats cross my path, and have dropped and broken more mirrors than I can count.

But our luck has been a bit on the thin side of late, so last month on Friday the 13th, Blue Ridge Blue Collar Man and I were debating whether or not we should tempt fate by going out that day.  To make matters worse, as I walked down to get the mail that morning, a black cat that hangs around our property darted out across my path.

“Hee, hee,” I giggled nervously, when I got back, trying to be jaunty and nonchalant.  “You’ll never believe what just happened when I walked down the driveway!”  I told Tom about the cat.

“Ha, ha,” chortled Tom.  “That’s pretty funny that that happened on Friday the 13th!” 

We both laughed loudly and heartily.  Then it got very quiet.  I chewed my lip and Tom stroked his chin worriedly.  We looked down at the floor, then at each other.

“So, what do you think?”  I said.

Tom thought a while.  “You know, maybe with Valentine’s Day coming the next day, it erases the curse.  Kind of like when Glinda the Good Witch comes around and weakens the power of the Bad Witch.”

“Yeah, maybe you’re right!”  I brightened at the thought. But then it occurred to me that some people think love a curse and perhaps would find a grim satisfaction in the fact that the Love Day followed the Curse Day. 

But in the end, we went out anyway, had a real good time, and nothing bad happened though we tried every single sample at Sam’s Club, even that shrimp that tasted a little funky. 

So, no, we’re not really superstitious.  But there is the matter of our wind-up dashboard guardian angels.   The Archie McPhee catalog where I got them many, many years ago called them “parking goddesses.”  But we don’t have much need for spiritual parking assistance out here in the country, so I think of them as our traveling guardian angels.  They’re made of shiny silver plastic, as you can see, with wings that move up and down when you wind up the little knob on back.

And, Lord knows, with a 1982 Volvo DL with nearly 240,000 miles on it, we need all the divine intervention we can get.  And lest you’re thinking Oh that silly Blue Ridge Blue Collar Girl!…well, in the nineteen years we’ve had her, we’ve never been stranded on the side of the road with that car (other than a recent flat tire). And lest you’re still thinking Oh that silly Blue Ridge Blue Collar Girl!, let me tell you a little story about the day our dashboard guardian angel fell over.

One day a little over a year ago, Blue Ridge Blue Collar Man had occasion to drive my Camry.  Now he is a man who moves expansively, with big, sweeping motions and somehow, he managed to knock over my dashboard guardian angel.  I noticed her lying on her side on my way out to get groceries.  I found some clean Kleenexes in the car and made her a soft bed to lie in until I could get back home and attach her securely to the dashboard. 

But in the course of bringing in groceries, putting up groceries, eating groceries, etc., I forgot.  And there she lay, in her soft little tissue bed, alone and forgotten and unable to flap her silvery wings.  The next day, Tom moved my Camry to change the oil.  Afterwards, when he started the car to put it back in its parking place, it refused to go in reverse and refused to do so until much, much later when we paid the nice transmission man two thousand dollars to fix it.  Perhaps you remember my writing about it here and here.

Coincidence?  You be the judge. For my part, I would like to pay homage to our dashboard guardian angel—winged protector and shining chaperone of all of our most perilous journeys.   You have served us well, noble dashboard defender, and I thank you.  May you always fly with us through the darkest night, down rain-swept roads and freezing, frosty freeways. 

But like I said—I’m not really superstitious.  What about you?  Any rabbit’s foots in those pockets, any lucky pennies in your purse?   Are those your fingers crossed behind your back—clutching wilted four-leaf clovers?



14 Responses to “Our Guardian Angel Has Silvery Wings”

  1. Sharon Says:

    First of all, your writing is stellar. Second of all, I sure don’t need to spend $6.95 right now on two angels, but in view of everything you said, I think I should order them immediately. One will be for our Bluebelle, and the other will be for my daughter’s next car–someone rear-ended her night before last and totaled the wonderful 1999 Honda Accord with only 46,000 miles that was handed down to her by her grandmother. The two people in the other car were taken to the hospital–Tara is ok. She has a history of people coming along and demolishing her car, sometimes without her even being in it. I don’t have any rabbit’s foot type things, but I believe firmly in angels and think that sometimes they are positively noisy with their wing flapping. I love this post!

  2. Judy Says:

    I have to admit I don’t like to see a black cat cross the road in front of me and when I was younger I had to have pennies in those loafers for good luck. My mother used to say it was a sign of good luck if your hand itched. She said it meant you would come into some money. I run out and play the lottery every time my hand itches and have not won anything yet! I do believe in angels and think I have a guardian angel that has looked out for me for years. I have one friend that doesn’t like to go out on Friday the 13th and another one that is scared to death of feathers! You could probably chase her anywhere with a bird feather.
    I guess we all have our beliefs and hangups. Great post!

  3. CountryDreaming Says:

    An intriguing topic, love the photos. I believe in angels, but not superstition. Once I won the $250 jackpot at Bingo on a Friday the 13th under a full moon. This particular Friday the 13th marks the last day of my contract job as a technical writer. Life goes on, with its ups and downs. I trust in Divine Providence. Hope all is now well with your cars.

  4. Benjamin Says:

    Hey; I guess when I get my own car (perhaps a tiny Honda) I’ll need to get a dashboard angel. Here it’s been cloudy and cold all day, and I saw a black and white cat cross my path (patchy luck, I guess). 🙂 Good writing, as we have come to expect. Good luck with the rest of the day!

  5. Debi Kelly Van Cleave Says:

    You said you’ve never been stranded on the side of the road with that car. KNOCK WOOD!

    I wouldn’t drive without my crucifix hanging from the rearview mirror. I also bury a statue of one of the saints upside down in the yard every time we sell a house and believe me, it works because I sold some lemons for top dollar and fast! And sold them myself. With no agent!

    About your bad luck Beth. For a while, a couple of years, Kurt and I were having the worst luck you could imagine. Nothing went right. We’d say what we always said when things went wrong–“Oh, just hang on and think positively. It’ll turn around,” or things like, “It’s a test. We have to stay strong.” Etc. And then something else would go wrong! It got so bad we didn’t know how we would be able to continue. But it ends Beth. It’s the natural balance of things. I swear it works–think positively. It might take longer than you want but I promise you, it will come around.


  6. wesleyjeanne Says:

    Great post! I used to believe that if I imagined bad things happening (like having a car accident) I could prevent them from happening. Of course, then one day I imagined myself having an accident and then I did, so I realized that I was probably working against myself with my visualizations. Now I just try to think positively.

    I don’t really have good luck charms, but I have sort of a talisman (and so does Paul): whenever I see a red-tailed hawk in flight above me, circling the house or whatnot, I think of it as a blassing. For Paul it’s a red Cardinal.

    I also believe I have a guardian angel–my maternal grandmother. I felt her presence so strongly when Owen was first born that I just knew she was there with me. Sometimes, when Owen was an infant, she would gaze over my shoulder at something, then smile or laugh and I would say my Grandma was waving at her. Then one day we were at my mom’s house and Owen (not even crawling at the time) looked over at a photo of my Grandma and laughed and giggled. Later she would go to the photo and say “hi”. So I always felt like Grandma was Owen’s angel. I don’t feel her so much anymore, sadly, except sometimes on the mountaintop (Pisgah, specifically).

  7. wesleyjeanne Says:

    Don’t mind the typos int he above message: I meant, of course, “blessing”

  8. eemilla Says:

    13 is my mother in law’s favorite number (she was born on the 13th and married to her current husband on another 13th). Back when I used to smoke, a friend always said that white lighters were bad luck, but he said this so that no one would steal his white lighters. One of our cats is solid black, and he just loves to cross me. Even so I like the dashboard angel; I prefer faeries, but we all need the aid and protection of guardians be they angel or faery.

  9. Lora Says:

    No, not superstitious really, but I do pay attention to coincidences. Such as a friend and I discussing this very subject on Friday and how I said it doesn’t bother me to walk under ladders, and also have two black cats which cross my path daily. I am partial to four-leaf-clovers though.

  10. Jeff Says:

    I loved the way you developed the story line – it flowed so smoothly! I don’t recall ever seeing a “windup dashboard guardian angel”, though. Whatever works is my motto. Years ago, I saw a man wheeling his grocery cart through a residential area – the back of the toddler seat was lined with little statues of saints. I’m sure the Volvo will be good for another 100,000 miles – I only have 172,000 on my Mazda!!

  11. ginger Says:

    Great post! My sisters and I would catch ourselves speaking very positively about some future event, then would each shout out, “Don’t jinx it!” We would then talk about all the things that could possibly go wrong, hoping that they wouldn’t, of course! I don’t do that any more, at least very often.

  12. Betsy Says:

    HI Beth, I believe in angels—and feel as if we have a guardian angel with us and around us at all times. Now that doesn’t mean we can go out and take stupid chances. We need to do OUR part to stay safe…

    BUT–there are always signs around us that we ignore when making the right decisions. George and I always say a prayer for travel mercies when we travel. We NEVER forget —and I hope we never do.

    Hope you have had a good week.

  13. colleen Says:

    I like your angel and I had forgotten about that catalog and might want to browse it again.

    What hangs from my rear view mirror are talismans of a sort. Years ago a little boy who is 25 now strung a necklace of brown corn on a purple ribbon and gave it to me. It used to be long but is now short and fragile, but it still hangs. With it is a wire wrapped large bead bauble that my brother Dan gave me not long before he died. Blessings both.

  14. Clara Melvin Says:

    I love Angels. I have an angel bedroom. The dashboard angel is unique. I have never seen one with wind up wings. My superstitions are somewhere in the back of my mind, so I can’t say I don’t have any. One I can think of is when we were small….”Don’t step on a crack or you’ll break your back.” Or, if a bird gets in the house it means a death in the family. Good post Beth, You keep your dashboard angel.

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