Calamity Jane and Annie Oakley—we are the Outlaw sisters!

Calamity Jane and Annie Oakley—we are the Outlaw sisters!

Our dear pastor and spiritual director gave us the monikers.  My sister, a senior citizen who cares full-time for an adult son with multiple disabilities, lives on a less-than-modest budget and no working income. For years, she did not even have to file taxes.  However, a few years ago the IRS made an error (really? IRS? error?) and mis-categorized her as having a job and an income—unbeknownst to her. She had no idea this had happened until she was served with a warrant! Yikes! Thankfully, my wonderful CPA/tax preparer investigated the problem and made a personal appearance on her behalf at the IRS. They rescinded the classification and corrected their error.

Sometimes, “things” just happen to the Outlaw sisters. For example, on a drive back home from Mother of the Redeemer retreat center in Bloomington, we heard a part fly off my sister’s older Safari van and ricochet on the 465 lane we were driving in. It was dark, and the engine was still running, so we did not stop but headed for the house, praying the rosary on the way. Next morning, Calamity drove the van straight to our trusty mechanic. He called her within an hour and told her that a rather important part of the steering mechanism had detached (and was lying somewhere on the shoulder of 465). He asked how we got home; we said “We were afraid to stop on 465 at night so we just kept going and went home.” He said, “Are you crazy? I wouldn’t have driven this van out of my driveway!”  Obviously, he did not realize that Our Savior, His mother and our  guardian angels swooped down and lassoed the misfortune about to befall us.

They’ve also protected us over 20 years driving to and from the Mother of the Retreat Center (and now the Franciscan friary and chapel) in Bloomington:  when the headliner on my sister’s old station wagon detached from the ceiling and fell on our heads (we were covered in bits of black fabric); when the muffler came off my Pontiac Sunbird; when the alternator in the Safari van croaked after we pulled into the chapel parking lot, and when an impatient driver rear-ended my Saturn VUE at the stoplight on 37 exiting from 465. For some reason Our Lord and the saints and angels rescue us when we go to pray, to attend Mass and devotions, attend retreats and continue our formation in the Franciscan Missionaries of the Immaculate Mediatrix.

I guess God loves even the “outlaws!”