Wednesday, May 2, 2018

A Reason to Smile

    I could have had a very bad day---but I didn't.  I got up feeling pretty down, but determined to stick to a routine.  Sticking to a morning routine helps to keep me from spiraling.  So, in spite of how I was beginning to feel, I got up, got dressed and decided to head over to this wild apple tree to take some outfit photos of the very last of my handmade dresses.  It was supposed to be overcast which creates the perfect lighting for photos.  By the time I had everything loaded in my car, the clouds were disappearing creating a very harsh morning sun.  Hmmmm......staring to seem like a bad day, but I was determined to try the photos anyway.  
    On the way I was with my spouse, chatting as usual when suddenly there was a sound like an explosion and the car went screeching uncontrollably down the road for 200 feet before coming to a halt sideways in the lane.   It was 8:30 a.m. on a Monday morning, who would be home?  I lost my cell phone a month ago and knew the second that I replaced it it would turn up, so I've been waiting.  No cell phone on a lonely road at a time of morning when no one would be home with a car that wasn't going anywhere without a tow truck.....you see how this was seeming a lot worse, kind of like a really, really bad day....
     We stepped out of the car to find the front driver's wheel broken off the axle due to a worn out ball joint.  The wheel was lying on the road and the broken brake line was spewing fluid.  I walked to a nearby house and knocked.  No one answered.  So, we started walking down the road to try another house.  We were worried because the car was in the road with only the hazard lights flashing to warn on coming cars.  We heard a car approaching and looked back to make sure it would see our car and be able to avoid it.  The car slowed down and drove around ours then slowed next to us and the woman inside offered us a ride to the local gas station.  As we chatted it turns out we have mutual childhood friends and life experiences with travel, etc.   She dropped us off at the gas station and even though it was against their store policy, (after all, who doesn't have a cell phone these days?) they let us use their phone to call for a ride and a tow truck.  Our ride came, took us back to the car to wait and eventually a tow truck was on the way.  While we were waiting on the tow truck I managed to get a few outfit pics, and was I ever glad that I remembered to take along my sensible walking shoes.
    After the tow truck driver got our car loaded and delivered to the mechanic, we set off again to get another car.  We've only had this awful car for about 18 months, but we've had to make repairs of some kind or another every month to two months as long as we've owned it and once a car tries to kill me, I have a personal rule about just getting rid of it.  That little lemon had it's chance and I was done.  We stopped at a greasy spoon along the way and promptly spilled our drinks....they day wasn't getting much better....and then pressed on to find a car.
    We searched several lots for a decent pre-owned in our price range and I was ready to give up.  Suddenly a sweet little station wagon pulled into the lot fresh from the detailer and I knew that was my car.  A few months ago we paid off our house and land and have been debt free and wanting to stay that way.  Really, really, wanting to stay that way.  I felt a little sick, or maybe a little blue signing on for car payments for the next five years, but there was no way around it.  Driving home in my "new" car, I had a lot of time to think.  This could have been a really bad day, but it wasn't.  It wasn't a bad day, because all I needed was a tow truck instead of an ambulance.  While I may be saddled with car payments now, I'll take that any day over hospital bills or funeral costs.  
    You see, just three days earlier, we--my spouse, two children, my mother, and I--were all in this little car driving to a zoo for a family day about 200 miles away.  We were on the interstate bumper to bumper with cars going 80-90 miles per hour.  If our car had malfunctioned then, I have no doubt it would truly have been a bad day.  I know people would have been severely hurt and getting help/ getting home  would have been a far more difficult ordeal.  Instead, my mom and kids were all safely at home and we were on an empty, quiet stretch of road, in fact we were on the only straight stretch of the entire commute.  The rest is all sharp curves and that would have been serious of the car had malfunctioned on a curve.  Ok, maybe today didn't go how I wanted it to, but that doesn't mean it was a bad day.   
    I have no doubt that God was watching over us all and I am thankful instead of angry or sad about how this day went.  At the end of it all, I drove home to two very excited girls who will finally have room to stretch their growing legs in this car, and a box full of kittens with their sweet baby blues and soft purrs.  Our little black cat, Midnight, on the day before our zoo trip, finally decided to introduce us to her first brood of kittens.  We were thinking she'd have one or two on her first go round.  Instead she brought us four little puff balls to babysit for her while she went in search of a hearty meal or two.  They were shy at first, but now we're all good friends and Midnight has enjoyed having the extra help.

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