Monday, June 23, 2008

We arrived...but barely

Sunday was a lovely day for travel.
The sun was shining and the conversation was flowing.
I've you've ever driven across US 74 going through the Ocoee River in TN, then you know that it is a curvy road, with some strategically placed guard rails, and other places with no guard rails, only the trees to protect you from the flowing, rocky river. Oh, and make sure you have a full tank of gas, because there is no place to stop, and only a small handful of pull offs for those that run out.
So it was while we where going across this road, listening to the "Passion" CD, talking about the Titanic, and enjoying our drive through the beautiful mountainside, that it happened. My nightmare that I have dreaded for 10 years of driving this way to get to NC. All of a sudden while going through a curve my power steering stopped, all my dash lights came on, and I suddenly had no acceleration. What? My gas tank is half full and there has been no warning of this! God definitely had his hand on us as one of the very few turn offs was just to my left and thankfully no other cars where coming around the curve. Cars where behind me and thankfully nobody hit us as we turned into the cut off.
Like good little car owners, Jeanny and I got out of the car and opened the hood...looking for what? We're a car full of woman and children stuck on the side of the road with the hood open because obviously the answer is going to just pop out at us.
Oh, something else you should know about my scenario of breaking down going across the Ocoee, is that there is NO cell service. HMMM...we live in the 21st century and yet there are still places in this earth that you can't get cell service and where my car decided to die is one of them.

Well, I will save you all the gorrie details of the 2 plus hours that we sat on the side of the road with the children, and the heat, and the need to go potty, and the mosquito's. The awful blood sucking mosquito's. Suffice it to say, it was a long 2 hours.
But it also was amazing the way God works. See Saturday it was determined that Jeanny and Mary would ride up with me. I have At&T cell service. Mary has Verizon. As providence would have it that even though there were no bars on Mary's phone, we where able to call out. We called my Dad to come get us (we where still 2 hours from my parents house), and we called AT&T's roadside assistance, with a Verizon phone! When I get back to civilization me and AT&T are having a talk! Well after mind boggling conversations with the dispatch office, and a visit from our friendly State Park patrol guy (who by the way made balloon animals on the side of the road for my kids!) my Dad finally arrived to rescue us and my already loaded down van. So we transferred all the stuff, drove up the road for better cell service, got the tow truck finalized, went back to my van, left the keys in my floor and my van on the side of the road, and headed back up the road.
Finally around 11:30 est, we arrived. My poor poor van is now sitting at the Toyota dealership in Cleveland TN, with a busted water pump, timing belt, and some other stuff that I don't know about it. All I know about is the bottom line, and it doesn't look pretty!

But the important thing is that we arrived and that God protected us from what could have been an incredibly horrible situation.
I am so thankful that Mary and Jeanny where with me. They were so great at occupying the kids while I tried to handle us getting out of there in one piece. Trust me, without them, not only would I have not had some working cell service, but I would have had a mental brake down doing it on my own. It is great to see the way God worked out the last minute arrangements for them to come with me on Sunday.

Today we have spent recovering, grocery shopping, itching our mosquito bites, and fixing boo-boos. Jeanny cut her toe down at the Creek and Logan stepped on a Bumble Bee.
So now as we settle down for the night with a bowl of Ice Cream, I am happy to be here and really looking forward to getting things ready for VBS tomorrow.
My Mom just said it would be a miracle if I get these kids to sing.
I figure we've already had a few miracles this weekend, getting the kids to sing is a challenge that I readily accept!


Kim said...

Good grief! Thank goodness you're okay! Timing belt and water pump? Cringe. Hope it's not as bad as it sounds.

Have a good week regardless of that. God will provide.

valerie said...

God hands were definately all over this situation. I am so glad that you guys are all fine and you had a nice "little adventure" I am sure the God has wonderful things planned for this VBS and will be praying for all of you.

Chuck said...

That was a great story -- well told.

A Toyota that breaks down??? We know we are upon the last days...

heather said...

Miracles happen everyday. Good luck with VBS.