Saturday, May 31, 2014

And it all started out as a simple trip to a church garage sale

Retracing the steps of this past week almost makes me dizzy.  And I've tried and tried to figure out how to craft an interesting, life lesson filled post including everything.  But I just can't.  So be warned.  And the week  - much like this post - has been lengthy.  So best sit down and relax. 

Last Saturday I went to a church garage sale and bought a lovely antique mirror - and a car.  A used Toyota 4 Runner with plenty of life already lived,  that was being sold at the sale, with 20% of the proceeds going to help fund a summer mission trip.  I'm just a girl who can't say no. 

It's old, has its fair share of bumps and bruises, and it looked like a perfect beginner car for my growing boys to learn to drive.  Better an already pre-loved car than my pretty one, I say.  So in the meantime, it will become a to and from the fire station car for husband.  

All looking to be a win-win situation till this morning when I drove it for the first time and it left me stranded with a dead battery in front of the donut store.  With a dozen donuts and a kid late for baseball practice.  And I sat there and had flashbacks of all the cars of my youth that left me in less than ideal situations and made me call my dad whenever and wherever I could find a pay phone to cry in.  

Once I left my broken down car in the busiest turn lane in College Station, Texas ... blocking all sorts of impatient traffic - and walked to the McDonald's across the street and collect called my dad at work and cried.  200 miles away from being able to help me, but somehow he did anyway.  He always did.  

But the good part of today's dead battery is that fireman Dave came to our rescue right after mowing the station lawn.  And when he got there, the car magically fixed itself and started right up.  He works wonders that way sometimes.  Just the presence of a man to point out a female's lack of car knowledge is enough to liven up a dead battery and bring another laugh to my husband's heart.  Anyway, I gave him a donut for his trouble and he followed me home like any gentleman would. 

And on Memorial Day, as we prepared for company to come over.... the neighbor across the street backed into the side of our other car... the 14 year old Honda that has also seen its fair share of living over the years.  But now it's an unsightly mess.  Like me at the donut store this morning not expecting to be stranded.  But our lovely neighbor was extremely sorry and her insurance is taking care of everything -  so really, just another day here in dented car land.

And then when going downtown to register the new to us Toyota, husband lost his checkbook and had to jump through a million hoops trying to retrace his steps and take care of all the account closures and payroll changes and stuff.  Lots of inconvenient stuff.  But the checkbook was found - by a kind and honest person who called and had found it in the men's room at the building downtown.  And David has never regretted a bathroom trip more.  

But sadly, kind man texted me with the good news instead of David. And 2 hours later when I got the message, David was already in the middle of account change hell and sweating endlessly until people were concerned for his welfare and theirs.  Maybe he was having a medical emergency.  Maybe he's a would be bank robber feeling nervous about his life choices ..... he's sure sweating a lot.  

So all the excitement exhausted us and we laid down on the couch for a nap.  And forgot to pick up our 10 year old from school.  We were only 20  minutes late, but he had already been returned to the unclaimed child room.  

And it all started out as a simple trip to a church garage sale.  Maybe I should've just bought the mirror.  

Oh, and .... someone helped themselves to a brand new plant out of our yard.   A beautiful, full size lavender plant valued at $15 pulled right from the ground.  So they just left us a hole in the ground without even a dirt trail to follow.  Geez.  

Anyway, I'm a believer in right and wrong answering for itself.  One time I realized a mistake at the store on my receipt that benefited me $20.... and I thought about going back in and making the world right.  But I didn't.  Now that and a few other things are forever etched on my heavenly record in the what NOT to do column.... but it all came out in the wash as they say.  That $20 bonus I was saved on my receipt was spent the very next day on a broken car thing and having to pay a taxi to get my husband to a super important work thing - or he may have died.  Not really, but it was hugely important ... and the light shown on my shame and I ended up paying the $20 as penance for my grocery store indiscretion.    Lesson learned.   

So to my plant thief... be on the lookout for something that will unexpectedly cost you exactly $15 - the price of your very own plant had you chosen to buy it at Home Depot.  

So trying to tie all this together to wrap up the week... here's what I got...

The world is full of good and bad - things, situations, times and people.  But as I told my late for practice baseball player this morning as we sat stranded with our donuts,.... we can worry that we made a bad car purchase and assume the worst.  Or we can be thankful that the car decided to take its break at a safe and yummy spot rather than somewhere else.  And we can be thankful for helper Daddy who was quick as a flash - and as fast as a fireman in any rescue situation - who came to our aid.  As the wonderful Fred Rogers of Mister Rogers Neighborhood said about teaching kids to be confident in unsure times,...    Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.

Cue the helper who found the missing checkbook.  Note the father who always managed to fix things - be it with duck tape or a tow truck.  Notice the sweet neighbor who so kindly told us about the mishap with the car and got right to fixing it.  And hope for the good that will come from the impulse buy of a beat up old Toyota at a garage sale.  

Then sit still for a few minutes to reflect on a week filled with opportunity... opportunity to see the insanity of it all,  or the good of it all.  And really, there was a healthy mix of both.  

.......  The rest of the story... No, my husband isn't really a would be bank robber - or any other kind of dastardly evil.  He would so want you to know that.  And yes, he did eventually reclaim his sanity and the sweating stopped.  

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  1. This was such fun reading! I was going through some old drafts of mine and found where I had saved this quote from you, "For your week... may you be encouraged in the quiet moments of your days. May you be someone's needed smile at just the right time. May you be the kind words that need to be heard. And may you be the stillness and reflection of God's amazing love to those you meet." along with your site address. So glad I had saved it; it is beautiful and glad I stopped by to see what you're up to. Good luck with the car. I've been getting the same revelation about looking for the good that comes with the unpleasant opportunities of life. I call it "Just roll with it!" Have a nice day!


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