Tuesday, July 26, 2011

And Now ... the Rest of the Story

You don't think that the incident we had with the carrier on the way home from Virginia was the end of the story, do you? Well, read on, dear friends. Read on.

Fred and I left the carrier on top of the van because we're going to the cottage this weekend for a week and we decided to keep it on instead of taking it on and off. WELL......I was coming back home from a visit with my friend Jenny today when all of a sudden I heard flapping around on top and saw the straps that were once securely tucked inside the carrier now flapping behind me. A transport truck was flashing it's lights at me so I pulled over on the 401 as soon as I could and saw that the other lock had now lifted from it's secure position and the straps that were stored INSIDE were now hanging outside and nothing was secure anymore.

I climbed up and tried to pull the straps back into place to maybe secure it again when a truck stopped in front of me. I heard the beeping of it backing up and thought, "This is the last thing that I need right now - some trucker telling me what to do and trying to 'help' me." Out of the corner of my eye, I saw the guy get out of his truck and run over to me. Can you believe, it was Chris, Jenny's husband!! He had seen me on the side of the road and thought, Look at that. Someone else is having problems with their carrier (because he had read my blog last night and laughed about it, so said Jenny), I'd better stop. Once he stopped, he saw that it was ME! How amazing that God allowed HIM to be on the 401 at that exact moment! Chris climbed right up there and buckled that thing down like it was no big deal at all.  I couldn't have gotten it strapped up without him there. What an amazing blessing to have him on that 401, see me, and then stop just when I needed it.!!  Thank you, Lord!

Now, I hope that this really is the end of the story.
Anyone want a car carrier?

Monday, July 25, 2011

Well, THAT Was A New Experience!

Saturday morning our family left the Eastern Mennonite University campus in Harrisonburg, Virginia and headed north on 81 toward our afternoon destination of Syracuse, New York.  Fred and I were recapping our week at Eastern Camp and had only gone about 15 or 20 miles when we heard a whump - THUMP on the top of the van.  I didn't recognize the sound, so I glanced behind us to see if we had hit something on the highway.  OH NO!!!!  What I saw sure surprised me and we all started shouting as Fred tried to find a place to safely pull over.  Somehow our car top carrier had opened up and our clothes were ALL over the road!  I still have visions of cars and semis driving over our clothes, dragging some of them down the road and blowing others into the ditches.  Unfortunately, Christopher also saw his sock get blown down the road and run over by several cars. 

When we were finally able to pull over, we noticed two cars in both northbound lanes stop and the traffic backed up behind them.  As we backed up, the kind people in those vehicles had jumped out and were gathering up our stuff.  One lady ran over to me with a handful of my dirty underwear, handed it to me and we both just burst out laughing at the awkwardness of that brief moment! 

As Fred was running across the lanes gathering up as much as he could and the other helpful strangers did their grab-and-runs, we noticed a van had stopped ahead of us and was backing up across the now-empty lanes to our side of the road.  I glanced up and recognized the license plate of our friends Gary and Darlene who had left Camp later than they had hoped - but designed perfectly by God to be on that long stretch of highway at exactly the time we needed them!  Gary helped Fred fix the carrier enough to keep temporarily until we could get to an exit to buy a bungee cord or strap to tie around the carrier and I got to decompress for a few moments with Darlene as we talked about how embarrassing this was, yet how thankful we were that it was just a few garbage bags of dirty laundry that had exploded all over the road.

We think that what happened was that a burst of air had somehow managed to get between the top and bottom lids of the carrier and just sucked it open, ripping the locks and clamps off of their "secured" positions.  It must have just been a freak thing because Fred said that he had double checked the security before we left the parking lot.  All I know is that it was a shock and we're thankful that God protected us through that whole ordeal!

Poor Christopher, though.  He was so traumatized by that sock that he saw that he wept and wept for about 15 minutes straight until he finally fell into an exhausted sleep.  Timothy wanted to know when we would go back to pick up the rest of the items that were in the ditch on the other side of the road and we had to convince him that it was ok that they were left there and that we would never see them again.  We did our best to reassure the boys that we can replace socks and Sunday shirts and underwear, but we could never replace Daddy if it had been him or Mommy if it had been me.  We had so much to be thankful for since it was ONLY dirty clothes and not someone in our family or another person. 

The rest of our trip was quite uneventful, but we will never forget that experience, that's for sure!  It also didn't help that it was another hot and humid day in Virginia.  Running around on hot asphalt with your adrenaline pumping at extreme levels does NOT help for remaining cool and collected!  We are now home, all clothes are washed and it looks like only one pair of shorts has been destroyed by tire marks.  We are missing some articles of clothing, but nothing that can't be replaced.  God is good and we are safely home!  HOME SWEET HOME!