our accident... (a little long, but worth the read)
Our son-in-law Jim had to leave Greenville Sunday to get back to Detroit for work on Monday, but Megan and Drew stayed with us for a couple of extra days to visit since Becka and I were able to drive them back home this week. We left Tuesday morning and drove as far as Lexington, KY, where I'd made hotel reservations. Wednesday we drove the rest of the way up to Detroit, with a short stop at my mom's house so she could see how much little Drew has grown.
We arrived back at Jim and Megan's house, unpacked, got settled, and cleaned up a little bit. Then we headed to Rackham golf course to watch the fireworks. The fireworks were absolutely fabulous! We were a little concerned about Drew as to whether he would be afraid of all the noise, especially since he was beginning to be a little fussy right before the display began. We were astonished to see, not only that he stopped being fussy, but also that he was fascinated with the fireworks. He watched them with rapt attention throughout the entire half hour display! He is really noticing things, some of which keep his attention for quite a while. Below is a picture of Drew looking intently at something....
Below is a picture of what he's watching....
The mobile plays the Michigan fight song - train up a child in the way he should go....
After the fireworks ended, we headed for home. On the way, we had a second set of fireworks - a divine appointment with an object in the road. As I drove along I-696 at 70 m.p.h. in heavy traffic at 11:00 p.m., I spotted something in the lane ahead of me. With cars on both sides and with little lead time to react, I hit what I later learned was something made of concrete. We heard and felt a loud boom under the car. I looked at my rearview mirror and from the light of the headlights in cars behind me, I saw what looked like smoke spewing from the back of our car. Megan and the baby were in the back seat. She said right away, "Dad, I smell gasoline." I changed lanes and pulled off ASAP! I said, "Megan, get Drew, and we'll all run. This car may ignite!" We ran up the embankment and away from the car. I called 911 right away and reported what had happened, stressing to them especially that we were all fine with no injuries.
Fairly soon a fire truck, an ambulance, and a police car arrived. They took Becka, Megan, and Drew right away to the ambulance to wait while I talked with all the emergency personnel. Since the car had not started to burn yet, it was unlikely that it would. So a fireman looked under it briefly to see what was wrong. He could tell that things were hanging down, the gas tank was punctured, and transmission fluid was leaking out. He called a wrecker to come tow the car. The police told me that ours was one of a string of cars that had hit that concrete in the road since they'd seen others pulled off the road on his way to get to us. They don't know exactly what it was or where it came from, but other policemen communicated that they had been able to pull it off to the shoulder of the road. The officer said I was in no way at fault in the "accident" - I'll explain why the quotation marks later.
Jim was still at work at Rackham when the rest of us left the fireworks, but when he got Meg's call, he came ASAP to help rescue us. He took the other three home, while I rode in the wrecker to the car shop where Jim has his repairs done. Jim met me there after dropping the others off.
This morning I took my car keys to the service station after Jim called to explain why the car was there. When I got there the man in charge said that he had looked under the car in the meantime and said that the damage was pretty extensive. I appreciated his honesty when he told me I really needed to take it to a Ford dealership to have the work done. He said, "You're very fortunate that the car didn't ignite from what I could see under there!" I had heard the same thing several times last night from emergency workers. We all thought of that family whose van burst into flame after they hit something in the road.
Earlier in this blog post I referred to our adventure as an "accident" - that's what we people normally call such incidents. But the Lord was unquestionably in control, and we have so many things to thank Him for! He allowed me to drive the car off the road safely, and He kept it from igniting and exploding. This happened within a few miles from Megan and Jim's house rather than anywhere along the 700 mile stretch we had just traveled. We could go on and on enumerating how gracious the Lord has been to us in all of this. I've been able to share His goodness with people I would never have met otherwise, and with anyone who reads this online.
We're hoping and praying that the insurance adjuster will be able to look at the car early on Friday. If not, nothing else will begin to happen until next week. Not that we're complaining about having to spend more time with our family here! But we really do have responsibilities back home that are awaiting us and loved ones there to be with too. Plus it will be nice to know if the car is totalled or not so that we know what step to take next. We trust the One who has superintended thus far, knowing He will expedite all these details in His good timing. He is totally worthy of our trust!!! We would appreciate your prayers in our behalf.
One of the things we have been looking forward to during our time in the Detroit area this week is to attend the 25th reunion of one of the classes for whom I was class sponsor when I taught high school up here way back in the last millenium. We're looking forward to seeing many of the class members who will be there, to meeting their spouses, and to seeing several former colleagues who will be in attendance on Friday evening. I'll have to update you on this in my next blog post. I'm sure you can expect something about aging - these "kids" are now about 42 or 43 years old! They're 12 or 13 years older than I was when I was their class sponsor. Yikes!
I was looking through my files to find something appropriate for our current situation. We have commented several times today how nice the firemen, EMT personnel, and policemen were last night, the 4th of July - a night when there was probably already much going on that demanded their attention. They were so kind and helpful! The story below is funny, and we hope it won't be our experience as this latest saga in our lives continues to unfold.
Yer not from here, are ya?
The owner of an old-fashioned corner grocery store in a small country town was fond of quoting a Scripture verse after each sale. He had three old friends that would sit around a pot-bellied stove, playing checkers on a faded board. His ability to produce a Scripture verse for all occasions never ceased to amuse the old timers, and they would listen to see what verse he would come up with relevant to the sale made.
A lady purchased some material and he said, "She seeks wool and flax, and works with willing hands."
When a man bought a sack of flour, he said, "Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God."
A little child came in and bought some candy and he said, "Let the little children come to me and do not hinder them, for to such belongs the kingdom of heaven."
It was nearly closing time when the chimes over the door jangled loudly. A well dressed young man entered, obviously a stranger from one of the larger towns down the road. "Help you?" offered the proprietor.
"I need a blanket for my horse," said the man. "He's out in his trailer, and it's too cold for him without a blanket. Bring me the nicest one you've got!"
The store owner went in the back store room and came back with a brown blanket. "That'll be five dollars."
"Five dollars? You've got to be kidding!' said the man. "This horse is a thoroughbred. He gets only the best! He wouldn't stand still for an old five dollar blanket."
Without comment, the store owner took back the blanket, then merely selected a different color and brought it out. "This one's $25 dollars."
"Now, look," said the young man. "Perhaps I didn't make myself plain. This isn't just any old horse! He's worth thousands! Now I want the best, most expensive blanket you've got! Comprende?"
The owner once more went into the store room, pulled out another color of the same material and brought it back. "This is the only one left, and it's $100."
"Now that's more like it!" exclaimed the man enthusiastically as he paid. Throwing the five dollar blanket over his shoulder, he left.
The old timers stared silently at the shopkeeper as they waited to see what possible Scripture he could come up with for that sale!
Going behind the register, he rang up the hundred dollars and said, "I was a stranger and you took me in."
(This rings especially true to us!)
"Here is a test to find whether your mission on earth is finished: If you're alive, it isn't." - Richard Bach
A woman who is in assisted living with my mother said something to us the other day that I thought I'd share with you....
"Europe is a nice place to visit, but I sure wouldn't want to have to dust it!" - Joan