This trip back to the USA has taught us many lessons. Yesterday taught us a lot more lessons. I’ve been procatinating in posting on the blog because I felt like God wanted me to post a very specific topic but I did not want to post it. No, I did not. So I didn’t. And now I’m laughing sardonically at myself because God is funny.
I’ll post what I was supposed to post soon, but for now here’s an update on yesterday:
We left my sister Hollie’s house in Dallas at 11 p.m. The air conditioning in the van we borrowed wasn’t working so we thought we’d rather drive through the cooler part of the night than drive through Texas heat like a mobile human sauna.
We drove about 13 hours until it happened. Coasting through southern Illinois there was all at once a loud hissing, shreeking and grumbling. That was just me.
Then the van made a weird noise that caused us all to cringe in horror. It stopped and refused to go further than the side of Intestate 54. In the middle of nowhere. N.O.W.H.E.R.E. It’s shortly after noon.
I call my dad who calls his motorcycle gang in hopes of someone nearby who can help. Bikers always come to the rescue. I think it’s in the owner’s manual.
The tow truck company said they would send someone for us in 2-3 hours. So we wait. The kids tumble out, spread a sleeping bag and set up some card games.
We lolled around on the side of the road while semi trucks whizzed by creating a celebrated breeze, yet gently massaging us with gravel pellets.
Finally the tow truck driver appeared…YAY! With enough room in his truck to take one person to safety. UH OH. He said it was illegal to leave people stranded on the side of the road whilst towing their vehicle.
I was all prepared to hitchhike because there’s strength in numbers and because after 13 hours in the van and 5 weeks of Krispy Kreme, I need some exercise. But noo….can’t do that. Mr. Tow Truck proposes we ride IN THE VAN WHILE IT’S ON THE TOW TRUCK BED. I’m not sure this is legal either, especially since he told us to keep our heads down.
If you’ve ever wanted to know what it’s like to ride in a car while it’s being towed, it’s pretty awesome. There were shrieks of delight. Even some selfies.
The tow truck driver did not want to take his contraband group to the mechanic, so he smuggled us about half a mile to an RV campground where he drove back into the woods. At this point one kid yells. “This is it, we are going to die like this.”
But instead of turning us into an episode of CSI, he dropped us off and drove Kevin and the van away to safety. We sat and enjoyed the hummingbirds. And the shade.
Meanwhile, my dad found a local church who has a church bus that could help us. So within 15 minutes, a nice bus pulls up next to us. It even has air-conditioning! The First Baptist Church of Marion came to our rescue; Dale and Jim were so kind and helpful. They even drove us to a hotel in a large town. The town where the van was towed had a Subway which was good for a 6-inch meatball sub but oddly, they didn’t want us to sleep there.
So after not sleeping, sitting in the hot sun and not knowing anyone, we met a crazy tow truck driver, a friendly, helpful church and had a good night’s sleep in a hotel with free breakfast. Tonight we have an invitation to stay with the driver of the church bus and his family.
The bad news is that the mechanic’s initial estimate is $800-$1200 and he doesn’t think he can get the parts until Monday. We are supposed to be in Michigan on Monday to visit with Kevin’s family and church.
The van repair bill and the costly hotels will soon deplete the bank account. And it’s not our van but I’m not about to leave the owner of the van with this whopper of a repair bill. It was because of the goodness of her heart that we even got to drive it to see my family!
We are supposed to leave the USA on August 30th, so hopefully we will back in Ohio before then.
This has all the makings of a God adventure, wouldn’t you say?!
If you think about it, say a prayer for us and then you can congratulate Kevin and me. It’s our anniversary today! We celebrated with free hotel coffee.