Several weeks ago we took a little road trip, to Chicago, with some friends. This was going to be a fun filled weekend with just grown-ups. And you know what...I absolutely love Chicago so this was like joy two times over.
Last summer we took a white water rafting trip with these same friends. It was the adventure of a lifetime! Let's just say if I had to go through crisis, these friends were the ones to be with!
Let me just give you a brief explanation. Jason had just purchased an older motor home 3 weeks before the big rafting event. Now so that we could all be in one vehicle we thought it might be fun to take this. Jason was skeptical saying, "I don't know how this thing will run but if your up for the adventure I'll do it".
It seemed wonderful we would have a kitchen for our snacks, a bed (However bouncy it may be)for naps and of course a Toilet for well you know what.
The trip out went with out incident. We stayed at our hotel in a small, little sticky town.(this is no lie, the whole town was sticky! Everywhere we went anything we would touch was sticky!) And the hotel was okay except that right at the place I needed to stand at the sink and mirror there was an overhead drip that happened about every oh, 22.214.171.124.5 seconds, Drip. I found that if I crammed right up to the cabinet I could avoid it almost entirely.
The next morning we took off after our huge breakfast in the lounge which consisted of frozen meat patties and round circles that we thought were supposed to be eggs.
We were on our way up and down the hills of Pennsylvania. On one large hill Jason realized the temperature gauge was going up fast but there was nothing he could do. As we reached the top of the hill he thought he was home free but not today....Today the radiator would blow.
As we came down that hill, 15 miles from our destination we saw lots of steam rolling out of the hood.
God was so good to us that day! I could tell you how it all played out but that isn't really the message of my blog today. Just to summarize a very, very, long day after 10 hours of intense labor by the 4 guys in our group and one very interesting radiator guy named Delegado we had a radiator that worked and we were scheduled to ride the rapids the next day.
Sunday..... We would attempt round two. We would just have to get back a little later then expected. We took a different route and YEAH we made it to OHIOPYLE. After signing off that the rafting company shall not be held responsible for any injury or death We watched a video that scared us with some facts about how many deaths there had been in this river and instructions on what to do in the event that our raft should tip. We set out on our big adventure!
This is our friends Ed and Julie with us in our cute little rafting outfits.
This picture was taken right before we nearly drowned to death.
You see we thought we could do this thing. After all our middle school youth had come here the year before and we still see them every Sunday! There is a place in this river called Dimple Rock. The video had particularly precautioned us about Dimple Rock. People get sucked into this large rock and get held under so they absolutely can't get out.
We had a couple kayak's that were serving as our "unofficial" tour guides.
Julie named them "Thing 1" and "Thing 2". We got quite a laugh out of these two fellows who seemed to have just emerged to help us personally get down the river(we must have looked like complete moron's).
They told us that if we happen to dump they will wait at the bottom to help us.
Well here we are rounding the corner to Dimple Rock. The big boys in our boat were feeling somewhat overly confident(i think the word "cocky" may have been thrown around). All of a sudden the water swept us up right against that rock and flipped us upside down in the water.
Some of my thoughts: "I am going to drown, I am going to drown. What if we all drown?! I can't see anyone else, are we all stuck under here? Oh my goodness what about the kids? What if the kids were out here with us? Thank you Jesus they are not here! Oh air! Gulp, I just swallowed a gallon of water! Turn, feet first, feet first, OUCH! I just hit a rock,Gulp, more water, OUCH! OUCH! OUCH! I can't see Jason, oh please God let Jason be okay! Where is everyone? Feet first, feet first".....
When I finally got down into calmer, deeper water here came my little "thing 2" buddy. "Grab on he said I will take you to that big rock over there". I was safe! Here came my dear drenched guy floating up too. I pulled my violently shaking body out onto the rock not before realizing I had peed my pants! (GROSS) I have never felt so completely out of control!
I stood on that rock shaking for at least 15 solid minutes. But guess what? We weren't done ! We still had about a 30 more minutes to go down the river! By the way our friends made it out too. They had surfaced up on top I just could not see them. And our friends in the other raft? They floated through Dimple Rock like 4 champion rafters! We did make it down the rest of the way but I was a little more grumpy and a lot less certain that I was cut out for these Big Adventure trips!
Needless to say there is a certain amount of bonding that takes place in times like these. You know what I mean don't you!
We decided to make this an annual event. And that takes me back to the beginning of my original story. Back to Chicago... We planned on going to Chicago for 2 nights. We wanted to go to a White Sox game, take a sunset tour of the city, on bikes and then play a new game called Whirley Ball.(This is a game of bumper cars, little la cross nets and basketball hoops combined...Try it sometime-it's a Hoot!)
We took off on Friday afternoon so we could get into the city in time for Dinner. As we were approaching Chicago we had to cross the skyline bridge. The van we were riding in suddenly lost power.
Now let me remind you, we are on a bridge, in the fast lane, and there is no shoulder on either side. Cars are just flying.
We get 3/4 of the way up and the van stops completely. Of course we have flashers on but we can't get off the road. Here we sit, essentially waiting to be smashed from behind! Ed said "I am getting out of here". So that's him in the picture directing traffic away from our van.
Jason and Conrad got another fuse out and put it in. Within 5 minutes we are moving. But as we got to the top of the hill we lost power again. At least we could coast now, and that's what we did right down into the toll plaza McDonalds. Safe!
You know what?? Those guys tried three more fuses and they would just blow. That first one was the only one that worked! Does that smell like a mighty hand of protection to you? It really did to us! Jason talked to a mechanic from home who walked him through some steps and my husband "The mr. fix it guy", made that van run! We could still have a wonderful weekend!
Here we are at Ed DeBevick's later that night...aw, nothing like coming to a joint that is intentionally rude to you. Conrad,Deb,Dawn,Ken,Ed,Julie,Me and Jason
As I was looking at the picture of "Directing Traffic" again this week. It hit me that this is what life can feel like. Sometimes I am just speeding along and then suddenly without warning I am brought to a screeching halt! It's in these times I am really tempted to :
1. Be afraid
2. Be jealous of the people that seem to still be cruising past me.
3. Go into self pity mode and wonder Why me?
God has a way of shaking up my world. Of stretching me and making me ask questions that didn't seem all that important before. It Makes me realize how much I need him. And shows me that I am not sufficient on my own.
God also loves me and protects me from the impending danger. Even if it doesn't always turn out like this story did. He knows what's best for me. His greatest desire is to see me in close relationship with him...so if I need an emergency stop now and then, I just need to realize; He is still in control.
We went on to have a great time together. Here are a couple more shots of the weekend
And the White Socks from a birds eye view...
And here are Ed and Jason on our night tour of the city...The strong warrior, Body Builders that they are.