Friday, December 8, 2017


The wood in the picture above is one thing that was missing from our campsite the night before. I'd had visions of us sitting around a blazing fire each night when I first had thought of coming to Garner State Park for our family vacation.

The next morning I awoke and planned out our daily activities. First on the list was a breakfast of scrambled eggs, so I got out the camp stove and struck a match to light the burner before scrambling up our eggs.

Smelling the food, the kids came out and ran together to the camp restroom to wash up.

The warm food was refreshing along with the orange juice. It's funny that even though I felt like the trip was a bummer so far, but when I looked back at the kids and saw how their eyes sparkled amidst their giggles and laughter, I detected their anticipation. What a relief.

Changing clothes took a  while as they took turns in the tent and then we brushed our teeth over the spigot by our campsite in preparation to explore the campgrounds before the heat set in.

We found a dance pad with a jukebox, a play jail, and on the other side of the park, there were newer campsites with tiny newly planted trees that did not provide any protection from the blazing afternoon sun. I was glad I asked for a wooded area for camping when I reserved our site.

We all piled into my bronze Lincoln Continental ready to head out for Leaky, TX, the nearest town, for a relaxing lunch.

I turned the key only to hear a grinding noise and then click. No engine started up and no power.  I looked in the rearview mirror at the expectant faces and saw the smiles melt away. They were exchanged for puzzled looks of consternation. Now what? I didn't plan on any repair bills while I was up here. This was supposed to be a low budget vacation with fun in nature for the kids.

I pumped the gas one more time and then tried the key. No response this time.

A man headed toward us from the neighboring camp. We had waved and said "hi" when we were eating lunch. He was camping with his wife and three children. I wondered what he wanted to tell me, so I rolled down the window.

It turned out he wanted to look under the hood. It couldn't hurt, so I popped the hood release and he came back and told us to go ahead and to get out of the car. He worked on cars for a living and he thought he could fix the car in about thirty minutes or so.

This was unbelievable! I had just breathed a prayer asking God to show me what I should do about this problem. Concerned that this would be really expensive for a wrecker to travel ten miles to tow my car and then, I had no idea how I was going to get all Five of us back into town to pick up the Lincoln once it was repaired.

Exhaling with a big smile on my face, I thanked God silently. Then, I expressed my gratitude to the young father. It was so kind of him to volunteer to assist us while on his family vacation. (Maybe his wife was rolling her eyes?)

Twenty some minutes later, he reached for the water tap and scrub the grease off his hands, then he mopped the sweat from his forehead. It was nearly eleven and the sun stood high and hot in the sky.

The kids hurried to the car after my first call. The car rolled out of the park and purred like nothing had even happened. Time to go to town for an enjoyable lunch.

After eating, the waitress gave me directions to a house in town where firewood sold for a reasonable price. We drove around some until we found it and then as I got out the owner came out and checked us out. He asked where we were from and found that I was alone camping with my kids.

When it came time to sell me the wood, he ended up filling up 1/2 my trunk with wood for only $5. To top it off, he also insisted that we take a bag of fresh peaches from one of their many peach trees. After a quick stop for a few groceries, we headed back.

All the way back, I talked about the challenges of our short time away from home and we all marveled at God's hand in providing help with our tent, a free mechanic, and an abundance of wood with a bonus sack of fresh fruit.

Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee; because he trusteth in thee. Isaiah 26:3

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