We went to get our Christmas tree on the day that Grandma Fisher left. As a matter of fact, we had just returned from our trip over the mountain to Charlottesville to take her to the airport and had only stopped briefly at our house for certain members of our family to use the bathroom (while the other members of the family waited in the car with nary a hint of impatience). ;-) And then we were off--traveling down the familiar back roads to the tree farm we visit once a year.
Except this year, when we had maybe gone a mile from our house, the van started having problems--so much so that Jeff could hardly drive it. Thinking it was a flat tire, he started to turn around, but discovered, mid-turn, in the middle of the road, that it just wouldn't go. Even with his strong arms, he could barely turn the steering wheel and make the beast move. I shudder to think what might have happened if I had been driving at the time.
Once he finally got the van out of the middle of the road and off to the side, he hopped out to try to figure out the cause of our trouble; and after looking at the tires and finding nothing amiss, he raised the hood and peered beneath it. The road we were on was not well-traveled, but a car passed, and then another one came, slowed, and stopped a little ways in front of us. Out came two fairly big guys--plumbers, by trade--who walked up to Jeff and inquired what was wrong. He held up a belt that he had discovered had fallen out of the van, and they immediately knew what the trouble was and told him they thought they could get it back in place.
While they worked under the hood, I calmed excited children in the van...and kept an attentive eye out the back window to make sure no one came up and hit us from behind (it is kind of difficult, after all, to get the big white van completely off the road when it's a back road that has no shoulder!). One of the guys who stopped to help us alternated between standing back there to keep a similar watch and walking to the front to help his buddy fix the problem.
When they were done, Jeff tried to give them some money, along with his fervent thanks; but they wouldn't hear of it. As he held it out to them, they verbally refused and quickly walked away; and as they started to leave, I snapped a quick picture (through our dirty windshield!) of their car.
Sometimes angels ride around in such cars, you know!! :)
Once the van was running again, we headed toward our original destination; and as we rolled along, we marveled at God's provision of help just when we needed it and we thought of how much worse the situation could have been. It could have happened when we were over the mountain in Charlottesville...or when we were on the mountain. It could have happened another day when I was driving and Jeff wasn't with us. It could have happened on a busy road or on a highway when we were traveling at high speeds. The serpentine belt which fell out could have broken but instead it remained whole and just needed to be stuffed back in the right spot. It could have been so much worse. Thanks to God and the two kind helpers He sent along, it wasn't!
When we finally arrived at the Christmas tree farm, things went like they always do. :)
Life is always an adventure; and on that day, we were so thankful for the positive outcome of that particular episode!! :)