I've been on vacation for two weeks now, but I am finally home. I drove to Georgia with the kids, picked up my mother, then met a whole crowd of family members at the beach for a week. I have some pretty good stories to tell, but it will take days so, I'll do it a little at a time.
For now, I'm going to start with the ending because it's consuming all my thoughts right now.
The drive back from Georgia takes about 16 hours. We have to stop and spend the night somewhere because I'm the only one driving and I've got to have a break. If Kerry were with me, we could trade off a lot and maybe do it in one day.
On the first day, we had left Georgia and were somewhere in Tennessee when my engine light came on. Oh no! I'm a zillion miles from anyone I know! Why couldn't this happen when I was near family?
So I called Kerry and asked if he thought I should stop at a town and have the engine checked out. The engine was not running hot and there were no other noticeable problems with the car. We decided that if I stopped, I would be at the mercy of strangers, who may or may not be ethical in their dealings with travelers. Plus I would most likely have to spend the night while the car was checked out and that would just add to the cost of the trip. So I kept driving and fortunately made it home.
Now, let me back up and add that our renters just moved out of our house in North Carolina. Our property manager has been getting the house ready to show to prospective renters. While I was on vacation she called to say that the wallpaper in the kitchen was starting to peel and would need to be replaced. It will take over $700 to do this. That's a lot of money, but we don't have a lot of choice.
So, back to the present. I walk in the door from driving for two days with my engine light on and we lug all the suitcases and stuff in the house and the phone rings. It is our property manager again saying, "We're going to need $12 for this, and $44 dollars for that, and $8 for this other thing and......$800 for a new back door." Ack!
Then she tells me when the renters moved out, they turned off the electricity and water, and we need to get it turned back on right away so the workmen can work hard at spending all our money. So I call the electricity company and the water company and they tell me I have to pay deposits to get all this turned back on. So we fax papers back and forth and hand money out left and right.
And then.....we take the car to the shop. Where the news is not good. The transmission has decided to fry itself up like a hamburger. Which is not going to be cheap. And it won't be ready until Tuesday. Although we were supposed to leave this past Thursday to go to Sea World in Texas for Emily's birthday.
I was feeling very overwhelmed, and very attacked. I cried. A lot.
Things are not better. We still have to pay lots of money we don't have. We still don't have renters. Our car is not fixed and our vacation is cancelled. Our situation has not improved. But my attitude has.
I don't know why we are going through this valley right now. But I know it is good. I trust that God is looking after us. Maybe if we had gone to Texas, we would have been in a terrible wreck on the way. Maybe the car breaking down actually saved our lives. I'd rather be out the money for the car, than have my family hurt.
Maybe if we weren't having to pay so much money for the house, we would have rented a car to go ahead on our vacation. I don't know the reasons. But I know God is good. And He loves me.
And that's enough for now.