This last week I had planned on making an exciting road trip across country. If you have been a follower of Project Kinect, then you know I am a huge road trip person. Ever since I was twenty, I’ve taken one, two or sometimes three big road trips a year. It is the best way to see our country and leads to spontaneity and experiences that we may have not been exposed to if we were taking a different way of travel.
Well this road trip was going from Wisconsin Dells to Austin, TX and then onto San Antonio through El Paso and then finally to Los Angeles for a few weeks and then back through Colorado. Even though this was my plan, something much greater than me was saying my plan was wrong.
I should have been more vulnerable to the things happening around me in the days leading up to the trip. My car is not at the full potential of a car that is going to be driving across country but I didn’t focus on that point. I decided to get fixed only the parts necessary to get from point a to point b. This would mean taking a trip with no cruise control and not air conditioning; not my one of my best ideas. The finish to admitting that this idea wasn’t a thoroughly planned trip was that as I was leaving my grandmother’s house, my car completely stopped. I was in reverse when the connection from the battery was interrupted. I called the mechanic and he rushed over to my assistance. With no more red flags, I took off for my trip.
I was moving smoothly until I was half way through Iowa. Just as I was getting into the Des Moines city limits, my car started to lose acceleration. I was pushing on the gas but the car wasn’t moving any faster. This was also in the middle of a storm and I figured maybe my car was hydroplaning and I just was over reacting but when my car was dead on the side of the road, I realize that I was under reacting.
I sat there for about three minutes and then began to think of the next thing to do. I didn’t panic, but I couldn’t think of what I should be doing. I should have thought to call 911 but that didn’t even come to mind. Thankfully a man pulled up in his red truck who happened to be a mechanic. He looked under the hood quickly and then had me try to get the car going but it just wasn’t working. Then the hail began and he jumped in the car and called 911 for me. With this phone call, he also got the emergency road service dispatched. A state trooper showed up who then waited until my tow truck arrived.
The storm finally let up and before I knew it, I was in Howard’s tow truck on my way to an area that had a Firestone, Sears and some a selection of hotels to choose from because it was looking like I was staying Des Moines for the night. Howard was the driver’s name and not the company name. It’s surprising on how much you can learn about someones life in the span of a twenty-minute drive.
When I got to the mechanic, I then realized how kind and genuine everyone had been. I will always believe in the kindness of people and this experience just re-affirmed it.
The next day I awoke in my Econo-Lodge hotel room, fully slept and ready to take on the world. The mechanics called to let me know that my car was ready and as I got to my coffee destination with ideas in my head, I sat down to make an alternate plan that wouldn’t leave me in a similar situation of break down. So, with thought and conversations with parents as well as loved ones that I was going to visit, I made the decision to go up north to my father’s cabin and spend the rest of Memorial Day weekend there. The detour really came when I found myself at dinner in Minneapolis with old friends. Sitting there in the presence of two of the most phenomenal people I know, mean while making new friends with people who had joined us, I became fully conscious that a plan had come about that was perfect in which I made not one decision. As dinner was ending, I realized that the main purpose of this trip was to get myself together as well as to connect with close friends going through similar situations. It wasn’t the friends I originally thought I would see and surely staying the night in a strange city wasn’t the way I thought I would collect myself, but it was exactly what I needed. As I was going to bed that night in the hotel room, my friend Dina texted me, “it’s all working out in a perfect way!” It really did.