Tuesday, September 08, 2009

What Goes Around

It was an afternoon flight.

Hubs made the reservations. He knows me; I'm not a morning person.

He also knew that I would have to drive several hours to OtherTown, drop off our delightful old lady in a fur coat at the kennel, then drive to the airport. A later flight would give me plenty of time to hit the snooze button several times, trudge around in my slippers, wake up to coffee, load the car, drive, unload Maggie, and reach the airport in time to have a lengthy conversation with the TSA agent at security.

I woke up early actually. Maggie plopped on me and prodded my hand with furry paws, careful to not steal my breath. A dead owner can't feed you. I rolled over, pffed the cat hair from my lips and waited for the alarm.

It went off exactly at the time I set it. Drat.

Several cups of coffee and a hot shower later, I finally kicked into high (okay, low) gear. Bags were ready. Garbage had been taken out. Daughter was ready and soothing Maggie in her carrier. But we were still running at least fifteen minutes late.

No problem. I can shave that off between speed traps.

We all loaded in the Honda, I turned the key, then looked at the gas gauge.

By my calculations, we would run out of gas before we reached OtherTown, right between speed traps. As we headed out of town, I pulled into the nearest gas station. Every pump was occupied. I eyed a car and pulled behind. (Trucks take longer to fill their tanks.)

There she was. A tiny, elderly driver in dark shades. Standing at the pump pushing buttons.

You've got to be kidding me.

I sat there for a few moments and watched as she swiped her card, swiped it again, pushed buttons (all the wrong ones) and nothing happened. I could feel the irritation and impatience flair up in my chest.

I'll never make it to the airport.

I looked around for an open gas pump. None.

Then I thought to myself, "I can sit her and stew or I can get out and help her."

So I put on the brakes and got out of my car.

"Do you need some help?"

"Yes, these things are different everywhere you go."

I walked her though the steps and questions- press payment key, swipe card, enter your zip code. The two of us managed to get the pump working. She began to fill her car's tank. Within minutes she could be on her way.

Another pump opened up, I hopped back in my Honda, drove around and got enough gas to get us to our destination.

I looked at the time with a sigh.

It will work out.

Many speed traps and a Diet Coke later we arrived at the kennel, said our good-byes to Maggie, and made it to the airport with plenty of time to make it to the gate.

Except there was no parking. Not in the same time zone, anyway.

I drove and drove searching and finally found a space on the roof of the parking garage. After driving several hours, I now had to drag several suitcases for what seemed a million miles to the terminal.

I'm tired, Lord.

I got out, exhausted, and turned to walk to the back of the car to unload our luggage.

"Would you like a ride to the terminal?" he said.

There stood the driver of the airport shuttle who had seen me drive onto the roof searching for a parking space and followed me.

"Oh, bless you, " I said.

He loaded our luggage into the van and we climbed in. I sat in the squeaky vinyl seat with my carry-on in my lap. As he pulled up to the terminal I looked back at the vast span of parking lot between us and my Honda, thankful that I didn't have to make the trek.

We hopped out of the van as the driver unloaded our luggage with a smile.

"I was so tired. You were my angel today. Thank you," I said (while handing him a tip.)

He smiled back and wished us a nice trip.

It will all work out.

We rolled our luggage into the terminal and checked in for our flight. As it turns out, we were on time, without dodging speed traps. Although, I didn't strike up a lengthy conversation with the TSA agent at security.

Maybe next time.


Roxanne said...

And YOU were little lady's angel. :) Love, love, love the story--the title is so true.

2Thinks said...

I am that old (46 year old, that is) lady who needs help at the pump. I can never get the gas out. Bless you for helping her.

Glad you made it.

Roxanne said...

I think it might be a sign of aging. . .or the fact that I need to go to bed. . .or the fact that I rode a bike tonight for the first time in about 20 years that when I read "2 Thinks" comment, I thought to myself. . ."She is 16 years older than I am." When, in fact, it's only 6. A little bike riding and 10 years falls magically away. . .

KK said...

Glad you made it!

carpoolqueen said...

It's in our most frustrating and weary moments that God shows up to let us know He loves us.

And watches out for us.

For the little old lady pushing buttons, you were God's love to her.

For the weary mom trekking across the airport, the bus driver was God.

Isn't it neat to see how that happens?

Misty said...

Isn't it amazing how God provides JUST what we need at JUST the moment we need it? You were the angel for the little old lady and the shuttle-driver was yours...I LOVE these stories! :) Thanks for sharing!