(Retro Post - Ben wrote this right before heading off to his EMT course September 4th)
One last post for the road! It is time to prep for school and get to Leavenworth. The last two weeks have been adventurous...even by our standards! Our car broke down a few weeks ago while Mary was hiking with a friend but managed to limp it home, we then had it repaired in anticipation of driving to Portland to see her sister in town from New York. The battery was not the issue, but was replaced anyway(250 bucks).
I told you that to tell you another story: Our scheduling is tentative sometimes and not always able to be methodical and wise. Two weeks ago was that day. We had planned on: working for our friends at their deliveries, attending a wedding, going to the reception, visiting another friend, cleaning the church and dashing down to Portland. Keep in mind, we had not PLANNED to do all this together. Sigh! Someday...
Thus by 5pm, blithely driving through Seattle traffic in the heart of downtown (you know; the place where you drive in the tunnel?) we experienced a familiar stutter in the car. Not unlike what had caused us to replace the battery. With power gone, we shut it off, got a jump and limped a few more miles down the road to the Boeing Field exit. A call to the parents got us a guest membership to AAA ( zero bucks!) and a long wait in the car for an incredibly cheerful tow truck driver who claimed he would wear a cape and a mask if they let him. He was very happy about his job being a hero. We got the car 3 miles away to the mechanic where, in the dark, he sadly informed us his boss had told him he could not drive us to the airport. (He even told them Mary was pregnant! Wonderful man, bless him.) After a few minutes figuring out the Uber app, we summoned a ride (23 bucks) who happened to be a native of Mali and a great conversation about Seattle and the culture shock here. Then we found out our chosen rental company did not take debit cards...off to the next line (90 bucks). And dashed down to McMinnville. We got in around 0230. Loooooooong day. Five hours later we are having family time.
It turned out very well to have a time to spend with a family member we don’t see much. And we got to have most of it together for a picnic in Newberg. For all the difficulty in getting down there, neither of us would have traded it for anything else. You only get so many chances for family time. Then at 1530 it was time to go. So at 1700 when we left the coffee shop (12 bucks) it was time to dash back to the Sea-Tac airport to drop off our rental and meet our friend in Bellingham who (God bless him) drove down to meet us and take us home.
Next Friday we finally had our alternator replaced and were dashing down into the maelstrom of I-5 traffic to retrieve our beloved car (500 bucks). Six hours of round trip fun!
So what do we learn from this little adventure?
1. Time to go never ever means time to go. It’s more like a 1 hour warning.
2. Scheduling works better when you talk to your spouse about plans (I am SO guilty). It also works better in a utopian perfect world.
3. We are not making any more cannonball runs to Portland in the middle of the night.
4. It ain’t about the money; we had a great adventure
Let our adventure inspire you too. Look past where you’re at and forward to the bigger picture. How can you bless somebody right where you are, right now?
May God bless and challenge you so you will share the gospel with your work, your words, and your thoughts.
In His Grace,
Benjamin, Mary, and the Grimmling
(Note from Mary: This whole adventure was pretty stressful for me, especially in the area of finances; however, God provided ahead of time for this mishap through the donations of a few wonderful friends. It was a blessing to experience again how He anticipates our needs and takes care of us. Thank you to those of you who blessed us in this way, and to all of you who are praying for us as we prepare for ministry in the field.)