Hello! It’s nice to be writing again after a week’s respite. I’m going to start today’s post with something that is entirely, completely and utterly out of my nature….a Bible quote. Right about now my Mom is probably laughing. Here goes…
Do not forget to entertain strangers, for by so doing, some people have entertained angels without knowing it. Heb. 13:2
I am just about the last person who would ever offer up a quote from the Bible. But this past week, I truly learned the meaning of this quote. What’s funny to me is that I’ve looked at this quote for years now, but it only really hit home a few days ago. In one of the guest rooms in my in-laws’ house, there is a folk-arty angel hanging and this quote is written on her in some kind of bubbly handwriting. It always struck me as sweet, but I never really pondered it much beyond that. Well, this past week, out in a State Park in Arizona, the quote rang it’s truest.
I was away from my blog because my family and I took a trip to Arizona. Sedona and Scottsdale, to be exact, and it was a marvelous 7 days. We hiked, saw the breathtakingly beautiful Red Rocks, swam, laughed ourselves silly as only families can do and truly enjoyed each other’s company. We had good travel ju-ju, but we also have a few good stories from this trip. The first is today’s.
Let me start at the very beginning of the trip. My husband’s only request was that we rent a convertible. He wanted our kiddos to roll through Arizona with the wind in their hair and the sun on their faces in the way someone only can do in a convertible. You can’t see the Red Rocks properly with a roof over your head! So, ok. I secure us a convertible weeks prior to the trip. We drag ourselves to the car counter at the Phoenix airport after a long day of travel only to find out there is no convertible that fits us and our luggage. Witness the slow melt-down of husband now. I take over, explain to “Liz” behind the counter that she HAS to help us here and help us fast. Long, long story short…no convertible. BUT, I did convince Liz to give us a top-of-the-line Infinity SUV AND free gas for the week. Not too shabby, right? We take to calling the SUV our “hard-top convertible” for the next few days.
Onward to gorgeous Sedona. We hike, hike and hike some more. I really didn’t think my kids had that kind of endurance or Billy Goat tendencies, but apparently they do. We rocked those Red Rocks. And the views are something that we will never forget. One afternoon,we decided to go to Slide Rock State Park, a place my husband visited when he was a wee boy. Mother Nature has grooved out rocks into natural water slides, covered them with slippery algae and now folks use it as entertainment in the warm months. Sounded fun. So, we go. It’s a bit north of Sedona and we headed there for the afternoon. As it was a little cooler in Sedona AND THE WATER WAS ONLY 45 DEGREES, the park was a bit sparser than usual. But, we had a bee in our bonnet. My husband unloaded his pockets of his important things (NOTE: all except one thing. Read on), then promptly hopped in this water and flew down the slide. Then, wanting to step out of my comfort zone (read: warm and dry), I get in, too. I can say this: I did it. My legs and arms were all over the place, I could not catch my breath because it was so cold, but I did it. And boy did I look stupid doing it. BUT, it was invigorating and fun and I can check it off my list (once was enough in those temps). The hubby went down twice more, nut that he is. All the while, my oldest daughter is chatting and playing with a new friend and I’m chatting with her Mom….enter “Angels unaware”. Turns out they are from one of my favorite towns…Chatham, Massachusetts.
So….the afternoon passes…we frolic in the water (a bit), warm in the sun and have a fun ol’ time enjoying an unusual natural setting. It’s now 4:30 and the park will be closing soon. So, we gather everything up…clothes, cameras, flip-flops and head to the car. While at the car (this car that I fought to get), the hubby reaches into his bag and sheer panic sweeps over his face. THE KEYS. The keys are not here! THE KEYS WERE IN MY SHORTS! OMG OMG OMG. THE WATER. WE ARE IN A STATE PARK IN THE MIDDLE OF NOWHERE (sort of) WITH NO ONE AROUND THAT WE KNOW AND NEITHER OF US HAS CELL SERVICE. DAMN YOU AT&T! WHAT. DO. WE. DO??
1. Husband runs back to water. Proceeds to run up and down creek hoping that the keys miraculously jumped on shore and are sunning themselves dry.
2. I tear apart backpack and camera bag. Hoping. Hoping. Hoping. Also secretly glad that I was not the holder of the keys. Nor the loser of them.
3. “Angels” -mother and daughter from Chatham-appear. Pull up to us in their car, seeing that we are frantic. “Did you lose something?”
4. Kids starting to get worried. Oldest tries to break into car with stick, channeling her inner-McGyver. Accomplishes goal but sets off car alarm.
4. Youngest starts to cry. Angels have fabulously lent us their phone which has cell service. All hail Verizon. I’m calling Hertz roadside service. No, I’m not hurt (first thing they ask) but I may hurt my husband soon if he doesn’t find those keys.
5. Cool-dude park ranger named Mike shows up. Angel has told him of our dilemma. He says it happens all the time and by the end of the season, he’ll have a pile of keys that have been fished out of the river. He can watch the car overnight, as he lives on the property. No biggie.
6. Husband reappears (It’s official-no keys. They are floating southward at this point). Car alarm has been silenced. Angels (Mom and Daughter) have offered to drive us to our hotel. Coincidentally, they are staying just up the road from us. They keep us calm and keep us laughing. They will not accept our offer of dinner nor any compensation. Mom-Angel tells us that she was helped once in a similar way so she is merely “paying it forward”.
Oh my. The car-minus-keys gets towed the next morning. We get rent-a-car # 3. On our way to Scottsdale by 11am. Case closed.
Our family learned a lesson that day at Slide Rock. You never know who might be in your midst. Be nice. Say hello. Smile. Angels are all around us. And they just might have a phone, a car and a good heart.
(p.s.-If anyone knows Mary and her daughter Lizzie from Chatham, Massachusetts…they were our Angels that day and we are forever grateful. They officially helped turn that debacle into a “good story”.)