Of course, I wasn’t technically alone; Lily and Emmy were in the back seat. But I was driving 300 miles without my road trip partner-in-crime. Ed had to teach his class that weekend, so I was “on my own.” The girls and I left after school to go to a family reunion in Midland, Michigan. It was Friday, and also unfortunately was rush hour. It took us a while to get out of the Chicago area. Then it was smooth sailing through Indiana, where we found a Culver’s to eat dinner. Usually we get our food delivered to our table right away, but this time, it took 20 minutes for our food to come.
That was okay, I thought, because then we had time to call Ed and say good night. It was only around 7:00, but he was going to bed early because his class started early the next day.
After dinner, we had a nice drive through Michigan. It was getting late, and Emmy and Lily fell asleep. Everything was going well until we got to Grand Rapids. All of a sudden traffic ground to a halt. It took me half an hour to get through Grand Rapids because of a car that had obviously been on fire, and then a bunch of fender benders from the people who had been gawking at the accident. The lights from all the traffic and the city woke up Lily. It is also potentially my swearing that woke her as well.
Finally Grand Rapids was fading in the distance, and we were on our way again. The country roads were dark, and as it became later, there was less traffic. I’m usually not a GPS girl and rely on maps, but this time, the GPS on my phone was very useful. Suddenly, however, we lost an hour. I had been predicting that we would arrive in Midland at around 11:30 p.m., and then the GPS spoke up and said we would be at our destination at 12:39 p.m. Lily was very unhappy with this announcement; she wanted a warm bed to lie down in! After I explained that there was a time change, she felt a little better. She was still tired!
I began to worry a little bit. I’d never been to this hotel before; what if I was supposed to call for a late arrival? What if there was a mix-up with our room? Surely I didn’t need to worry about these things, so I pushed those thoughts out of my head.
As I drove into town, I had a new worry. Where the heck was I going to park? The hotel was right on the street in the downtown area, and I didn’t see a parking lot!
I passed the hotel and turned right. Ta-Da! There was a parking garage clearly marked for the hotel. I got my tired girls out of the car and headed for the door, wondering if I would find the lobby. Ta-Da! I saw three people as soon as I walked into the hotel. “You must be Mrs. Grabske!” a woman said. I was a little surprised, but not really. She explained that my dad had been telling her about me and that I would be coming soon with my two little girls. Before I knew it, we were checked in and I was tucking my two tuckered girls into bed.
My aunt said the next day that I had a God moment, finding the parking garage and checking in so easily. I thought it was just good luck, but as I thought about it, yes, I believe God really was taking care of me. Once again, I could see God’s fingerprints in my life. I don’t always notice them, or take them for granted, but He is always with me, protecting me. God moments, indeed.
More on my solo road trip tomorrow!