Are you the type that pays attention to warning signs?
Or are you the type of person who goes right to the cliff’s edge at Grand Canyon; or skis where the signs say “avalanche warning” – because seriously, you can take care of yourself!
I wrote a bit about not paying attention to surroundings in my post Well That Wasn’t Very Smart!, but there was another time while we were living in beautiful Central Oregon that Gary and I learned a huge lesson.
Gary and I love the ocean, so one long 3-day weekend, Jeffrey and I were set to drive over to meet Gary at Spanish Head in Lincoln City.
Of course to get pretty much anywhere major from Central Oregon, you need to drive over mountain passes.
It was a beautiful afternoon as we began our drive, but there were still a few traces of snow on the hills and on the side of the road. Surely the sunshine would melt that all soon.
The first slice of humble pie I experienced personally was the next day in Lincoln City, when we decided to go out for dinner at a cute restaurant overlooking the sea.
The place was packed, and there was hardly any room for us to maneuver Jeffrey’s power chair under the table. But we finally did.
As we were leaving, I told Jeffrey to let me get his wheelchair out of the tight spot – because really, I could do it better than he – and then what happened? As I was getting it unjammed from the table the whole table tipped over, sending our drinks, plates and silverware flying everywhere – including onto other tables where people were eating!
Phew, my pride was definitely deflated on that one.
Then came Sunday…
We left our hotel mid-morning, but did we bother to check the mountain pass conditions? Why, no – it was March!
Jeffrey and I were in the van following Gary. As we got close to Santiam we saw a reader-board saying “chains or traction tires required.”
Gary called me and said he thought we’d be okay without getting the chains on, so we kept going.
We were doing just fine, but then it started to snow pretty hard. I was starting to freak a little, but remained as calm as I could for Jeffrey’s sake.
All of a sudden a big hummer pulls in between Gary and myself, and he was going real slow up the hill. I knew I was in trouble, as I was starting to lose my momentum – not a good thing on the snow.
Suddenly my tires started slipping and I was swerving into the oncoming lane – help, Jesus! He did indeed, and I was able to get the van once more under control.
The problem? Gary in front of us had seen me losing control, so he turned his car around to be my hero, but as he was turning he lost control and slid into the snowbank of the oncoming traffic, blocking the lane. He was stuck!
Yet God is with His children – even when we do dumb things. Traffic in both directions had come to a complete stop by then (not because of us), so some nice men jumped out of their cars to help Gary get back on the road so he could turn around and pull up behind us.
Gary and I decided we better get our chains on, but being “city-slickers” at heart, were clueless how to do it – yeah, pretty pathetic.
It was then a nice man wandered by, and told us he’d heard on his radio that there was a bad accident further up because someone had failed to put on chains (ouch). We admitted we hadn’t either, and Gary offered to pay the man to help him put on ours.
Phew, boy – our egos!
Finally the traffic started moving again, and after we made it through the pass, pulled over to take off our chains.
Gary’s came off, no problem. But one of the chains on the van he couldn’t get unstuck! There was a hook inside the tire but he just couldn’t find it. I tried, and couldn’t find it either.
Gary and I were both soaked, freezing cold, and covered with mud. But we prayed and we prayed, and after about 1/2 hour Gary was able to find the missing hook!
We finally made it home, and all we could do is thank our great God – for the people He sent to help us, and for our protection. It could have been us in an accident that day if not for Him.
Lesson learned? God sets rules and restrictions for our own good, so we need to obey and not be stupid.