Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. A Week of Gratitude: Day 6 – Silver Linings

 

A few years ago I was driving with my daughter to her first year of college. We had bought an old Honda Accord that she was going to use so we drove up together and then I flew home. Her college has a system where students can start their year in August and finish in April or start in January and finish in July. She was on this second track, so we were driving from Texas to Idaho in late December.

A few miles west of Green River, Utah, you get off I-70 and head north on Highway 6 toward Price. Snow had fallen sporadically during the day and left a light coating on the ground. The wind was blowing the fallen snow, which made it hard to see the road and it was getting dark. She was driving at the time, but we decided (or I did, more likely) that I should do the driving since I had spent several years in Michigan and she had never driven in the snow.

Just after exiting I-70, she pulled off the road but too quickly. I don’t think she was able to see where the pavement ended. After a few moments of panic, she finally got the car stopped on the shoulder. I was about to vent my frustration when I turned and saw the look of fear in her eyes. It stopped any rebuke cold and instead I tried to comfort her. At least I think I did. She may have seen my anger and may only remember that instead of anything I said. After we both calmed down, we got out of the car and found a punctured tire and, after removing all of her college gear, a flat spare.

That part of Utah is lonely country and it was already about 10 degrees Fahrenheit with night coming quickly. I was scared we might have to spend a long night waiting to flag down some help. Fortunately, we were close enough to Green River for cell reception and I found a tow-truck and tire shop that hadn’t closed. After a couple of hours delay, we were back on our way with no real harm done.

I took stock of many things to be grateful for while riding in the tow truck. The accident had occurred close enough to town and at a time where we could get help. The extra cost of the tires was unfortunate, but I had the money to pay for them and she would have new tires designed for cold and snow. Most importantly, she had learned a lesson about the dangers of snow and ice with minimal cost and danger. She was really scared and I knew it would make her a better driver when she was on her own. I would have rather kept the cost of the tires, but it was a small price to pay if it meant she would be a safer driver.

This isn’t an isolated incident. I have found that there are always hidden blessings in even the most difficult challenges. I know that this is a minor incident compared to what many people have to face and I’m not trying to minimize anyone’s suffering. I simply want to express gratitude that God is looking out for us even more when the skies are darkest. He shows us that He is there in the silver linings of the clouds.

Day 5

Published in General
This post was promoted to the Main Feed by a Ricochet Editor at the recommendation of Ricochet members. Like this post? Want to comment? Join Ricochet’s community of conservatives and be part of the conversation. Get your first month free.

There are 7 comments.

Become a member to join the conversation. Or sign in if you're already a member.
  1. Eddy Ericsson Coolidge

    I have looked forward to tour posts all week. I don’t think we appreciate the worlds we live in and the people around us. My so is home from his first semester at college and he’s talked about learning how to learn and test at college. Academically, he’s never been a superstar, but he has grit. He’s had to overcome a lot because he has a condition that meant he had a dislocated lens in his eye until he had a new one installed at 16. He didn’t realize how bad his vision had been. He played violin very well even though he couldn’t really see the notes. He organized himself and got good grades. A guy he knows who was straight A’s in high school with high SATs is on the verge of flunking out. He’d never been tested before. Learning to deal with adversity is the best training for life. 

    • #1
    • November 27, 2020, at 5:30 PM PST
    • 8 likes
  2. EODmom Coolidge

    I think one of the harder things about Parenting is learning to swallow one’s own fear in the moment to be a Parent. Not erupting at your girl when you were scared to bits @alandrake was real Parenting. Well done, Dad. Comforting her and coping with the emergency – I’m so glad it was something you could cure – was a really big thing to do together. Maybe the memory will fade, but the trust and reassurance won’t. Lucky Dad. Lucky Girl. God does give us the means to care for one another. 

    • #2
    • November 28, 2020, at 5:54 AM PST
    • 2 likes
  3. EODmom Coolidge

    Eddy Ericsson (View Comment):

    I have looked forward to tour posts all week. I don’t think we appreciate the worlds we live in and the people around us. My so is home from his first semester at college and he’s talked about learning how to learn and test at college. Academically, he’s never been a superstar, but he has grit. He’s had to overcome a lot because he has a condition that meant he had a dislocated lens in his eye until he had a new one installed at 16. He didn’t realize how bad his vision had been. He played violin very well even though he couldn’t really see the notes. He organized himself and got good grades. A guy he knows who was straight A’s in high school with high SATs is on the verge of flunking out. He’d never been tested before. Learning to deal with adversity is the best training for life.

    @eddyericsson – your Boy sounds like a wonderful guy. And now he’s at home and you can listen to his stories and love on him all day long. And he wants you to be his Dad – what a great job to have!

    • #3
    • November 28, 2020, at 5:56 AM PST
    • 1 like
  4. Jon Gabriel, Ed. King

    Great post, Alan. It reminded me of my own car troubles when I was a broke college student.

    A week before my last semester, I jumped in my car and just hit the road to drive wherever. This was my coping strategy dealing with roommates; did it about twice a year. This time, I drove east out of the Phoenix area on backroads and ended up in Las Cruces, NM. Decided to hit El Paso, loop up to Alamogordo, NM, and head back home.

    The drive on US-54 from El Paso is 85 miles of nothing. Most of it was the Fort Bliss Gunnery Range, so there was nowhere to stop. It was a hot August so I sped like a dumb college kid, blasting by other cars at 95 or so. Then, I threw a rod 17 miles before Alamogordo. For the next hour, I watched all those cars I flew by fly by me (probably laughing). Zero cell reception.

    Then a shaky old pickup truck pulled over. A middle-aged Mexican man stepped out and used his ~10-year-old daughter as our interpreter. He knew my engine was shot, so he said he’d push my car into town. I told his daughter, “it’s 17 miles. If you can just drive me to town, I’ll get a tow truck.” I had no money.

    “No, no,” he said. “Too much money,” his daughter translated. “I push,” dad added.

    This guy then pushes my car, not at the 5-10 mph I expected but at 60. When my car coasted to 50 or so, he’d gently push me back up to 65. Tried to pull into the first auto repair place. Through his daughter, he said he didn’t think this was the right spot so he pushed me a few more miles to a shop he liked better.

    I thanked him repeatedly and he just waved me off. Then I offered the few dollars I had in my wallet and he turned them down. To this day I wonder if that man and his daughter were angels in disguise.

    As it turned out, my sister gave me her credit card number, I had the engine replaced, picked it up Noon Sunday, got home at 1:30 a.m., and showed up for my first day of school at 7:30 a.m. Monday morning.

    (I also learned not to be as annoying a driver.)

    • #4
    • November 28, 2020, at 11:07 AM PST
    • 3 likes
  5. Alan Drake Coolidge
    Alan Drake

    Eddy Ericsson (View Comment):

    I have looked forward to tour posts all week. I don’t think we appreciate the worlds we live in and the people around us. My so is home from his first semester at college and he’s talked about learning how to learn and test at college. Academically, he’s never been a superstar, but he has grit. He’s had to overcome a lot because he has a condition that meant he had a dislocated lens in his eye until he had a new one installed at 16. He didn’t realize how bad his vision had been. He played violin very well even though he couldn’t really see the notes. He organized himself and got good grades. A guy he knows who was straight A’s in high school with high SATs is on the verge of flunking out. He’d never been tested before. Learning to deal with adversity is the best training for life.

    Thanks, Eddy. I appreciate you reading my posts this week and sharing your thoughts. I post very little (OK, never) but I’ll make an effort to contribute more to Ricochet.

    Your son sounds like a gem. Good luck to him in school.

    • #5
    • November 28, 2020, at 5:23 PM PST
    • Like
    • This comment has been edited.
  6. Alan Drake Coolidge
    Alan Drake

    Jon Gabriel, Ed. (View Comment):

    Great post, Alan. It reminded me of my own car troubles when I was a broke college student.

    ….

    As it turned out, my sister gave me her credit card number, I had the engine replaced, picked it up Noon Sunday, got home at 1:30 a.m., and showed up for my first day of school at 7:30 a.m. Monday morning.

    Great story, Jon. I grew up in southern Arizona and I know that area of New Mexico well. There isn’t much out there.

    Just east of the Arizona border where highway 80 joins up with I10 is a little town called Road Forks, New Mexico. Driving to scout camp one year my Scoutmaster’s little truck blew a head gasket and we barely limped into Road Forks. I thought we would just call for a ride and head home. Instead, he called his wife to bring him a new gasket and started to fix it right there in the truck-stop parking lot. We drove into camp in Alpine, AZ at 6:00 the next morning with the other Scoutmaster having kittens wondering where we had been. On the way home from that camp, this same Scoutmaster pulled off to the side of the road 20 minutes outside of Alpine and we spent the next hour shooting his guns. He was a fun man and I learned a lot from him. I love Arizona and its old-timers!

    • #6
    • November 28, 2020, at 5:33 PM PST
    • 1 like
    • This comment has been edited.
  7. Jon Gabriel, Ed. King

    Alan Drake (View Comment):
    Just east of the Arizona border where highway 80 joins up with I10 is a little town called Road Forks, New Mexico. Driving to scout camp one year my Scoutmaster’s little truck blew a head gasket and we barely limped into Road Forks. I thought we would just call for a ride and head home. Instead, he called his wife to bring him a new gasket and started to fix it right there in the truck-stop parking lot. We drove into camp in Alpine, AZ at 6:00 the next morning with the other Scoutmaster having kittens wondering where we had been. On the way home from that camp, this same Scoutmaster pulled off to the side of the road 20 minutes outside of Alpine and we spent the next hour shooting his guns. He was a fun man and I learned a lot from him. I love Arizona and its old-timers!

    Alpine, AZ is beautiful country!

    • #7
    • November 29, 2020, at 7:18 PM PST
    • Like