Week 13 – GRATITUDE!!!!!

I am GRATEFUL!  More grateful than you can possibly imagine.  Well… No.  Those of you with kids will understand exactly how grateful I am.

Gratitude comes in many shapes and sizes, and sometimes it takes a few moments for it to dawn on you.

Imagine, if you will, enjoying the day by taking your kids (in my case, 3 of my 4 kids and a family friend) hiking in the Great Smokey Mountains.  Late December, a beautiful, unseasonably warm day.  After an hour’s drive Up into the mountains, you find your first place to hike, an easy 1-mile loop.  after a beautiful walk along the river you return to your vehicle and move to your next planned stop, a 4-mile loop featuring a waterfall starting at the visitors center.

The parking lot is crowded when you arrive, but you find a place to park.  Pile your herd out and get them moving along the path.  Up and down hill, across rivers, via bridges and logs, past ancient log cabins to the waterfall that was one of the objectives of your trip.  a couple of hours later you return to your vehicle, tired, but happy.  As everyone buckles-up, I take a moment to say silent thank you.  I am grateful for the wonderful day we have had together.  I pull out of the parking space, making my way to the exit and the long downhill ride back home.  As I slow down for the car waiting to exit in front of me, my brake pedal goes all the way to the floor!!!!

Barely getting the car stopped in time, I manage to avoid hitting the SUV in front of me.  I turn back into the lot and get my car stopped in a safe place.  I get out and walk around my car and see brake fluid pooling by the right front tire.  I look under the car and see the brake line broken in the middle.  Great…. UGH!  I pull out my cell phone to call AAA to get my car towed…. no signal… Perfect!  I tell the kids what’s happening, then start walking toward the visitors center, which is about to close, to use their phone.  PERFECT….YES really Perfect!

A wave of gratitude rolls over me… “THANK YOU!” I say to the universe. Thank you!  Thank you!!  Thank You!!!  Thank you for WHEN the line broke!  How it broke in the parking lot while I was moving at 5-10 miles an hour, and not when I was going down hill trying to brake at 55 miles an hour, I’ll never know, but I will be eternally grateful for WHEN it did happen.

Happy ending… My sister came up and got the kids, she lives an hour away.  While I waited 6-hours for the tow truck to arrive, I must have looked to the sky and said “THANK YOU!” at least a thousand times.

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