The Very Awful, Disastrous Vacation of 2017: Part 2

Continued from the last post, aptly named “The Very Awful, Disastrous Vacation of 2017: Part 1”


As we pulled into the gas station, the dreaded “low tire” light came on in our vehicle. Simultaneously, the heavens opened and rain began to drench the parched Nebraska landscape. A quick look in the rear view mirror showed us what we absolutely did not want to see: a flat tire.

Now, here is the part of the story where things get a little fuzzy, mostly because I choose to know very little about car repair. What I do know is that my wonderful, super hero husband proceeded to lay down in that puddle-filled parking lot, remove the flat tire in the pouring rain, and put the spare tire on – only to discover that there was a broken valve on it and it wouldn’t hold air. I’m not sure what transpired next, but through a combination of divine help and his natural MacGyver inclinations, he managed to get one tire functional enough to limp us along to his parents’ farm.

We arrived later in the evening, wet, tired and hungry, and ever so grateful for a safe, dry spot to lay our heads that night. After all, we needed our rest so that we could hit the road the next morning for our ultimate destination – a secluded camping spot in the mountains of Colorado. A place where the girls could run free, we could hike, and still head down the mountain to explore city life, as well.

A place that was, unbeknownst to us, currently receiving several inches of snow.

Let’s just take a moment to recap. In the last 48 hours, we had dealt with vomit, a plague of mosquitoes, a sweaty night of little sleep and more vomiting, rerouting due to flooding, a deluge of rain, a flat tire…and now snow at our next destination. The cold, rainy front that had been forecast to exit well before our arrival was now parked directly over Nebraska and Colorado, with no signs of budging anytime in the near future.

We were done.

Once again, we called mommy for help.

And once again, my mother-in-law gracefully allowed us to extend our farm stay for a few more days, bless her heart! So we settled in, the girls in my in-laws’ camper, the hubs and I in my parents’ camper. And it rained. And rained. And rained some more, for good measure. The puddles in the driveway became small ponds. The sandy yard became one gooey, mucky mess.

Our dream vacation had come crashing down around us. I had thrown my beautiful, beloved spreadsheet away somewhere in the rolling hills of Iowa. We were stuck in a tiny camper (that had now sprung a leak in the ceiling) on a tiny farm near a tiny town in the Middle of Nowhere, Nebraska.

And we were having a great time.

I had time to read, sleep, drink good coffee (the Middle of Nowhere does boast a pretty great coffee shop), and have some good chats with family. My husband had plenty of time to chill and watch sports with his dad. The girls were having the time of their life, playing with cats, dogs, and spending time with their grandparents.

God knew what we needed: plenty of down time, rest, and time with family. It took a rocky start to get our attention, but His plans prevailed. And it was so much better than anything I could have come up with on my spreadsheet.

We did eventually experience a break in the weather, and high-tailed it to Colorado Springs for a jam-packed day of experiencing all the goodness that area offers. We still refer to it as our Colorado trip, even though we spent a scant six hours or so in the state. We are still more than a little traumatized by parts of that trip, but they are also a reminder of God’s goodness and the wisdom of His plans over ours.

And maybe, just maybe, I am slowly learning to trust the Lord more than my spreadsheets. 🙂

“We can make our plans, but the Lord determines our steps.” – Proverbs 16:9

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