Headed for the exit in an unfamiliar city, I turned too soon. Instead of driving out of the rental car lot, I drove around in a circle, back to a different exit gate.
“Five minutes in Orlando and I’m already lost.” I smiled at the woman. “I just went out that gate over there and made a circle.” She laughed aloud and said “You’re fine ma’am. You can go.”
“I’m glad I gave you a chuckle,” I said as we exited the gate for the second time.
This time I took the correct ramp and Don and I got caught in a myriad of freeways–this way, that way…we chose the direction by our gut because there was nowhere to stop and turn on my Waze directional system (which didn’t work inside the cement car lot).
We drove several miles before we could get off the freeway and start Waze. Thankfully, we hadn’t gone very far afield and were headed in the correct direction.
Back at the airport, we’d ordered wheelchairs because I recently injured my hip and am using a cane periodically. And Don needed a wheelchair to keep up, because people who push those for a living are incredibly strong and FAST!
Michael was awesome. He managed both chairs, took us down to claim our luggage, across the street to car rental, got us right in front of the rental counter, loaded the car for us and sent us on our way (with a sizable tip to him!).
We stopped at the Welcome Center at the very large resort to check in.
“Oh, you’re supposed to see Hope in another welcome center. Here are the directions.”
We tried to follow the directions, got turned around at one gate, went through another and were to follow the yellow line (reminds me of Dorothy’s yellow brick road!). In the dark, we lost the yellow line. Regardless, we were too late to check in at that station, which closed at 8 pm.
We went back to the Welcome Center. “Oh, you’re back!”
“They’re closed. We’ve been here … and there … and there … and now we’re back here. And we’re tired. And we’ll try very hard not to be grouchy!” (And we weren’t). Having been awake since 3 am, we were pretty exhausted.
After checking in, we drove around to find our room, settled in and went to bed.
Twelve hours later, we wakened. Ah, what a sleep.
That afternoon we went to the resort’s market. Don’s phone fell off the car console and he thought it fell on my side. Now understand; I have a wounded hip and knee, but I wanted to help him find it. I got down on one knee in the back seat, my elbows on the floor looking under the driver’s seat to look for the phone. Not there. Then. I. Couldn’t. Move. My knee wouldn’t give, my elbows wouldn’t move. Can you imagine the view? (Don’t try.)
Don looked at me.
“Please help me. I’m stuck.” (Said in a very calm, quiet voice.)
“Oh, you’re serious.”
“Yes, I’m serious! Help me!” My tone was getting just a bit more strident.
He pulled me out of the back floor of the car (no, I should not have gotten down there in the first place)! He thought I was playing a joke on him! And the phone was on HIS side! Well, at that point we just started to laugh. I think sometimes laughter is 70% of forgiveness!
So we’ve laughed at our foibles and started to relax after a very busy schedule these past months.
Soon after entering Disney Springs we looked at a posted location finder. A husband and wife walked by and the man, seeing Don’s Veteran’s cap, thanked him for his service. That began a conversation where we learned he is a semi-retired pastor from Maine, about to take on a role as interim pastor for several months. It was a delightful God-moment to meet other believers, Susan and Ron.
Today, Sunday, we met our grand-niece Iona Jost for lunch. It was a delight to learn to know her better. I met her once before, and Don hasn’t seen her for several years either. We sat outside, at a table beside a cerulean lake, unmasked. And as I ate the yellowfish tuna that melted in my mouth, I was grateful for family, for this time away with Don, for life.
Somehow in the middle of all the tension in the world there is still room for laughter, for joy, for giving thanks.
In the Old Testament, Abraham’s wife Sarah, who was approaching 90 years of age and had not borne a child, was promised a son by God. And she laughed at herself, and at her joy.
Sarah said, “God has brought me laughter, and everyone who hears about this will laugh with me.”Genesis 21:6
As I’ve matured I’ve found it much easier to laugh at myself rather than simply being embarrassed. It’s freeing. So while we continue to pray about the crises in our world, our families, our lives, let’s laugh when we have the chance. It’s healthy!
A cheerful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones.Proverbs 17:22