Yesterday, Mike and I had an 8:30 am appointment to get to. At 8:02 am I sent my kids outside to get in the car. As soon as I stepped out onto the front porch myself a minute later I noticed a small problem. There was no way we were going anywhere with a completely flat tire on our one and only vehicle.
We were both stressed out. This was an appointment that we absolutely could not miss. Mike checked the spare, and of course it was flat too. I called the people we had the appointment with and let them know we would be late then started making calls to see if I could find someone who could give me a ride. We figured even if we couldn’t both get there like we intended that it was important to get at least one of us there. I found someone who could drop me off there and then Mike would come get me after he got the tire situated.
So, while I was off dealing with our appointment, Mike was working with another neighbor to get the tire fixed. They got the flat tire off and then the neighbor dropped him and the tire off at BigO to get repaired. The neighbor was going to come pick him back up after finishing running an errand. Meanwhile, Mike realizes that I’ve taken all of the cash with me, so he can’t pay for the repair. We prefer to use cash when we can and keep very little money in our bank account. He tried to call me to see if there would be enough in the bank account to cover it and the people at Big O told him not to worry about it. It probably helps that this is the 4th time we’ve been in there for a similar problem just in the last year. We seem to have a knack for picking up large bolts and nails and stuff in our tires. After waiting for his ride home for a while he was just deciding to walk home and the owners said they didn’t want him to have to walk home carrying a tire and had one of their guys give him a ride home. Super brownie points awarded to BigO for their amazing customer service. Come to find out, the 15 minute errand the neighbor was running turned into almost an hour and that’s why he hadn’t been able to come pick up Mike when he thought he would.
So, Mike gets the new tire on, gathers up the kids again, gets them in the car, and comes to get me. On the way home we saw a person stalled in the middle of an intersection and trying to push their car out of the way by themselves. After as much help as we had gotten that morning there was no way we could just continue our drive without paying it forward a little bit. Mike pulled into the nearest parking lot and helped the guy get his car out of the way of traffic. We grabbed some lunch (neither Mike or I had anything to eat yet) and headed home.
Later in the day the wife of the neighbor who gave me a ride came over and brought some soup. Her husband told her that we had a rough start to the day and she wanted to check on us and make sure that we were doing better. Another friend came and picked up the big girls to go swimming and they had a blast. It was a rough start to the day to be sure, but with a little help from our neighbors everything worked out just the way it needed to.
I got thinking back to about 2.5 years ago when we were looking for a house to rent. Like many families on 1 income we had a very strict budget for rent and we were having a hard time finding a house that would be affordable and met our needs. It didn’t help that Mike and I were living in different cities at the time either. He was staying with my grandpa and working while I was staying with my mom and dad taking care of the kids. I was checking listings daily for new houses that might work, forwarding the listings to him to check out, and more than once by the time he was able to get back to me, even a few hours later, they would already have it rented out. I kept praying that when we found the right house for us things would go smoothly.
I found the listing for this house almost as soon as it had been listed. The price was right, the size was not perfect, but would be doable, and unlike many of the other listings we had looked at it actually had a yard. Calls were made, he arranged to see it in person, and within a couple of days we were sending a deposit and getting the lease signed. We had found our new home.
Time and time again since we’ve been in this house we have been reminded that this is where we needed to be. We’ve met great people and been shown an amazing amount of support. I didn’t always recognize what a blessing it was. There is a good portion of that time that I was focused on this city not being the city where I wanted to live. I didn’t recognize the blessings I was being given. I’ve only recently come to realize just what my mindset was doing to me. I’ve been trying to spend more time truly appreciating what I have and as I’ve taken the time to look back I’ve become more grateful for all of the small blessings I didn’t even realize I was getting.
Yes, there’s still a part of me that longs to move somewhere else, to find a new way to support our family, to become more of what I feel the potential to become. For now, though, I’m going to enjoy this journey and do my best to really appreciate the great neighborhood I am in right now.