What’s A Little Hail!
Blog – 5-17-17
Last week my husband John and I went out of town for a little getaway. We had been to Santa Fe about 10 years ago, and we fell in love with the art and the food. It seemed like a perfect way to redeem a travel package that was about to expire.
We landed in Albuquerque, the closest airport, after a VERY bumpy flight. The pilot kept telling us about a nasty storm that was over the area as he apologized for the rough ride. Flight attendants were asked to remain in their seats. Stressor No. 1. After an extremely rough landing, we got our rental car and started the trip north to Santa Fe. As we headed out, we noticed the very ominous sky ahead of us. Hmmm, this could be interesting.
After a bit I pulled our hotel information up on MapQuest and realized our hotel was about 40 miles from Santa Fe. Whoops! I thought it was about 5 miles from Santa Fe. This was definitely not where we wanted to be. After making some calls I discovered that unfortunately the hotel was part of a package plan, and they didn’t have a hotel any closer to Santa Fe. We had already paid for it, and they initially said they would not refund our money. Stressor No. 2.
We decide to head up to Santa Fe and figure it out on the way. I’m trying not to freak out because I knew I had not done my homework very well in checking the exact location of the hotel. It was part of a travel package, and I assumed it was in the area we wanted to be in. You know what happens with assumptions, right! John kept his comments to himself, which I very much appreciated, but I was feeling the stress start to swell inside me. To make matters worse, my cell phone was dying and we had no car charger with us. Stressor No. 3.
As we continued on our way, dreams of a perfect vacation started dwindling and the sky got darker and darker. Before long we see snow on the side of the road! Yes, snow! The temperature dropped almost 50 degrees in 5 miles and we are thinking what the heck! Stressor No. 4.
Just when we thought things couldn’t get any worse, they did! Hail started falling from the sky so hard and fast it looked like a giant bucket had been overturned. In a matter of minutes there was 4 or 5 inches of hail sitting on the ground. I have never seen hail like that in my life! I had visions of our rental car being destroyed (and of course, we didn’t take the insurance!). We tried to get under a bridge to protect the vehicle, but it was full of cars. There was nothing we could do but pull over to the side of the road and wait it out. We watched in amazement as cars started going into the ditch right and left. The wind was blowing like crazy, and it looked like a scene from a bad tornado movie. Stressor No. – You get the point!
I was praying with all my heart and pleading with God to help us. Don’t let this car be ruined. Don’t let us be killed here! Find us a hotel. Keep us safe! We’re on vacation already!
Then in the midst of our vacation nightmare, John and I looked at each other and started laughing uncontrollably! We kept saying, You’ve got to be kidding me! What’s going to happen next? You can’t make this stuff up!
When the storm subsided, we went on our way, wondering what adventure awaited us next. God and our travel agent performed a true miracle, and we got the hotel situation worked out, with our hotel right where I originally thought we were going to be. The weather continued its bipolar behavior, however, and we got hailed on two more times that day while walking around Santa Fe. The sun would be out for a minute, and then it would hail. It was bizarre but kind of fun! After all, who can say they got hailed on three different times in one day. I had to buy a sweatshirt because I wasn’t expecting the weather to be so cold, but a girl can always use another sweatshirt, right!
In the end, John and I had a wonderful time together. For that I’m extremely grateful because I know things could have gone very differently. John could have lost it. I could have lost it. And the only thing a meltdown would have done is ruin our chance to spend quality time together.
Through grace, mercy and a little dose of humor, we ended up having a total blast.
As we were going through one situation after another, I instinctively knew this was an opportunity for me to stay calm, to fail forward, and not a time to condemn myself. For someone who can be brutally hard on herself, this was a sweet victory.
Here are the lessons I’ve come up with so far:
Humor IS the best medicine!
A good attitude helps you find the humor.
Pay more attention to the little details (like the exact location of your hotel!)
Keep your cool when things don’t go as planned. Losing it never ever helps.
Don’t sweat the small stuff – like hail!
God has it.
The next time things don’t go as you planned, when you’re facing obstacles that threaten to steal your joy, when you’re frustrated with failed expectations, take a minute and breathe. Ask God to calm your heart. Wait for his peace to enter your soul, and then take things a moment at a time.
And remember, you’ll have a really great story to tell someday. After all, what’s a little hail!
Hugs and love,