An Adventure Wrongly Considered

My, what a nightmare of a travel south. I set out with six of my children to Albuquerque for a speech and debate tournament only to break down in Trinidad. Let me tell you the story, but share with you the joy of the adventure.

Tow Truck

We were making good time when we pulled into a gas station in Trinidad. We didn’t need to fill up, just switch drivers and buy some sunflower seeds. When we returned to the car, it would not fire up.

Short of it: our fuel pump went out. Wouldn’t be fixed till the next day. Quite a few bennies sunk to get it fixed plus rent a car to get to the tournament.

Seems pretty gloomy, doesn’t it? Despite the bad news, we had a great time. The sequence of events were actually filled with little blessings. Let me count the ways:

  • The car broke down just three miles from the mechanic.
  • The tow truck owner was born and raised in Trinidad and was extremely jovial, a contagious good attitude.
  • “Could be worse!” he insisted. “It was a blizzard just a few days ago.”
  • The normal $100 tow was chopped 40% because I was towed to the garage he worked for, some sort of special deal they had.
  • The shop dropped everything to try to get me back on the road. The unfortunate news was that the fuel pump wouldn’t be in till morning.
  • A car rental place was across the street, the owner had just left for home—an hour away.
  • The mechanics called his cell and I talked with him. Another jovial guy who insisted on turning around and getting me a rental.
  • The kids and I shot pool while we waited. The mechanics’ radio of choice was JOY-FM, one of our favorites, too.
  • The rental guy showed up and got us a Suburban. He dropped the 4th day rental to save us 25%.
  • He also had a ton of big game mounts on his wall. We instantly struck up a conversation.
  • We were back on the road. We arrived at our host housing at 11 p.m.
  • Our hosts about as gracious as we have ever had: grandparents of some Albuquerque competitors. They stocked a refrigerator with food for us.
  • The tournament was awesome. The big Jeub victory of the weekend: Noah and Tabitha, my youngest competitors, came out with a 6-0 prelim record, the top of 28 teams.

The long of it doesn’t sound nearly as bad as the short of it, don’t you think?

Thank you for your prayers, Facebook Friends, and your encouragement. Another speech and debate parent from Washington posted this quote that greatly encouraged me:

“An inconvenience is only an adventure wrongly considered.” G.K. Chesterton

That was definitely the case on Wednesday. Every turn of the day was met with good cheer and blessing. What a wonderful adventure our trip to Albuquerque turned out to be.

Question: Have you had misfortune hit you, only to have the misfortune turn into blessing?

Are you a debater? Join me in Colorado in July for the Training Minds Camp!

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

  • Brad Swygard

    We had a similar but not quite so adventurous incident on our way to the Tyler, TX tournament a couple of weeks ago. We pulled into Henrietta, OK and my 96 Dodge Ram Diesel Pickup would only idle. (They still go 15 mph in idle!)Pulled into a Love’s and called my brother in law, they are always good mechanics. Found out the linkage from the pedal to the throttle had disconnected. A guy with smaller wrenches (we needed smaller hands also) than I had with me helped me pull it apart and put it back together again. It only cost 30 minutes, but thank the Lord we were not out on the highway but in a lighted area of a truck stop!

  • Sherri S

    I live by that quote by G.K. Chesterton!
    “An inconvenience is only an adventure wrongly considered.” G.K. Chesterton
    We had a less serious, but still disconcerting experience recently while at an Arkansas tournament. When we stopped to buy water at a Wal-Mart in the Little Rock area, the mechanisms on the two front doors of our ’98 Suburban locked up. In short, neither door would close. It was dark, it was supposed to rain, we knew no one at the tournament, and we had no way of closing or locking our vehicle. We’ve encountered this before, and my husband essentially removed the door latch mechanism, greased it, and replaced it. One other time, it was simply ruined, and he had to completely replace it. However, this trip my husband was not with us. So the kids and I tried and tried to get the mechanism to release. Finally, we drove to the tournament check-in site, hoping to find some benevolent tournament Dad to help us. We fervently prayed for God to help us solve the problem as we drove, holding the doors closed on our vehicle. We were VERY thankful for seatbelts! 🙂 That was a bit of an adventure! When we arrived, my son and I continued to work on the doors while my daughters checked us in for the tournament. We doused it in WD-40, pried it every direction that seemed logical, compared it to the other doors, and STILL nothing seemed to work. Then my son (12 years old), walked around the back of the vehicle and said, “I think I have an idea that will work.” We tried it, and sure enough the door mechanism released on both doors. I asked him what made him think of that idea, and he told me he was trying to problem solve it and asked for God’s ideas. I think he gave my 12 year old just the trick we needed that night. Praise the Lord for his provision and for the way he speaks to our children in the process. We just added the adventure of driving with both Suburban door open to our LONG list of Suburban adventures and miraculous interventions.

  • We decided to take the vehicle (Man-card retaining 4WD Mazda MPV minivan) that would be more comfortable for our 6′ 2″ and 6′ 4″ boys to NITOC last year, despite it having 292,000 miles on it. It broke down at our destination for the the day – Espanola NM, where we were staying with my best friend from high school who I hadn’t seen in over 25 years. No panic, we knew it was a possibility.

    The part wouldn’t arrive so we rented a car to get to NITOC. We could have changed our plans and gone back the same way, but I had another friend to see in Aspen on the way out. So made the 10 hour round trip back to Espanola mid-tournament to get the car. Took the alternate route through Taos on the way back to Colorado Springs and got to see some beautiful country.