Tuesday, August 28, 2012

She's Back ... But For How Long?

This past weekend Heidi and I drove to Minneapolis to pick up my daughter, Lora, who has spent the past 5 months in Worcester, South Africa at a Youth with a Mission Troubadour Discipleship Training School. During those 5 months her class group spent 5  or 6 weeks on the UK (Coventry & London) doing a variety of outreach activities.

It was an interesting trip highlighted by seeing Lora again and a few other wrinkles and experiences. We left early (5 a.m.) Saturday morning with the intention of having some time to do more than just settle for the night in our hotel in Minneapolis. Arriving at the border at 6 a.m. we were surprised when the US customs officer told us to drive into the garage where they proceeded to go through our vehicle. I've never had that happen before.

The inspection didn't take long because we didn't have more than what we needed for a one-night stay and some snacks to eat on the 8 hr drive. We continued heading south, making good time when we came to a sign informing us that we would be dealing with road construction, for the next 128 miles. I think I groaned out loud at the prospect of having to drive at reduced speed for that distance - that was going to mess up the timing of our itinerary. Thankfully, we didn't have to slow down very much and the roadwork sections were only occasional, fairly short stretches.

South of Grand Forks we encountered some lightening, heavy rain showers and foggy patches which continued all the way to Minneapolis. The rain was so heavy at times that it was hard for the windshield wipers to keep up. I don't think I've ever driven 80 miles/hour in heavy rain before. It added some excitement and kept me awake.

We had borrowed a GPS unit from my brother and were rolling along, comfortable in the knowledge that we would have help finding our hotel in Minneapolis. All of a sudden we got a low-battery signal from the GPS unit which didn't make sense because we had it plugged into the cigarette lighter. We tested the lighter for power and confirmed that there was none. Wracking my brain for a solution I remembered that our son-in-law had disconnected the cigarette lighter so his mother couldn't smoke in the car. Heidi then worked at reconnecting the wiring while I continued driving in 4 lanes of busy interstate traffic, speeding along in the rain.

Heidi got the power to the GPS working in time for us to get directions to our hotel. The GPS responded by taking us to an intersection in the middle of a residential area and told us we had arrived at our destination. Another puzzler. When I looked for the correct destination that I had saved into the unit, it was no longer there. Good thing I remembered to bring the hotel name and address along. I re-entered the correct information and less than 10 minutes later we arrived at our hotel.

To be continued...

"The problem is not that there are problems.
The problem is expecting otherwise and thinking
that having problems is a problem."
~~~ Theodore Rubin

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