Saturday, February 10, 2007

Snoopy Monday

The other morning, I had just dropped my son off at college, and I was driving on the highway headed home, feeling a bit sorry for myself. I was driving the only car that would start that morning. It was 23° below zero (F) when I got up, and our water pipes were frozen--not a drop of water was coming out. I almost couldn't believe it. I had to run through the house, turning on every faucet as if somehow, magically, one of them would work. The pipes weren't supposed to freeze! We have a new well, and the pump is about forty feet underground. The line comes in under our house, and there is heat tape wrapped around the pipe with a thermostat that is set to kick in when it gets below 40°. So they should NOT have frozen. I hate frozen pipes!

And yet, when we got up that morning, there was just silence in the sink when we turned the faucet on. This was not right. I wanted to have a fit! Not just any little fit, but the kind my daughter used to have when she was probably eight. I wanted to throw myself against the wall, fall on the floor screaming, kick my feet and pound my fists on the ground and just break something! I didn't, of course, but the impulse was still there bouncing around in my mind. How could this happen?? Along came my honey--he is my knight on a white horse, riding in to the rescue. After some eye rolling, clenching of jaws, grinding of teeth, and finally some investigation, he figured out that either the new pump quit working, or the pipes must be frozen under the house.

Well, there is an access area that allows us to get underneath the house in the crawl space, which is covered with a board. Okay, there was still one small problem: this board was covered with about six inches of ice from the snow that had melted from our roof a couple of weeks previously, and now the board was buried, solidly stuck to the ground. Yeah. In Minnesota, it can happen. You think spring might come early, and wham! You're in the deep freeze again!

I left to take my son, wishing the knot in my stomach would disappear.

So as I was driving back home, I was hearing the violins play in my mind, the ones you want people to play for you when things are reeaallly bad. This was too much. I wanted to kick something so badly my legs were twitching, but there was no room to do it in the car. On top of all that, I was feeling very PMS-y! It was truly a Snoopy Monday. (That is a Monday gone so wrong that one just wants a doghouse in the sun to sleep on until the day is gone.)

I saw this car pulled over on the shoulder of the freeway, and a youngish gentleman had gotten out of the car. I always have this tug on my heart to help people when I see them stopped on the side of the road, but then the cautious part of my brain kicks in and tells me to keep driving. That person could be a psycho killer on the loose, you know! Heart: He's stranded. Brain: Sucks to be him. Heart: I should help him. Brain: Are you out of your mind?

It makes me sad that our fear has to get in the way of us being good neighbors to each other.

I noticed that my car console said it was 14° below zero. Well, cautious brain said, it's warming up outside, isn't it? It's warmer than it was this morning, at least. The guy was out of his car, looking at the right side of the car at something. I noticed that his car was still running, and cautious brain quickly said, see? No problem. He'll stay warm. He'll call someone. Out of habit, I kept driving, but heart-voice kept harassing me. It's -14°, for crying out loud! The wind chill is about 40 below! Then mom-voice threw in her two cents worth and said, he didn't have a hat on. No one should be stuck on the side of the road when it's fourteen below. Wouldn't you want someone to stop if that were you stuck there? Cautious brain said, he's not stuck. He has a hat in his car. He's a Minnesotan, for crying out loud. His car's running. He'll be fine.

I just drove, listening to this cacophony going on in my head, and finally I said, okay, fine. I'll pull off at the next exit and go around. (I do this all the time so I can quiet the pestering voices, and then I'm so relieved because the person is usually gone by the time I get back there.)

Well, about eight or nine minutes later when I came back around, he was still sitting there. I pulled over behind him, praying under my breath. He got out and came back to talk to me. I found out that he had a flat tire, his jack and tire iron were frozen to the bottom of his trunk in several inches of ice, his cell phone was dead (he had brought his charger to charge it at work), he DIDN'T have a hat (and mom-voice said, mmm-hmm, you see?), and he was now late for work. I guess I wasn't the only one having a Snoopy Monday. So I gave him a ride to the phone, gave him a ride back to his car, and he just used the jack and tire iron out of my trunk to change his tire. (Thanks to my honey they were in there. If I had anything to do with it, they probably would have been sitting in a safe place, on a shelf in the garage somewhere.) I let him wear a hat from my car while he changed his tire in the bitter, icy wind, and then he thanked me and was on his way with the words, "I guess God was watching out for me today."

I realized that God had given me the opportunity to turn my attitude around. I realized that out of my inconvenience had come a blessing for another person. If I had just gone to work that day, I wouldn't have had the chance to show God's love in a very practical way. God's timing is impeccable, isn't it?

By the time I got home, the water was back on--hooray!--, and my honey got the other car going later in the day. The squirrels were eating the corn cobs we had put out for them. I got to take a nap. Snoopy Monday had turned into a pretty good day after all.


Faith said...

Wow. That is amazing! Aren't you glad you turned around! Who knows how long he would have been there stranded. Bless your heart. I agree, I have wanted to help people too, alongside the road. And unfortunately in our day and age, you don't know who to trust. I think God was with you for sure and helped you face your fear!

I know how you mean about things going wrong. Some days I'm just like aggghhhhh....... Then I will see something on TV, or realize how bad others have things and tell myself to quit whining!

Did you see Oprah on Friday? About the children in Ghana, Africa? Many of the parents have sold their children (ages 4-7) for meager money, to the fisherman (because the families need money to survive). These children go live with the fisherman and work 14 hours a day out on the boats! Many drown, its cold, they get one meal a day, work so hard. Well Oprah sent Lisa Ling (a tv correspondent) over there to find this boy Oprah seen on the front page of the New York Times. They found him, and also rescued many other children. One lady in Missouri seen the article too and went and rescued 7 children from the fisherman. They say it would cost about 4300$ for each child/family to get rehabilitated, the child rescued, educated, and new work for the fisherman who are buying these children. Its gotten to be just part of the culture. And there are hundreds of these children working still.

I think to myself, I am so blessed to be living in America. I have NO right to complain about anything. I wish I had the money to rescue all the children. But every little bit helps if lots of people chip in. I would imagine that will happen. Millions of people watch Oprah. She has got the biggest heart. God has put her in that position for a reason. She doesn't use her all her money on herself, she gives so much of it for humanitarian aid. I would do the same. It would be very selfish I think to just keep it all to yourself.

daisyaday said...

I hear a lot of people rip on her, but I like her. She has come through so much...if anyone had a reason to whine, she would. But she uses the public attention that she has to draw attention to other causes like this one. She could do a lot on her own, but when you consider all the other people who find out about a situation or a need because of her, she is multiplying her efforts and using her influence to make a positive difference. You gotta love it.

Compassion International is an easy, affordable way for people to get involved with helping children. You always wonder if these TV ads are scams when they are asking for money and putting pictures on of little starving children with big eyes...know what I mean? But from everything I've read and heard, this group keeps just a tiny amount for operating expenses, and the kids and their families get the rest of the money. We sponsor a little boy in Ethiopia--it's not a lot, but it's something. It's about a buck a day. It's doable for me right now.

Check it out on

Faith said...

Right on about Oprah. She uses the success of her show as an avenue to better others and to bring attention to issues. I have heard her say that people are not famous just to make money, usually its to bring out an underlining cause. Like Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt and other celebrities that get attention from Africa. The paparazzi love celebrities. Our nation is too celebrity driven on the gossip crap. So I appreciate when the celebrities use it for the benefit of bringing our attention to something that matters. Aids, Africa, children, schools, etc.

Norah said...

Daisy, I just got the chance to read this and I am truly amazed at you, lady! Oprah's got nuthin' over on you - you are very kindhearted and I'm so glad it all worked out for the best!

Bless you!