A lot of our conversations lately have gone a little something like this: How was the wedding? Oh, it was perfect and beautiful. Where did you go on your honeymoon? Portland, Oregon. Oh wow, how was it? Perfect and wonderful. How's your new apartment? We love it! It's perfect!
And it was. But sometimes it’s even more fun to look at the things that went “wrong.” Throughout the whole weekend there were several things that went seriously wrong and could have put a damper on things. But over and over again they worked out, and we were thankful.
Dilemma #1: First, when we got up to Blairsville and people started setting up for the rehearsal dinner it was realized that though I had borrowed a projector and a screen from work, and though keith and I had stayed up for hours the night before working on a slideshow collaboration of all our cutest childhood photo memorabilia, somehow the cord for the projector had been left behind and we would have to bag the slideshow. I was pretty bummed.
Solution #1: Erin Sutton to the rescue! She noticed that the shape of the plug in the projector looked strangely like her laptop plug. Well, lets just try this … and it worked!!
Dilemma #2: We decided to be cool and indie and get our friend and groomsman Ryan Warden to “DJ” the reception for us using our favorite music and my laptop. Keith gathered my laptop together before the wedding and we were ready to go. But when we got there we realized it was my sister’s identical white mac notebook, not mine. No music! This could seriously ruin the party.
Solution #2: Kim, for some strange reason, brought her laptop up to Blairsville as well. Except she actually brought mine. Music recovered. And we danced.
Dilemma #3: After being pelted with flower petals in a dizzying tunnel of laughter and screaming and camera flashes, Keith and I hopped in the car. We proceeded to scream HOLY COW HOLY COW HOLY COW! WE’RE MARRIED! And drive off down the road. However, shortly into Vogel state park, which would swallow the next 30 or so miles of our drive, we realized that the gas light was on. 11:00 p.m., dark mountain roads, wedding attire, and very little gas. It was a precarious situation.
Solution #3: Pray.
We made it, although it would have been one of those things that you laugh about many many years later.
Dilemma #4: We arrived at our gate in the Atlanta airport fairly early, and ended up dozing off a little bit with the broadcast of the Pope at Yankee stadium in the background. After about 30 minutes a crowed gathered at the desk, and people didn’t seem happy. Apparently they decided our plane wasn’t suited for flying (thank you for deciding that while it was still on the ground), so they were sending us to another gate. A04. So we took the train and walked all the way down to the gate, which is all the way at one end of the terminal, only to find another blinking sign that says the flight to Portland has now been moved to gate A36… all the way at the other end of the terminal. It was annoying, but the flight was only delayed about an hour or so. Little did we know what an adventure the slight delay would catalyze. When we landed in Portland we follow the signs to the rental car area, so we could make the 2 hour drive to our reservation on Cannon Beach, and found a sign for EZRental. We were recommended this company because they have the lowest under 25 fees, but we were told they “don’t have the best customer service.” We arrived at the desk only to find a sign that said If no one is here call this number and get on the shuttle for the Holiday Inn. Ok. Called the number, but no one answered. We waited for the Holiday Inn shuttle. When it came we flagged it down and said, “We’re with EZRental.” The driver shrugged and said, “they’re closed. Sorry.”
Solution #4: O wow, now what are we going to do? We decide to go check with the other rental agencies, even though we know they are going to be outrageously more expensive. First we go to Budget…because the name is encouraging. But their rates do not exactly fit their name. The lady helping us seems laid back enough, so I sheepishly ask her if there are any other agencies with better rates. She surprisingly eagerly tells us that Dollar employees work on commission and match rates. This is when we meet Courtney at Dollar rental cars. This delightful girl indeed matched our rates, plus lowered it by two dollars, plus gave us an upgrade to an all wheel drive vehicle because there was some snow in the mountains and cheerfully drew us a map. She was our first shiny example of the kindness of Oregonians, and we weren’t disappointed the whole trip.
Dilemma #5: We finally got out of the airport around 9:30 or so which, after miles of mountain road with ELK and TRUCK crossing signs, put us in Cannon Beach at about 11:30. Unfortunately at about 11:20 I read a message in our confirmation email print out that said The office closes at 10:00 p.m. if you will be arriving late please call ahead. Crap. Well, maybe we could try to call anyway. Both cell phones dead. Crap. We get to the Inn and it is locked and dark. Get to the office and it is locked and dark with a sign that says in case of emergency call… There is a pay phone across the street. Do we have change? Sure. Well…40 cents, is that enough? Keith runs in the rain to find out…no. its 50. Ok, this one looks like its going to top it all and end our lucky streak.
Solution #5 We drive down the road to find a gas station or somewhere where we could either use a phone or plug ours in. As we drive, we pass a parked cop car. Keith decided this might be our best bet, as awkward as it is. So we explain our dilemma to the officer. He escorts us to the police station and lets us use the phone. And was for sure the kindest police officer I’ve ever encountered. Our key was waiting for us under a flower pot.
Dilemma #6: Didn’t happen on the honeymoon, but it was funny. The other night I cooked a delicious meal of chicken fried rice and yellow squash, and we went out on our back porch to enjoy the warm spring night. When we were done eating we went to go inside to tackle the last night of unpacking only to discover that the door was locked behind us. We were without shoes, keys, wallets, or cell phones.
Solution #6: We met 2 of our neighbors and spent the evening relaxing and talking on the roof for 3 hours while we waited for our landlord (who was at a party and told us to go get a 6 pack and enjoy ourselves) to come let us in. It ended up being a pretty relaxing evening, and we’re especially thankful to have met some more of our neighbors.
I think its almost even more remarkable that God meets our needs in little funny situations like these than that he does it in big ones. Almost like if we were somehow under the illusion that we deserve the big stuff, we can’t kid ourselves into thinking that we deserve kindness from strangers, slack for our mistakes, and helpful coincidences. Those things the Father lavishes on us anyway, and it’s sweet and humbling.