October 2, 2015
After seeing Vlad off at the arrivals pick-up (couldn’t find departures – American driver, Russian navigator), Xerx and I headed for a place to take a nap. I had been fine until the airport. God gave just enough sleep-without-sleep.
With nap over we headed home. No time to see Toronto. I had work to do.
We didn’t get far and the “Service Engine” light came on. Not good. Bad timing. It’s Saturday night and we’re a thousand miles from home.
We pull off at the next exit and pull into the only gas-like station I can find. The building next to the pumps is just a shack. I do the two things I know to do to “Service Engine” – put gas in tank (from a pump that predates credit cards) and check the oil. The oil was halfway between low and full – not likely the problem, but to feel like I had done something, bought a quart of oil. We then took back off for home. Somewhere the “Service Engine” light went off. Thanks, God.
Took the northern route around Lake Michigan. Stopped at a couple beaches – one on Lake Michigan, one on Superior. Xerx loved the beaches. Watched the sunset on Superior.
As the day’s light grew dimmer and as we walked back along the beach, a little girl came up and asked in a very gentle voice if she could pet Xerx. I said she could try, but Xerx wasn’t really into being petted. I could tell she really really wanted to pet him. I knelt down and told Xerx it was o.k. He let her pet him. As she did, she said, “He reminds me of our dog Echo”. It was clear she had just lost her best friend. As she walked away she was fighting to hold back the tears …as was her mom watching from a distance. I think Xerx knew.
The drive and the time on the beaches were also good times with God. We talked. I tried to “Be still and know that He is God.” Thought and prayed about Russia. It’s been 22 years since that first summer. It was an amazing summer. It was a summer every time I made a decision regarding Russia, the song “Give Thanks” showed up.
As we were driving through Wisconsin, I decided to put in the last CD. I had, over the course of the trip, gone through all the other ones – ones placed in the car months ago. I punched through the songs as I didn’t find any I liked. I was almost to the end of the CD when I came to a song I was amazed to hear.
With a full moon lighting the forest trees all pointing to the heavens, as I drove a road no one else was on, I listened to the song called “Give Thanks”.
I hadn’t heard the song for years.