We’re in Good Hands!
It was a lovely, sunny morning as we raced down I-95 from Washington D.C. towards Virginia. Lovely because it had rained the entire time that we were getting to know our Nation’s Capital, and racing because…well…it was I-95 southbound along the East Coast!
If you’ve never had the privilege (or misfortune) of testing your vehicle’s maximum speed capabilities, sandwiched in among countless other white knuckled, wide-eyed drivers racing from Maine to Virginia, then…well…I supposed you just haven’t lived. Or… maybe that’s why you have lived! Evidently most of the drivers along this East Coast major highway assume that I-95 indicates the speed limit!
Enjoying his Richard Petty fantasy, Eddie was in heaven.
Me? I was working on my prayer life and trying to remind my favorite ‘car guy’ that we were, in fact, pulling a trailer.
We arrived just north of Fredericksburg, VA later that morning and I have never been so relieved to see an exit sign.
Our first stop was the Fredericksburg Battlefield and I was excited. We were on day 14 of our ‘Great Lakes and Colonial History Tour’, and we were now moving on from Colonial History into Civil War History. I was armed with a camera, a water bottle, a boatload of information, and was ready to follow Gen. Lee into the Battle of Fredericksburg.
Eddie, however, was preoccupied.
I considered initially that he might just possibly be a little tired of being ‘the only guy that showed up for the tour’, but I persisted. Eventually, though, I had to address his apathetic and distant attitude.
“I feel like something is not right with the truck.”
We were 1,700 miles away from home and on a tight budget. I was also confidently traveling with the ‘car-guy’s-car-guy’, so I stuck my head in the sand and ventured on.
From the Battlefield it was on to downtown for some more historic sites. We re-entered I-95 and sped into the flow of traffic with our ‘Little Guy’ trailer in tow. We both pretended not to have heard the horrific ‘THUD’ that came from the underside of the truck.
“Uh Oh…” was all he said.
My pleas of, “What? What?” were eventually answered with, “the brakes are gone”.
In panic mode I pointed out each repair place I saw a sign for. ‘Brakes Plus’, ‘Midas’ and ‘Roscoe’s Brakes and Beer’ were all completely ignored as Eddie barreled down the highway, swerving to avoid collision. Ultimately, the truck lost momentum and we veered off the closest exit ramp. Eddie was determined to find a GM dealer, so as I was Google-ing the nearest one, he veered to the left and literally coasted into the first bay of the Radley Chevrolet dealership and repair facility.
We sat there for a moment in silence, undoubtedly in shock contemplating what could have happened and what actually did happen. It wasn’t long before a couple of bewildered repairmen came out to inquire about whether or not we had an appointment. After explaining the situation and the condition of our faces, the guys were gracious enough to take a look at the truck.
I’m not sure if I was more disappointed at the cost of the repairs and time lost, or the possibility of missing out on Fredericksburg along with the guilt over my questionable priorities. Taking pity on me and my ‘sad face’, our Service Writer informed us that they could have the repairs done in about 5 hours and that he would gladly take us downtown where we had been planning to see the sites by foot anyway!
After a short ‘Service Writer-led tour of downtown’, we spent the next 5 hours visiting the Kenmore Plantation, the Confederate Cemetery, Mary (George’s mom) Washington’s house, and mostly talking about how grateful we were for God’s protection, and even His sense of humor! We were also so grateful for our new friends in Fredericksburg, as well as all we got to do and see there. This is a wonderful stop with so much history to learn, so much to see and do, and has a beautiful, little Colonial downtown area.
We finished up late in the afternoon at a little coffee shop, enjoying people watching and waiting for the call that the truck was finished. Our Service Writer graciously picked us up, and on the drive back to the dealership, shared with us the fact that a front brake had actually lost all the brake fluid due to the whole thing having split in half! Eddie spent some time in the repair bay talking brakes with the guys (which was probably more fun for him than plantations or cemeteries), and was proud to have brought them a repair job that no one had ever seen before. No doubt we’ll be remembered and we got a chance to give God the glory for a truly miraculous experience!
Eddie and I headed out making our way toward Williamsburg. We talked and laughed, and Eddie was much more relaxed knowing that he no longer had that uneasy feeling that comes with something not being ‘right’. We left thankful for a bunch of great repair guys and so glad that we hadn’t missed out on why we’d come to Fredericksburg.
We mostly left feeling secure knowing that we were in the hands of God.