I know I've been remiss in posting, but I've been at my Mom's since the 11th and I just got back Thursday night...just before midnight. I went down for her 3rd immunotherapy infusion and an appt with her oncologist. Alas, the Sarcoma has spread significantly in her lungs and they canceled the infusion. The last option is for her to begin taking Votrient, a kinase inhibitor. In 3 weeks, she'll have another scan. I came home for a little while and will head back in 3 weeks, or sooner, if she has difficulty with the side effect, or just needs me.
I headed back on Wednesday, leaving at 7:30 in the morning in an attempt to get home by dark. About an hour and a half into my trip, I began hearing a racket underneath the pick-up. I had heard it once before, but it was not loud and when I had pulled over I didn't see anything out of place. We had to replace the flywheel and starter a few weeks ago(it's a 2015 F-250) and DH said things weren't quite right so we had stopped in and discussed it with our mechanic. He said it was fine to drive it, but bring it in in a couple of weeks.
So, when the loud flapping intensified and I was 500 miles away, I prayed for a dealership because I figured they'd be more apt to have parts, should I need them. I was just about to pull into Fredricksburg and no sooner had I sent up my little request, a Ford dealership appeared on the horizon. Alas, it was not a simple fix. Turns out I needed a new transfer case and u-joint and the closest one was in Houston, 250 miles away. The service manager said he'd try to get me out for $3000.00. O.K. Ouch! Big sigh, but I had peace about it and I felt God's hand on my shoulder:
It was a beautiful day and I walked around the lot for a long time while they diagnosed the problem. I finally went into the waiting room where a lady was putting the final touches on the Christmas tree and I offered to help. Then I sat down and pulled out a quilt and worked on the binding:
There was one older gentleman waiting for an oil change and we struck up a conversation that turned into a lovely 2 hour visit. He was an 85 yr old veteran that had just lost his dear wife and owned the Amish Market in town. We visited about everything under the sun including faith, family, politics, world events, food, and history. What a dear, dear man and I can't tell you how blessed I was by our time together. God's hand again.
Then, the lady, Shirley, who had decorated the Christmas tree popped around the corner and asked me if I was the lady from New Mexico. Yes, Ma'am. She said they were going to set me up with a room for the night and a loaner car. She asked if I needed cash or anything else and I was nearly brought to tears by her kindness. God's hand.
I love Fredricksburg, but I never take the time to explore because it's already a 9 hour trip between home and my mom's and I try not to make it any longer. Plus, my mom always wonders what takes me so long when I DO stop at the quilt shop there. LOL. Which, yes, I did exactly that! I was very cognizant of the fact that I was leaving a lot of $$$ at the dealership so I wouldn't be supporting the small businesses as much as I would have liked, but it doesn't cost to browse:
Or window shop:
And Fredricksburg is the best place to window shop!
Especially when it's all decked out for Christmas:
And I'm one of those annoying people who refuses to begin celebrating the Christmas season until the day after Thanksgiving, but I was strolling downtown and this was happening at the Marktplatz:
Such a pretty evening to stroll through town and I splurged on a Sangria as I walked back to the motel, about 2 miles away:
And then I settled down by the firepit for a few hours. If one is stranded, this is a pretty good place to land. God's hand.
As I walked by the front desk in the lobby the next morning, the clerk, with whom I had had a lovely visit with the day before, said, "Good Morning! You have a package". I was quite surprised, and when I opened it I found this:
The dear gentleman I had befriended at the dealership the day before had dropped it off at the motel - he even spelled my name right! People I've known for a long time don't even do that. LOL. I was touched by the thoughtful gesture. God's hand.
As I sat at the firepit and all night long in the motel, I kept hearing cattle bawling and I couldn't figure out where they were. I was in the middle of town, but of course, it made me grin and feel right at home! So the next morning, I jumped in my loaner car and went exploring, in search of bawling cattle. What can I say, I'm a ranch wife. So I rolled down the windows and sure enough, I found the source - welcome to the local sale barn, LOL
And yes, I went in and visited with them. Hey, we had a lot in common and I was curious if they too were experiencing a drought (they were) and what kind of numbers they were running. They sell sheep and goats one day and cattle the next. The owner asked if I knew someone (I did - he's at the sale every Monday) and we had a good visit. I said, "Yes, sir, he's quite the character". He replied, "Well, that's one way of putting it". LOL
I thought this place was a feed store and wanted to take a peek:
But I browsed and noticed this book:
I flipped it open to that day and read this:
I chuckled. God's hand.
My truck wasn't ready until 4:30 on Thursday and and I still had 7 hours in front of me. I went in to settle up:
Yes, they had deducted $1000 from the total and told me to have a Merry Christmas. There may or may not have been some tearing up. Without a doubt - God's hand.
It's so good to be home, and I am giving thanks to God for the the kind people he planted in my path and for the sabbatical I didn't know I needed.