Have you heard the saying that, “at the end of the day, we do what we care most about.” For us that is community. It doesn’t always come natural to be in community with others but at the end of the day, we push through to honor the “tie that binds” us all together.
When we choose to make relationship a priority over logistics we experience the miracle of community… and more problems get solved.
This past weekend we had intentions to go and spend a few days alone as a family in the Redwoods of California. We had just come off of a full Holiday season with family and friends and then, recording in Portland. We were really looking forward to the down time. And, mind you we don’t often seek “down” time. So, when the time came for our departure and the bus didn’t start, all heads sank low. We had made plans that morning to share breakfast with the Nolan family that had moved from our old stomping grounds in Wisconsin to Vancouver, WA and were very near to where we were parked. We were meant to load up and drive the bus over to their neighborhood, have breakfast and then be on our way down to sunny California via a stop over for a few gigs in Cottage Grove and Roseburg, Oregon.
OK, so shift gears, this bus is not only our home but our means of transportation and we really are not mechanically inclined. So, when something goes awry it can throw a real spanner in the works. All of our minds efforts go mush and there is a paralyzing feeling that comes over us. Add to that the overwhelming amount of logistics that we have to process each day that we travel and it’s a recipe for disaster. However, when this challenge came we decided to lay it down, set it aside and go for breakfast. It was a challenge not to worry about our issues but in the end we had a lovely visit.
We made our way in our mini-van, four hours south to Cottage Grove and Roseburg, where we stayed with strangers turned kinfolk.
Arriving back in WA, accepting the fact that we were not going to see the redwoods but rather spend the needed time fixing the bus, we dove in. Travis Nolan who we had shared that breakfast with a few days prior just happened to be a diesel mechanic in the Coast Guard for years and offered a helping hand. He and his wife, Cindy, came over at 8am and plugged right into bus life with us. We shared lunch, kept problem solving, looking at the batteries, starter, wires, etc and about 1pm Travis began scouring the manual to find a little blurb about gears. He asked Craig, “What gear is it in?” Craig went and looked, and said with a loud exclamation, “Fourth, it’s in forth!!” That was it, simple as that! The bus wouldn’t start because it was in the wrong gear. We laughed, rejoiced and laughed more. Then Cindy and I ran some errands and gathered together one last time as families to share a meal and celebrate.
We departed the next morning towards Oakland, CA via Redding. Originally we were going to miss Redding but because of our waylay this was our new route. This opened the door for us to link up with our dear old friends, the Nero’s. And, our host in Oakland, Josh Harper, called and connected us with his parents who live in Redding for a late night coffee. We pulled into Redding after a 8 hour drive and found that our electrical was out of order, so in the same vain we had a decision to make. Craig pulled a few bold moves and fixed up the electrical, woofed down his meal and off we went. The door to the Harper home opened and we immediately felt like we were with family. We settled in for a few hours and shared precious time with these kind folks. This morning we were able to connect for breakfast at the Cottonwood Eatery with the Lori and John and share stories and encouragement.
Had we decided that previous Saturday morning when the bus wouldn’t start that we were going to make fixing it the priority things may have turned out similar but I’m not sure we would have experienced the joy of community. The joy of sharing in one accord and problem solving together. In that 72 hour period we had the opportunity to connect with multiple folks on all sorts of levels, all the while getting things done. This choice to keep relationship on the for front allowed for the gifts to flow and for faith to rise up! And for that we are most grateful.