Yesterday morning my backyard was full of birds. The snow has melted along the edge of the fence, and there was something in the grass that they were all eating. They would take turns flying down on to the ground to have a bite to eat, or up on to the floor of our porch, to check out the cat food crumbs. There must have been close to a hundred birds, of about three different varieties, hanging out in the tree, on our porch, and perched on the fence. Considering that we have three cats, they were either very brave birds, or very stupid. But then they got me thinking about my grandma. She loved birds, and I'm pretty sure that at her February funeral, she sent a bunch of them to follow us around that day, and remind us that she wasn't that far away. So as I sat in my kitchen yesterday, watching the show, I decided that all those birds must be a good omen from my grandma, her way of letting me know that she was still around, and still pulling for me. I just knew something big was going to happen that day.
Now I have to back up a little bit and mention that with some generous help from my dad, we bought a car yesterday. Whatever we would do without my parents, I don't know. They have saved us numerous times. I hope to get even with them someday. The car is a gold Honda Odyssey, old, but well cared for, and we are very happy to have it. We went test driving cars on Saturday, after deciding that the old Nissan just wasn't worth fixing up. This Odyssey was the first one we drove, and we were both pretty sure that it was the car we wanted, mostly because the man who was selling it was such a nice, honest, upright guy. You know the kind of guy that you can just tell by looking at him is 100% genuine? He had taken really good care of this car, had all the service records on it, and was really up front about what problems they had had with it. We drove a few more cars, just because we didn't feel like we should buy the first car without at least test driving a few more. We saw a few nicer cars, but they were a lot more money, and were being sold by much shadier characters. So on Monday, we called him up and arranged to buy the car. Dan picked it up Monday afternoon, and we thought it was a done deal.
Now backing up one more time, remember my last post about the boys doing laundry and the dryer breaking down from them trying to dry 6 loads of wash all at once? Yeah, that happened while we were out test driving cars. So as Dan was trying to get all the loose ends tied up with the car purchase on Monday, he was also simultaneously trying to fix the dryer. He took off six different parts, took them in for testing, and tried out a bunch of new parts, hoping that it would be a quick, cheap fix, but no such luck. It was getting to be an expensive fix. By the time he made it out to pick up the new car, he had pretty much resigned himself to beginning a new search on KSL, this time for another cheap used dryer. In the process of him buying the car, small talk between him and the guy and his wife turned to our bad luck as of late, and how we were really hoping that we were at the end of things breaking and falling apart on us.
Later Monday night, we got a call from the seller. Dan had inadvertently driven off with his license plates, and he wanted them back. He also mentioned in passing that he had something that he had forgotten to give us so Dan arranged to go back out to their house the next day and return the license plates. As it turned out, Dan had to go back out there anyway, because the wife had forgotten to sign the title, and we couldn't get it registered until she did. So he went back out there Tuesday afternoon, she signed the title, and handed him an envelope, which he did not open until he got home.
Actually, I was the one who opened the envelope.
I thought it was going to be records on the car or something.
Instead, I pulled out a fat wad of $100 bills, along with a note explaining how at one time in their lives when money was short and they were desperate, they were given a washer and dryer by someone they had only just met. And now, they felt like they needed to do something similar for us. There was a little more to it as well, but that was the general gist of the thing.
I sat there in shock for at least 10 minutes. I didn't know what to think or do, and I was trying to figure out a way to gracefully return their money and tell them it wasn't necessary. We could never accept something like that! What kind of person does that for someone they don't even know? And what kind of person LETS someone they don't even know do that for them?? I have never been so flummoxed in my life.
And then that voice in my head, the one I don't like to listen to very often, told me that I had just been handed a miracle, and that I needed to shut up, swallow my pride, and accept it. That this was a blessing, not only for me but for the people who gave it to us. That when you pray for help, you better be prepared to accept help in whatever form it shows up in.
Being on the receiving end is hard. I called up the lady and thanked her the best I could. She said she just knew it was something they needed to do. No big deal. To her anyway. And she hoped the car would run forever for us.
Then we went out and bought a brand new dryer. One less thing.
I can't help but think that my grandma must have been in on all of this somehow. All those birds showing up, and then me thinking about great things happening, and then a gift out of nowhere.
Since we brought our new-to-us gold car home, we have been thinking of a name for it. We are big on naming inanimate objects around here. Olivia wanted to name it Gold Treasure. I thought we should call it Fiona.
But now, I think it has officially been dubbed our Golden Goose.