Sunday, August 16, 2015

Fairy Forest and The Great Day of Miracles!

What a weekend! Sheesh.

Friday Adrienne, Chantel and I decided we needed to have a last hurrah before school starts this coming Wednesday. After a bit of deliberating, we decided on going to the hidden Fairy forest. I had discovered it on Pinterest, and was determined to go this summer. Since this was our last chance, we decided to head up there. We all made our contributions and headed out. Faye had built a beautiful fairy house out of a black plastic planter box. Sadly, we accidentally left it home.

We got together and decided to carpool. The girls rode with Chantel, the boys with me.

It was a looooong and beautiful drive. We went through a few tiny towns which confirmed my desire to live in a small town in the mountains. Wouldn't that be absolutely dreamy? And then we drove some more. And some more. All the way to the "pull out by mile marker 17." Yep, those were the official directions on how to get there.

If you are interested in discovering this pocket of wonder, it was surprisingly easy to find.

  1. Head to Kamas and get on the Mirror Lake Scenic Byway.
  2. Look for mile marker 17. There is a pullout right there which is convenient for parking.
  3. Follow the path through the forest.
  4. There is a black top you will cross (which is part of a campground. I didn't realize it was a campground at first, you have to really pay attention, or just head on through and pretend it is all part of the magic.)
  5. And then the rocks. So many little "boulders" that are fun to help toddlers walk across without you toppling over on top of them as they lose their balance over and over while laughing the whole time. These rocks are from a dry creek bed that you have to cross to get to the enchanted land of Fairies.
  6. After crossing the creek bed, walk on up the hill. Climb over a log, take about 5-10 more steps then head down to your right. You will see the entrance to the Fairy Forest.
The girls were in heaven! 

The boys said they didn't like it, but I think they really did. Or at least they had a blast exploring the woods.

At one point, Faye had to find a quiet place in the bushes to relieve herself. When she came back to join us, she grinned her cute freckled grin and beckoned me to whisper in my ear. 

"I just peed on some fire ants!" she said triumphantly. What a funny little girl! I tousled the hair on top of her head, and scooted her back towards her friends where she proudly whispered to all the little girls her accomplishment. I love how proud of herself she was!

Because of travel time and appointments, we were only able to spend an hour in the forest, which was sad for us, but what can you do? We piled back in the vehicles and headed out. 

Except we were stopped by traffic. 

Cars were parked on the road, and we joined suit. The boys climbed out and began playing in the woods next to us. The girls were watching Frozen and Big Hero Six in Chantel's van and were perfectly content to stay there and keep watching. I stayed with the babies and Adrienne and Chantel walked up to find out what the hold up was.

And then we saw life flight fly in.

Apparently a teenager had been riding a 4-wheeler, had lost control and crashed into some rocks on the side of the road. When they put him on the gurney he was kicking and screaming, so we know that he wasn't paralyzed at least. 

We waited for an hour and a half because after he was flown to the hospital, we had to wait for an investigation to be made by the police before they would let any traffic through.

The whole time waiting, I kept thinking how beautiful it was up there, and how blessed we were with that lovely breeze. I was surprised at how much it didn't bother me to be waiting. Of course we were in the mountains, and mountains always make me happy.

We were going to do a Back to School Movie Night on Adrienne's garage door, but we were too tired by the time we got home and so decided to postpone until next Friday. Especially because Saturday was going to be a very busy day.

Just how busy, I had no idea!

I woke up feeling lazy and tired. I straightened up my room a little, reminded Jeffrey that he was going to be in charge of the kids the whole day, and got ready to go. As I was walking out the door, I asked Jeffrey which vehicle he wanted me to take. I was going to a Sisters Conference with the sister missionaries from my mission. Our mission president was going to speak, and I was so excited! He told me to take his car, but be careful with it because it didn't have much pep anymore. 

I got into his car and headed out, thinking "he really wasn't joking, this car has lost a lot of its strength!" I also internally groaned a bit. The car doesn't have air conditioner and the thermometer said it was 98* outside. Not my idea of a good time to be driving said car, but I didn't care, I was going to go to the temple with my former companions who I love dearly, and President and his wife were going to go through the session with us!

I prayed half the way there that the car would make it, and that I would make it in time, and that it would be a spiritually filling experience. And then I called a friend I hadn't spoken with in a long time, just to get my mind off worrying. We talked for a little bit, but then I noticed the car seemed to be going a lot slower. I decided to get off the phone with her and to pray some more, and to pay special attention to how the car was acting.

It was decelerating. On the freeway. When I got down to 50mph I put my hazards on. No matter how much gas I gave it, the car continued to coast and slow down. It wasn't overheating, there were no warning lights showing in the car, no check engine, or anything. It just wasn't going anymore. I was able to pull off on the 9000 South exit which had a large dirt and weed patch next to the off-ramp, so my car was out of the way and in no danger of being hit.

The temple session started at 2. It was 1:45.

I called Jeffrey to let him know what was happening and to see what he wanted me to do. I hadn't been parked for more than two minutes when an officer pulled up to see what the trouble was. I explained what the car was doing, and he asked where I was headed. I told him, and he offered to take me to the temple and I could come back for the car later. I discussed this option with Jeffrey, and we decided I may as well go, since I was so close, and he wouldn't be able to get to me for a while anyway.

And so the kind officer drove me to the temple in his gloriously air conditioned car. Today I talked to a police officer who attends my ward. When I told him this part of my day yesterday, he was very surprised. He said that officers are not allowed to give people rides in their cars, unless it is downtown to the station to be booked. His family can't even ride in his squad car. And yet with no hesitation, this officer had offered me a ride, exactly when I needed it, breaking all sorts of rules in the process! While driving there, I was able to call my insurance company and I tried to set up towing. Except they said I would have to be with the car for it to be towed. And it would take 60-90 minutes for someone to show up. I decided to put the order on hold and to just go through the temple. I was deeply saddened by the reality that it was past 2 which meant I had missed going through the session with my president and former companions, but I was there, and it would be just as good to go through anyway, on my own.

I walked into the temple and saw my friend Lisa, Adrienne's sister! She had come to the fairy forest with us the day before. It was wonderful seeing a friendly face in such a time of need. She offered to help me after the session. I gave her a big hug and said I would talk to her later, as we would most likely be in the same session.

I got ready, and walked into the chapel to wait for the next session, and as I walked in, I saw my companions and President and Sister Lee sitting on the front bench. They beckoned me over. They had saved me a seat! I gave them all hugs, asked how they were still there, and they told me they had just had a hunch they needed to wait for the next session.

I broke down then and there. I couldn't keep it in anymore. I had seen so many miracles all ready to get me to the temple safely, and this final one was just too much. There is no doubt in my mind that the Lord loves us and cares about the things we care about. He guides people to come into our lives at just the right time. It was so evident in that moment, that the gratitude shook my body and poured out of my eyes in the form of tears. And my dear sweet friends put their arms around me while I cried with thanksgiving. What a miracle it was!

I was able to attend the temple session with some of my wonderful mission family!

Afterwards I got a ride, and we went to eat Indian food. The day was just getting better and better, I tell you. Indian is my favorite! We were able to converse and catch up, and one of my sweet friends I hadn't seen in nearly 10 years! It was absolutely wonderful. Another former companion drove me over to where my car was parked and I called the insurance company again. I intended to leave the door unlocked with the key in the ignition so a tow company could come pick it up, and I would't have to be there. I wouldn't have to miss the rest of the conference with the speakers. As I spoke with the insurance people, they told me our coverage would only pay for the car to be towed 12 miles. I was about 50 miles or so from home. I again put the order on hold and called my parents to see if they could tow my car behind their truck.

My parents are wonderful. They always come and rescue me when I need them to. They were in Brigham City, so it would be a while before they could get out to help me, but they were on their way home anyway and would be there as soon as they could. Which was perfect for me, as I was able to go back to the conference and be spiritually fed even more!

President and Sister Lee both spoke a little, and then turned it into a question/answer session. I was able to learn a lot from both of them. And then they had to go. We hugged, and they left, and then Diana's aunt (whose name I can't remember for the life of me) spoke. She is a CES (Church Education System) teacher, and was simply wonderful! I hung on her every word, drinking it in, as she has such a unique perspective. She shared some advice that really resonated with me. She said that whatever your trials are, you need to first remove the emotion and look at it objectively. Then, identify the truth of the situation. Once you have done that, you can put the emotion back in, and every time, the problem will not appear as daunting or overwhelming, and the emotion you will be feeling is faith and peace. Did I ever need to hear that last night! Just as she was getting to the juicy part of her talk, the culminating point, my parents showed up and I had to leave. I was sorry to leave, but so grateful for my parents coming to rescue me!

I squished into their truck with them and directed them to the location of my car. Another small miracle, I had found a spot to leave my car that made it possible for my dad to pull in in front of the car, back up, and we could easily push the car onto the trailer. 

We thought.

After several tries and the tires just not getting over the ridge and into the tire grooves, two men appeared out of nowhere. They came from opposite directions but got there about the same time. One had parked behind us and got out to help, the other, we could't see where he had come from! They were able to help us get the car up on the trailer and then the one who had parked behind us left while the one who seemed to have just appeared there helped us secure the tires and secure the car onto the trailer so we could go. Another car drove up and parked behind us which was wonderful as it helped us be able to see better in the darkness. I wish there was some way to thank all of the people who had helped us! Once the car was secure, we headed off.

Except something wasn't as secure as we had hoped it to be, and as we drove towards the on-ramp, I could see orange sparks coming from beneath the car. Which meant we had to pull into a parking lot and assess the situation.

Somehow the car had come loose, and then had gone over the front of the trailer and was resting on the barrier tire that was there for exactly that reason. My car was stuck.

I finally decided to call the tow company. We couldn't see any other way to get the car off the trailer.

Pat from Quick Tow Towing came, and when he saw the situation of my car on the trailer, the look on his face didn't inspire much confidence. We talked about different scenarios for saving my car, but he basically told us that anything he did, I would have to sign a waiver saying I wouldn't sue them and I understood there could be a ridiculous amount of damage to my car. He said anything he did would take the bumper right off the car. And so we hemmed and hawed a little, and stalled a lot, looking at the hopelessness of the situation. And then Pat received some inspiration. He suggested I get into the car and put the emergency breaks on to lock the back wheels, and then step on the break as hard as I could to stop the front wheels from spinning while my dad pulled his truck forward slowly. Meanwhile, he would push the tail end of his trailer beneath my car and with my car attached to his truck, my dad pulling from the front, me not letting the wheels spin, and him holding it from behind and underneath, we could maybe somehow jump the car off the front of the trailer and back into the tire ruts. Since it was a 50/50 chance of success, I decided we might as well try it. If it succeeded, it would be yet another miracle to add to the day, and if it failed, it would't do any more damage than what he would have to do to get it off any other way.

And so, with pleading in my heart that it would work, we began the experiment.

And it worked! Exactly like he had hoped it would! The car suffered no additional damage other than some slight scratching on the door from the tire of the trailer it was high-tailed on.

Again, Pat was wonderful! He was so helpful and kind. We got everything figured out on transportation and then, at 12:30 am, we headed home.

And now, I am so emotionally exhausted. Yesterday was full of the most incredible highs, and the deepest lows I have ever gone through in one day. I am so tired and know that we have a few more trials to come because of the car. But when I remove the emotion and evaluate the truth of the situation, I am comforted. Things will somehow work themselves out. Jeffrey needs the van for work, of course. And I can't drop him off because of where he works, but I need the van for car pool for school on Wednesday. We are not sure what we are going to do at this moment, but I know it will somehow be resolved, because as I so plainly witnessed yesterday, God cares about us. He cares about the things that we care about. He is deeply involved in our lives, even if we don't always recognize it. One way or another, this worry about transportation that weighs on my mind will be resolved. And yes, I know it is very much a first world problem, only having one vehicle. I understand that. But we will be guided through this, as we are with everything, because that is the truth of the situation. God loves us and wants us to be happy and to succeed! This much I know.


Susan Anderson said...

What an inspirational story of tender mercies right and left. Thanks for sharing this, and I have a feeling some more of these little blessings will come your way as you wrestle with the car problem.


Gretel@LatinaMormon said...

Oh whoa Amy what a day. That is awesome you were able to see President and Sister Lee and some of the sister missionaries. So sorry about the situation of the car, glad you were able to bring your car back home. Hopefully you can get the car fixed. Car problems are no fun.

Crystal Collier said...

Now that's an adventure!