Have you ever had your day seriously disrupted by something that you absolutely didn't foresee, only to be wonderfully surprised at the outcome? You might say, "Sure, that's life." Things come up unexpectedly, and the best way to handle it most times is to roll with the punches.
That pretty much sums up my day last Thursday. I had appointment after appointment scheduled, beginning at 9:30 with a Lincoln Live interview that I'd been looking forward to for months. Afterwards, I was going to head out to open a lockbox for a termite inspector, before jamming out to Sacramento where I was to be featured on the Real Estate Insider radio show on Money 105.5. From there, I was scheduled to meet a client at a home she and her husband are in escrow on in Georgetown.
In the middle of the night, however, my 17-month-old baby woke up crying. She felt hot. She'd clearly caught a cold that was being passed around my family. I brought her to bed with us, and when we woke up in the morning, it was obvious that she needed some "mommy time'. I cleared as much of my schedule as possible, making the decision to stay home with her instead.
This meant, for the first time since the inception of Lincoln Live, we had no weekly show. In addition, I canceled my radio appearance and found another agent to open up for the termite inspector. The only appointment I couldn't get out of was the Georgetown appointment. I figured I'd play it by ear and cancel well before my buyer headed out for Georgetown if my baby wasn't feeling better when it was time for me to leave.
My daughter, Lily, seemed to be doing much better, so in the afternoon, I had my assistant come sit with her and headed out. By the time I got up to Georgetown, I could see small patches of snow that littered the ground on the side of the road. I wasn't worried though because even in my Toyota Camry, I somehow always think I'm invincible. Just like I said when I wrote you in the new year, I always believe that things will somehow work out, and they somehow always do. So on I trekked, out of the town of Georgetown, into the country, and right out of cell phone range.
As I approached the property, I could see an older man in a late model sedan sitting at the bottom of the driveway. The man had gotten turned around, and a kind man with a red beard was redirecting him back to the main road. As the older gentleman drove off, I stopped to talk with the man with the red beard to see what I could learn about the property. He explained that he'd bought a neighboring property about a year ago, and chatted with me for a moment about that. After a moment, I introduced myself and learned that his name was Jason. We conversed for a little longer before I told him it was nice to meet him and headed up the driveway to prepare the home for my buyers.
My buyers came and looked around and soon it started to snow pretty hard. We decided that we'd better head out before we got stuck. No sooner than we started up the hill, me in my Camry and my buyers in their truck, than a vehicle ahead of us got halfway up the hill and stopped! I couldn't believe it. I knew at that moment, I wasn't going to get out of there anytime soon. And to make matters worse, I had no cell phone coverage!
My buyers were able to get their vehicle unstuck and drove to the top of the hill. They started down the hill to check on me, but I didn't want them to get stuck too, so I insisted that they get out of there, ahead of the storm. After a little while, a kid came running down the hill to retrieve his sisters off of the school bus that was stuck at the bottom of the hill. I asked him to call my husband and let him know what was going on. A gentleman in a truck stopped and offered to pull me up the hill, so I gladly agreed. The kid ran down the hill to let me know my husband was on his way, but I told him to tell my husband not to come. "Just tell him to go check on Lily," I told the kid. After all, I'm invincible and there was no way I was going to get stuck again!
When I got to the top of the hill, I called my husband from the kid's cell phone. He insisted on coming to help me, of course. I told him that I was heading towards town and that I'd call him when I got there. I got off the phone with him and drove down the hill and around a sharp S curve. It was so nice not to be stuck anymore! My car didn't feel 100% stable on the snow, but I figured if I kept up my momentum, I'd be back to the main road and headed to town in no time.
I was coming up to another S curve; this one turned and went sharply uphill at the same time. I tried to tackle the curve with quick momentum, only to get stuck on that hill also! The only difference was that this time, I was on the wrong side of the street and wasn't visible around the curve. I was in pretty bad shape!
My cell phone got a signal for a minute, so I called my husband to clue him in on the situation. He wanted me to get out of the car and wait on the side of the road where it was safer. I decided to take my chances, since getting out of the car would mean getting heavily showed on. As I waited, a big red Jeep started up the hill. As the driver got closer to me, he rolled down his window. Turns out, it was the nice man with the red beard, Jason! He explained that I better not stay there like a sitting duck, but rather I'd better back the car down against the hill as best I could, and that he'd give me a ride into town to meet my husband.
I hopped in the car with Jason and off we went. After conversing with him for a few minutes, it was clear to me that despite all of the obstacles, it was a pretty good day. I was talking to an extremely intelligent and accomplished man with conviction, integrity, and someone who'd even authored an incredible book. That connection was worth all of the trouble of the day. I even got my very own copy of his book! Regardless of the trouble, I was glad I'd taken that trip.
I believe that nothing happens by accident. Life is a series of events...some good, some bad. It's been said many times before that it's not about what happens to you, but what you do with what happens to you that defines character. Not being one to want to sit around and whine, I choose to find the good no matter what.
You may be wondering what happened with my car? When my husband met Jason and me, he first threw snowballs at me and then insisted on going to try to get my car. After all, he was in a big truck with four wheel drive and wouldn't get stuck. But we certainly wouldn't be able to get my car for a couple days if we didn't try. So we said goodbye to Jason and off we went.
We headed back up the hill to my car where we met another kind couple who helped us get the car unstuck. We let most of the air out of my front tires and drove the car back down the hill to gain enough momentum to make it back up, and off we went! An added bonus - I feel a lot more confident in my ability to drive in the snow after that experience, and learned that there's some pretty kind people in Georgetown.
The moral of the story is to always look for the good in every situation. Sometimes, it's harder to find than other times, but it's always there. Somewhere. Thanks again, Jason, for your help on the hill and for taking the time to help a stranger. Your kindness will not be forgotten!
Have an incredible day!