My daughter, Christine and I chose a blue highway out of Boston headed to Northampton, Massachusetts today and that made all the difference. We found out that her book, “The Power of Slow” is on the shelves of not one but two local libraries when we needed to stop in Greenfield. What I miss in Virginia is the God-made ponds that dot the landscape here, with red buds of maples mingled with white birches. We found Louisa Mae Olcott’s home where she wrote “Little Women” and had the most wonderful guide, Sigrid who told us this was her second home. Louisa’s sister, May, her model for Amy, was a wonderful artist and their Mom and Dad unlike mine, let her write on the windowsills. That was in Concord, where the colonists turned back the 700 redcoats and our Revolution began. We also found on Route 5. the Yankee Candle Company, which sells alot more than candles — and Christine found Andreas a great pizza cutter. It’s fun to take the back roads on God Trips. Especially when you find a frisbee catching cow.
My sister, Patricia and I still take God trips together
My sister and I grew up in a family which I only recently realized was not entirely normal. Most people who start out going to the movies, go to the movies. Not our family.
Dad and Mom called them “mystery trips.” My younger sister, Patricia and I would think we were going to go see a “Ma and Pa Kettle” movie but in the trunk of the Buick were out little blue suitcases packed for who knows where. One time we ended up in Cape Cod. Dad followed the red lights of the car in front of us because that was all we could see in the pea soup fog. We ended up following the man’s car into his garage. Guess where we slept that night? (The family did take us in. After all, we had our pajamas and toothbrush.)
Another time we thought we were going to an amusement park and we ended up in the Thousand Islands. Another time our car broke down in a town so small they didn’t have a motel, and we stayed in the home of the local banker who just happened by the gas station.
God Trip Rule: What I learned from those trips is to simply let go.
God trips are all about NOT knowing where you will end up. All you need to do is follow where God leads you. You might have an idea of where you think you are going, but as Proverbs 16:9 says, “In his heart a man plans his course, but the Lord determines his steps.”
I am writing this blog because it is on these trips that I have learned the most about trust. I am never late, never in the wrong place, never with the wrong person, never lost. Rather I am on time, in the right place, with the right person and always where I am supposed to be.
As Mitch Hedberg once said, “I’m sick of following my dreams. I’m just going to ask them where they’re going and hook up with them later.”
Meanwhile, enjoy the trip…and let me know where you end up. And pack some pj’s.
Mr. Electric showed up in minutes
His name was Tommy Dudley and what he said in the Yellow Pages was true.
My sister had been out of town for a few days and when she returned she noticed the waterfall that cooled the water in her fish pond had stopped. We had a heat index of 105 degrees yesterday, and her fish were hiding under a rock and the algae was growing.
“I will have to wait until Monday,” she said mournfully. “My electrician can’t come until then.”
Remembering that old adage, “Let your fingers do the walking”, we looked in the Yellow Pages under Electrician, and there he was: Mr. Electric. His ad read, “Your Expectation: Immediate Response.” She called him, and within half an hour he and his companion arrived in two vans, diagnosed the problem, (no, it wasn’t the chipmunk eating through the wires as we had thought), did a temporary fix until a new pump which had shorted could be purchased, and voila! Water falling.
What else did it say in their ad? “We have the power to make things better!”
You can believe it. After all, it was a God Trip.
God Trip Rule: One door closes, another opens and sometimes you don’t even have to leave the house.
OK, now I should not be surprised.
When my daughter, Christine reached for her camera on the boat trip around Manhattan, May 10th, it was gone. It had all her family vacation pictures from Florida, Virginia and New York City and special ones of her visit with her best friend, Amy in Alexandria. But as my friend, Kate always says, “God’s delays are not God’s denials.” We both had faith it would show up some day.
So where did her camera go? Read the email I received yesterday:
I am emailing you because my mother found a hot pink camera in a taxi in NYC and
I found a picture of a computer with this website and recognized you! I’m sorry
for looking at the pictures, but I wanted to see if I could return the camera.
Please let me know where I can mail it to you. I live in Venezuela, but I can
send it to you during the weekend of June 18th because I will be flying to
If it is not yours but you know who it belongs to, please let me know so I can
Yes. Christine will get her camera back from someone in Venezuela and as God trips always go: we have made a new friend. Thank you, Alexandra. You have a great Mom. Maybe some day we can all meet in New York City.
Christine on the boat just before realizing her camera was missing out of her shorts pocket
“The greatest of all human needs is to feel connected.” Darryl Kollman