Thursday, November 25, 2010

I just got lost, every river that I tried to cross.....

Wednesday was a pretty low-key day as we all needed to recuperate from our HUGE day at Universal Studios the day before.  We got a few things ready for the Thanksgiving dinner my Mom and Dad were hosting the next day, caught up on laundry and even found time to post a couple of pictures on Facebook.  Later in the evening we headed down to Clearwater to pick up our T shirts and partake in the festivities for the St. Petersburg Times Turkey Trot we were participating in on Thanksgiving morning.  There was a tent at the far end of the stadium for people to meet each other if they got separated, I got a funny picture of my kids there..... read on to see the foreshadowing this picture was.....

(left - lining up at the start of the 5K fun run)  Thursday morning, THANKSGIVING.  We all had to be up at 4:30 AM to leave for the run.  We had to get there so early to make sure we could get a parking space. (it is about an hour drive from my parents house).  It was a good plan, but it meant having to be VERY sleepy AND waiting around for quite a while before the races started.  The races started on time: first was the  5K competitive run (which none of us were running in) and after those runners were off they began lining up the 5K fun-run - so Grandpa, Grandma, Sarah, Noah, and Micah headed off to the start while Rob and Krissie waited in the stadium stands for their line up time (about an hour later, they were running in the 10K competitive race).  
   The 5K fun run started off great, but towards the end of the race the boys started to get that competitive itch and wanted to go faster and faster - Grandma was doing her best to keep up with them, but they were getting further and further away.  She told them to wait for her at the finish line and those boys took off....... then Noah decides he wanted to run the last quarter mile or so, leaving Micah walking by himself.  Micah decided to stop and wait for Grandma, but they missed each other......
  So, 10 minutes before Rob and Krissie are supposed to go line up for their 10K race they see Grandma cross the finish line by herself and she calls, "Did you see the boys?' - so we begin to madly scan the stadium near the finish line and  Noah was at there, but there was no sign of Micah.  About 10 minutes later Sarah and Grandpa cross the line, yet we still couldn't see Micah.  Rob left to begin walking the race backwards, Krissie found a police officer and alerted him, Grandma went back to the point where she and the boys were separated, and Noah and Grandpa headed to the Lost People tent hoping Micah would head there.  
  There were over 16,000 people registered to run in the 4 different races that morning, and that doesn't count spectators, vendors, family, etc.... so it was mass chaos trying to even walk around let alone locate a small 8-year old boy.  As more time wore on the police enlisted more help since it seemed likely that he wasn't at the finish line.  The took a description from an increasingly panicked Krissie - Rob, Grandma, and Sarah were all out looking in different places, they were making announcements over the loudspeaker.... it was a VERY stressful time.  
  THEN - finally - about an hour after my mom crossed the finish line and we started looking a nice couple crossed the finish line hand-in-hand with Micah, whose Daddy just happened to be making yet another pass in that area and spotted him.  After regaining HIS composure he headed to the lost people tent where the police were making Krissie stay-put and soon everyone had hugged, cried, and kissed Micah.  
  Micah's story - After Noah had taken off, Micah had decided to stop and wait for Grandma - and after a time he started walking backwards to find Grandma  - after that didn't work out he began walking the race and found - what he thought - was the ending, where he began to wander around hollering for Noah.  This turned out not to be the ending, but the crowd waiting for the 10 K to start (which Rob and Krissie were not in because they were frantically searching for Micah).  When the horns blew to signal the start of that race the crowd began running and Micah realized he was in the wrong place and began, once again, to walk the right path.  Shortly after a couple asked him if he was lost.  Micah told them that he was lost and he needed to find his Grandma and brother.  They said that they would walk him to the end of the race and help him find his Mom and Dad, whom Micah thought might still be in the stadium bleachers (because that's where he last saw him).  
  a note from the author:  You all know the happy ending to this story, and I am sure after reading this you can see the potential for disaster.  God was sure with all of us that day.  Each of us had our own lessons that we learned.  Looking back now it's not that hard to write about (I am writing this blog post about 3 weeks later) because I know the ending... although, writing about it from this perspective really makes me grasp at how God's hand was in even the tiniest detail because of how it all worked out...and if even just one thing would have been different.... Well, I won't let myself go down THAT road because I do serve a sovereign and almighty King who was in every tiny detail that day working it out for His glory and to our tremendous relief.  That is why I wanted to type the whole story out - though everyone would like to just put that unpleasantness behind us (especially Noah whose punishment was great) - it is important to record stories like this - for all of us - but especially me to have a tangible example of God's grace and presence in every day life.  What a Thanksgiving lesson to learn.  Amen.
Once we were all in the car and headed towards home Krissie and Rob (who had missed their race) decided they needed some "time" - so Grandpa dropped them off at a nearby park where they ran for about an hour - still getting their 10 K in, but one their own instead.  Grandma and the kids went home to start preparing for the dinner.  After everyone was home, showered, and nerves were calmed we agreed to just focus on the blessing of everything turning out okay and just prepare a wonderful dinner for the guests we were expecting in a couple hours.  As the turkeys were cooking and the sides were being prepared company started arriving.  Grandma's sister and her husband (Auntie Carolyn and Uncle Ron) and Grandma and Grandpas neighbors, Joe and Judy Harris, all came over a bit early to hang out while dinner finished. Just as dinner was getting ready to be served Scott came over to join us (he is Grandpa's son from his first marriage).  We had a WONDERFUL dinner with truly tasty food.  The Sangria was awesome, Aunt Carolyn brought champagne; Joe (who is a baker by trade) made some fantastic desserts.  It was a really fantastic feast and we all went to bed very, very, very tired and extremely full!

 can you tell we're related?

The Feast - the kids at their table and the rest of us......
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