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    Two Visions of America by Don Jans

    Is this divine intervention?

    By S. Bond – Citizens Journal Contributor

    This story describes a series of acts that confirm my belief that there is goodness left in the world.  Depending on your viewpoint, did it all happen randomly by pure chance at the right time and place or by divine intervention in answer to my prayers to God?


    We had a family emergency. We needed to make it across the country in three days driving over 2200 miles.  Our property owner agreed that whatever we needed he would help.  Our neighbors took care of mail, cleaned the house, and got rid of trash, etc. so we could get on the road ASAP since we did not know when we would be back.  We got on the road that night.  The shortest route was to go to Vegas and cross Death Valley, go up and down the Utah and Colorado mountains and through the corn fields of Nebraska, Iowa and Illinois and keep going east.  

    We have a 2007 Ford Focus with standard transmission referred to as a stick shift (a car that you have to shift by hand for those of you who think a car should park itself) that has over 274,000 miles now 279,000.  We were stuck in a traffic jam in Nevada when the temperature gauge starting rising and suddenly the road cleared.  We have no idea of why.  The next day as we left our hotel in Colorado the clerk told us to check the road reports because mudslides had caused parts of I-70 to close.  Guess what, the pass opened that morning.  As we traversed the mountains of Colorado enjoying the beauty on our way to Denver we ran into road construction again at the top of approximately a 5% grade pass near Parshall, Colorado. 

    Broken down cars and trucks lined the side of the road everywhere.  We almost crested the top of the pass when our clutch overheated not allowing us to shift into any gear.  We could not move.  We rolled the car to the side of the road as angry drivers sped past showing no concern to allow us to get the car to the side of the road safely.  (Just a note, everyone has a place to be, please think about the other drivers when in traffic not just you.  That one car length ahead could mean cutting off someone who has a manual transmission and guess what that does it, it burns up the clutch causing it to seize and so now you have a vehicle broke down in the middle of the lane causing even more traffic problems.  Next time do not cut folks off and especially big trucks.) 

    Once we got the car off to the side of the road, a motorcyclist stopped to help who had a towing company.  He was trying to call his staff to come get us as we were on the phone with our insurance company to get a tow.  Next thing we know a tow truck with a SUV already on his bed stopped and picked us up, bypassing 10 other cars. 

    This tow truck driver helped call our insurance to get approval as we were going down the road.  Our insurance company had the towing company take us west to Breckenridge instead of east to Golden.  So the boss of the towing company called our insurance company and directed us to a transmission shop that was located in the direction we needed to go and close enough that we did not have to pay extra towing charges. 

    Ryan’s Recovery  is awesome.  Our driver, Kyle always has his dogs with him.

    Ryanss Dog

    I was able to pet his dogs and calm down on the trip through the passes to Golden.  What a great way to calm a distraught driver especially if kids are involved.  We got to AC Transmission Golden  in Golden, Colorado.  They were backed up and the earliest they could get us into a bay was going to be the following day.  The owner asked us what happened.  We told him where we needed to be the next day and why.   He had one of his mechanics open a bay and inspect the car and then took it for a road test and got us back on the road.  He refused to charge us.  We were able to drive straight through to our destination and thanks to many rainstorms in Nebraska and Iowa and no more mountains the car and clutch stayed cool.  Before we started our return trip, we took the car to a shop again for a check up to make sure there would be no issues on the return trip.

    Once we got to our destination, we took over the care of our granddaughter and then of course we had other issues to solve.  We found an Extended Stay America about 30 minutes from where we needed to go.  The staff and residents saw the newborn and accepted us just like family.  They even gave us a gift bag of baby stuff to help us out.  They are still in contact with us.  One day we were eating at Shadow Brewing (by the way the owner helped us find a hotel) and a couple with a 6 month old came in with the baby in its car seat.  I went to talk with them for pointers and we got into a discussion on car seats.  The wife told her husband to go out to our car and help us adjust the seat.  Turns out the car seat we were given had no adjustments and the baby’s head rocked back and forth and up and down.  I had to hold her head while the car was in motion.  This couple told us about car seats that allow for adjustments once in the car.  We didn’t know any better; we are in our 60’s (pay attention to car seat rules since this is now apparently on the most states drivers tests) when we were kids most cars did not have seat belts and there were no car seats back then.  The wife set us up with a 20% coupon and told us what store to go to that will help.  We thanked them for their advice and told them we were going that evening to buy a new car seat but the baby had a meltdown so we went back to the hotel instead. 

    When I opened the diaper bag I found a note from the couple with $200 to buy a good safe car seat for our grand baby.  Are you seeing a pattern here, we needed something and God put someone or something in place to take care of it.  We went the next day to the buybuyBABY store.  The staff had us bring in our stroller and helped us pick out the best seat for our needs and set it up. They could have sold us a new stroller and car seat but made sure that we bought only what we needed.  I then spoke with the manager and explained about the couple’s generosity.  He helped us set up a gift certificate in this couple’s name for someone who really needs help. 

    We took the northern route back to lessen the heat load on the car and us and to avoid the fires.  There were great folks along the way.  For example, we made reservations in Gillette, Wyoming at the Arbuckle Lodge.  The young lady who made our reservation stayed late and helped take care of the baby while we got our stuff moved in and the hotel had free laundry so we were able to have clean clothes.  Now that’s service.  We stopped for food and for the baby to have a break in Park City, Utah.  A lady noticed that I was having trouble trying to feed the baby, hold onto the diaper bag and the baby while my husband was trying to find a parking spot.  She offered to help. Turns out she is a nurse that works with teenagers trying to get off drugs.  She gave me some great tips on what to look for and resources for information.  We stopped in Reno at Great Basin Brewery for food and the wait staff got us ice for the baby bottles and found out what highways were open and closed and helped us determine the best route around the fires to go home.

    Once we got home, our neighbors had filled our refrigerator with food. They come over daily to take her out in the stroller, help with feedings and diaper changes. They provide us with all kinds of items needed from a pack n play to a baby play station to a swing but most important of all, support.  One of our neighbors, a retired sheriff told us about Tri-County Regional Center.  We called and in less than a week, they scheduled an assessment and set up Early Start therapy to minimize any side effects from the drugs in the baby’s system while in the womb.  We located a great baby doctor who got her records from the clinic and hospital so that we could get her immunization on track.  This was no small feat.  Everything fell in place to ensure that the baby has the best chance she can have.  Without our neighbors, I would still be looking for help.  The baby is doing great. The marina baby has a great support group. Keep in mind I have never changed even a diaper in my life, and my husband’s last child was 35 years ago.  It is not as if we know anything about raising kids today and apparently, many rules have changed.  For everyone who helped us out and are still helping us we want to say thank you. We could not raise the marina baby without your help.

    I took the car in for a checkup.  Our local mechanic spent awhile checking the vehicle, determined everything was good except maybe the clutch, and set us up with an appointment at a transmission shop for a free inspection.  They spent hours going over it and said good to go.  Considering everything our little two-door hatchback Focus went through I believe someone definitely was looking out for it and us.

    These are most of the major interactions that occurred during our trip.  Along the way, we had all kinds of smaller acts of kindness.  We stopped at mostly brewpubs and truck stops.  Why you may ask, because usually the people who own and/or go to brew pubs and travel stops go out of their way to help and do not judge you.  For those with kids you know the look, why are you traveling with a newborn what a bad parent you are. 

    You can believe that all these interactions were just random but the chances that all these occurring at the right time and place is a bit much for me to believe that it was all just random occurrences.  I pray that you may see that God is working in our world.  He cannot stop bad things from happening but provides the opportunity for people to help deal with the bad.  Will you choose to help others?  Will you choose to believe?

    S. Bond and her husband are residents of Oxnard, CA and regular contributors and supporters of Citizens Journal.


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