You ever get that feeling…? Day after day, plodding through life? Monotony. Routines. Boredom seems to be creeping in from all sides, surrounding us with dreariness…Where’s the adventure? The excitement?
Well. The other day something happened, and I discovered that boring-is-beautiful…and that excitement can be chaos. I learned to count my blessings long before Thanksgiving Day arrives…!
It was one of those dreary afternoons when you just want to crawl back in bed. Maybe cuddle with the hubby, for lack of better things to do. I was bored stiff—longing for an adventure of some kind. Wearily, I yawned and crawled beneath the covers for an afternoon nap with my husband.
Suddenly, there came a loud BOOM that shook the house.
“Earthquake!” I shouted, leaping off the bed. I’m a Cali-gal, now, and I know just what to do. I grabbed for my skirt and danced a jig, trying to shimmy into my clothes and untwist my undergarments. Everything seemed tangled and all mixed up….
Except for my husband. “No,” Michael said calmly. “It’s not an earthquake.”
I stopped dancing about. “Look at the lights!” I said.
We stared. Power surges were traveling throughout our lines. Lights flickered. Digital clocks blinked. Electrical devices buzzed and beeped.
Michael went outside and I hurried after him, pulling on the rest of my clothes. We could see that a dump truck had slammed into our power lines, jolting the connecters at the top of our house. It was causing mayhem with our electrical supply.
The smoke detectors went off inside the house and there was a distinct smell in the air.
“Fire!” I said, running back inside. “The fluorescent light in the kitchen is hot. It’s smoking!”
Michael hurried to shut off the breakers, receiving a jolt from the medal box for his troubles. The whole circuit panel felt hot.
We hurried through the house, checking for fires. It was surreal. Boring afternoons are not supposed to turn into mayhem! Not even when you’re wishing for adventure.
Through a window, I could see that our neighbors were already on their cell phones, calling the authorities. They were talking as fast as their jaws could flap.
Meantime, the dump truck driver was trying to make a fast getaway. Michael ran after him and jumped up on the truck’s running board. They exchanged pleasantries—none of it very pleasant. Then the driver drove off without a backward glance.
Suddenly, smoke started billowing across the property. “Where’s that smoke coming from?” I shouted.
Nobody knew, but the air was getting thicker by the minute. We scurried about with renewed energy. “Lord, have mercy!” Smoke everywhere. It rode on the wind—sweeping around us and making me frantic. Where was it coming from?
At last, I heard Michael’s words, drifting to me on the breeze: “Don’t worry! It’s just a neighbor burning his trash. It’s under control.”
I slumped in relief, but only for a moment. From the top of our driveway, came a rush of noise and flashing
lights. A ladder truck was pulling up. Then another fire truck and an ambulance arrived. Seconds later, we were besieged by firemen and EMT’s.
“Who’s been electrocuted?” asked the firemen, tromping across our flowerbeds. Down the driveway they came. The air was filled with the sound of heavy boots and urgent words. “Somebody got tangled up in the power lines? Where is he?”
“What?” I shook my head, dazed.
Another wave of emergency workers descended upon us…they seemed to be coming in droves. “Um…I don’t think this is necessary,” I said. “Nobody’s been electrocuted.”
They looked disappointed.
A patrol car spun into our driveway. The lady cop jumped out. She whipped out her notebook and started writing fiercely. “The dump truck guy…?” she said, flourishing her pen. “The hit-and-run driver? Tell me all about him. Did you see it happen, ma’am?”
It took quite a while for the situation to sort itself all out. The power company finally arrived and fixed the power lines. The firemen checked out our house and left. The patrol lady went away with her notebook full. She’d interrogated me, my husband, the neighbors, and the stray cat.
Well. Not the cat. But almost.
I heaved a sigh of relief when the last vehicle disappeared down the road. It had been a harrowing afternoon, but something good had come of it. The trucking company agreed to buy us new carpeting and another light fixture to replace the old smoky ones.
If we hadn’t been at home when the events happened, however, the story would’ve been vastly different.
“The house probably would’ve burned to the ground,” Michael said somberly. I nodded. Thanksgiving at the O’Neals would’ve been a sorry mess, this year….But God had been merciful!
The sun was setting by now. Day was done. “I need a good dose of chocolate,” I said to Michael. My hubby obliged. He made hot cocoa and buttery popcorn. He raided the fridge. Kipper snacks. Sardines. And a little of my leftover “squash pizza.”
We dined in our dim little kitchen beneath the burnt-out light fixture. I lit candles and copper lamps and turned on my rainforest waterfall. Night crept in around us….and it was good. We still had a roof over our heads and all of our possessions.
Bowing our heads, we thanked the Lord for our house and for our strange larder…for the blessed outcome that had come from chaos. We thanked God for all of the “boring days” in our past…and for the future ones yet to come.
There are several morals to this story, my dear country neighbor. First—good things do come from the bad. And secondly: you should cherish the mundane!…The monotonous routine. Your life can be turned upside-down in a moment, and it might never be the same again.
Now, folks—the story’s over. Go have yourselves a blessed Thanksgiving! Be especially thankful if it’s monotonous.
…And downright boring!