Monday, September 26, 2011


During our road trip we had lose plans to connect with a couple of old friends. One person in particular, who lives in Oroville, is a dear dear friend from way back. In fact this lovely lady sang at our wedding and her daughters were in our youth group back when Bruce and I were leading. So we hoped it would work out to connect with her while passing through her town.

However, I thought she was still residing in the little community of Chesaw, which is where she moved about 12 or 15 years ago. I left her messages on Facebook about hoping to see her when we traveled that way but I didn't hear back from her until after we embarked on the trip. While checking my messages and facebook in the library in the town of Republic,  I found a reply. She left her phone number and said to call when we got closer to town. OK!!

When we got into Chesaw however, there was no cell service. of course. we were in the mountains in the middle of nowhere!! So we went inside the little general store there and asked the proprietor if he knew our friend by any chance. Well, of course he did! In a town of about 25 people, why wouldn't he? But he said she had moved to Oroville a few years ago. Oops. Somehow I missed that in the messages she left me!

(On another note, we enjoyed chatting with the store keeper and discovered his brother-in-law graduated from high school with me! small world!!)

No matter, we enjoyed the sites of Chesaw and figured we would call her when we got to Oroville later that night. I got her voice mail, left her a message and we hoped we'd hear from her sometime that evening.
checking voice mail ~~ first time all week!

Meanwhile, as we settled into camp for the night we realized 2 things. We needed quarters for the showers in the morning and we needed gas in the van. We decided that after dinner we'd head up to a gas station and take care of both needs.

After dinner, and dishes were done, we hopped in the van and set out. We found a gas station/mini mart right to the right of the park entrance! We pulled in and as Bruce waited I headed inside to prepay for the fuel.

As I approached the store door a slight figure of a woman dressed in jeans and flannel shirt scooted through the door just ahead of me. Something in her stature made me study her. I paid the cashier for the gas and waited for my change, all the while glancing over at the back of this woman as she shopped, hoping for a glimpse of her face. She really looked like my friend but what were the odds?

At last she turned and I saw her profile and it was enough to make me call out her name: Debbie ???
She turned--- mouth O--- and eyes wide! Yes, it WAS our friend!! 

Again what were the odds that we would come to the same gas station at the same night at the same time?!! But that's the kind of God we have. it was not a coincidence-- it was a serendipitous blessing straight from God's pocket into our lives.

We hugged and laughed and exclaimed over the near missed connection. We stood in the parking lot and chatted for about 20 minutes or so, wishing we could talk longer. she serves as an EMT however for the county and was on call that night.

She encouraged us to come by her house in the morning for coffee and a longer visit, telling us if she wasn't home  (which was likely, given she would still be on call) to just tour her flower gardens and pick some flowers. She recently has started a small business with her dahlias and other gorgeous flora called "Outa the Garden".

The next morning we did drive over to her place and sadly she was not home.

But we did follow her instructions and toured her lovely jungle of riotous blooms!!

We did not pick any because we were going to head home through Canada and figured they might not let us bring flowers across the border.

So we took pictures and breathed in sighs of contentment at everything we saw there.

I'm so glad we had those few moments at the mini mart!

It was a short, sweet visit but it was still a blessing and...

it was a delightful surprise and a testimony to God caring for the minute details of our lives.


  1. Glad you are enjoying your trip. Beautiful photos! :)

  2. I love that story and I was glad you got a few minutes with your friend. Those pictures are wonderful, she looks like a very talented gardener. Enjoying following you on your trip.


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