Oh No, Not Again…..

Last Sunday, Palm Sunday, was a glorious day in Hilton Head. Life tends to be a little lazy here. The three boys are enjoying themselves building sand castles and playing in the sun. Janet and I just continue to enjoy each other’s company sitting on the beach under an umbrella to reduce the risk of skin cancer. In short, life was pretty good. I had thought about writing a post about April Fool’s Day, but it seemed a little sacrilegious, especially in view of the fact that it was Palm Sunday. It just didn’t sit right with me to make light of the day that marked the entrance of Jesus into Jerusalem; the beginning of His last week on earth prior to His crucifixion and resurrection.

Last year, I wrote about five foolish things I have done in my life – that post was a big hit and many of you commented on it throughout the year. But this year, the day took a little different twist and ended with me getting a little amped up about something. But before that story, it is important to hear the back story.

The reason that we are in Hilton Head this time is because the hotel where we stay had an incident with our car last year. As a result, they asked us to return for several days, which we decided to do. Unfortunately, last year, while the car was in valet parking, someone really dented the rear door of our car. There was no denying that it happened while in valet parking, but it was very difficult to get satisfaction from the the Marriott office that handles that type of issue. The hotel here became frustrated with the sub-standard way the incident was handled, and ended up presenting us with a certificate for a three day stay at their property as a show of their desire to make sure we felt welcome.

So this year, we arrived last Thursday. There were six of us in the car and in addition to packing up our “happy van,” we used a cargo carrier to handle the rest of the stuff that wouldn’t fit into our vehicle. When we arrived, the desk was kind enough to let us know that they wanted to valet park our car for the week on a complimentary basis. Of course, I was skeptical. After all, last time it didn’t work out so well.

But it is convenient to just drop off your car when you get back to the hotel and know that it is being taken care of. For the most part, we haven’t even been out. Dinner down the street one night, a second dinner the next night, and then a quick trip to the drug store Sunday morning to pick up some prescription meds for Janet that couldn’t be ordered before we left Indianapolis. We returned to the hotel and then went down to the beach. Later in the afternoon, we called for the car to visit friends down the street.

I couldn’t believe what I saw when the car was delivered. There, big as life, the rear of the cargo carrier had been broken. It was apparent that it had hit some overhead obstacle. Thank God the man who greeted us when we picked up the car was at the scene and he confirmed that the carrier was not damaged when we arrived on Thursday evening. Not that I doubt that Marriott will handle this for us, but it is kind of like lightning striking the same place twice.

In fact, I even cautioned the valet people about the cargo carrier and expressed my concern that it would be damaged if put down in the garage. I was assured that it would be safe. No such luck….. Anyway, it kind of ruined my day, I am sad to report. Try as I might, I was annoyed that the damage had occurred. It was a needless error, once again. And to make things worse, the carrier needs to be used again in several weeks and I am trying to figure out how to hold it together with duct tape until we can get a new one. After researching replacements, the nearest store with a similar model is more than two hours away.

Pat, our friend back in Carmel, is already on the look-out back home and I hope that it can be replaced pretty quickly. Of course, I dread having to deal with all this red tape again. The reports and photos, then the waiting for a response. I hope that it is smoother than last year.

But the point of all this can be found in the Scripture. Somehow, it is appropriate that all this happened on April Fool’s Day. In Proverbs 20:3, we are told, “It is to a man’s honor to avoid strife, but every fool is quick to quarrel.” In other words, chill out. Life happens. Nobody was hurt in the incident and I’m sure that nobody did this on purpose. So, rather than get all freaked out, I put a smile on my face. Now understand that I still expect the hotel to step up and replace the carrier, but there is no point getting all jazzed about it.

Hopefully, it won’t take too much of my time to go through the gyrations that will be necessary to file an accurate report. But that’s life. My encouragement this evening is to make sure that we all put things in perspective. While I might be frustrated by all this, things could have been worse. The car could have been hit again, or somebody could have been hurt. None of that happened, unless one of the cargo braces was damaged when the carrier was hit. Any my prayer is that when you have the urge to get angry, you remember that life goes on, God is still on the throne, and things can always be worse.

So there you have it – a lesson about not being foolish – on April 1st. Grace and God’s peace…


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