I've just returned from a vacation with my family on the Delaware shore. It turned out to be a great trip. However, it started off on a rough note. On the way to our vacation destination, we attended a family party in New Jersey that was hosted by my nephew and his wife. While we were at the party, my daughter and her boyfriend left early to attend a Taylor Swift concert. The original plan was for them to meet us in Delaware after the concert. Instead, their car broke down alongside the New Jersey Turnpike and I suddenly found myself racing to an auto parts store with my brother (a one-time mechanic) to try to rescue them.As it turns out, we didn't have the tools needed to replace the broken part. Fortunately, we did manage to move the car off the highway and convince a gas station manager to allow us to park the vehicle there overnight. Since the concert venue was 20 minutes away, we were able to drop my daughter and her boyfriend at the concert in time to make the show and make arrangements for friends of ours who were also attending the concert to bring them back to our hometown with them.
Because my brother lives a short distance from the stadium where the concert was held, I dropped him off as well. I was extremely grateful for his help. But by the time I returned to my nephew's house to meet up with the rest of my family, it was much later than we'd originally planned to depart to Delaware.
As we made our way south, we decided to grab a bite to eat and pulled over at a rest stop in New Jersey. Looking to make up for lost time, we decided to place our orders to go. By the time we reached the checkout area, we discovered that you can only retrieve "to go" bags after you've made your purchase. Had we known this, we would have picked up a tray to move our food along at the beginning of our order.
Sensing my frustration, one of the workers went to another section of the concession area and grabbed a large bag for us to place our items in. Maybe he saw a look in my eye. I don't know what it was but that simple gesture brought a sense of relief after a day filled with tension. We continued on our journey and arrived at our destination late that night.
The next day, our daughter planned to meet up with us. Since she's a fairly new driver, my wife and I were both a bit anxious about her making the drive safely from our home. Once she arrived, we were able to put our minds at ease and start enjoying our vacation. It had been a zany and emotional 24 hours.
When things don't always go as planned, it's nice to know that there are people who have your back. Like a brother who offers to provide roadside assistance. Or a fast food employee whose random act of kindness can bring a smile to your face after a weary day.