YT: Gifts are where you find them

    October 4, 2010

I had another lesson in the Creator’s miraculous goodness yesterday- at the Oceanside Swap Meet of all places.

After three Sundays of trying to get to the swap meet, I decided to run there with Max yesterday. Josh wasn’t feeling well, so I thought it would be a good way for us to get out of the house. I needed a trackball for my phone, and I hoped I would find one there. I knew exactly the guy who would have it. He’s always in the same spot, so I went directly there. Nope- didn’t have it.

I had already paid $2 to get in, and Josh needed to rest. I decided to take a leisurely stroll through the place, going a way we never go so that I could check out the areas that we always miss.

Wandering, wandering.

Bikes? DVDs? A toy?

It was nice to be out in a strange environment- staying with the light.

I found a DVD for myself (Unlocking the Mystery of Life: The Case for Intelligent Design). I had to get it. It sounded too perfect. And why else would it have been there on a table of 90s rom-coms and movies with Arnold Schwarzenegger?

Down the line- classic Disney movies on VHS for $1 each: The Aristocats, The Rescuers, The Fox and the Hound.

Keep going? Or just go home?

We were almost at the tip of the triangular lot (it used to be a drive-in theater), so… let’s keep going. See what we see. We had never been all the way to the tip before. Why not? Maybe I’d find a teapot or a movie for Josh.

Winding, wandering. Last row! It’s a picnic area? With vendors facing it. Down, down- and look! The absolute last guy to see in the whole swap meet has DVDs.

1 box, 2 boxes. I thought there were maybe 5 or 6 boxes, but he brought out more from his truck. He was packing up, but now there were 15 boxes. I looked through all of them, thinking that I might find something better than Conan the Barbarian. Maybe There Will Be Blood…?

Standing at the end of the table. Back and forth. Which one? Which one? I turned my head slightly in consideration- toward the adjoining vendor…

‘That stroller looks too new and black to be… HOLY $#:%! HOLY $#:%! THAT’S MY STROLLER!!!’ It had gone missing more than a month ago, and I thought it was gone forever.

“That’s my stroller,” I said out loud. “Look! It’s stitched under this velcro where it ripped.” I pulled it back and YES! It even had Max’s diapers still in the bottom.

The vendor said he bought it from someone and paid $10. He wanted $10 for it. Ugh… annoying. It’s my stroller. It disappeared from my house weeks ago. Someone must have taken it from the porch.

PAUSE.

But it was a miracle that it was there in front of me at that moment. Against all odds. I saw the pieces of the puzzle falling in place in front of me. All the pieces- so many NO’s turned to YES’s to put me in front of that stroller at that moment. It was like a little nudge in the ribs. A little ‘hey, it’s me. I love you.’

YES! $10?… ok. It was worth it. I couldn’t NOT buy it, right? I couldn’t even walk away. I had found the proverbial needle in a haystack. What if it disappeared again? So… fine. $10.

The only question at that point was how I was going to get both the jogging stroller and the found stroller back to the house- maybe a mile and half, walking. I decided to drag one and push the other. Whatever. If that’s what’s required of me to be showered with (((L O V E))), it’s a small price to pay. Who am I to say ‘No’ when everything else is saying ‘Yes’? Even for a second. Only in my head.

‘Oh! Look! It’s Mike! And Josh!’

Soooo… they took the stroller in the car, and Max and I went for a runnnnn!

Incidentally, Josh took my phone apart and fixed the trackball that had been broken for weeks. Problem solved.

State. Of. Grace.

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