I drove most of the way, as planned, but was feeling drowsy just north of Beaver so Lance took the wheel. Five miles south of Beaver we saw a vehicle at the side of the road whose owners were certainly dealing with a situation that they had not planned; blue smoke hovered in a cloud around the SUV. Remembering the time when he and Tanah were stuck on the same stretch of freeway for four hours (no one stopped to help), Lance pulled over, an action which also was not in our original plan.
The family (mother, father, daughter, two sons, and a foreign exchange student from Saudi Arabia) was headed to Zion National Park. The SUV was not. The father called a tow truck and accompanied his crippled vehicle back to Beaver. Lance climbed into the bed of the truck with the rabbit--an action we definitely had NOT planned for---while the family joined me in the cab. [The truck has six seat belts. Five of them plus me maxed out the space in the cab so Lance banished himself to the back.]
Enterprise Car Rental of Cedar City did not have any vehicles available for one-way trips; all their cars had to be rented from and returned to Cedar City. This caused a cascade of plan changes. The Orem family’s car was toast; it would not be returning to Orem. Renting a car allowed them to stick with their plan to visit Zion but they had no plan for how to return to Orem.
We planned to return to Ogden Saturday night after watching Hamlet. Our plans changed too. “We are headed north Sunday morning,” I told them, “and could give you a ride to Orem…..if your husband does not mind joining my husband in the back of the truck.” They quickly agreed and a new plan was born.
Our visit with Tanah went mostly as planned. It was totally delightful--which we anticipated--but not entirely predictable. We ate breakfast at 12:30 p.m. (much later than planned), bought rabbit food at IFA (which we should have planned), and purchased a Sunday skirt at D.I. and a toothbrush at WalMart (because spending the night was not planned)
Thankfully, we saw Hamlet, which was the event for which the trip was planned. Utah Shakespearean Festival’s production of Hamlet was absolutely stunning. STUNNING. The reasons Tanah has been raving about it for five months became very clear. The actor who played was Hamlet was snarky, engaging, and vibrant. Polonius was stick-up-his-butt pompous and so long-winded , Claudius was a loathsome psychopath, and Ophelia was heartbreaking. Thank you, THANK YOU, Tanah for inviting, entertaining, and feeding us.
After plans changed and we decided to spend the night in Cedar, we planned to sleep on the couches in Tanah’s apartment. When we returned from Hamlet at 11:30 p.m. and the apartment Saturday night social hour was still going strong in the front room that plan changed as well. The money we spent on the hotel room may have been the best purchase we made all weekend.
We met the family at Enterprise Car Rental at 9:00 a.m. Sunday morning as planned [Surprise!!!] and packed the truck: Hislops, three kids and mother in the cab, father and the Saudi in the bed of the truck. The ride back to northern Utah was delightful. They are truly, TRULY salt of the Earth people---so good, so gracious, and so, SO fun. The mother, Anadine, was a theater arts major, wrote, directed, and produced a huge community theater production in Tucson, and currently runs a non-profit food pantry for the less fortunate in northern Utah County. Doug (dad) is a dairy-farmer’s-son-turned-seminary-teacher. Becca, the 15 year old daughter who is drop dead gorgeous (when Miles sees her picture he will be so sad he stayed home….), has a physics test Monday. She likes math but not physics, a fact that has a lot more to do with the teacher than it does the subject. Sam (probably about 13) has eyes that absolutely light up when he talks about cross country and soccer. Mosad is a senior at UVU studying hospital administration and Ben, the youngest, loves everything Tesla. (Did you know Tesla has a whole line of accessories…?) We feel so blessed to have met these amazing people and to have lived a story together.
The ride home was uneventful, which would have been the plan had we made one, and then we were in Orem. Hugs and expressions of gratitude on both sides. Good-byes. And gone.
Thus ended a truly magical weekend. We could not have planned a better one. It did not go as we planned but I am convinced that it went as He planned. There are no such things as coincidences. The weekend did not follow our master plan but it did follow the Master’s plan. Thank you God!