Published October 18, 2016

Shelia Shares
"Our Adventures"

Recently we were to the National Quartet Convention in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee. It was a tiring but great week. In five days, Paul did 87 group interviews. I greeted most groups and enjoyed talking with artists and other music fans. Everything went so smoothly.

Then we headed for home.

It would have been too late to travel all the way home on Saturday, so we decided to stop in Lynchburg and visit the Thomas Road Baptist Church the next morning, just to see what it was like. We had reservations at a name-brand hotel but we couldn't find it. After driving around for a while, Paul sent me into a Dollar Tree to get directions (big mistake). Since I had never been to the city and didn't know where Chick-Fil-A and Applebees were located (the references they gave), directions were pretty rough. I went back to the car, dreading to tell Paul I had no clue where to go.

Paul told me to get in, since we were going to follow someone he had spoken with in the parking lot. We wove around seemingly everywhere and finally the guy pointed us into our hotel's parking lot. We waved our "thanks" and they drove on.

To the family who heard me asking directions in the store, stopped to talk to Paul at the car and then volunteered to guide us, "Thank You." I wish I knew who you were. But, regardless, I know God sent you. If you aren't an actual angel, to us you're as close as a human can come. That was an answer to prayer.

Getting to the room was only the start of the adventure. Here is how it went from there.

When I booked the room, I forgot to ask if they provided hot water. (Silly me!) The water was cold. I think that was the shortest shower Paul had ever taken in our almost 34 years of marriage. (He called it "invigorating.")

Next, the motel hair drier worked for about 10 seconds. So much for that.

When we got in the room, I noticed a small metal door in the wall and it was standing open. Inside was a crawl space down to the basement and lots of pipes and wires. The door didn't latch properly, so I moved the microwave to the floor to hold the little door closed.

Next were the motorcycles. There were five of them with some big leather-jacketed motorcycle guys. They parked directly beside our car and in front of our first-floor, front room window.

During the night, I woke several times to banging of the pipes. When we later found out that our entire building was without hot water, Paul thought it could have been disgusted people banging on the pipes.

Paul said he would recommend this hotel for the entertainment value alone. With each new problem, we just laughed harder.

In the morning, after breakfast when no one else was near the desk, I told the manager about the lack of hot water. He said that the fuse often blows if they have high occupancy. When I checked out later that morning, he gave me a nice discount. He said I was "so nice," compared to "that last lady that came in and yelled and shouted" at him.

I am thankful that God provided a guide to get us where we needed to go, that we could keep a sense of humor in less than perfect conditions and that we maintained our Christian witness through it all. That's real life. Let the adventures continue!

- Shelia

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