A little delay!

Jason with Anderson’s Service Center in York, PA.

Good morning dear friends,

I thought I would be waking up in Richmond, Virginia this morning but found myself again waking up in beautiful Lancaster, PA.

Yesterday dawned bright but hot. I packed up my belongings, said my good-byes and headed south. Shortly after beginning the drive home, the gear shifter on my car came loose and wouldn’t work. I was just coming off a ramp from Route 30 to get onto Interstate 83. The stick shift came loose and wasn’t hooked to the gear box or to anything any longer. I couldn’t put the car into any gear – not very helpful with a standard shift vehicle. Oh, I don’t like cars some days!!

Well, after I sat there for a few minutes trying to figure out what to do next, I finally got on my trusty cell phone and began calling friends and making a new game plan for the day. After a couple of hours sitting on the side of a very hot road, Jason with Anderson’s Service Center arrived to give me a tow.

Jason is one of the kindest and most polite young men I’ve had the pleasure of meeting in a long while. If you are ever in the York, Pa area and need a tow, I would highly recommend Anderson’s Service Center. From the woman who answered the phone to Jason the driver of the tow truck their service was courteous, kind, prompt and reasonably priced. Thank you Anderson’s Service Center for such a pleasant experience. If I had to break down, this was definitely a bright spot in my day.

I had the car towed back to Chip’s mechanic Butch Park at Park Place Automotive in Akron. What a gem Butch and his entire staff are. They had already worked on my car because the water pump decided to quit when I first arrived in Pa. Butch thought it was a small plastic piece that had worn out. You can’t buy just the plastic piece for replacements anymore, but rather have to replace the entire gear cable unit which is quite pricey. For those of you who don’t remember or know the car I am driving, it is Kit’s car. He and his wife Cindy were ever so kind to let me borrow this car till I leave, but hadn’t planned on putting any money into the car. Butch thought he might be able to “jerry rig” something so it would get me back to Richmond.

Thankfully for me, Butch, is very logic smart and after taking things apart, he was able to come up with a plan to hold the linkage onto the bottom of the shifter so it would change gears. Not only did Butch think outside of the box, he was willing to take time from his other work that day to spend the time to fix my car. Not only did he finally find a solution that works beautifully, he did not charge me for his time and energy. He gave it as a gift to help me get to Kazakhstan. How amazing. Thank you Butch.

If you are ever in the Lancaster area and need car repair, be sure to look up Park Place Automotive. This family is a gem.

Finally, at the garage with Butch.

The small broken plastic piece that caused the car not to be able to go into gear. Isn’t this like life sometimes. Just one little thing going wrong can stall the whole of life. Small things in life do matter. For example, just a little bit of trash in our lives can ruin everything. I guess a couple of houres on the side of the road gave me time to think. :o)

Butch using his LOGIC SMARTS to figure out how to fix things without needing to replace the entire gear cable system. YEAH! I’m grateful for people who are still able today to think creatively and who are not limited to the suggested “standard” procedures. I trust Americans will never loose the ability to think outside the box. Our country was built on the ingenuity of our forefathers who, in the face of adversity and challenges, saw possiblities and rose to the challenge!

Butch welding the washer to hold the ball at the bottom of the gear shift in place so that the gears will work. YEAH!

Butch and one of his lovely daughters. These folks went out of their way for me and were so kind.

Pulling out of the garage with a car that works! Amazing day!

So, I had the privilege of spending one more relaxing evening with Chip in lovely Lancaster, PA. I am heading south again this morning and am trusting it will be an uneventful trip. Kit called yesterday evening, after I had already let him know that there was no charge for the repairs. He let me know he had added road side assistance to the car insurance. How kind and generous of him. Thank you Kit and Cindy. This morning, if I have any problems, I can call roadside assistance, but I am expecting smooth sailing south to Richmond.

A week from today I will be heading north to Dulles Airport in Washington DC to board my plane which will take me to my new home. Oh, I am excited! I feel like I am in the middle of a grand epic tale and am turning the next page to begin a new chapter. Not quite a cliff hanger, but the excitement, anticipation and a little nervousness of the unknown hang in the air.

Thank you each one for joining me on this journey.

I am ever so blessed and thankful for the kindness of friends and strangers.

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