By Tony Marciano
My sister won a timeshare at Myrtle Beach beginning Saturday, Aug. 31. We agreed to split the week. I’d go the first half and she would come the latter. We were safe since hurricanes don’t come until later in September.
My wife came home Friday night from work with a migraine headache. I assumed we weren’t going to the beach. At noon Saturday, she announced she needed the beach. We left at 2 p.m.
N.C. 218 was closed. We had to stay on N.C. 200. We stopped at a gas station and asked for directions. He offered an alternative to taking U.S. 74 east. We took U.S. 601 in Monroe and followed the GPS. We drove through Darlington at 4:45 p.m. The race started at 4 p.m. so traffic was minimal. Normally, we stop to eat before we arrive at the hotel. We went right to the hotel to check in. The front desk told us since it was a timeshare, we had to go to an adjacent office. We arrived at 6:40 p.m. I explained my sister was coming on Wednesday. She informed me timeshare office hours were Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Saturday from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. They were closed on Sunday.
Sunday was spent on the beach. There was a bird that flew over my head. I heard something hit my wide-brimmed hat. You know what it was. The hat saved me from …
On Labor Day, Gov. Roy Cooper declared a mandatory evacuation due to Hurricane Dorian. This rule-follower ignored the rules and stayed an extra day. We stopped by the timeshare desk where they informed us the hotel was closing on Wednesday at noon. They would not guarantee water, electric, Wi-Fi or our personal safety. We’d be on our own. We decided to leave Tuesday at 10 a.m.
My youngest child worried about me. He kept texting if we were OK and when we were leaving. On Tuesday night, he also arranged to have dinner with my middle sister. She was in town (she was the one taking over the timeshare on Wednesday – the day the hotel closed). Since we’d be home, we joined them around the table. My daughter and her husband also joined us.
Let’s look at this chain of events. We left my house on Saturday at 2 p.m. and didn’t stop for dinner as we always do. Had we stopped, the timeshare office would be closed until Monday.
N.C. 218 was closed and we stopped at a gas station we’ve never seen before. Why did I ask him for directions? He provided an alternative that was faster to Myrtle Beach than my original plans. Did that get us to the timeshare office before they closed?
We drove through Darlington when the race had already started so traffic was OK.
Yes, we ignored the mandatory Monday evacuation and left Tuesday morning to arrive in time to have great family time around the table. Had we left Wednesday morning, we would have missed that time.
Let’s not forget my wide-brimmed hat. I never wear a hat.
I cannot prove to you there is a God. Yet I look at these “crazy” chain of events and have to believe that God had His hand on a weekend that was nothing of which I had planned. Yet without certain details, the timeshare office would have been closed and we would have missed dinner as a family. Coincidence? You might say “yes.” I say “no.” I just can’t prove it. For you, your heart is open to the idea of “faith.”
I’ll be back in two weeks. Until then, live well my friend.
The Rev. Tony Marciano is the president/CEO of the Charlotte Rescue Mission.