I was vacuuming with my little dust sucker when the plug pulled out of the wall and the vacuum stopped. I was tempted to let slip mild cursings for the short cord, and for the loose electrical outlet (Bad words, vacuum; bad words, plug!). But rather than letting it irritate me for more than just a moment, it made me thankful for my dad.
Several years ago, my little family was in the middle of some difficult circumstances. My sweet dad called to let us know his next door neighbors were selling their house, and gently suggested that we might want to consider buying it. Thinking of moving back to my hometown filled me with more peace than I'd felt for a long time. Even my husband was happy about the prospect of moving in next door to his in-laws - I grilled him about it, wanting to be sure of his wishes.
I packed up our things, sent the sick husband ahead on a plane, and loaded the moving truck with the help of our wonderful neighbors. That was a crazy busy day, gray and drizzly, and although I held my 6-week old baby close to me in his cozy sling, we both ended up soaked. The little tyke was warm, and it took me a while to realize that he was helping with the wetting, but all our dry clothes were packed.
My dad and two of my brothers flew up to help. Between the four of us, we managed to drive the new baby, four other little boys under nine, our minivan and the moving truck a thousand miles across the country.
As we stepped into our new home, I didn't realize how much my parents and brothers had done to get the place ready for us. The had tightened a loose railings, added folding doors in front of the laundry nook in the kitchen, changed out the old crystal-ball-on-a-chain light fixtures in the bathrooms, updated the lighting in other rooms, and replaced a non-functional sliding glass door. My mother coordinated the whole house being cleaned, and kind sisters-in-law wiped fresh stain on the old kitchen cabinets. My dad spent hours, down on his knees, replacing old electrical outlets that were too loose to hold a plug.
Ever since, when I plug in an appliance only to have the plug fall right back out, I have a little flashback to those times when I was in need and others were there to help. I am so blessed (and I can say good words for that!).