Seven States in Seven Days

Have you ever felt like you need a vacation from your vacation? I just experienced that a couple of days ago. We took a family trip to the East Coast last week and within 7 days we hit 7 states. If it sounds busy to you, then you are 100% correct. We went to Maine, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Connecticut, New York and New Jersey. We visited family, went to the beach, cracked open lobsters, ate clam chowder in 3 different states (Popovers on the Square in Portsmouth, NH was the best), saw my wife’s childhood home, and attended baseball games at Fenway Park and Yankee Stadium. I’m exhausted just thinking about it.

This trip was our “summer vacation” so we attempted to fit in as much as we could. It is one of the drawbacks of being a professional baseball coach. We do not have the ability to take any time off during the season, which makes it for a long hot summer in Phoenix. In order to make up for it we always take a trip in September. The part that stinks is that the boys are missing school, so every day they have about an hour of homework to do. Not exactly the way you want to spend your vacation, but if they don’t do it first thing in the morning, it doesn’t get done. Therefore, the day starts with Cheerios and math sheets. Yeeaaaayyyy!!!!……

Needless to say, there were a few battles along the way. If it wasn’t homework, it was something else. Our boys came out of the same womb, but barely ever agree on anything. Are we the only family who has kids like this? The airlines misplaced our luggage and on the first day of vacation we had to sleep in the same clothes we traveled in all day. I finally got a chance to shower and get on a fresh pair of underwear about 24 hours after our flight landed. The middle of the trip was fun, but like we discussed earlier, very busy. Then things got a little crazy the day before we left.

Being a Good Samaritan

We were in New Jersey visiting my wife’s hometown. She lived in three different houses in about a 12 year period and they were all within a few miles of each other. It was really cool to have the boys get to see where their Mom grew up and for Taleen to have the chance to visit her old neighborhoods. We went to the schools she attended, the country store where she used to buy candy, and the softball fields she played on. That is where we ran into an old gentleman with a broken down car in the parking lot.

The guy was trying to push start his car. He was on the driver’s side with the door open and was struggling, so I asked him if he needed help. I jogged over, but just as I got behind his car it started to roll backwards on me. I didn’t realize that the parking lot had a slight downhill pitch to it and now the only thing between the car and the chain link fence was my torso. I gave it my best ultimate feat of strength push, but I quickly realized I was about to get crushed and my family would be witnessing it.

Taleen yelled frantically from our rental car and thankfully I was able to slide out from behind the car just as it crashed into the fence. The force of it popped two of the poles and the car came to rest. If the fence didn’t stop it, the car would have ended up rolling down into the forest and in the creek that was below. The guy got knocked over by his car door and was lying on the ground. We asked each other simultaneously if each other was alright and then the craziest thing happened. He got up, sat in the driver’s seat and the car started. Whaaatttt!??? He waved his hand, said thanks and drove off. It was one of the most bizarre moments of my life.

So, in addition to being a good Samaritan, I also cheated death. My adrenaline was pumping so hard, I had no idea if I had gotten hurt. I didn’t want anyone to freak out so we all just went over to a picnic table and ate the lunch we picked up at the country store. The boys and I walked down to the field afterwards and played catch with the football we brought. My back was a little tight, but I was able to escape the ordeal unscathed minus a small scratch on my right knee from the car’s bumper running into it. God definitely protected me, and it gave me some perspective on how short life is and how much it would suck to not be able to see my boys grow up.

billy horton blog "seven states in seven days" yankee stadium

Appreciating what you have

It’s funny how a life and death experience like this reminds you of how good you have it. I am just like all of you guys who find myself complaining about the little things in life, and then something like this happens. Your focus immediately changes, and things start to fall into perspective. I talked about this in my blog “Having a Windshield Perspective”. The person who cut you off in traffic or the idiot you have to deal with at work isn’t that bad compared to almost getting pinned by a car against a fence that is hanging on the edge of a forest with an immediate 45 degree slope that falls into a creek!

“Be joyful always, pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.”

1 Thessalonians 5:16-18

There is an 80’s song by the band Cinderella called “Don’t Know What You Got (Till It’s Gone)”. It’s in your head now isn’t it. By the way the song in better than the video. I always had a hard time watching a bunch of guys dressed up like chicks, singing rock songs. Anyway, back to my point. As men we need to keep focused on what is important in life. There are a lot of distractions out there and let’s face it, Satan likes it that way. He wants to keep you from becoming what God created you to be: a kick ass leader who craves to do His will. I know from experience that when we are working within God’s will for our lives, that we will be blessed and be a blessing to others.

Here are some points to think about this week:

  • When the pressure is on, take a deep breath and think before you speak.
  • Help those in need when the opportunity presents itself.
  • Give your kids grace when they are in a difficult situation.
  • Keep things in perspective, when facing adversity.
  • Write down your priorities and then apply them to your life.

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