There is a state park not too far from our hometown where the bird watching is excellent, and we decided to start our day with the boys there. As we were driving through the small town just before the park entrance, I realized we had not brought cash for parking. All Georgia State Parks charge a $5 per day parking fee. We turned into a gas station which, to our joy, had an ATM.
The boys and I stood in the parking lot and began the bird watching while Michael withdrew cash from the ATM, with a fee of course, which I was not happy about because I am really, really
A few minutes later, Michael exited the store with cash and 2 rolls of mints (not sugar free). He bought the mints to ensure we had a $5 bill because we needed the exact amount for the parking fee. The smallest denomination the ATM would give was 10's, and we would not be able to make change at the park. I wondered to myself why he had bought mints, particularly ones that were not sugar free. He does not like sugary things, and if he buys candy, it is usually sugar-free gum.
As soon as we turned back onto the road, I had an epiphany. We did not need to withdraw cash. We could have gone to the ranger station and bought a parking pass, good for an entire year, with our credit card. We plan to do birding there this summer anyway, so why pay to park each time? I shared my idea with Michael adding, "Oh well! Too late now."
Well, he did not think it was too late. He decided to keep the cash for later and buy the parking pass with our credit card. While he went into the ranger station, the boys and I did a little more bird watching. There were several birds on the grounds around the station, perched on wires, in trees, and even a large group of vultures that swooped over our heads, giving us a perfect view of them. We also met a fellow bird watcher who knows of the birding competition the boys compete in each year. She was so excited to meet participants that she doled out pointers and directed us to the best birding spots in the park.
About 45 minutes later, Michael finally came out of the ranger station. He had been delayed because our credit card was declined and he had to call the issuing bank. There was a charge on our card for an MP3 download from itunes, obviously purchased by a hacker and not one of us since, one, we had not been to itunes recently, and two, it had taken multiple tries to get our passcode correct. He was able to immediately close our account and have new cards issued. Our account was already protected, but the stop in the ranger's station saved us a lot of trouble later in the day.
From there we went to a few spots that the experienced birder had suggested. She told us exactly what she had identified in each spot, making the job of identifying incredibly easy for the boys. Their team work was excellent, an answered prayer for us, and knowing what to look and listen for helped cement a few new birds in their memories.
We left the park around noon to head to another favorite spot about two hours away. We stopped in a small town for lunch. The menu was limited, prices high, and portions small. But we knew to keep our total within the cash we had from the ATM since we only carry one credit card and they would not accept our ATM/debit card as payment.
When we finished lunch, we were still hungry. We had to make another stop for food and headache meds (Wilbur was getting a headache and wanting to call it quits). We found another gas station, one that accepts debit cards, and filled up on carbos and Tylenol.
We got to the next spot WAY later than intended but decided to give them a couple hours because the birding was really good. This put us finishing up at 8 p.m. Wilbur, who got over his headache and became the most improved birder of the day, was allowed to pick the place for dinner, and boy, did he pick a doosey.
We headed to a local metro area to get his favorite, KFC, and were ravenous because the carbs had not stuck with us. The day had gone much longer than we had intended, and I was starting to ache. Wilbur was getting another headache. Michael was being more patient with the very slow KFC employees than they deserved. And Orville...
He began to shake.
And feel dizzy.
When Michael brought the food to the table, Orville could not bear to look at it. I had to leave my food uneaten and walk to our car with him where I tried every mommy trick in my book to make him better.
But he only got worse and worse. He groaned and trembled, and I began to panic.
Meanwhile, Michael and Wilbur finished eating and packed up Orville's and my food, and we began the two hour trip home. We were completely unsure what to do for Orville except to get home as quickly as possible and give him nausea meds.
Michael navigated Atlanta traffic as quickly as he could without endangering us.
Wilbur asked for a mint.
Those silly, sugary mints that Michael had bought at the start of the day at the stop we didn't really need to make except that we needed the cash afterall for lunch because our credit card was cancelled which we wouldn't have realized until it was too late if we hadn't tried to buy the parking pass where we met the encouraging birder who helped make our morning lovely.... See where I'm going with this?
When Wilbur asked for the mint, Orville mumbled, "That sounds good. May I have one, too?"
Of course he could.
He licked the mint a few times. Then put it in his mouth. Within a few minutes, the shaking stopped.
The color returned to his face.
The nausea subsided.
And he was ready to eat.
One word struck my mind like a bolt of lightning.
Images of other times he had gotten the "sugar shakes" when I had thought he was suffering the effects of a stomach virus flashed in mind, and many concerns I have had about his health suddenly all made sense.
Yesterday I took Orville to the doctor, and sure enough, he is hypoglycemic.
And even though that is not great news, it is good news.
Because it is manageable.
Because he may "outgrow" it.
Because he does not have diabetes.
Because I have a new peace of mind and better understanding of my son's needs.
Another word hit my mind like a bolt of lightning today.
Saturday was a strand of seemingly odd events, but if one thing had not led to the next, we might have continued to brush these incidents off as recurring stomach viruses.
God works in mysterious ways, and how thankful I am that He is sovereign, and like a shepherd, he leads us day by day, moment by moment.
The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.