Sunday, August 7, 2016

Attitude - One Of Life Choices

Is the title of today's Inspirational message.

My wife, Tere, and I purchased a new car in
December. Even though we had tickets to fly from
California to Houston to visit her family for
Christmas, we decided to drive to Texas to break in
the new car. We packed the car and took off for a
wonderful week with Grandma.
We had a wonderful time and stay to the last
possible minute visiting with Grandma. On the
return trip we needed to get home in a hurry, so
we drove straight through — one person driving
while the other one slept. After driving in a hard
rain for several hours, we arrived home late at
night. We were tired and ready for a hot shower
and a soft bed. I had the feeling that no matter how
tired we were, we should unpack the car that night,
but all Tere wanted was the hot shower and soft
bed, so we decided to wait and unload the car in
the morning.
At seven o’clock in the morning, we got up
refreshed and ready to unpack the car. When we
opened the front door, there was no car in the
driveway! Tere and I looked at each other, looked
back at the driveway, and looked at each other
again. Then Tere asked this wonderful question,
“Well, where did you park the car?”
Laughing, I answered, “Right in the driveway.” Now
we knew where we had parked the car, but we still
walked outside, hoping that maybe the car had
miraculously backed out of the driveway and
parked itself by the curb, but it hadn’t.
Stunned, we called the police and filed a report that
activated our high-tech tracking system. To be on
safe side, I also called the tracking system
company. They assured me they had a 98 percent
recovery rate within two hours. In two hours, I
called again and asked, “Where’s my car?”
“We haven’t found it yet, Mr. Harris, but we have a
94 percent rate recovery within four hours.”
Two more hours passed. I called again and asked,
“Where’s my car?”
Again they answered, “We haven’t found it yet, but
we have a 90 percent recovery rate of finding it
within eight hours.”
At that point, I told them. “Your percentage rate
means nothing to me when I’m in the small
percentage, so call me when you find it.”
Later that day, a commercial aired on telephone
with the automaker asking, “Wouldn’t you like to
have this car in your driveway?”
I responded, “Sure I would! I had one yesterday.”
As the day unfolded, Tere became increasingly
upset as she remembered more and more of what
had been in the car — our wedding album,
irreplaceable family photos from past generations,
clothes, all of our camera equipment, my wallet
and our checkbooks, just to name a few. These
were items of little importance to our survival, yet
they seemed of major importance at that moment.
Anxious and frustrated, Tere asked me, “How can
you joke about this when all of these things and
our brand new car are missing?”
I looked at her and said, “Honey, we can have a
stolen car and be all upset, or we can have a
stolen car and be happy. Either way, we have a
stolen car. I truly believe our attitudes and moods
are choices and right now I choose to be happy.”
Five days later our car was returned without a
trace of any of our belongings, and with over
$3,000 worth of damage to the car. I took it to the
dealer for repair and was happy to hear they would
have it back to us within a week.
At the end of that week, I dropped off the rental
and picked up our car. I was excited and relieved
to have our own car back. Unfortunately, these
feelings were short-lived. On the way home, I rear-
ended another car right at out freeway exit ramp. It
didn’t hurt that car I ran into, but it sure hurt ours
—another $3,000 worth of damage and another
insurance claim. I managed to drive the car into
our driveway, but when I got out to survey the
damage, the left front tire went flat.
As I was standing in the driveway looking at the
car, kicking myself in tail for hitting the other car,
Tere arrived home. She walked up to me, looked at
the car, and then at me. Seeing I was beating
myself up, she put her arm around me and said,
“Honey, we can have a wrecked car and be all
upset, or we can have a wrecked car and be
happy. Either way, we have a wrecked car, so let’s
choose to be happy.”
I surrendered with a hearty laugh and we went on
to have a wonderful evening together.

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