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Speaking for the Lord and a mini-vacation

When I was approved again as a speaker for Christian Women’s Club, I had not planned to travel over 100 miles. I called the home office and asked for a list of clubs in North and South Carolina. When I saw that there is a club at North Myrtle Beach, I called to ask if they needed a speaker in April. They were delighted because some speakers aren’t traveling long distances due to the cost of gas.
My friend, Jennifer, had planned to go as she has never been to Myrtle Beach. However, she cancelled because we have so many differences; she likes the room cold, I like it warm, and so on. I asked some other friends but everyone had other conflicts.
 I had been looking forward to my mini-vacation but especially hated having to leave them without a speaker on such short notice. A nagging voice (probably that little red guy with horns and a pitchfork) started telling me that I had made these plans for the wrong reason (my love for the beach). I went home planning to call and cancel.
I had a surprise email and was 98 percent sure it was answered prayer. I met Vita* about eight years ago at a prayer meeting held in a private home. With the passing of our hostess and my health problems, Vita* and I lost touch for awhile. She had read several of my recent stories and felt led to email and get together. With the email, phone conversations and timing, I knew she was answered prayer. We met for lunch on Monday and made plans to travel and honor my speaking commitment.
I can no longer stay in private homes. Even now in mid-April, most ocean front rooms at North Myrtle Beach cost at least $100/night. God enabled me to get the best deal with even a roll-in shower and it was less than $80.

DAY ONE
North Myrtle Beach, here we come! Tuesday morning, I picked up my angel friend that God had sent to travel with me and I was on the road again to tell ladies about all the blessings God has given me..
That nasty infection had cleared up and what I had thought might be a multiple sclerosis flare-up had begun to go away. Once again I could stand up long enough to adjust my clothes and was getting stronger.
It’s amazing how much faster traveling over 200 miles can go when one has someone with whom to talk and laugh. The trip was uneventful until about an hour before we reached the beach. I glanced in my rear-view mirror and saw an unmarked police car barreling towards me with flashing blue lights. I knew I was not speeding because I had my cruise control set but it was obvious he wanted me to pull over. I did so immediately and had my license ready. (After all I watch COPS TV and I knew what to expect!)
He said, “Lady, you were kind of weaving back and forth.”
I assured him the liquid in the cup was just ice water. I explained about my upcoming Christian speaking engagement. I told him I used to drive a van with which I never had this problem. But it was extremely windy and this van does seem to swerve more than my trusty old Ford did. (I wonder if it is because of all the heavy conversion equipment under the floor.)
He told me to drive on and enjoy my Christian experience. He didn’t even reach out for my license. I breathed a sigh of relief as we drove into the Ocean Drive Beach Resort. Our ocean-front handicapped room was very nice and we spent hours “talking and snacking” and “snacking and talking.” It is amazing that we have so much in common!

DAY 2
The next morning we went to The Surf Club for my speaking engagement. There were beautiful azaleas in bloom everywhere. I had planned to put my cards out for sale and as I was going in, I realized the cards were in the motel. (Well, in cases like this, my theory is “some things are not meant to be.”) I was delighted to be the speaker and I handled my notes very professionally on the new music stand which I had purchased for future use; I no longer rise from my scooter.
When I was told all the beach wheelchairs were out, I was a little (no, a lot) frustrated because in three days I never saw one on the beach. It seems some wealthy condo owners have reserved them for the week or month of their annual vacation (sometimes a year ahead of time). I guess it is a good thing I’m not the one in charge, because there would definitely be some changes made!
Since we couldn’t go out on the beach, we drove down to Myrtle Beach where the old pavilion had been torn down. I parked at a public access parking lot which, interestingly enough, was the same one we used when I was a child. I have to be so careful that I not get blocked in. I sort of “created” a space. There were no signs indicating right or wrong. As soon as we reached the new boardwalk, I stopped two bicycle policemen and asked them if my van would be okay. One said it was not acceptable and I would get a ticket for sure but it would not be towed. One of the policemen said there would be plenty of room in the parking deck.
When we got to the van, there was a $20 parking ticket on the windshield. I’ve never had a parking ticket before! (Talking with the Water Enforcement Officer after I returned home, I was told just to mail the ticket back to his attention.) Thanks be to God!
We decided to go to the pier instead of walking the boardwalk. I was amazed that now you ride an elevator up to the pier. I thought about all those years when I had to struggle to walk up the ramp. The bait and tackle shop is now air conditioned and there was a sign on the door: “Walk on pier, $1.00.” I smiled up at the man behind the counter and said, “It says walk, but I’m not walking, I’m riding.”
He smiled and said, “Well, just roll on out for free!” When I said I would pay for my friends, he told them to just walk on out as it was their “lucky” day. I could not stay on the pier long because it was even windier and at least 20 degrees colder.
Vita* is from Germany and Johnny served four years there when he was in service. He knew there was a German restaurant back at North Myrtle Beach so we headed in that direction. When we arrived, she noted that the name of the restaurant was her deceased husband’s name. She said the building looked like many restaurants in Germany but did not think the food was as good. Picky little me enjoyed the desert best!
There was some nice rousing accordion music but it was so noisy we couldn’t hear each other talk.     
We returned to the resort so we could carry on a conversation. After awhile, Johnny left for Murrell’s Inlet where he lives, Vita* went to sleep, and I sat recording my memories. There were some small fireworks exploding over the ocean and a nearly full moon shining. I can’t get my scooter across the threshold of these sliding glass doors so I just sat by the door looking out and thanking God for my blessings.

*Name changed
STORY?CONTINUED?NEXT?MONTH!

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