I’ve shared this picture before – Debbie, me, and our friend Jim Christopher watching the sun rise during one of our final days at Ocean City MD during Beach Week ’78. But what I haven’t shared before is the series of events that came together to make this memorable scene possible.
By this time Debbie and I had spent many, many hours together over a couple of evenings talking (yes, just talking) and discovering we had quite a bit in common. But by the latter part of the week, I decided to head back to Rockville with another friend (Mitch Franklin, RM class of ’77). The rest of our friends (including Debbie) were staying another day or so in OC. So Mitch and I piled our stuff in his car and headed west out of town.
However, when we reached Salisbury (about 45 min west of OC), Mitch’s car started making weird, knocking noises and before long the engine stopped altogether. We were able to coast to the side of the road where we discovered the engine seized because it ran out of oil. We quickly decided to hitchhike back to OC where we hoped to find our friends and figure out what to do next. Fortunately we were soon picked up by some benevolent (although very sketchy) guys heading to OC who speedily (90 mph the whole way) delivered us to OC.
After our rescuers dropped us off across the Rt 50 bridge, Mitch and I started walking and wondering how we were going to find/contact any of our friends. But within minutes, who should drive by but Jim Christopher and a few folks (to include Debbie!) on their way to see the movie “Jaws”. Luckily they saw us and stopped, and off to the movie we went! Debbie and I sat next to each other in the theater, and after the movie we spent the rest of the night hanging out with each other talking (yes, just talking). At sunrise, we reconnected with Jim on the beach outside the hotel where this picture was taken. I can’t remember who took the picture, nor do I recall how Mitch reconnected with his car or how I got back to Rockville. But I do know that because Mitch’s car “just happened” to break down, and those weird dudes “just happened” to pick us up and drop us off at just the right time/place so Jim and our friends (including Debbie) “just happened” to drive by and see us. . . all these “coincidences” conspired to make it possible for Debbie and I to spend more time together and enjoy our first sunrise together.
Don’t you just love coincidences? Debbie didn’t believe in coincidences, instead referring to them as “God-incidences”. Me, too 🙂
“But I trust in you, LORD; I say ‘You are my God.’ My times are in your hands.” (Psalms 31:14-15)