Many of you have already heard this story . . .but I want to write it down so that I won't forget!!
Laura has a new hobby. She has been riding her bike for long distances. Over the Christmas break, she and her friend, Dustin (pictures are courtesy of Dustin) drove to Ocala, Florida and then rode their bikes for about 180 miles (rails to trails) to St. Petersburg, Florida. This is my girly girl daughter . . .who is now camping (primitive!!) and sweating and even falling and getting scraped up. I'm proud of her.
On Sunday night, January 1, I was sound asleep. I had stayed up late the night before (will post about that at some point!!) because it was New Year's Eve. I had served communion and taught Sunday School and been to visit an aunt and uncle and I was tired. We all went to bed around 10:00 that night. Becky was still visiting with us. Around 11:30 p.m. our phone rang. In my sleepy stupor, I answered the phone, "hello." The voice on the other end of the line said, "This is the dispatcher for the citrus county sheriff's department. We are calling about a car that is registered to Laura Elliott at this address." (or something like that) I don't know how I had enough sense, but I said to the lady, "I was sound asleep. Let me walk around just a moment and get a piece of paper and a pen." I have no idea why I said that but I did. Actually, that did give me just a moment to wake up. Let me just tell you . . .that is not the kind of phone call anyone would ever want to get in the middle of the night. Scared me half to death. The dispatcher then proceeded to tell me that my daughter's car had been parked in an unusual location all week and the sheriff was at her car right then and he wanted to make sure that she had not been abducted and/or he wanted to verify that her car had not been stolen and deserted.
Luckily (or maybe I need to say, "Thank God") I had texted with Laura earlier in the evening and I knew that it was Laura that I was texting with - not someone who had her phone, etc. We had only really talked to Laura once during the week and at that time she had told me that the park/trail ranger had told her to move her car from the original parking place to this second location because of safety. The dispatcher had given me the Citrus County Sheriff's department number and she wanted me to get in touch with Laura and have her call them so that they could verify that she was indeed alright. I'm thinking to myself that she probably won't answer her phone and then we wouldn't know for sure if she was ok. Just as an aside . . .Mark is still asleep as is my sister, Becky. :-) I'm the only one up in the middle of the night talking to the sheriff's department. I told the dispatcher about the text from earlier in the evening and I also explained what Laura had told me about moving the car. The Dispatcher wasn't sure that was good enough so she patched the actual sheriff who was at Laura's car into our conversation. I had to go through the whole story again and finally the Sheriff decided that she was probably ok. He did specifically ask me when she would be picking up her car (the next day) and he said that he would check on his rounds the next night to make sure she had arrived back safely. As soon as I hung up the house phone, I grabbed up my cell phone and sent a text to Laura. She answered immediately (which is a miracle in and of itself). I felt much better after texting with her.
Our phone call turned out fine but there are many middle of the night phone calls that aren't good. I am so thankful that the Citrus County Sheriff's Department cared enough to get in touch with us and that they were patrolling and doing their job. I am even more thankful that my baby girl made it home safely from her latest biking expedition.
Thought I would throw in a couple of pictures just so you could see --
Oh - I never did wake up Mark or Becky. We all had to get up at 4:45 on Monday morning because I had to take Becky to the airport to catch her flight home. I figured that some of us should at least get some sleep. It took me a long time to go back to sleep that night . . .so I was very thankful to have a holiday on Monday . . .and time for a nap.