Santa Cruz, California, October 28th, 2014

Santa Cruz, California, October 28th, 2014

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Whitney Metevia--Guest Post

Jennifer asked me to write about a great adventure. I thought about some of the fantastic adventures in my life and tried to decide which would make the greatest story.

I thought about the time in college I tried to drive home on a Thursday night with my roommate and we encountered an armadillo on the highway. It was either drive off into the dark abyss of a ditch on the right, smash into the 18-wheeler on the left, or steer my tires around the little guy. Steering my tires around the guy seemed like the thing to do but what I didn’t know was armadillos jump straight up when they’re scared. So he jumped straight up and, well, killed himself, and disabled my car, and stranded us in Okahumpka, Florida. (Google Map that!)

Of course, this was back pre-cell phones (gasp!) and my trusty CB radio got us help with a tow truck driver at 10pm who asked us if we had any ether. No, we had no ether, but he towed us to a place where we could get the car fixed. (That’s another story altogether.)

Or there is the time, in my adulthood, my boyfriend (now husband) and I reconciled after a difficult break and went on a rambling trip up the east coast. We wound up in Baltimore for an Orioles game and that evening decided that we’d travel to Niagara Falls the next day. Of course, we could afford such travels because this was a long time ago when gas was cheap and he worked for the Marriott, and we stayed at the employee rates. What we didn’t realize until about 2 hours away from Niagara Falls was that, at the time, there were no Marriotts on the American side. We wound up in Canada that night overlooking the Horseshoe Falls in an upgraded junior suite (on an employee rate!) Calling our parents that night to check involved a good deal of convincing that no, we had not eloped, we are just incredibly poor at planning ahead. Also, this was before you needed a passport to cross the border. Needless to say at that time it was easier to cross INTO Canada than it was to LEAVE Canada. Big grins from the Canadian border staff going in, stiff belligerent questions to get back to the US.

But the story I’d like to tell is from my senior year in high school.

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I was blessed to attend a small, private Christian high school after having been bullied at a public school in junior high. The people at this school were unlike anyone I’d ever encountered. They were – nice. Genuinely nice. And we all wore the same horrible clothes. This was the best thing that could happen to a certified dork like me. (I was the Cover Nerd of a hand drawn magazine at my old school.)

During my senior year, just before Christmas there was an evening I met with a few other students at our friend Shelly’s house for a study party. I forget which subject we were studying, but problems seemed to be solved much easier when we worked on them together. I think high school was the only time working in groups was a positive experience for me.

At some point, we finished studying and someone got the bright idea to go Christmas caroling.

Now, this is ridiculous. Not just because it was the late 20th century, but it was South Florida. It’s not cold, people would likely think we were going to rob them, and “Christmas” here means generic carols about Frosty the Snowman and Jingle Bells (which aren’t anything that happens in Florida) and anything that is vacant of Jesus and his birth. But for some reason, we thought it was a good idea to go through the neighborhood knocking on doors and singing religious carols.

We weren’t high, or drunk or anything. Just bored and crazy, I guess.

It’s not surprising that we walked around for a LONG time and sang for only one person, who watched us through a chain across the door. This wasn’t a “bad” neighborhood, either.

Eventually we got discouraged and decided to walk back. We came by a house with a circle driveway that had a car with a Christmas tree strapped to the roof. Next to the car was an elderly lady with her arm in a sling. It was quite dark by this time, after 9pm I think. Shelly mentioned to us that she thought it was odd, because this woman lived alone and she didn’t know how she was going to get that tree in her house.

There were 5 of us – 2 guys and 3 girls. We called out a hello to the woman and she waved with her good hand. One of the guys asked her if she wanted help carrying the tree inside. We weren’t prepared for her reaction.

She cried out, “Praise God! I didn’t know how I’d get this inside!”

Now – we were all thinking, “You knew before you bought the tree there was no one at home to bring it inside”. But we didn’t say anything.

The tree was carried inside, and arranged in the tree stand so the tree stood straight and tall. The woman was smiling and chatting about her grown kids. We explained to her that we were on our fruitless mission of Christmas caroling that evening.  She offered us cookies if we’d sing her a song. So we lined up in front of her new Christmas tree and sang. I don’t remember the song, but I remember she sang along with us, and I’m pretty sure it was not a secular song.

After we finished singing, she asked us our names.



After Mark said his name, she started to cry. This kind of wigged us out at first. I mean – hey – we were in this strange lady’s house singing Christmas carols and she started to cry. But then, finally, she spoke.

“My son was supposed to be here tonight to help me with my tree but he was delayed at work. I was in my driveway praying to God for help. He didn’t just send me help – he sent me three angels and two of his apostles!”


  1. Aw, great story, Whitney! Love the Christmas caroling adventure...and who knew armadillos jumped straight UP??!!

  2. Nice adventure!

    Thanks for sharing, Whitney!