This should never have happened. Getting my tackle box back should never have happened, that is, it’s impossible for things to happen this way. So if I tell you just what happened, you will understand, this is a story of unusual grace, or miracles in the most ordinary events.
I do stupid things. Thursday afternoon we came home from a couple days camping at Ludington State Park. You know unpacking is not the most fun. Mary Ann is more vigorous about this than I am. Near the end of this routine, I opened the large front storage hatch and grabbed my small tool box and the tackle box. On my way through the garage, to put the tool box back in my tool room, I set the tackle box down on the back bumper of our old GMC pickup. I intended to pick it back up a moment later on my way into the house. But I forgot.
Later that evening, Mary Ann said to me, “Your tackle box is sitting on the bumper of the truck. I saw it because the garage door is still open.” (She’s not so critical as that sounds.) “You had better bring it in before you forget about it.” I intended to do that. But I just hit the button to shut the garage door.
Yesterday afternoon I took our dog, Rusty and got into the pickup to take Rusty to the veterinarian. That evening after supper, we headed out of the house, intending to take the GMC for a short ride to see the progress of road construction on Benson Road, just a half mile east of our house. Mary Ann says, “Did you put away your tackle box?”
I could not remember if I did or not. At that moment I got the sinking feeling that I had not, which would mean it sat on the bumper as I drove away that afternoon. We quickly searched around the garage and house to discover the unlikely place I could have set it. But it was nowhere. “We need to search the road,” I said, with the confidence of an experienced detective. “It couldn’t have gone very far.” After a slow drive scanning the road and ditches for about a half mile, including the sharp turn at the bottom of Trail Ridge hill, we returned home, disappointed.
How could I have been so stupid to have overlooked the box on the bumper? I had to walk right past it with the dog when we left. Had I unconsciously put it somewhere still out of sight? More fruitless searching. Then I made one last walk down the road about fifty yards. It’s not a smooth road, gravel and clay. The box must have fallen off when I accelerated from our driveway. Finally I went to a neighbor’s door to see if someone there had picked it up. When I asked, our neighbor, Liz, said to me, “Somebody found a tackle box and put notice up on Facebook!”
“Where?” I exclaimed. It’s on that Ford Lake area Facebook site, she indicated. That’s our neighboring lake, not our own. When she relocated the notice for me, I sent a message to identify the box and myself to the person who was holding it. After an exchange of messages that person, named Jacob, concluded that I was truly the owner and not someone just wanting a free tackle box. He said, “I’ll come by and deliver it. We’re just going out for a ride anyway.” In about five minutes he and his family drove up. Jacob told me with a big smile, “I found it in the grass on the south side of Fountain and Larson Roads intersection!” He instantly became a friend I will never forget. “It has your fishing license in it, but that only has a number, not your name. I called the DNR to find out a name, but they could not help me.”
There are several details about this event that I am inclined to call miracles. (1) That box rode 1.8 miles on a 6" wide bumper, making two turns and 3 curves on the way to the corner of Larson and Fountain roads. (2) When it went flying off, the box did not open or spill anything. (3) Liz happened to look at that website that afternoon and see the notice. (4) Jacob is a kind and caring person who quickly did what he could to locate the owner, and besides, wanted to drive to our house to deliver it! Their family happens to live just on the opposite side of our Thunder Lake. We can see their house from our porch.
Okay, you can say that I am just a very lucky guy. I was speechless when I saw him and family drive up and hand me that box in perfect condition. I had prayed a moment while we were searching earlier. I felt like a stupid kid who forgets to take care of his things, and needs to be reminded again and again. But God was gracious to me and answered my simple prayer. I was embarrassed at my mistake, but I am restored to wholeness and happiness. It was a high I will not soon forget. That is how my long distance traveling tackle box came home, by the grace of God and the hands of a good neighbor.
He does amazing things that will be remembered;
the Lord is merciful and compassionate.
Psalm 111:4 - NET
© 2020 Stanley Hagemeyer