Sunday, April 27, 2014

Lost in Mexico

https://www.google.com/maps/dir/Tucson,+AZ/El+Fuerte,+SIN,+Mexico/@29.2018376,-110.0512996,7z/data=!4m13!4m12!1m5!1m1!1s0x86d665410b2ced2b:0x73c32d384d16c715!2m2!1d-110.926479!2d32.2217429!1m5!1m1!1s0x86b90e1dbd9d1aaf:0x7cdd4b45562640ca!2m2!1d-108.619199!2d26.414207


When I was 7 or 8, I piled into an old pickup truck with my dad and brother, and we drove from Tucson into old Mexico for a fishing trip.  I still remember a good bit of it … like being hot all the time and eating baloney sandwiches and my brother Jimmy pulling fishhooks out of my dad’s hand.  (Long story.)

Every day was a new adventure.

We even wrote a poem (or maybe it was a song) after a long hard day of fishing.  It went something like this:

Hidalgo, Hidalgo,
Where the fish don’t bite
All day and all night
At Lake Hidalgo.

Copyright pending.

And the poem was true.  We had spent the better part of a couple of days fishing and caught almost nothing.  We felt like Peter and the other apostles, just waiting for Jesus to come along and tell us where to cast our nets.  Our superior fishing skills were going to waste in this dry and barren land.

So—400 miles south of the border—Dad decided it was time for us to pack up and try another lake that he’d heard about.

Should I mention this was in the days before GPS?

So we rolled out of our sleeping bags early the next morning, loaded up the truck, and went off in search of a new place where the fish did bite.  And we proceeded to get more lost that I have ever been in my entire life.  A whole day’s worth of lost.

We drove around in circles and zigzags and other geometric patterns.  We may have even crossed into Canada at one point; I’m not sure.  And from time to time, we’d stop and ask someone for directions.

Just one problem, though … we didn’t speak any Spanish (other than gracias and Buenos Dias!) and we couldn’t find anyone who spoke a lick of English.  Not a word of it.

So we’d just pile back into the truck and keep on driving.  Canals flew by us on both sides of the road.  And, speaking of roads, there were roadrunners everywhere.  Like real live bird roadrunners.  We must have seen about a thousand of them.

It was sweltering and dusty and—even with the windows down—we were sweating through our shirts.

Lost and miserable, right?

Wrong.

It was one of the best days of my life.

We laughed.  We sang.  We counted roadrunners.

And—eventually—we found the lake … where the fishing was much much better.

Jimmy and me in Tucson.

Have you ever been
A little bit lost
Father on one side
Brother on the other
Feeling
Protected and loved
And finally finding the way
Sound familiar?

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