“Don’t do it,” I said under my breath. Rafa kept driving.
“No really, don’t do it!” I said. He kept going. Straight towards the dunes.
When he planned our trip to Greyland Beach, the thing that he was most excited about was the proximity to the beach. The campsite he picked for us was adjacent to a 1/3 mile wide swath of sand next to the Pacific Ocean. In the photos we looked at, cars used a make-shift road to traverse up and down the beach. We couldn’t wait to join them.
So we set up our campsite and headed to the beach, but something seemed off. The weather has been dry all over the state of Washington. The winds were blowing forcefully. I have never been around big sand dunes, but I have been around enough snow to know that when it is light and blowing, cars will be sinking.
And as Rafa tried to drive toward the beach, the cars we saw in the pictures were obviously driving in much different conditions. We left the road, drove straight into a dune, and got stuck.
I managed to hold my tongue (for the most part), (being quiet has to count for something), and (does blog venting count?). But we were still stuck. Cue the angels. Two ladies pulled up in a pickup, about to start a sunset stroll. They said those beautiful words –
“Do you need help?”
Rafa dug though our trunk for rope. He found a couple of tie downs that snapped off of our hitch as soon as the ladies hit the gas. He dug again one more time and found some thin rope that he double, triple, quadruple wrapped. I got behind the wheel and used my best snow-car-rocking techniques. The girls prayed from the backseat. The rope held and we were out.
I only had a twenty in my purse and tried to offer it to our new friends. They had known each other since they were young girls. One had moved away with her husband many years ago, and was just stopping back for a short visit. I asked them to take the money for the gas they had used with all the engine revving to get us out.
“I couldn’t,” our driver said. I insisted. “Well okay then, but I will put it in the offering plate on Sunday.” “Yes!” I almost shouted. That works for me. I told them they were an answer to prayer. We said our goodbyes and enjoyed the sunset from solid ground.
The next day, we went back to the beach – walking this time. We ventured over to the site of the adventure from the previous day. The first thing we saw was another car (a minivan) drive up off the road and BAM right into a sand dune where it stuck. It was hard for me not to laugh.
“Let’s go to the beach,” I said.”
“But mom,” a little voice piped up. “We’re Sorianos.”
“We help people,” our daughter said. “Just like the ladies did for us.”
Ouch. She taught us using the exact same words that we taught her.
And so we did. We didn’t have ropes or a vehicle, but we had muscles. We pushed and pushed and pushed. The driver was upset. She said she had driven on the beach many times before and was surprised at the dunes. The girls did their part – not by pushing, but by watching their brother as we pushed. We didn’t end up getting it out, but we really tried. We were able to let the driver use a cell phone to call for help.
We packed up our stuff and headed back toward the water. We heard another vehicle coming up behind us. No surprise – Into a dune. We looked at the girls, looked at each other, and headed over to push…because we are Sorianos and we help people. The teachers became the students, and I am so thankful for how my little students teach me.