Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Auto Theft At The Border?

As many of you know my family and I travel to Canada about twice a year. In the 14 years now that I’ve been visiting my in-laws; Dan and I have collected a variety of funny border stories. There was the time when Dan and I were dating and the American Border Guard asked Dan essentially “what his intentions were” with me as an American. There was the time that we’d forgotten the birth certificate of my oldest daughter when she was about four and made her keep rehearsing “I’m an American from Florida” in the car. Or there was the time where I kept trying to explain to the guard that the “homemade coppicollo” was for our private consumption and it was really okay for us to cross with it. My list of funny stories could go on.

We always drive up there borrowing a vehicle from my parents. This summer my parents purchased a brand new luxury vehicle. For years my mother used to put in a note that stated I could borrow her car, and we stopped doing it because in all the years no one ever asked us about it. This year as we were leaving Canada we must have found the border guard with a subtle sense of humor, but I was trying to stay serious. Because the car was so new, and I was trying to explain to the guy how we live in Florida but fly into Ohio, he started to ask me how he didn’t know I hadn’t stolen the vehicle. He seemed serious at first. Plus I remember some story about TSA agents being able to fine people for cracking jokes once, and I try to keep straight faces anymore around these people.

I tried not to panic as I began searching for any ID that still had my maiden name on it. But let’s face it. I began to see newspaper headlines already in my mind, “Minister/Author arrested for auto theft and stopped at border.” I finally found an old College ID from Ohio State that had my maiden name and I handed it to the guard.

“Ma’am? Do you realize what state you’re in, and where I graduated from school?” His question took me off guard. I was thinking I gave you an ID…we’re in Michigan…sigh the old Michigan/OSU rivalry. Really?

When I realized both Dan and the border guard were now laughing I knew my mug shot wasn’t going to end up in newspapers I finally was able to laugh a bit.

It’s a funny story now. Yes, I got questioned at the border for auto theft, and I suppose it’s a good reminder to me that I need to just lighten up a tad.

Proverbs 17:22 (MSG) “A cheerful disposition is good for your health;
gloom and doom leave you bone-tired.”

Sometimes you just need to remember its okay to laugh. It’s okay to laugh at yourself. We can’t go through life filled with doom and gloom. Be of good cheer!

Remember He has awesome plans for your life. Get excited.

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