Saturday morning we left the Cimarron National Grasslands in Kansas and headed down the road toward Santa Fe. We had already looked at the weather and knew there was a possibility of rain, but we had no idea what would be blowing in! We were driving on a 2-lane highway through vast expanses of open land, dotted here and there with ranches and cows. Up ahead the sky was getting darker and darker. I started praying! I was praying for protection, and I even at one point asked Jesus to please be in our “boat” as he was with the disciples. The wind was picking up and we could see the storm literally start to blow in. There was NOTHING on this road — not a place to stop anywhere. And then, seemingly out of nowhere, the Gladstone Mercantile appears on the left. Vence said, “If we are going to stop, we better do it.” The wind was getting stronger, and as we pulled in, changing the direction we were facing, a huge gust of wind hit us that might have blown us over if we had still been on the road. It even blew a park bench over right in front of us. The people inside were running out grabbing flags and flowers. The rain started. We parked in front of the building, so as to be behind a wind break. It was lunch time, so we figured we might buy a thing or two in the store, to be polite, then have lunch in the RV. So, we gathered what we needed and walked out of Harriet. The temperature had dropped 20 degrees!
We got inside, and found the quaintest little place! It was filled with antique dishes, southwest art, and books about cowboys. We wandered around a bit, then decided we might just get lunch in there. They had hamburgers — that’s the only thing that was on their menu! So, we said, “Sure!” After what seemed like a long wait, three large, hot, flame-broiled hamburgers came out. They were delicious! While we were eating, in came a group of REAL cowboys (and one cowgirl), complete with hats on their heads and spurs on their boots.
Vence and Minnie Mouse got some ice cream for dessert, but I opted for a bag of homemade strawberry shortcake cookies (which I had to share). Then, we loaded up ourselves in Harriet and started down the road, looking at clear skies. The blessing of this little place was not lost on our us. As we drove away Vence said “That was pretty amazing that place came along when it did. I was praying.” I told him I had been too. Thank you, Jesus, for not only being in our “boat” but also providing more than we could have hoped or imagined!
(There we are, after the storm has cleared.)