‘Hang on help is on the way.’ So sang the Little River Band back in the late seventies. Some times that is all you can do, hang on and trust that help is on the way.
We returned from our six months in Tasmania back in late December 1978 looking like Steptoe and son. The roof rack on our 1970 Chrysler was loaded with a big Lucas Batteries box, there were six of us in the car and our Labrador named Charlie. We disembarked the Empress of Tasmania at about eight o’clock in the morning anxious to get back to Mildura. Our 550km drive seemed to take forever with many stops on the way. Within the first hundred Kilometres we had to stop as Doug was ill. We prayed and stayed for about two hours at Lake Wendouree just outside of Ballarat till he felt up to travelling. Then half way through our journey between Donald and Birchip the unthinkable happened. We blew a tyre. This meant our loaded boot had to be completely emptied onto the side of the road to get to the Spare. It was then we discovered that the Jack was missing.
So! Here we were miles from nowhere on the side of the road looking like a car boot sale gone wrong. Again we did the only thing we could do. We prayed. It seemed so isolated; there was very little traffic along that road. However we had no choice but to hang on believing that help was on its way. I don’t recall if there was a little voice inside telling us that. But, we assured the girls that indeed help was not far away. Within minutes a car driven by a Nurse on her way home from the Birchip hospital stopped. Seeing us all standing there forlornly she asked if she could help. The only problem was that on checking her boot she found she didn’t have a Jack either. We could see her home across the paddocks and later she and Doug returned with a Jack and she waited while he changed the tyre.
Were we thankful? You’d better believe it! Were we meant to be so late travelling along that part of the road so that the tyre would blow about the time the Nurse came off duty? We will never know. One thing I do know is that God, who knows everything before it happens, had help lined up for us when we needed it. The sun was setting by the time we reached Mildura so grateful to have finally arrived.
Anita in front of the old Chrysler some months later