Nurturing my 18 year old car, day by day, has not been without incident. I acquired this little gem after driving my 15 year old van to it's death. Literally, the engine was falling out as the unibody frame had rusted away. Suffice it to say I don't drive new cars. Vehicles have always been nothing more to me than a means to get from here to --> there.
So, day after day, week after week, I've been praying and pleading for my little old white haired lady to keep on going. One morning in mid-December my employer overheard my retelling of one of my more adventurous commutes and called me aside. He made me an offer I couldn't refuse. His wife's van, a 2003 Chrysler Town and Country van has about 100,000 miles on it and they've decided to upgrade. He asked if I would be interested in purchasing this van at a very good price for very EASY terms. Without hesitation I said "Yes!" This was a direct answer to prayer, to be sure! My employer, of all people, knows my income. Even if I had enviable credit, my budget is to tight to have a real car payment and I don't think any lender would offer the terms I'm getting. He asked if I could hold out until the beginning of January. I thought I would be okay till then. Sooooooooooooooooooooo anywhooooooooooooooooooooo.
Yesterday, I dropped Cliff off for his parole appointment and he had arranged transportation from there and I headed to work. My little lady has really been a trooper through this winter of all winters and here I was urging her to keep on truckin'. She was just too tired, I guess. I wasn't more than a mile from where I dropped Cliff when I began to feel her shuddering and dragging her feet. I pulled into the nearest parking lot to get off the street and suddenly noticed that she just shut down. No coughing, no gasping or sputtering....no she was dignified about the whole thing and just closed her eyes and said "I just need a nap, really." So there I sat.
I called one friend who I knew was usually home during the day. She would get ready to come my way, but wasn't ready to jump out the door just yet. I sat for a while amidst the snow piles and noticed the beautiful blue sky. Thankfully, the sun was beaming and so while it was only about 4* outside, I was staying pretty warm inside the car. After about 5 minutes, I turned the key and voila! She's Alive, Alive!!! Warming up little missy for at least 10 minutes, it appeared that all systems were go, so cautiously I began to venture to my destination 27 miles away. On the phone with my transportation friend, I was checking an alternative route to work when little lady began to slow down again......poor thing. Sho 'nuff, she said no more and closed her eyes again. I was on a rather busy 4 lane road, but thankfully I was already as far to the right as I could be and at the light of a busy intersection. While everything shut down without even a hint of life, I turned the key to the off position and turned on my flashers. Those, at least, did their job. I made some calls and got a hold of a tow truck company who was 5 minutes away from me. Yay, God!
The point of another saga in the life of Laura is to say that my heart was warmed by several people who offered some help. I had already made contact with the tow truck when a large pickup truck pulled up behind me and a large man approached my window and offered to move me or help me. I declined as there wasn't anywhere else to put me that was better than where I was, but he was friendly and kind and went on his way. Not three minutes later, I heard someone honking and looked around to see a woman waving her cell phone out the window at me, offering for me to use it. I did all kinds of international hand motions to let her know I was fine.
The tow truck driver arrived a few minutes later and I was soon inside a warm cab and heading to the hospital with little lady. But I was truly thankful for the kindness offered to me on this cold winter's day. Despite everything we read and hear there still are people out there like you and me who care about others around them and offer help to one in need.
Oh by the way, the happy ending of this story is that I will have my new van tomorrow and Cliff, who's been working odd jobs, will be acquiring little old lady for a mere pittance.
*All pics googled*