I’m not sure what to make of all the recent “happenings” with my vehicle…Is my car haunted? Is God testing/saving me? Or, my favorite conclusion in the words of my BFF “Is he trying to kill you?”
I recently traveled to a professional conference about 300 miles from home. My ex-mechanic husband, in his overly protective (or so I thought) state decided to make sure all is “right” with my SUV. He picked my car up at work on a Friday, fixed something on it, and returned it to me. I walk out to the car with my two middle children and we head for home. As we approach the school entrance/exit I notice my brakes feel funny – like they aren’t working. I proceed cautiously and start dialing my husband. “Could whatever you did to my car today have screwed with my brakes?” “Blah-blah-blah-blah-blah…no.” “Hmmmm. Well I am pushing them all the way to the floor and they don’t feel like they’re working. Like, well, right now we aren’t really stopping…” “Blah-blah-blah-shouldn’t have affected your brakes. Come on home carefully.”
Now, I have gained enough wisdom to (recently) admit that I am not the brightest human. It did not seem wierd to me to follow those directions. It did seem a little dangerous to first pick up my last-born, though I did – opting not to park on the street for fear of hitting another car. I parked at the Cleaners so the concrete parking block would stop me…. (yeah, just typing it out does make sound even less brilliant…)
Anyway, I added another life to the precarious situation and finally headed home, never busting over 30 mph. We literally skid into the driveway – amazingly safely. This is where the God part hits me – as I am thanking Him that we made it.
Papa takes a look. “Blah-blah-blah-blah brake line blah-blah no brakes blah-blah whoa.” Scary! So, he spent the next morning solving that problem. Sore back/neck/legs, a few choice words, and ruined clothes later – I have new brakes and a car that stops when I push the brake pedal. Woo-Hoo!
I am off to the conference – EARLY – which is way huge for me and one of my travelling companions! About 20 minutes up the road we hear a clunk. Must have hit something. Make jokes about the tracking device falling off…hear a funny sound…not the big truck alongside us…must be me….quickly move to shoulder. Call husband. Get courage to look at tire. Look at “tire.” Warn husband of the shape of “tire.”
I call AAA. Husband is on his way. Unfortunately for AAA Papa beat them there. He changed the tire. I stood freezing alongside the road pondering the benefits of my moving body signaling his body laying alongside the interstate against the risks of my moving body being smashed… He put on the spare. He volunteered to call and cancel AAA. (Glad not to be the one receiving that call!) I must also add that an officer of the law did stop and ask if we needed help. While mentally thanking God for his lights as an added bit of safety for my darling husband, I hear him remark how we have it under control…then watch him drive away…so much for the “protect” part of that motto…
We made it safely to the conference, had a great time, began the trip home. I dropped off a colleague and headed to drop off the next. Almost to her home I notice a “shimmy” as I am steering. I slow down, dialing husband. “Is it still doing it?” “No, I’m on gravel and going slower, but no.” “Be careful and I’ll look at it when I get home from work in the morning…Oh, and check to see if the lug nuts are tight when you get to S’s house. Have her husband tighten them.” “Well. (insert indignant tone here) I can tighten them…How will I know if they’re loose?”
I hop out at S’s house and check the nuts. ALL can be rotated several times easily with my fingers. I get out the “tightener-thingy” and tighten all of them with all my might. Again, thanking God and feeling a little sick to my stomach! I call to report this to Papa, but he doesn’t pick up.
At this point I am off to pick up my children. (Again, it doesn’t occur to me to have my friend who is keeping them to bring them to me…) I call on my way to tell her the story and her first question is “Is he trying to kill you?” Papa’s call beeps in and I click over to tell him the story. “Oh, I should have told you to check those after 50-100 miles.” I travelled 600! Hmmmm…..
I might have worried more had I not asked him that question the next morning. The look of absolute fear on his face was priceless. “After you’ve been gone for THREE DAYS? I CAN’T do this without you!”
I won’t tell him yet that I can’t do it without him, either.