Sunday, June 27, 2010

lesson #2,765,309

So what to do when pulling off the highway south, in need of some gas and a Starbucks fix and your car dies? I mean dead. Like the engine won't turn over, even though the windows and navigation system still work? Well, after a couple of good Samaritans at the truck stop you were lucky enough to coast into try to alternately check fuses or give you a jump start, both to no avail, you call AAA and wait (and wait and wait) for the local tow truck to come—in the Starbucks/Blimpie/Game Zone/convenience store combo, which has extremely annoying Hawaiian music endlessly looping in the background.

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 this.isn't.good.

The tow truck guys arrive and it begins to rain (of course), but they have a truck with a back seat that can get all three of us to the repair shop with our wounded car. They have some good news and bad news: the good news is they are open late tonight (Saturday) and tomorow (Sunday), but the bad news is that the boss is on the road so he won't be able to check it out until tomorrow. But they call the local Sleep Inn to check if they have any rooms (they do) and give us (and our bags) a ride over.

The next day reveals a busted timing belt and the uncertainty of whether there is any further damage to the car and its engine. If it's just a timing belt, they could get us on the road probably sometime Monday—if the engine is damaged we're looking at getting to know this tiny spot for a few more days. Doc Hollywood, anyone? There are four other wounded vehicles in front of us, so it is clear we're not going anywhere for another day. There's not a lot to do in this highway detour/town, but the auto repair guys are sympathetic to our plight, and give us a loaner car (no AC, yikes!) and direct us to the nearest mall (20 miles away, double yikes!) where we do some shopping, take in a movie and cool off, cool down.
 
We're hoping that Monday reveals a repaired vehicle and a resuming of our road trip. But Monday may also unearth more problems than today's diagnosis of a busted timing belt. We're on the road to a new life, and I'm watching all my carefully made reservations and itinerary go up in smoke. I can't say that this hasn't depressed me, as my Virgo self is all about the best laid plans. But the zen part of me is taking this as a continuation of this year's lesson—the only thing I can truly control is how I react to things. I can't control, no matter how much I want to, the world around me, the people in it. Maybe throwing your hands up in the air opens up other people and their willingness to help you. Or maybe the locals are just nice. But we are trying to have fun while we're here, on this life's detour. I can't help but have my fingers (and toes) crossed that it won't stretch into many more days. But if that is what it takes, I'll deal.

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having fun

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