Jul 21, 2008

Christmas in July

You will never believe what happened to us today.

Okay, you might, but it wouldn't be as propelling if I said, "You're gonna believe this." So just hang with me a minute.

Yesterday, we spent a grand total of two hours driving back and forth to our church. Each leg is 30 minutes, and we went twice. The numbers are not as important as the amount of gas that was consumed from the tank of my obese, money-guzzling van.

Allow me to take this opportunity now to say that my darling husband drove all those miles. I repeat: the last time I saw the gas gauge was on Friday. Does everybody see where this is going?

Well then, fast forward to early this afternoon. A situation came up and I suddenly needed to rush out the door to take care of an errand for a dear friend. I hadn't planned on leaving today, so I had filled my plate with things to do around de casa. The important point of this paragraph: this was going to be a swift errand so I could presumably get back home and onto my proverbial plate of stuff to do.


After finally getting everybody ready to hit the streets (because ya'll know that's half the task) we all pile in, buckle up, take a breath, and head out.

The van was a little slow to start, but that's to be expected. It's an older classic behemoth, and it's slow to rouse sometimes. I immediately noticed the gas gauge on the infamous "e" but, I ask you, what could I do? Press on was my answer. Besides, the gas light warning thing isn't even on yet. I've got miles to go before I run out!

Famous last words, I tell you.

I turned off of our street and onto the highway...the winding, two-lane only with no shoulder, almost completely uphill for the first two miles, with drop-offs into tree tops on both sides highway.

Did you get that? Winding, no shoulder, uphill, drop-offs. I lived in Texas my whole life...we didn't have ANY of that where I'm from.

I turn onto the highway and begin to ascend up the back side of that altitudinous hill. And my van sputtered...and died. Right there.

No shoulder, no extra lane, no dirt to pull onto. Right in the middle of the lane with a curve behind me and a curve in front of me. On a 55 mph road. With all three kids in the van with me. And...going uphill, so pushing is totally out of the question.

Imagine if you are driving a vehicle around a curve and suddenly find an elephant parked in the lane in front of you! And you think you're going to get around it, only there is a curve up ahead and you can't tell if someone else is coming on the other side! Can you see the source of my fear and trembling? Would you want to be in the middle of that?

So I call roadside assistance (oh how I do praise God for cell phones!), and before I can even get them to pull up my account on the phone, this wonderful, very timely female Deputy Sheriff pulls up behind me with her lights flashing. She left her car in between my house-on-wheels and those who could be careening into the rear of it.

She approaches my door and leaning toward me says these excellent words: "Would you like for me to call another car so I can take you and your kids to the gas station?"

Would I.

My soul was soaring at this point! Here I hardly had time to even call for help, and she just "happens" to be less than 5 minutes behind me and has time to spare to take me to the gas station. If you don't remember anything else about this post, remember this: God is good, ya'll!

Once her backup arrived to the scene, the boys and I were then able to have a little bit of fun with this adventure! We crammed (and I do mean crammed...they don't say "cuffed and stuffed" for nothing!) the three kids in the back seat...car seat and all. Have you ever seen how little those back seats are in a squad car? The police department car manufacturers are not overly concerned for a criminal's leg room back there, to say the least.

She took me and three beaming little boys to the gas station to get my $6.00 saving grace:

You could wrap a bow around this thing and wish me Merry Christmas. I was never so happy to spend $14 on two gallons of gas in my life.
Tonight, I am thanking my God in heaven for cell phones, gas cans, and precious police men and women who have time to stop and help a family in need.


Jodie said...

WOW!! You had me hanging on your every word. I saw it coming (the running out of gas) but not the details. The details though, (hills, curves, classic behemeth...) took me by surprise. I was on the edge of my seat, leaning forward. I swear.

Totally the saving hand of God! And not a minute too late - as usual. :) GREAT story! And I can just see those boys beaming! I mean, what could be better than getting to ride IN THE BACK of a police car?! How are you ever gonna convince them that that is not something to aim for as an adult?! They had so much fun they probably can't wait to do it again!! (Tell them you know this girl that knows first hand, it's over-rated. It's not as exhilirating with the cuffs on. Tell em.) :)

Also, about your comment - kindred spirits indeed. What other souls have ever had a love for words and a hate for filing in common? None. It's Providence. :)

And I totally hear you on the 18 left to go. I'm glad I could inspire you, but I must confess, if I look directly to my left I see a stack roughly a foot tall that's still in need of some SERIOUS attention. I'm a work in progress. ;)

Why 2nd Cup of Coffee? said...

Oh man, I'm so glad you're OK. Highway driving is not a favorite of mine anyway, so for me, reading this is like other people reading about snakes in their toilets or something. Yikes. Praise God for cell phones and police.

Anonymous said...

Wow girlfriend, I'm sure glad that you and my boys are okay!!! I must say though, BETTER YOU THAN ME!!!!!!!


Chel said...

Thanks, Darlin'.

Do you know how tempted I am to syphon your truck tonight?

Darling Wife (D.W.)