Monday, August 8, 2011

Road Warrior... or Not

Life is a highway and while I do wanna ride it all night long, my sassy little car did not feel the same way this weekend.  Not once, but TWICE, I found myself on the side of Highway 40.  Here's how it all went down.

Even as I write about this first episode, I'm not sure I want to actually tell you what happened, as it really makes me seem like a ditz.  But here goes.  When I left work on Friday night, my check gages light came on.  Obviously, I know that this means I have low fuel.  I've seen the light before.  The problem is that I am not aware of any gas stations in the near vicinity of my work so rather than drive around and waste the precious gas that I had, I figured I would just stop on the way home.  So I'm driving along, happy as a clam because it's the weekend, when suddenly, I was not driving along anymore.  I slowly rolled to a stop on the side of the highway, right past Hampton.  I swear, I've driven much farther than that with the check gages light on before but evidently, Sonny (my car) had reached it's limit that night.  He went on strike, for lack of being fed his favorite (and only) meal... liquid black gold, aka gasoline.  While I waited for fuel to arrive (via my amazing Father who has dealt with more car problems with me than he could probably ever count), I kicked back and watched cars fly by as I ate an apple.  It was oddly relaxing.  Eventually, after feeding Sonny, I made it home, grateful that it was such a quick fix, happy that it wasn't a more costly mechanical problem, but slightly embarrassed that I made such a ditzy move.  And thanks to everyone who offered to rescue me on Facebook.  I really didn't want to bother anyone that late on a Friday night, except family members, because isn't that what family is for?  But your offers were very much appreciated. 

Let's move on to Sunday.  There I was, driving down Highway 40 again, on my way to a dinner to celebrate my Grandma and Grandpa's anniversary.  I had the radio turned up and was singing my little heart out when I heard a noise and felt my car swerve a little bit and I just new that I had blown out a tire.  I was in the left hand lane and pulled over to the side as much as possible but was still sticking out in the lane a little bit b/c there just wasn't enough room to get all the way over.  I probably should have been freaking out but I just had to laugh at the ludicrousness of having two car issues within 48 hours.  Only me.  Luckily, within 5 minutes, a police car was parked behind me, blocking the lane.  The officer said he was going to call a tow truck for me and before I knew it, two more cars showed up, blocking the lane behind me for a hundred or so feet, which was kind of a relief.  At this point, after watching the crazy drivers fly by, and feeling my car shake and hearing people blare their horns at me and Sonny, I had begun picturing myself being squished against the barrier or flattened like a pancake by a rogue vehicle.

Then, like a knight/mechanic in shining armor/reflective clothing, Ralph from MODOT appeared in his chariot/truck filled with all sorts of things to help out a damsel in distress/stranded motorist such as myself.  He asked the officers to stop traffic across all lanes so I could drive safely to the other shoulder where there was more room.  Once I was safely on the other side, the officers took off and cancelled the tow truck b/c Ralph said he would put my spare on for me, which he did.  He then checked the other front tire and noted that it was tearing apart as well and recommended that I change that one immediately or I'd be on the side of the road again in no time.  You could actually see where the tire was ripping apart.  This next part is where Ralph truly earns his award for Most Awesome Human Being.  He offered to drive me to Wal-Mart or Dobbs where I could purchase two new tires and bring me back so that he could put them on my car.  Then I wouldn't have to worry about having another blow-out on the way to the store.  Seriously, how awesome is this guy?  Not only does he save me money by not having to have my car towed, but he actually went above and beyond to get me back on the road safely.  Plus he was friendly and courteous the whole time, not at all acting like he was put out.  Though you will likely never read this Ralph, I thank you from the bottom of my heart.  You my friend, are a kick-ass person.

I think when crappy things happen, like car trouble, your outlook has everything to do with how the situation resolves itself.  It would have been really easy to get upset or cranky after the blow-out, but what good would that do?  I much prefer to laugh it off and look at the bright side.  I'd rather spend my time being happy and grateful that no one was hurt and that the amazing Ralph was there to assist.

So those are my tales from the road this weekend.  Maybe I should invest in a bus pass or something.

Safe travels People!

P.S.  I wanna end this blog entry on a bright and cheery note since we are heading into a new workweek.  My terrible photography skills do not do these flowers justice.  I love, love, love fresh flowers!  These beautiful flowers are courtesy of my beautiful Mother.  Shout out to my Mom for being more awesome than words can say.

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