There are those of you that are unaware of the breakdown of a true and dear friend of mine. I have counted on her for many years now. You see, she is the very first vehicle that I bought BY MYSELF, and paid for BY MYSELF! High interest rate and all. When a woman accomplishes such a task she is proud of herself to a degree. Well folks, I was at a really hi degree of pride in my ‘Ol Jeep’. You see, she was still running like a champ with a whopping 235,487 miles on her. I had always kept her oil changed at 3000 miles, tune ups every 60,000 – 80,000 miles, and generally took pretty darn good care of her! But there were things i should have done that no one ever told me about!
We headed home for Mother’s Day (yes, that is how late this post is in coming to the public). About 1.5 hours from home the thought entered my head…”Houston, we have a problem.” That is exactly what went through my mind at the moment that my ‘Ol Jeep’ immediately started sounding like a John Deere tractor. No warning, no panel lights coming on, no spitting and sputtering, nothing except an immediate, overwhelmingly loud, putt, putt, putt sound. It really did sound like a John Deere tractor. For those of you who are not sure of what a John Deere tractor sounds like…I tip my hat in sorrow for you. It is a sound that you would always remember if you had heard one.
Anyways… it wasn’t a MAJOR problem that caused this. It was one of those simple things that you are supposed to do that you never hear about or think about if you are of the female species. That’s right, I admit it, we don’t have ALL KNOWLEDGE of ALL THINGS, but we are always learning! So you see…the radiator hose was dry rotten after 10 years of life and it busted. Being as we were going about 75 mph, we lost all the fluid in a matter of seconds, and by the time we got stopped we had burnt the motor up. Yes, stranded on the side of the road, 1.5 hours from our destination, 3.5 hrs from home. What to do? It was hot, it was muggy, it was NC weather at it’s finest. There was no breeze and we were in the middle of the intersate sitting under an overpass bridge. Thank God for cell phones and overpass bridges!
Now in the middle of all this I look at Johnny and he is grinning! Why was he grinning…I HAD NO CLUE! But grinning he was. The hair on the back of my neck started curling (always does when I am too hot for everyone else’s own good). I had started to sweat immediately. Not a good thing! Then next thing I know Jesse is grinning too! WHAT IS WRONG WITH THESE TWO!!? I demanded to know what there problem was…they kept smiling! Maybe they didn’t realize that this was a catastrophe to me. Oh, not the money or the being stranded, but the fact that my dearest ‘Ol Jeep’ was going to need a heart transplant (new engine) done. I would no longer know her every sound and every feel. I could no longer say, “that’s normal” or “I know that is a new sound” or even “don’t worry, it’ll stop doing that when you hit about 55 mph”. She would be different and our history together would be gone. Would I have to crank her in the winter when I was going to be home for a few days straight, or how long would she have to warm up before she was ready for the road? So many questions and I realized that I was REALLY losing my longest and most trustworthy friend. Not a happy time for me.
And you ask ‘Why were THEY smiling’…because I had started the trip out with a prayer for patience, and a request from the Lord that he would allow us to get to NC safely. THEY realized that God had granted both request. No more and no less. We were in NC, and I was certainly learning patience. So what could I do…I got my camera out and decided to take pictures of THEM and all their smiles! If you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em! Oh yeah, always pray for specifics, because God definitely has a sense of humor!