After a pleasant day of perfect temperatures, 3:30 PM became my crunch time because of so many activities sandwiched into such a small period of time. I thought about taking 10 seconds to look for my cell, but talked myself out of it thinking "I will only be gone about 5 minutes...no need."
I took the now 13 month-old and cute as EVER Brayden and 4 year old Kylie with me in tow to pick up 9 year old Brooke and 6 year old Tyler from school. Now, this is only my 2nd time EVER picking any kids up from school! But Brooke had to get in costume and dropped off at a friend's house for car-pooling for a singing/dancing performance where she had TWO SOLOS :)
On the way to the school I look to see my gas tank was VERY much on empty. As I look up at the computerized car updates, I noticed that there is an alert "LOW TIRE PRESSURE" - I think to myself - OK, we will have to fill those tires up a little. However, as we pulled down the road to the school I hear a very odd low timbre sound against the road right as I see Brooke and Tyler waving to me enthusiastically in front of the school. And I knew. My tire is flat!
Panicked slightly, I take all 4 kids into the tiny school office and dejectly asked to use their phone and I silently chided myself for not taking those 10 extra seconds to quickly hunt my phone down. Luckily Brian's parents were at our house that day, which was really a first for them to stay at our house overnight for an extended visit. I called...no answer. I knew they would not pick up unless I was persistant and annoying, trying to send the "urgent" tone. SUCCESS!! On the 4th time, they answered and sent my wonderful father in law to help! I felt relief.
After he arrived and had been working 30 minutes trying to get the spare tire to descent from underneath the car. It was loose but would not budge. He tried getting the spare tire off of HIS minivan - SAME PROBLEM!!
As he labors on, I took the now whining kids home in the in-laws van to get Brooke quickly changed into her costume and hair done to success. She was dropped off...but we see she is MISSING HALF OF HER COSTUME which the costume people had NOT included - the LEGGINGS to her dress! But I couldn't think about that now.
I drove back to meet my father in law, now the lone care in the parking lot, no progess on the stubborn spare tire. I gave him a troubleshooting guide along with a hammer and screwdriver, as suggested, with NO LUCK. Tyler by this time, all dressed up and ready to go, missed his baseball game.
Brian of course is in the middle of setting up for a cat dissection final the next day for Anatomy and cannot be reached in any way. Finally at this point I got a hold of him, only for the call to drop. WE SPENT THE NEXT 10 MINUTES CALLING EACH OTHER AT EXACTLY THE SAME TIME and got very strange results but never EACH OTHER on the call!! AHHHHH!
Finally, after connecting, he was on his way to go look at the car. Back at home, all changed and ready to go to my class I teach LOCATED ONE HOUR AWAY, I heard the garage door and went to meet him with a hopeful expression.
" NO LUCK ON THE TIRE," he said....and then I saw it. A look of puzzlement, frustration, and disbelief...
"SOMETHING HAPPENED TO THE CAR"....I couldn't breathe...
I freaked out internally and calmly asked, "What do you mean?"
He said quizzically, "I was going over a bump right before our subdivision and something happened...there is a weird cranking and grinding noise...I don't think you should drive it to your class tonite."
My heart dropped - I had only 10 minutes before I had to leave. I am the ONLY one who can teach, and I am LOCKED IN to teaching it. Luckily Mark and Allison said, "No problem, just go to our house and get the keys to borrow our car,"
Brian was on the phone with them and said, "Great! Thanks! .....Just one problem, we CANT ACTUALLY DRIVE THE CAR...can you pick Bonnie up?"
Ironically they were driving very close and were able to pick me up, to take me to another car to drive. On the verge of tears, but very grateful, I found myself driving their car to my distant class...as I called my mom a little bent out of place.
I get back home after 10, I came home to the SILVER LININGS. I find that Brian's parent had gone to Brooke's performance and got her two solos on film, which was great. I was told one of our friends had gone out to the minivan and found a partially broken-off release mechanism for the spare tire ABOVE the spare tire, where you have to reach around the tire in a weird way and release it. Why don't they tell you THAT in the owners MANUAL!!!????
So the donut was on the minivan!!! All looked a little brighter. I just couldn't believe that our cars had been great and never broken down, and BOTH are rendered INCAPACITATED within 90 minutes of each other?! WHAT ARE THE ODDS!!!
However, with our many rescuers and many events that made our landing of this situation easier, there were so many tender mercies. NOW, almost $1200
WHAT A DAY!!! I counted down the minutes to midnight and we MADE IT!