Don't let the difficulties of the present moments overshadow the reality of God's promises. God's promises still stand. And God's promises are stronger than our failures.

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Is It Just Me Or Is The Sky Falling?


It is 400 miles from my door to my sister's door. Remember her? The one I'm addicted to? Thursday morning bright and early (well 10 is early isn't it?) I left my house driving to her house. It's about an 8 hour drive but I wanted to stop and visit a friend on the way so I figured I'd get to her house about 7, which was a good time because she'd be home from work then.




In preparation for the trip, which I was taking alone by the way, my husband took my car last week to WalMart to have the oil changed and the tires rotated. He's thoughtful like that. (It doesn't count that I made him do it, does it?) On Tuesday I noticed the car wasn't acting right coming home from the grocery store. It was like it was laboring to go, like I had the brakes on but I didn't have my foot on the brakes. When I got home it smelled like something was burning. Ah ha, says the man of the house. It's the brakes, they locked up. We had new brakes put on this car in May so they should have been fine. Locking up - not fine. So Wednesday off he went to the brake place, who checked everything, said it's fine. Nothing wrong.


Yesterday, in a rural part of southern Missouri, 175 miles from my destination, the nothing they said was wrong went horribly wrong. The brakes locked up on a two lane highway where I was peacefully driving listening to the 7th book of the Mitford series. With an 18 wheeler riding my bumper. And no where to get off. I had to drive about 10 miles with them locked before I found a service station where I could pull off. By that time the front tires were smoking. SMOKING! The nothing that was wrong was smoking!
Well my car wasn't as bad as this picture but I found this one of Flickr and thought it was appropriate.





I went into the service station/convenience store to see if there was a Midas Brake Shop in this town since that's who told me nothing was wrong. The sweet lady behind the counter (who had not even one of her front four teeth) said she didn't know. I asked her if she would look in the phone book and she agreed. "Which part?" she asked. The yellow or the white? And then she asked me how to spell Midas. Hmmmm. Rural Missouri is a lot like Arkansas, any part of Arkansas. But there's no Midas. So I called Triple A. They would send a tow truck in about an hour. It was 97 out on that parking lot. And I'm sure you remember I'm having hot flashes.

God sent me a wonderful tow truck driver. I'm not kidding. Wonderful. Triple A wanted to send me 50 miles back the way I came where I would have to rent a motel room. I wanted to go to Jefferson City where my sister lives. 175 miles forward. The tow truck driver, Sheldon, called Triple A and told them they needed to send me to my sister's and that's how it was. I rode in the tow truck for 3 1/2 hours, part of it in the worst blinding rain and lightening I've ever witnessed, with a gentleman who really wanted to provide good service. In our conversation I found out that he has two aunts (87 and 89 years old) who live in the small Arkansas town where my husband and I spent 15 years and where we raised our kids. Small world? God's world!

At the brake shop here in Jefferson City, where I was planning to stay until Tuesday, they have now told me that whoever changed my oil and "topped off" my fluids last week put the wrong thing in the master cylinder and the entire brake system is ruined. Yep. Someone put oil in the brake fluid, which apparently is a major contaminant. Ruined everything it touched. To the tune, so far, of $2,352.77. Unless they have to order more parts. And they might possibly have it ready next Wednesday but they think it will probably be Thursday.

I've always told my husband that I would be happy in any situation as long as I wasn't hot, cold, broke, or stranded. I am now broke, stranded, and still having hot flashes. Get the picture?

25 comments:

Lindah said...

I'm so sorry! I hope Midas does right by you. I sure would confront them with the bill. Maybe the repair man in Jefferson City could write a note about the cause of the problem. People do make mistakes, but we do need to take responsibility for them.

Janera said...

I'm sorry, too, but I can't stop laughing, either.

Good story.

Exuberant Color said...

that's a trip you surely won't forget. Luckily you weren't too far from you sister's house when disaster struck.

Dandelion Quilts said...

That is awful. I am sorry Marlene. I think Walmart ought to be responsible.

Christine said...

Oh my! Thank goodness you're okay. That could have been dangerous.

Crazy for Primitive Quilts and Gardens said...

Oh wow! What an adventure! And not the fun kind. But you did see some silver lining and I am glad the driver was good to you :o) Good luck!

Milah said...

Well for crying out loud!! I sure do feel for you. I hope someone takes responsibiliy for your loss. This sounds like some Chevy Chase horrible vacation movie.

Sharon said...

Wow! What a story! Why do these awful things happen when you're alone and far from home?? I'm so glad that you got to your sister's, and had such a nice tow truck driver. I hope things get better from now on. And I hope Wal-Mart or Midas or whoever is responsible for this makes it up to you. I'll be hoping for the best for you!

Teresa said...

(((Marlene)))) - I would be contacting Walmart and demanding some financial settlement. What a mess.

Raquel said...

Marlene, surely they will have to put this right. What kind of idjit would put oil in the brake fluid? In my case, they would pay my entire bill and give me free service for a year. You are not far from me, I live about 2 hours away from Jeff City, give or take! Good to know that there are some few decent people left in the world! Much love, Raquel XO

MARCIE said...

I love your comment, "small world-God's world!" So true! What a blessing to have that truck driver take such good care of you!

Pat said...

Marlene, I feel terrrible about your bad car experience...especially since I am the friend you stopped to visit along the way. I was concerned when you drove off, alone, since I knew you had several hours to go. I know you will enjoy being with your sister, so hopefully, that is what you will remember about the week. Travel safely home! Pat

tipper said...

Well, Bless your heart. I am happy you were blessed with the towing guy. Hope you get it all figured out-and hope the first bozos have to anty up the money.

Twisted Fencepost said...

Make sure that Midas states in print, not handwriting, that the reason for the brake failure is due to the wrong fluid being put into the master cylinder!!! Then take a copy of it to Wal-Mart and demand that they reimburse you!

Tricia said...

OMG! What a nightmare! I was so shook up when I saw the wrecked car but had not read the rest of the post. I am glad God sent you a heavenly tow truck driver angel! I am glad you made it to your sister's house and can take shelter there during this catastrophy.

Joyful said...

Oh my goodness, when I saw that wrecked car picture appear I thought at first it was your vehicle! So thankful the Lord kept His hand on you and spared you from disaster!

A similar situation happened to me a few years ago on my way to a Ladies Conference hours from home. Thankfully the car passing me on the highway noticed the smoke before I did and signalled me to get off the road. He then stopped and offered assistance and I was able to have the car towed to the town I was travelling to and repaired while I was at the conference. God is so good!

Trust you don't run into anymore unforseen circumstances!
Blessings,
Joy

sister sheri said...

Well, all I can say is... you must really love your sister!

osagebluffquilter said...

Marlene, WOW you will be stuck in Jeff City for a bit. I work Tuesday and Wednesday, but if yu have free time and are still here after that, call me and if your sister is busy, you and I could run. MY home phone is 496-3793, Hope you get good service in jefferson city. Right now I am in Oklahoma City, we will be home tomorrow.
Osagebluffquilter

Grammy Staffy said...

Oh my dear Marlene.... what a terrible story.... I am so sorry that you had to go through all of that.

Thank goodness that you were sent a good tow truck operator. At least you got to your sister's house.

I hope that you can get home again. Will you be able to get any of the money back from Walmart?

I think it is great that in spite of it all you still can see God was taking care of you.

By the way, I just love the way you sign your comments with "Blessing, Marlene" I wish that I had thought of it.
Enjoy your visit with your sister.
Good luck, Lura

Purple Pam said...

Okay, I agree with everyone. Wal-Mart should pay the bill. Even if it was an honest mistake, it was their mistake. I am so glad you found a guardian angel, and you are safe and sound. I cannot image how I would have handled that situation. You are a trooper, to say the least. God loves you for sure!

Ivory Spring said...

I am so sorry to hear that, Marlene... so, have you gotten to your destination yet, or are you on your way home?

It's so neat how God still shows you He cares through the tow truck driver! Hang in there, our Heavenly Father hasn't forgotten about you!

Blessings!

Anonymous said...

Dee from Tennessee

Thankful that you had a great tow truck driver...very very thankful.

Karen said...

Oh, what a mess! You were very lucky with that tow truck driver taking you so far. I hope you get some satisfaction from the place that put the wrong fluid in.
My daughter once put oil in the power steering fluid opening of our car. Luckily we caught it not long after she did it.

Molly said...

Lord, Marlene! That's an awful big helping of bad luck! What a sweet guy your tow truck driver was...Around here AAA charges extra if the place you want/need to have your car towed to is over a set number of miles [5, I think?] away. You could have been a goner, with a huge truck behind you. Heaven was looking out for you for sure!

Angie said...

Oh, Marlene, forgive me for laughing. I know this could so easily have been tragic but, to quote the catchphrase of an Irish comedian (you won't know him) - "It's the way you tell 'em".

Actually, I was trying to leave a comment on the 'Interruptions' post in September but it just would not let me do that so, idly swanning through a few of your other entries, I came across this one and Hey Ho, guess what? If I hadn't been denied access to comment I may not have read this, so no little giggle and no realisation that I had been interrupted for a good reason.
love, Angi, xx