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?