car repair, cell phone, coolant leaking, flute practice, headache, hot engine, interstate 94, luggage, middle of nowhere, milkweed, minnesota highway patrol, nap, over heating car, peeing in ditch, stranded on side of road, tow truck, towing
What a day! We spent the weekend visiting Eldest Son at college. He’s doing fine & we had fun. We left this morning to head to a meeting for Daughter and mid-way through the trip, our car hiccuped. This has happened before and the results had not been good. Hubby looked at the gauges and noticed that the temperature gauge was in the hot zone. Our car was over-heating. Seriously over-heating.
We were on the Interstate and our car died. Hubby coasted it as far as he could, but we ended up in what felt like the middle of nowhere. It may as well have been the middle of nowhere because, for all the traffic that whizzed by us, no one, NOT EVEN THE HIGHWAY PATROL, stopped for us. (We have to wonder what the Highway Patrol is for if not to assist stranded motorists. Are they only about handing out speeding tickets?)
We got out, fearing for our lives on the side of the Interstate, and checked the engine. Coolant was leaking out the bottom and the engine was so hot that any attempt to put in the extra coolant we had resulted in a lot of spitting. (Yes, we did wait some time for the engine to cool before refilling the coolant, but the thing was so hot that no amount of time seemed sufficient.)
Thankfully, we had the cell phone so we could call relatives for help. Hubby’s parents agreed to come get us and our brother-in-law gave us numbers for the nearest towing services. Because it was Sunday, the first two we called were closed. (Because we all know that the only time a car needs towing is during regular business hours.) The third place we called sent a nice young man out immediately.
Because of where we were (the middle of nowhere), we had quite a bit of time to wait for the parental units and the tow truck. In the meantime, I seriously had to pee, as did Hubby and Young Son. There’s nothing like having to pee in a ditch while trying not to be seen by passing traffic. Thank God for tall, thick weeds! Peeing outside is not the easiest thing to do if you’re female, but I was pleased with the fact that I managed not to pee on my shoes or clothing. Having one need successfully met under trying circumstances makes the rest of the situation more bearable.
While we continued to wait, Young Son discovered milkweed at the side of the road and had fun disecting it. Daughter practiced her flute in the car, which she thought was hilarious given the circumstances. We thought it would be even more hilarious had she gotten out and played on the side of the road. Maybe someone would have stopped. All in all, a science lesson and a music lesson, along with a lesson in what to do while stranded, made the two hours we spent on the Interstate marginally productive.
The tow truck reached us about fifteen minutes before Hubby’s parents. The tow truck driver got the car hooked up and then waited with us until Hubby’s parents arrived. He didn’t want to leave us waiting on the side of the road. (Which was incredibly nice of him. Thank you, thank you, thank you, Mr. Tow Truck Man!)
Hubby rode in the tow truck while our car was delivered to a garage for repair. (It’s Sunday, so the place wasn’t open, which means we’ll be dealing with this tomorrow.) The rest of us followed in Hubby’s parents’ car. When we got to the garage, we shifted the luggage from our car to the parental units’ car, then all crammed in and headed home.
My head was throbbing from all the travel and stress, so after greeting the kitties, I collapsed for a two-hour nap. It’s nice to be home.