Do you ever have one of those days where everything is in perfect alignment, and then you find yourself smashed back into reality? That was my day this past Tuesday. On Tuesday I drove Grace into her radio interview at the local radio station in Belleville (see yesterday's blog). We got there early. The interview went great, everything was in alignment. After the interview Grace and I went to a big independent grocery store and had some lunch ( I know that sounds strange, but they serve meals to go at a very reasonable price and they even had a sitting area). As we entered the store Grace shared with me that she did not feel very well, her tummy hurt. "It's just nerves, I bet" (famous last words) I told her as I placidly patted the back of her shoulder. We sat down for our lunch, and her colouring did not look great. We finished our lunch, and got into the car. As we were driving down the road it sounded like Grace was pouring water in the back seat. As I turned around to tell her to knock it off, I noticed the grocery bag under her chin.... it was not water pouring out of a bottle!
I filled the car up and we headed home. When we stopped for gas, I looked around the car for more bags. For once my car was actually clean, darn it. On our way home, Grace's radio interview came on the radio (it had been pre-recorded). Gracie missed quite a bit of it, because she had her face buried in a grocery bag throwing up. The perfect alignment began to quickly fray. I had gotten our gas at the native reservation (cheap gas), so that meant I was traveling home on the back roads. We were driving behind a van that seemed like it was held together by dirt and luck, traveling 65 Km in an 80 Km zone. I did this for a while, thinking maybe he'll speed up. At last, spurred on by the sounds of retching coming from my back seat, I decided to pass. Passing makes me nervous, it is always a last resort for me. Inevitably when I go to pass, the idiot I am passing decides to speed up, leaving me in the wrong lane, driving at the speed of light.
So here I am behind the vehicle that looks like it will not survive a rain storm. I decide to pass. I push my foot down to the floor, and glide into the opposite lane. That's right the guy speeds up, but that's not all. As I am pushing my foot to the floor, the car is no longer accelerating, oh no, it's decelerating. I am in the on coming lane of traffic diving 40 Km an hour and not so slowly, slowing down. I instantly think I will just go into back into the lane, but out of no where there are 10 cars behind the derelict van. I decide to stop in the opposite's lane shoulder. After my heart eases it's way out of my mouth, I turn the car back on, and try to get back into my lane. The car gets me back into my proper lane, and then promptly dies. Did I mention that the heat that day (and every day this summer) was oppressively hot? I shut the car off and try to start it again.... nothing. I feel that little girl inside of me shouting "Just call Christopher, he'll fix things". I mentally tell that little girl I am a grown up, and can fix things my own self. I fish into my giant purse and pull out my cell phone and CAA card.
Every year for Christmas, Christopher's parents, and now just his Mom have bought us a CAA membership for the last 18 years. On the surface it seems like a pretty dry gift, but I will tell you it is the best gift we could receive! That card has saved my butt more times than I would care to admit to. CAA is a really beautiful thing. We call them before we go on a trip and they map out our trip for us, even giving us information about construction. Being a CAA member entitles us to beautiful guide books from our CAA office. When we go to hotels we get better rates by showing our CAA card. We save money on movie tickets when we buy them from CAA. We save a lot of money by either showing or buying our Canada's Wonderland, Disney, Sesame Place, ect tickets from CAA. CAA is a great thing to have. The greatest, best part about CAA is the roadside assistance. Although I was stranded at the side of the road, I knew that the tow truck would be coming soon, and would be free. That gift of CAA each Christmas, is a very beautiful thing! It is the gift of reassurance.
So I had phoned CAA and after much explanation as to where I was, I was told by the operator that we could expect the tow truck between the end of my call and twenty minutes. I rolled down the window, opened Grace's back door and we waited. The longer we waited the hotter the car became. I thought about us getting out of the car, but that did not seem safe. Three calls to CAA and enough sweat in my cleavage that I could make a small lake, and an hour and a half and the tow truck arrived. The up side was that the tow truck had glorious air conditioning. I felt badly for the driver having to sit beside me in my state of stink. I sat in the middle on a seat the size of a postage stamp. I had to twist my feet to the side to accomodate his cooler. Grace by this point seemed to have stopped throwing up, but looked like someone had painted her red. She leaned her head against my shoulder for the whole car ride. This seems like no big deal, until you begin to think about how much the human head weighs... a lot! As if the physical discomfort were not enough, I was feeling like throwing up thinking about what it was going to cost to fix my van. After what felt like a ten hour drive (it was really about 20 minutes), we pulled up to my local garage.
The end of the story... the car cost a lot less than I had thought it would to fix. I would have rather had it fixed itself for free, but all things considered we got off o.k. It was a crappy day, of that there is no doubt. It could have been a lot worse, I know this and I am thankful. If I had not gone to get my gas on the reservation, I would have never traveled home on the back road. Had I been passing on the main highway, I am not so certain I would be writing this blog today.
The moral of my story, is CAA (AAA) is good! This is wedding season, a CAA membership would be an amazing wedding gift. The bride and groom may give you that fake smile that screams "what a lame gift", but they will be singing your praises if they find themselves at the side of the road. If you are wondering, no I have no affiliation with CAA, I just know what a great gift it is. Oh and the other moral, my life is never boring, and if it ever is, I will be thankful for boring.