I started a post about how I was thankful for a wonderful weekend at the Royal Falcon Baha’i School in Pensacola. And I am, so very thankful for the school itself, and hope to write more about it. I’m also thankful for being alive to give thanks. We had some car trouble on the way home yesterday.
We left New Orleans knowing that our car was not in peak condition, but with assurances from the mechanic that it would be okay until a replacement part came in this week. It sounded a little off on the way to Pensacola, but on the way back started sounding and feeling more and more unstable and unsafe, so we got off I-10 in Theodore, Alabama, right outside of Mobile. We had to do some mental (and I guess a little emotional) gymnastics to figure out the steps of dealing with the car and getting the five of us and all of our stuff back to New Orleans. Called our manufacturer’s roadside assistance, got our car towed from the truck stop to the Mobile dealer, called a taxi, ate at the Wendy’s at the truck stop while we were waiting, loaded all of us and our stuff into the taxi, rode the eight or so miles to the airport which had the only open Enterprise in the Mobile area, unloaded our stuff, rented a car, loaded our stuff, drove through the rain, drove past a ten-car accident, got home about four hours after intended.
- We got off at the best possible exit – facilities for us to sit and, more importantly, not too far from the only open Enterprise on a Sunday afternoon. Had we driven any further, it would have been more of an ordeal.
- Nice people all around. No one gave us a hard time about all our stuff piled into the Wendy’s. And one of the guys working at the truck stop offered that, if we were still waiting when he got off work, he’d drive us to the airport to rent a car. The taxi driver was friendly and explained how to get back from the airport to the interstate.
- We’re still under warranty. For two more weeks. This includes paying for a rental car while we wait for our car to be repaired.
- Our car was filled with risk-averse adults, who were in agreement that we should get off the highway. These same four adults have jobs, that make enough money to remove most of the monetary stresses associated with the decisions we made to get the car fixed and still get ourselves back home.
- MrMan slept through most of the car ride. And through the night.
- We all kept it together through what was a somewhat stressful afternoon.
Funny part: Our taxi driver jokingly said he could drive us to New Orleans, following that with the fact he does indeed sometimes drive train workers from Mobile to New Orleans, between train lines. While we were in the car with him, he got a call for such a fare. As we told him goodbye, we all wondered who would make it to New Orleans first. Two hours later, as we were in stop-and-go traffic, passing an extensive accident on the High Rise over the Industrial Canal (in New Orleans East), he drove past us in the next lane. We recognized his taxi, and had his phone number on my cell, so my mom called him. Just to say hi, and welcome to New Orleans.
Not-so-funny part: Turns out that some work done on our car last week wasn’t completed. In that, they didn’t tighten our lug nuts. I don’t know much about cars, but from what I know, the lug nuts are pretty useful for keeping our tires on. Since the car was making an increasingly louder noise, and started vibrating, I’m guessing the lug nuts were about to give up on their job. As we were traveling at a high speed. When I think about what could have happened….