Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Tuesday: Abandon Hope All Ye Who Enter Here

The alarm went off at 6:30 am. The snooze was hit and gave me a precious eight more minutes. The alarm rang a second time and I rolled out of bed. I needed to be on the road by 7:30 to get to Ellensburg in time for my 12:30 meeting.

My bags were packed and with a few last minute additions I was on the road. My car was acting funny, but I hoped that I would make it.

Then I realized that hope was not going to be enough. I decided I needed some help from above. I prayed “Dear Heavenly Father, please bless that my car will make it all the way…” and I paused, thought, then added, “…but if not, then help me to handle whatever happens calmly and without stress.” That being said I pushed on.

Colfax was a memory and I was heading through the rolling fields of the Palouse when I noticed that my car was having a harder time getting up hills than its four-cylinders usually exhibit. Then I noticed it was having a hard time going straight even with the proverbial pedal to the metal.

Quietly, my car died and I pulled off the road. “Hmmm…” I thought, “now what?” I started the car again and turned around pointing back to Colfax. “If I can make it there (I’ll make it anywhere) I can get some help.” I got about another mile or so before my car died again. “Well, that’s that.”

I pulled out my cell phone and tried to call Daniel M. No service. “Well, that’s interesting.” There was enough traffic that I was sure someone would give me a ride back to civilization. I put on my coat and stood outside in front of my car. A few cars passed…then a couple of trucks came from the other direction. I was slightly bummed, but one of the trucks quickly turned around and came back. The truck even had red flashy lights on top! When the two men got out, they even put on bright orange vests. “Ah-ha! The cavalry has arrived!”

They had me pop the hood but they couldn’t see what was wrong. I told them how the car was behaving and they said, “Sounds like the fuel pump.” I told them that I had no cell phone service and they said that they could call for a tow-truck on their radio. Thank goodness! They made the call and went on their way. I waited in my car playing Tetris on my cell phone. Then I realized that the two men might have worried about their own safety because I had a noose in my backseat! (It was a prop for the show…but they didn’t know that!)

The tow-truck came and the guy was really nice. He had me wait in the truck because it was awfully cold outside. The truck was SO COOL! It wasn’t one of those that pull the car behind, instead it was the kind that lifted it up into the bed of the truck! So very cool. And riding in the truck reminded me of when Dad drove truck and I got to sit so high above the road. Cool.

I was also thinking about how cool it was that my car was going down the road without clocking miles on it! Dude, that’s cool. If only it didn’t cost so much to go those miles. Anyway, the guy talked about fishing up in Alaska and about how he doesn’t like bugs either. It was fun.

We got to Colfax and found a shop that was able to take my car. It’s called Jim's Auto Service, but run by a guy named Dan. Go figure. I left my car and information with them and decided to go find a place to hang out, call people…and um…pee.

There was a grocery store...and my phone calls went like this:

Ginger: to get the props from me to Anna at ACTF
Daniel: to see if I could get a ride. (left a message)
Kylie: to see if I could get a ride. (left a message)
Anna: to let her know that I wasn’t coming but that the props would still arrive.
Mommy: to let her know of my adventures.
Kylie called me: to say that she could come get me.
Ginger: to let her know that I could bring the props to her.
Christina: to let her know that I wasn’t going to be in Seattle.
Brian G: to see if he could pick up props from Ginger to give to Anna (left a message)

And I found a public toilet! (I also bought Daniel a souvenir from my stop in Colfax: a box of 19 Spongebob Squarepants band-aids. (The box reads 20…but I needed one.) Why does he get a souvenir? It’s a Spongebob thing.)

Anyway, I went to Taco Time and got a Dr. Pepper and let the waiting for Kylie commence. She made it and we headed back to the repair shop—so I could get my stuff out of the car.

I told Dan/Jim that I wanted to get my stuff out and he said that he may have already fixed the car. They found out that all of the spark plugs were burned out (or something more scientific than that). And that it needs a new thermostat. So, they fixed the spark plugs and I could be on my way…as long as I get the thermostat fixed soon-ish. So, my car was fixed.

On the drive back to Moscow, Daniel got off from work and gave me a call. The phone went in and out of service but I was able to tell him my story. And he was able to offer some support.

Kylie followed me from Colfax back to Moscow where I dropped off the props to Ginger and then treated Kylie to lunch for her help. She said to make sure that Daniel knows that she is my "Favorite friend of the day." Then she pointed out that she also has, in the past, given me a pedicure and hand massages so I told her that she can be my "friend of the decade."

So my 50 mile round trip to Colfax ended up costing me almost $300.00.

I called Mom and Christina who are notorious worriers (bless their over-protective hearts) to let them know that I was back in Moscow and so was my car.

"The day's not a total loss," I thought, "I can go to the meeting for the College of Letters Arts and Social Sciences at 5:00 at Common Grounds."

Which explains why I was so lonely waiting at One World Café for the other three to show up.

The rest of this day…I’m staying home.

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