Thursday, September 22, 2011

Okay, Seriously

My feet are healing.  Toe maybe not broken after all, although the word mofo still pops up now and again.  Broken blisters are only sore while I'm wearing shoes.

I did sleep weird the other day and got a kink in my neck.  I guess I pretty much asked for that, though, didn't I?

Instead of adding new body parts to a list of complaints, I'll just say I'm really glad I don't have to.

This morning, while driving the girls to Grandma's house, we had issues.  In case you're new around here and don't know, our morning drive goes from an elevated desert over a mountain range pass and down to the bottom of the other side.

It's not exactly treacherous mountain driving, being that each side of the freeway has three to four lanes.  There's enough of a downhill grade to have emergency ramps should one of the thousands of semis that passes through have a brake failure.

I did not have a brake failure.  Even better, I didn't have any trouble while in the pass.  About 10 miles from Grandma's house I heard that beep.  Saw the red triangle with an exclamation point.  Read the message that said, "Stop safely now."

Felt sick.

The last time this happened was a few years back, and my car had just run out of gas.  Today, I had plenty of fuel.  Last time I was only doing about 35 miles per hour; the car died in about 30 feet, complete with a locked up steering wheel.

Today I was driving closer to 75 miles an hour.  In the fast lane of a very fast freeway.

With my girls in the back.

*deep cleansing breath*

I did not attempt to get to the other side.  I made the equally bad decision to pull onto the center divide. 

A call to roadside assistance had someone on there way.  "They'll be there in 80 minutes or less."

"Eighty minutes?  I'm on the center divide with two small children."

I am not a crier, but I could have been.

A CHP officer pulled up, mentioned three times that I was in a very unsafe spot.  (It wasn't just the center divide, I was up against the start of a bridge, where the shoulder narrows.  Every passing carr rocked us.  I could not move forward or back.  Although my car was still running, it wouldn't go.)

He had dispatch call the tow service to see if they could speed things up.  Apparently not.  He came back and asked for my cell number.  Called my cell phone to make sure it was right and then told me he was going back to run a traffic break.  He would call me to let me know when to go.  I was concerned at how fast I could get the car to go.  He went back to his SUV and came back again.  Said another officer would run the break and he would escort me.

Someone on his walkie-talkie asked if I'd turned the car off and then turned it back on.  I had not. 

I tried it.

The triangle of doom was gone.  Replacing the "stop safely now" message was the same old "miles until E."

I do not understand cars.

Apparently I reset the car's computer.  Not that everything was fine, mind you, but it was good enough to make the traffic break work for us.

It was a little surreal being escorted off the freeway by two CHP officers.  Officer Garcia, my knight in shining black and white... whatever SUVs are made of these days... and the officer who ran the break made sure I got into a parking lot near the off-ramp and waved as they drove away.

My car was running fine, so I called my dad and Nance to update them before heading off again.  Got to Dad and Margaret's place only to hear the unmistakable sound of air leaking from a tire.  I had a moment of desperate hope when I wondered if maybe the flattening tire could have caused my earlier dilemma.

I believe my tires are "run flats," meaning I can go a little way before they show the effects of, say, a roofing nail being jammed clear through.  Despite leaking air for at least 10 minutes, the the tire still looked and felt normal.  So I dropped off the girls and had my dad follow me to the dealership.

The examination of my car revealed several problems.  Maybe the missing air filter case clip could be dealt with another time, but that and the rest are being worked on now and for at least one more day.

Thankfully, the problem that brought us to a (metaphorically) screeching halt this morning is covered under the extended warranty we purchased four years ago.  I am about 10,000 miles from the end of that warranty.  Whew!  With the driving I do, it will likely run out by the middle of winter.

Unfortunately, there are a host of "maintenance" issues that are all going to be handled at the same time.

The only estimate I've received so far is that we're at $550.

Plus two new tires.  No, not the one with the roofing nail; they're going to repair that one. 
Tires are a veritable bargain at $330, because it's not just tires.  They're gonna mount, balance and install them.  I may have begun self-medicating with chocolate.

And there may be a deductible for our warranty work. 
There's no deductible, hooray!

I have a theory on why this happened.  Want to hear it?

Last night I worked out our bills for tomorrow and next Friday.  We pay all of our bills ahead of schedule, but had gotten ourselves up tight against the due dates with all of the activities in July and August.  Last night I mentally patted myself on the back as I thought, "By next Friday we'll only have one bill left for the month of October.  Then we can start on Christmas, Tom's mother's retirement gift and a few other things.  As long as nothing happens."

Stupid thought.

Here's another, much better:  Mad, Fynn and I were only delayed.  We They were not frightened or injured.  Even though I will be driving a rental car home tonight, we will all go home together.


Emms said...

Oh my! I'm so glad everything turned out ok. What a scary experience. How did the girls handle it? Did they even realize?

Anti-Supermom said...

You totally cursed yourself by being so proactive, silly!

Glad to hear that you and the girl survived though, what a fiasco!

katy said...

Wow. Just. Wow. I don't know that I would have been able to react to everything without crying hysterically. Gotta love those CHPs -- they put their own lives at risk every day to help people in trouble. Glad you are all okay!!

Brooke said...

Blech! I seriously hate car issues. I'm glad you gals are ok!!

JT said...

This sounds exactly like one of my frequent nightmares. A friend's car died on the highway, and stopped mid-lane. So scary. I'm glad you guys were unharmed.

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