Today started out a little harried. I packed up my car with bags and bags of supplies for a project the PEN Club (Pray-Explore-Nourish) at our church would be working on later. It was raining, and it was cold and wet outside. I wanted to skip the meeting. However, since I was in charge of it, I couldn't. I'd spent just about all of yesterday preparing for the meeting - organizing and counting the supplies, making a list of what was needed, going shopping to get everything else that was needed, and then organizing it all. Church members had donated money to get the items to fill the bag - so I considered it a sacred responsibility to spend that money well and to get good deals on everything. I had to write and print out a devotion, and design and print labels for the food bags and hygiene bags we'd be filling for a homeless shelter in Nashville.
So this morning I left early so I'd have time to get everything set up. When I cranked up the car, a couple lights flashed, but it was running okay, and I figured it would get me to church and back, and I'd call the service folks afterwards and arrange to take it in tomorrow or Friday. So off I went.
About a mile down the road, I came to a "road closed" sign - the road ahead was flooded. I backed up until I found a place I could turn around. Then I went a few miles out of the way on another route to the church - I figured I'd approach it from a different direction. Alas, I found another "road closed" sign for that road. So I re-routed again and tried a third (and final) route. This time I made it through. The water on the sides of the road was high, but it hadn't come onto the road yet.
Meanwhile my fuel light had come on, and since giving out of gas is one of my fears - especially in flooding conditions (ha ha), I decided to stop at a gas station that was just right there and fill up. I still had plenty of time before the meeting began at 9:30. I filled up the car and then hopped back into the car to drive the rest of the way to the church, and when I turned the key in the ignition . . . my car was dead. Every light on the dashboard flashed when I tried to crank it - and it was obvious the car wasn't going anywhere.
The gas station (Leiper's Fork Market) had tables inside, and a very nice woman at the cash register. I explained the situation, and asked if it was okay to leave the car where it was until I could get a tow truck there. It was fine. My car blocked the fuel pumps on one side - but the other side was open, and they weren't busy.
So I sat at a table and started my texts and phone calls to get this situation remedied. First text was to cancel the PEN Club meeting. There was no way I could get there - and in my disabled car was everything needed for the meeting. Immediately one of the women who had been at the church (Cherry Lane) came to stay with me at the market. She was there to offer me a ride or any assistance she could.
I called the insurance company's roadside assistance number. Within minutes, the tow company was contacted, and the truck was on its way. I called Ron to let him know what was going on. He offered to come over, but I told him I thought it was all under control, but that I'd call if I needed him. Then I called Gary Force Acura service department to describe the problem and let them know I would be there with the car later.
Cherry Lane let me transfer all the bags of supplies into her car. I insisted I was fine/safe at the market - that when the tow truck got there, I would either ride with the truck to the Acura service center, or if he could get it cranked and it was drive-able, I'd drive straight to the service center myself. So she took the supplies back to the church and unloaded and labelled it all so it would be ready for whenever we reschedule the PEN Club meeting.
The tow truck got there in record time, and the guy was as nice as he could be. He determined that the battery was bad. He was able to jump it off and get it running. He checked it and didn't see anything else wrong and told me he thought it would be okay for me to drive it to the service center myself as long as I didn't turn it off again. Insurance covered the roadside assistance call; so I gave him a tip to help pay for his lunch, and then I headed to Gary Force Acura.
And Gary Force Acura - always so polite and thorough. They checked it thoroughly, and the only thing wrong was a bad battery. The warranty on the battery expired just a few weeks ago - and they still gave me a major discount on the new battery since the bad one was so close to being in warranty. It would take about two hours to get it all done since they would have to re-set things that were cancelled because of the bad battery.
I sat down in the waiting area and glanced at "Timehop" for today and realized that today marks 8 years exactly since Lily had her "No Mo' Chemo" party at the end of her first round of leukemia treatment. Eight years ago we celebrated the end of over two years of chemo, spinal taps, hair loss, almost 2 full years of missed school (2nd and 3rd grades). Never could we have guessed that over 5 years later she would relapse and have to go through another 2 years of treatment and miss another two years of school (10th and 11th grades).
Looking at all the photos from the "No Mo' Chemo" party brought tears to my eyes. I'd been getting a little frustrated with all the car problems and how I'd worked so hard yesterday preparing for today's meeting - all for nothing. But being reminded of what Lily has gone through, my car issues were instantly reduced to absolutely nothing. Totally insignificant. And my heart was filled with how blessed I am - with friends who came to my aid at a moment's notice, good insurance, a good service department - and good family members who immediately called and offered help.
My daughter, Larisa, whose office was about a mile away from the Acura place, came and picked me up, took me to lunch where we had a wonderful conversation. As we were getting ready to leave the restaurant, my phone rang. My car was ready. Larisa drove me back to get the car.
The bill for the repair work was less than I would have ever imagined, they'd washed my car, and it ran perfectly. I made a couple stops on the way home and got home around 4:00 p.m.
My day wasn't how I'd planned it, and I had to do a lot of scrambling to get everything taken care of, but it was a good lesson in how blessed I truly am.