Well my car broke down at the base of our mountain yesterday. Kajsa and I had been in Phoenix (Hell) earlier for doctor's appointments, so I figure it could have been a lot worse.
But anyway, there we were with the music going, just as happy as can be to only have 9 miles left to go, when suddenly the gas pedal seemed to stop working. I pressed it a couple of times thinking that surely I'd imagined this. (Denial can be such a very strong force, can't it?) But alas, it was all too real. So I pulled the car over to the side of the road and popped the hood.
What, I thought I'd be enlightened by under there remains a mystery. It just looked like an engine. An engine, mind you, that I have never worked with in any manner other than refilling oil and wiper fluid. Gone are the days of rebuilding the darn things. I wouldn't even know where to begin anymore.
During my engine observation time I was trying, despite an acute awareness of the futility involved, to call anyone on my cell phone. I know, and have known for a long time, that we have no service withing 20 to 40 miles of our home...depending upon the direction traveled.
As I tried in vain to raise a miraculous signal, I peeked (oh so sneakily) around the hood and into the car. No sooner had I spotted Kajsa than I realized she was staring straight at me. "My butt huts!" Oh yeah...it's a glamorous life.
So I gave her some Sun Chips and a bottle of water, to pacify the beastling, as I walked around to the back of the car and began waiving my cell phone at the occasional car while making elaborate "I-can't-get-my-cell-phone-to-work (gasp) could-you-please-stop-to-try-yours-or (cough) perchance-escort-my-three-year-old-and (wheeze wheeze) myself-up-the - hill gestures. Strangely, people looked at me as though I was some crazed woman
having a seizure on the side of the road, as they quickly changed to
the far lane.
Well. That clearly
wasn't working, so I formed plaintive prayer hands while trying to look
pitiful and somewhat sane – or at least less threatening.
Aha. It worked. A
nice couple pulled up and cracked their window ever so slightly in an effort to
speak to the crazy woman with the dented old Kia. I told them that I
lived at the top of the hill (only 9 miles) and that my three year old and I
would most certainly appreciate a ride home if that would please be OK.
What could they do?
They agreed. Wahoo! So I grabbed Kajsa and my purse and put them
both at the side of the road as I went back for the car seat. Always
thinking of safety!
Little did I know that the
nice suburbanite woman was helping Kajsa into the car as I was checking the
car’s locks. And while I am absolutely certain that she had no intentions
of harming or stealing my child, I can only imagine what went through her mind
as all of Kajsa's medical syringes fell out of my purse and onto the ground in
front of her bewildered little self.
I mumbled something about
'kidneys' and 'just life' as strapped Kajsa into her car seat. And it was
only as I straightened up from my Circ du Soliel audition that I realized that
my angelic toddler was pouring her water all over these people's immaculate
car. Oh yes, we were both trying out for the circus – only Kajsa was
going to be the clown with the shaken bottle of soda water while I was, of
course, the tragic contortionist. Lovely.
I tried to make small
talk with this visibly uncomfortable couple, while ignoring my own dirty
clothes. (You stand at the side of a desert highway for 15 minutes with
high winds blowing tumbleweeds into you hair and you'll be dirty too, I promise.)
In addition, Kajsa had begged for an ice cream sandwich earlier as we were
leaving Children's Hospital. Hours later, what wasn't gluing dust to her
upper lip had formed a fabulous piece of original artwork across the front of
her shirt. Oh yes, Mom, I was the scary, sad lady with the
filthy child. Sorry.
But we did get home.
And I called Chris and AAA. I called a mechanic who now has possession of
my miserable little car. We're hoping it's a fuel pump. And you
know, it'd probably help if you'd all keep you're fingers crossed for us.
I know I'll personally be crossing anything that's longer than it is
wide. (Get your minds out of the gutter, folks, there's only one of
Meanwhile, Chris and I are
off to look at houses to rent tomorrow. We'll be taking Chris' incredibly
loud Baja in. So goodness knows what kind of impression we'll make upon
the next set of nice, yet unprepared, folks. I just hope that whatever
happens, that this next adventure also leads us home.