When I pulled off into the station, thankfully the others were aware of it and came back to see what was going on. Since I was about to lose it over the locking gas cap, the son came over to find out why the pump wasn’t pumping. I explained I didn’t have the key to the cap. He asked for my car key and lo! that’s what it took to unlock it. Such an easy solution and how far it was from my mind to try it. I wouldn’t have ever thought of that.
With a full tank of gas and having learned something new, we pulled back onto the highway and headed toward home once again.
The next day, I turned the keys for the Caddy back over to the nice man I’d bought it from and took the license plate to put on my Honda Civic. I hadn’t had it transferred yet so I still used the temporary tag.
DD would be at home a few more days. We went into the closest city to do some shopping. All of a sudden, the car gave a lurch. My heart jumped into my throat. It smoothed out and I thought it might have been a bad batch of fuel. Then it happened again. That time, my stomach turned a flip. If there’s anything I can’t stand, it’s driving a car that makes me feel uneasy. Plus having one that’s bent on draining my bank account (even though I didn’t have one then).
Coughing and sputtering, the car lurched down the highway. It would quit for a minute or so and then here it would go again. I knew where the closest dealer was so I headed that direction. It was probably three miles, all told, but it felt like 100. I pulled up to the service area and went inside, dreading the outcome of my visit. I didn’t have much money with me. My one credit card was almost maxed out—the credit limit was pretty low to begin with. All I could do was pray.
The man behind the desk took my personal information and I described what the car had been doing. His forehead wrinkled as I said, “It would sputter and cough and then it would be okay. That happened over and over. I could barely go 10 miles an hour getting here.” He didn’t lose any time getting it into the service bay.
I watched the news. I knew women were an easy mark for unscrupulous mechanics to take advantage. DD and I went to the waiting room to do just that—wait. After a surprisingly short hour or so, the man came back in. He told me some kind of button was burned and had to be replaced. As far as I was concerned, he might as well have told me the crankadoodle had humorphisized into a harpsichord. I know nothing of the innards of cars. Anything more than adding oil or other fluids and I’m lost. It sounded expensive and I was hoping he’d tell me it was $1.98 plus tax.
He went on talking. They’d checked the car over thoroughly and, after the button was replaced, gave it a clean bill of health. He asked when the timing belt had been replaced and I said I didn’t know. I had just bought the car. My stomach flipped again. I did know a timing belt was lotsa dollars. Was the timing belt okay? Well, yes. It was a brand new one. I slowly exhaled and breathed a prayer of thanks.
He escorted me to the cashier’s window. I’m not like my mother who would be able to tell you to the penny how much the repair was. I do remember it wasn’t much and I paid for it and had money left over.
God works in mysterious ways. He gave me a problem that was easily (and cheaply) fixed and got the car checked out at the same time. DD and I climbed back in and I started the engine with a new feeling of confidence. I might not have the latest model but I had a good car.
Back at work, I was doing my end of the month reports when DS1 called. After all the months of waiting, my DIL was ready to deliver. She had been to the hospital once before but was sent home after being told she was having Braxton Hicks contractions (false labor). When she came back, they put her to walking. She walked and walked and walked far into the night.
I wasn’t supposed to go ANYWHERE before I got the reports done but this was one time my superiors understood. With their blessing, I went home, picked up DD and we got to the hospital in record time.
DIL’s mother was there and we all crowded into the little room to await the arrival of the baby. We knew it was a girl. I’d gone with the couple when she’d been spotted in an ultrasound. DIL had to drink water until she was floating and hold it while the tech pushed on her belly. I was glad I wasn’t the one on the exam table.
Poor DIL was exhausted. She would have a contraction and push until sweat beaded up on her forehead. There was a fetal monitor hooked up and the baby’s heart rate would increase during the contractions. Something had to give.
DIL had been determined to have the baby with no drugs. Natural childbirth all the way. After hours, it was obvious she couldn’t take much more. The decision was made to take her to the delivery room. The father could go in and one other person. I bowed out. I wasn’t there during the conception and I didn’t feel I should be there during the delivery. The other mother-in-law felt the same way. There was no question about DD. She couldn’t have been hog-tied and dragged in. We went to the waiting room. To wait.