Saturday, November 30, 2013

The Night that was Horrible, But Could Have Been SO Much Worse!

On Friday, our family and Greg's parents loaded up in our car to drive to Palestine.  We were traveling to the Polar Express!  The kids were very excited to see Santa, their lists were written and they were ready!  

Only a few miles away from the Polar Express, our car started making a weird sound.  It was coming from the engine, but since being only a few miles away from our location I really didn't worry about it.

**Just as a side story:  I have taken my car in to local shops NUMEROUS times for a mysterious engine sound.  It would make the sound for me, the mechanic wouldn't hear the sound and return the car back to me.  The last mechanic finally heard the sound, and his opinion was that the sound wasn't bad enough to do anything to the car, so he suggested until it get REALLY bad.  Not great advice, but I took the car and really paid attention to any sounds/lights that came on**

We had a wonderful time at Polar Express.  The kids danced in the aisles with the "chefs".  We drank delicious hot chocolate, and got to meet Santa.  After the train ride, and hitting up the restrooms, we were in the car ready to head home about 7:15 pm.  Our goal was to be home by 10 pm.  Sadly, that didn't happen...

In Palestine, we stopped at McD's to get some food for all of us.  Not even a mile from there, the car started beeping at us.  We made sure we were buckled...still beeping.  Doors all closed...still beeping.  Engine starts smoking...
We pull over and Greg and his dad start looking at the engine.  It's the radiator.  Greg gets a cup of water to cool down the radiator so we can make it to a gas station.  When driving to the gas station I hear that thumping sound that I heard the first time when coming to Palestine.  The guy's guess was that the radiator was leaking coolant onto the belt, which was making the belt make a horrible sound.  We got to the gas station, got everything patched and the prayers started, "Just let us get home safely."

If you've ever been to Palestine, you take a lot of dark country roads until you meet back up to I-45.  My biggest fear was breaking down on one of these dark roads...with three kids.  

Around an hour later, it happened.  The belt broke, breaking a huge hole in to the radiator.  Coolant spilled out, causing the car to overheat quickly.  Thankfully, we were near an exit, pulled in to a gas station/Arby's.  

I was sad.
Greg was mad.
Nolan was crying, thinking it was his fault.
Casey was wet.
Mallory was asleep.

I call my sister Jenn's cell phone (which she doesn't usually answer, living in the country gives her bad reception).  She answered on the second ring!  She will leave in 5 minutes to come get us!  Yay!  Too bad, we were almost an hour away...

Mallory asleep in Arby's, and then she woke up and cried.
We all headed in to Arby's where Mallory slept, and Casey cried.  Nolan found a Hot Wheel at the gas station, so he was happy again.  After Arby's closed, they shooed us out, but the gas station had a trucker's living room. We all settled down.  After a little over an hour, our hero was here!  The sight of Jenn and her working car almost brought tears to my eyes.  We all loaded up, and headed home.  

We pulled in to Greg's parents driveway and unloaded all the kids.  They were staying the night to go to the movies tomorrow.  I tucked them in, and they were exhausted.  Greg and I went home, and after all was said and done, it was past midnight.  But we were home safe!!

Since I'm an eternal optimist, here are some things that could have made it worse:
  • The car dying on some scary, dark road with ax murderers hiding in bushes
  • The car dying a few weeks ago in the dark roads of the Hill Country, with ax murderers hiding in bushes.
  • The kids could have FREAKED OUT, but instead, somewhat kept their cool
  • Jenn not answering her phone, or saying no to picking us up (she does have 4 kids herself)
  • Did I mention the ax murderers hiding in bushes????
So, now my car is somewhere in Madisonville.  It won't be looked at until some time on Monday (3 days away).  I am car-less, but I am perfectly fine just sitting at home...I think I'm done with adventures for a while.