To start off, we are all alright. No one is maimed, bleeding, or even bruised. (No small feat for my girls and I in the span of a day as we are all quite clutzy.)
After my post the other day about sewing machine cabinets, I started searching Craigslist for one. I found a nice one that even had a drop down part to sew sleeves and the like (I use that part of my machine often.) I emailed the seller to make sure it was still available. It was, and she would be home Tuesday if I wanted to see it. Alright. I asked her if she would hold it for me, because I wasn't sure how I would get it out of my truck when I got home. She agreed that it would be fine.
This morning I called her and she gave me directions. It was about thirty-five miles ONE WAY, to her house. I decided that if I liked it, I would buy it and figure it out when I got home. So I wrestled the tonneau cover off of the bed of the truck (no small task alone, pretty easy with a helper) and put the bed extender back in. I loaded the girls into the truck and we trekked out.The drive there was uneventful. Arriving at her house was uneventful, too. I looked at the sewing cabinet, and it was perfect. Rather ugly, and a little more than I wanted to pay, but perfect in every other way. I told her I would buy it, and we sat down for a moment so the girls could play with her cats and her dachshund, Tinkerbell. She then asked me if we wanted a cat. AH!? Why?! Could she smell the cat lover in me? Could she see the way the girls eyes lit up as the played with the cats? In any event we started looking at them. I should have had her help me load the cabinet up that moment. I shouldn't have even looked at the cats twice. But I did. I did. The girls and I discussed the two free cats. One, a lovely, 10 month old, siamese mix with stripes where her dark fur was, and the second a dark gray, 4 month old girl. The gray kitten was named Princess Jasmine, and had been to the vet last Tuesday to have her girl parts removed. The white cat, Lexus, was playful, inquisitive and really fun to watch. The girls chose the gray cat. I don't know if it was seeing her with the cone on her head, or what it was, but they both loved her.
We left the seller's house, with a sewing cabinet and one gray fur ball. I didn't secure the cabinet as well as I should have, I found out when we got onto the interstate and I noticed a piece of it had gone missing. We turned around and found it in the middle of the on ramp. I was able to grab it while there was a lull in traffic. We headed back down the freeway. Ten miles or so on, and everything is secure. We are driving along, I had just stopped singing along with Its the End of the World (and I feel fine.) by REM at the top of my voice (fun for frustration.) There is a noise, like we hit an alligator or something. I can feel something bounce from just under my feet and down the truck's underside. I think very little of it, figuring I didn't see anything and we are still driving along at our 60 mph pace.
We come to our exit. As I stop, the truck feels very strange. It is making a very loud noise and it sounds like the brakes are going out, but it is still stopping. I pull off into a parking lot and look under the truck. I can see no sign of obvious damage (not saying I am a mechanic or anything, but you can tell if something like the brake line is severed and the fluid is leaking, ya know?) I slowly pull back onto the road. I drive slowly and carefully, trying not to stop at all. Finally I get to an intersection where I have to stop. When the light turns green, the truck will not move. Not. an. inch. I press on the gas slowly, and hear the roar of the engine. I can feel the truck trying its darnedest to move. But nothing. I finally, foot nearly to the floor, get the truck to move. I turn the corner, dragging butt the whole way, every car/motorcycle/truck that passes stares long and hard. But I make it into the parking lot. I stop, and shaking so badly, try to think clearly. The only thing I can think it to call my mom. But first I need to get out and look at the truck. I still see no obvious damage. A guy walking down the street says, "Your front tire didn't move that whole time." He gestures to the ground and I see it, the skid mark of doom. All the way from the intersection into the parking lot leading up to my truck, my poor truck.I get back into the truck, where Rhayn is crying, and call Mom. She talks me through an option and best of all, calms me down enough that I can think.
In the glove box is the insurance card. I call the number and schedule a tow truck. Then Dad calls. He is almost done (he works as a courier and is in town, my wonderful Mom had called him when we got off of the phone) and will come to us if we need him when he is through. Big sigh of relief. Knowing that I will not be alone with two girls and a cat, really makes me feel better. Oh? You forgot about the cat, didn't you? In all the issues with the truck, the cat flitted from your mind? Me, too.Back to the waiting part. The tow company gives me an estimate of one hour. Argh. I needed to pee (being the bladderless wonder and all.) I can't leave the truck unlocked, although in hindsight- its not like they could have stolen it or anything. I rolled up the windows and grabbed the cat, my purse, and my girls. We walked down the building. I could see a lot of cars and figured that one of the offices was open. We saw a woman and asked her what was there, "A tea company." I tell her that we are waiting for a tow truck, and could we use their bathroom, please. She says "Yes, but we don't normally let people use it." I sigh again, and thank her. The cat in my arms is trying to get away and is shaking so badly I can hardly hold her. The woman shows us the restroom, which was occupied, then she asks the girls if they would like something cold to drink. She shows us into the break room and offers us each one of these drinks. The girls opt for Mango (really good) and I get Pomegranate (tart, but tasty.) We use the restroom, the girls and I thank her for the tea and we head back out to wait for my Dad and the tow truck.
Hot town, summer in the city, back of my neck getting dirty and gritty, we sit and wait. Finally my Dad appears. The girls are ecstatic, they look at him like their savior. He brings ice cold water and a new person to talk to. When the tow company calls and says it will be twenty minutes we settle in to wait more. Time goes by, slowly, and my phone rings. (Did I mention it was down to one bar of battery?) It is my insurance company, an automated call to ask if the tow truck has arrived. It hasn't so I am transferred to a representative. He calls and finds out that the tow truck was held up at the last place and will be there in fifteen minutes. Eyes roll, and we wait more.
When Mr.Tow Truck finally gets to us, we tell him what happened, and he gives us the address of the repair shop that our insurance company has said is closest. We head over, the tow truck picking up my truck (which I must say I am curious how he did it, but I didn't want to watch because I know it looks scary.) The repair shop was NOT what I thought it would be. It was a tire repair place. That wouldn't work, because I knew it wasn't just the tire, plus it seemed like a shady place and reeked of cigarettes. Mr. Tow Truck arrives, we talk and I call my insurance company (again) to find out where to take the truck. (Meaning, where can I have it towed FREE.) I am given the name of a repair place about a mile away. We once again drive on.
At this repair place, I tell the amiable mechanic, Jesus Jr. what happened. He looks at the tire, and tells me that it is probably the calliper. One of the bolts came off while we were driving. I am told that if the dealership near him has the part the repair will be done in an hour or so. We chose to leave and take the kids (and our little gray kitten) home.
An hour later I call Jesus Jr. who informs me that it will be done in ten or twenty minutes. I do a little dance. I was so relieved. If it wasn't done, if he couldn't get the part, I would have been without a vehicle or would have had to have my Dad drive me to the base to pick up the Neon. That would have been a lot of driving that I did not want to do. Anyway, it didn't come to that, thankfully.
My Dad had had a flat tire that morning, and was driving on his spare. He wanted to get it patched before he drove home. I totally understand that. Lucky for us all, there was a tire place on the same block as the car repair place. Ten minutes and six dollars later, he had his tire patched, put back on his car, and we were on our way.
The truck was parked on the street, ready to be picked up and driven home (and still had the sewing cabinet in the back.) I asked him how much and if they took credit cards. No, but there is a circle K down the road. One more time in the car, but the ATM there was broken and I could only get $40. My dad and I together had just enough to cover the $85 charge. (Whew.)
Jesus Jr. asks me to bring the truck back in two days to check the bolts. He said the other side was not loose, but he wanted to be sure. Also, I need new tires because the vibration was possibly what caused the bolt to come loose. (Can you say, DUH?) I pay him, and climb cautiously into the truck. With trepidation I drive down the road. You don't experience a tire seizing without a little fear the next time you are behind the wheel, now do you?
We have McDonald's for dinner (Rhayn's choice) and then drive back to my house. Rhayn is going to spend a few days at my parents house (and Great Grandma's and an aunt and uncle probably) and couldn't wait to get away from home with her Grandpa. But I had asked my Dad to help me unload my sewing cabinet and replace the tonneau cover.
I think that the amount of shaking that the cabinet went through today made it in need of love. It was in much better shape when I put it into the bed of the truck. I had planned to refinish it anyway, I will have to fix it while I am doing that. Because I am just that crafty.
It is late, and I am exhausted from my day. Gwennie is watching Hercules, and the kitten is hiding somewhere in my bathroom. We think we are going to rename her Alice. You see we just listened to Alice in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass so the girls are into that and because she has golden eyes, rather like a certain vampire family we all know and love. I will post a picture of her tomorrow, I couldn't get a good one since it is dark already, and every time the flash went off her shuts her eyes.
And I am off to b.e.d.