Well that was a bit more than I was expecting!
This weekend was the event I had been excited about for some time – my cousin’s wedding. On my dad’s side, he and I are the last two out of some twenty-odd grand children, and thus, he is my closest cousin. On Saturday he married his long time girlfriend, who I am more than happy to consider family.
Though, I never made it to the wedding.
My hometown of Bellingham is just up near the Canadian boarder of Washington, and the wedding was an hour east of Portland. Dateless, I set off on my journey fairly early in the morning so as to avoid traffic in Seattle, Tacoma and Olympia. With that intent in mind, I hit just a little patch of it, enough that I came to a stand still for a couple minutes just south of Tacoma.
Now, being the caring manual driver that I am, I like to look after my clutch, and try not to ride it and wear it out. So whenever I’m braking, I put my car into neurtral. I did so, and came to my nice safe stop. When cars began moving again, I switched into first.
I tried again.
My gears just would not switch! I tried everything – and then finally Reverse, which it happily did, though I quickly stopped it before going into the very large pickup truck behind me, who kindly put on his hazard lights.
I was swearing and perspiring (becuase ladies don’t sweat) at this point, and finally I was able to switch into first, which was enough to get me over into the next lane and to the very close exit. I was able to get myself into a parking lot just off the exit. There I remained fo the following six hours.
Of course, in time of crisis, the first person I call is my mom. I know, 30 year’s old and calling mom for help. She gave me her AAA number and info, who was my next call. They told me that they would only do 5 miles for free, then woudl charge me $3.50 per additional mile! Becuase it was a three-day weekend, they suggested I tow it to my residence. Since I was 131 miles from home, I replied that it wasn’t an option.
I called one of my closest, bestest friends, Brad, who was ready to come get me. My mom and him met up and grabbed some tow rope before he was on his way. In the mean time, I had until whatever time he arrived, at least two hours, so I sat back and read my book. It was oddly pleasant. I had quite a few cars stop and ask if I needed any help, which was very kind of them. It really made my conscious of hose caring the world was.
Brad finally arrived, and in good time too. After mapping out a route home, we hooked our cars together with the 20 foot towing rope and began the journey. However, his car is only a little bit bigger than my 98 VW Golf, so the tow ended up not working. We got as far as a Japanese restuarant before giving up. A man came out from a trailer across the street, and said hed seen me trying to stort out my car all day. He told me he knew the owner of the restaurant, and would be happy to ask him to let me keep my car there until I could figue out a solution. The restaurant owner allowed it, and the gentleman was kind enough to make sure I snagged everything out of there that might tempt people to break in.
Brad and I set off home. I was so grateful to him for being willing to help on a moment’s notice. I’m extremely lucky when it comes to friends.
The next day was spent trying to figure out how to get my car towed. I was willing to try the rope tow again, though needed someone with a truck. My very pregnant cousin Maaike was willing to lend me her bar tow and help me get the other tools I would need to hook that up. Then my friend Stephanie revealed she had access to a truck. We ended up opting to rent a tow dolly from U-Haul. Stephanie took the day off work to drive me the two and a half hours south to get my car and haul it back.
Tomorrow I get to see if I can fix it for cheap – or rather, fix it for what funds I have. However, through all this, I am delighted by all the support that’s been shown, and the willingness to help from those around me, whether I know them or not. This experience really showed me a positive face in the world, one that I really have been needing to see.