Thirteen Things About My Drive To Georgia Today
(1) I started the trip later than I had planned.Â Â I had hoped to leave in the morning, butÂ I left home around 2:00 p.m.Â A little over three hours, and I’d be at my mother’s in Georgia. With the time difference and the later departure, that would put me in Chattanooga around 5:00.Â I was worried about hitting rush hour.Â As it turned out, traffic was the least of my worries.
(2) I-24 going east – a trip I’ve made hundreds of times.Â I honestly was thinking about Thursday Thirteen, and I was jotting down things I saw along the way in order to write my T13 as soon as I got to my mother’s.Â
(3) I was going over the bridge on the Tennessee River and Nickajack Lake when traffic almost came to a standstill.Â A car had had a tire blowout and was blocking a lane of traffic.Â No big deal, though.Â Someone had already stopped to help.Â A minute or two at a slower speed, and that was behind me.
(4) A few miles later I felt a little skip or bump in my engine.Â Uh -oh! Was it a rough spot on the pavement, or was something wrong with the car?Â I turned off the radio so I could listen.
(5) There weren’t any other bumping noises or feelings, but I noticed that the power steering had suddenly stopped working.Â That wasn’t good.Â The engine was still running, though.
(6) Then theÂ battery light on the dashboard flashed on — shining brightly red.Â Â As I studied the dashboardÂ I saw that the needle on the heat indicator had not only gone past “hot” — it was flashing red as far past “hot” as it could go.Â There were too many red flashing lights on the dashboard!Â And no power steering!Â Something was definitely wrong. (Well, duh, Carol!)
(7) Of course I was nowhere near an exit.Â The car was still running fine – despite the flashing red lights and lack of power steering.Â I slowed down and kept driving for a mile or so and saw a “Rest Area – 1 mile” sign.Â Whew!Â I’d get off there.
(8) The rest area was closed.Â I was afraid I’d damage the engineÂ if IÂ continued driving with an overheated engine.Â So I pulled to the side of the road next to the blocked exit to the rest area.Â Too bad the rest area was closed.Â I had to go to the bathroom, but that would have to wait.
(9) Thank God for cell phones and a 24-hour roadside assistance insurance policy.Â One phone call, and everything was arranged.Â The wrecker was there in about 30 minutes – which was much quicker than the 60-minute ETA the dispatcher gave me.
(10)Â I spent the 30-minute wait calling my husband and children to garner some sympathy – as trucks and cars whizzed past me on the expressway – rocking my car with each passing.Â The kids were great and appropriately concerned and sympathetic and proud of how I was handling things.Â Of course I had to tell them how efficiently and well I was handling everything for them to tell me how proud they were of me.Â My husband was in meetings with his phone turned off.Â I would finally talk to him much later in this adventure.
(11) Since my car is a BMW, the tow truck took me to the BMW dealership in Chattanooga where I found that the parts shop closed at 5:00, and most of the mechanics in the service department had left by 5:00.Â However, they had someone who could look at it to see what was needed.Â Two belts and a water pump were needed.Â Apparently not unusual in cars with over 100,000 miles on them – like mine.Â No partsÂ and no mechanic meant no repaired car until tomorrow.Â I didn’t want to spent the night by myself in a hotel in Chattanooga.Â I asked about a rental car.Â I didn’t realize that local car rental places often close at 5:00, too.
(12) It took awhile, but they found me a rental car – a 2007 BMW.Â Oh yeah! I could live with that.Â They’ll repair my car tomorrow, and I’ll pick it up when I go back through Chattanooga on my way home Friday.
(13) I got to my mother’s – safe and sound and only three hours later than I had planned.Â All in all, a good ending to a long day.
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