I’m gasping for air a bit in all this #AtoZChallenge hubbub.
Hypothetically, of course. While the entire universe shares its tales of the letter E, I toil away, seeking bits of time to steal to write my C post. And it’s essentially written for me, thanks to today’s guest poster, Courtney, of Blog Me This.
Thanks for the lift, C.
So Courtney is along for the ride as my C-train ticket. She writes a wonderful blog, but even more crucially, she’s an unshakable blog friend who will shine through for you in your darkest or most blog-less and snack-less moments.
Please welcome my friend Courtney as my letter C and my guest blogger today.
Here is a timely topic, what with Madison now among the licensed drivers in North Carolina. I need to show her how to change a tire and jumpstart a car. And be a better role model for proper empty soda can storage (not lining the entire floorboard of a car.)
Panicked College Girl
On my way home from college one Saturday afternoon, I realized my car wasn’t acting right. Because I had no clue how to take care of a car, I had no way of knowing the engine was about to lock up and die on me.
I had received the 1979 Chevrolet Caprice Classic in the divorce agreement between my mother and my stepdad. I had been driving this car since I had turned 16 and I needed one at school which was about 60 miles away. My stepfather relinquished the car but told me nothing about the care. I didn’t know I had to change the oil or put washer fluid in it or make sure the brake fluid chamber was full. I knew nothing about the maintenance of a vehicle because he had always taken care of it.
I was near a small town in Western Kentucky where my aunt and uncle lived, thank God, so when I stopped on the side of the road, I wasn’t far from their house. I was in full panic mode because I was out on a four-lane highway without a house in sight and probably about 10 miles from my aunt and uncle’s house. Fortunately, a car stopped right behind me and an older gentleman headed my way. This was 1983 and if this were today, I would have my guard up and probably be just as scared of a stranger walking up to me in my disabled car as I was about being out in the middle of nowhere with no way to get home.
But I was 20 and naïve and close to home, so I rolled my window down. He was kind and polite and asked me first if I was ok. I started to cry and said something was wrong with my car and I didn’t know what it was or what I was going to do.
He said, “I think you burned up the motor. I have been following you for a while and I could smell the oil and see black smoke coming out from it. I had a feeling you would be on the side of the road soon and here you are.” Then I was really scared and panicked because my mother was 600 miles away in Dallas, and I was not about to call my stepdad and tell him what happened.
This guy reached in and patted my shoulder and told me to calm down because it was just a car and cars can be repaired. The most important part was that I was ok and he was there to help me. Okay, at this point, I was so relieved to have someone who was about my father’s age to help me that I wasn’t thinking about the possible danger I was in, which I wasn’t, thank goodness. He asked me my name and where I was from and where I was headed. Remember I said it was a small town in Western Kentucky?
Everyone knows everyone there. I asked him his name and asked to see his identification and his name sounded very familiar. I told him who my mom and stepdad were and as it turned out; he was a retired sheriff deputy from my hometown and knew my parents. I never felt like I was in danger from this guy. He was kind and just trying to help this poor little college girl who was stuck on the side of the road in a car.
I told him my aunt and uncle lived just up the road and I could go to their house and call someone. He offered to take me to their house. But then he said if I didn’t feel comfortable getting into the car with him, he would go to their house and tell them where I was. This was the day before cell phones of course so there was no way to call from the car. I did feel safe enough for him to take me to my aunt and uncle’s house so I allowed him to take me there.
He gave me his business card and told me to tell my parents hello after I got out of the car. God was definitely looking out for me that day. Would I do that today? Probably not unless I knew the guy or he was someone’s dad that I grew up with… I am not as trusting as I used to be. *sigh*
I will never forget that experience and how blessed I felt to have the right person show up when I was in need. Ironically, my ex-stepdad was the one who fixed my car and put a new motor in it. He felt somewhat responsible because he had never taught me anything about how to take care of the car.
The day my daughter got her license, she also received a cell phone because I never wanted anything like that to happen to her. We also taught her how to maintain her car and how to change a tire AND she has an AAA card that I still pay for even though she is 30 years old and married.
I learned so much from that experience but one of my greatest lessons was how to maintain a vehicle. I know my car so well now that I could sit in 10 different ones with the same make and model blindfolded and tell you which one was mine by the way it sounds and feels.
I am super sensitive to smells and any little sound it makes. I pray I never find myself on the side of the road again with a stalled car but now I know what to do to prevent that from happening as much as possible.
Bio: I am a mom, wife, student, writer, daughter, sister, sister-in-law, niece, cousin, cousin-in-law *grin* and a very good friend to people. I wear several hats! I do not have it all figured out, but I am having fun trying to do just that. I enjoy life, mentoring kids, and young married couples and playing with my dogs. I love to entertain and have had many get-togethers at our house where my wonderful hubby and I welcome others to laugh, fellowship and love each other….. Acting, writing, and theater have become my passion and I am having a blast going back to school! I love God and my family and my friends and I do my best to be as authentic as I can!
Other posts in the A to Z Challenge
A is for Approachable Stranger in Target
B is for Boy without a job