Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Grateful for Guardian Angels

Jesse is traveling again this week, and I am still waiting for a project at work, so I decided to drive up to see my family in Pennsylvania for a few days.  The plan was to drive up there last night and stay until Thursday evening, so I could be back for my glucose test early Friday morning.Scary Pregnancy Moment: Stranded

When I left, I noticed that the car was acting a little strange.  When I would pull out, it would rev up higher than it should, and it didn't seem to be reacting as quickly as usual, especially in the lower gears.  Being the eternal optimist that I am, I thought it was probably just something minor.  The car is due for inspection this month, so I figured I would mention the acceleration issues when I took it for inspection next week.  

Once I got about 45 minutes from home, the car suddenly stopped accelerating at all.  I pulled over on the side of the highway and just sat there for a few minutes.  I didn't know what to do, at first.  I had both of my dogs with me, which meant I could not call a cab, and I did not particularly want to climb into a tow truck with a strange (to me) man.  I also did not want to call the police because I read way too many cases in law school involving dogs getting shot by cops.  Oliver is a big dog, and he is very protective of me.  If a cop felt threatened by him, he might hurt Oliver, and I could not risk that.

I texted my mom and told her what had happened, and my dad called me right away.  It wasn't until I heard his voice that I started to get upset.  It was getting dark quickly, and I was on the side of a busy road with no streetlights.  It just wasn't safe to stay in the car.  I took my laptop and my camera bags out of the trunk, then leashed the dogs and started walking.  I could see a small development of houses just across a ravine, so I figured if I could just get to those, I would feel a little safer than out on the road.  By the time I walked around the ravine, it was nearly dark.  

I called one friend, but she did not answer.  I tried another.  Still no answer.  Finally, I decided to call Jesse's co-worker, who is the partner who heads up the group in which Jesse works.  I thought I had his cell phone number in my phone, but it turned out to be his home phone, which was even better.  His wife answered, and when I told her what had happened, she jumped into action.  She pulled up my location as I walked, and when I came across a fire station, she told me to go see if they would let me hang out inside until she could get there.

When I got to the fire house, I tied Oliver to a light pole so that I could explain my situation without having to shout over Oliver's barking, then knocked on the door.  There were two firemen in the station, and they welcomed me inside, along with the pups.  They were very friendly and polite, and they brought water for me and for the dogs and even dug out some cheese for the pups.  (Only Oliver indulged; Stella was too terrified.)  They were also kind enough to give me a wide berth, which I interpreted as an understanding of how nervous I was hanging in a fire house with two strangers.

It took almost an hour for my rescuer to arrive since she lives even further south than I do.  When she arrived, I called the tow truck, and we went up to grab the rest of my stuff out of the car.  When the tow truck finally got there, we had the car towed back to a garage near my house, and she drove the dogs and me home.  Stella, who spends the majority of her life feeling afraid of something, curled right up on one of the seats and snored the whole way home.  Oliver was a little less comfortable, but after the first 20 minutes or so, he lay down and relaxed until we were almost home.

My 3-year-old niece got on the phone with me today just after they had arrived at the gym where her mother works out and where she gets to play with the other kids in the gym's child care center.  My sister told me that my niece was very worried about me and wanted to make sure I was all right.  It's hard to compete with the play area at the gym, though, as I soon discovered when my niece took the phone and said, "We're just so glad you're okay.  We were really concerned, but we're at the gym now, so I'll talk to you later."

The bill from the mechanic is a doozy, but my hubby took it all in stride.  We are both so grateful for all of the support we received from friends and strangers, and we are so grateful to God for keeping Oliver, Stella, and me safe in such a precarious situation.  


  1. I used to volunteer at the fire department when I was a teenager and have a soft spot in my heart for that place still. I wish I could go back and serve the community again for the very reason you described....to make people feel as if they can count on you when they need you the most! So glad everything worked out okay for you. It must have been a terrible feeling!

    1. That is awesome! It was such a relief to have people who responded so quickly and were so good to me. It could have been so much worse!