Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Let's NOT repeat this situation

I have had some scary moments in my life.  The top ones involve the kids.  But this one is definitely ranking up there.....at least cracking into the top 5.

*For the record, while we currently have a foot of powdery snow, we will NOT be getting the 30 inches that were forecasted...or at least not where I am.  However, Boston is getting pummeled...and that is what was supposed to be here in CT*   ETA, 11:30am.  Boy was I wrong!!!!  I thought it was about a foot....closer to 2 feet!!!!  I had the kids help in the beginning, but it was very cold, and I didn't want them out for too long.  Plus...as much as I love them....I just wanted to get it done, and this was not the time for the teachable moment.  Please enjoy some snow pics before getting to the REAL story in this post.  :)

#Snowmeggedon2015 started about Noon on Monday, but wasn't sticking yet.  I left the office at 3:30 with a box of work (office had already closed for Tuesday, as did school).  I stopped at a nearby shopping center....picked up cat food and a puzzle for the kids.  Headed home.  I was going to make chicken and potatoes and green beans for dinner.  Planned on doing some work so that I wasn't as busy on Tuesday since I had to shovel out as well.

However....as Kim has said before....Mysti makes plans, God laughs.

I was about half way home, on a major highway....traffic was slowing down because the snow was falling much heavier by then and was starting to stick.  Plus it was WINDY.  All of a sudden....I hear THUD. THUD thud THUD thud.

Aw crap.  What the heck is wrong with my car?????  Since it was rhythmic, I thought maybe I rolled over something and had a flat tire.  I was on the far left side of the 4 lane highway with no shoulder....made my way across to the other side where there was a shoulder.

Looked at the tires....they looked fine.  I called G-man, and he told me to check the lug nuts.  Well, then I couldn't find the tire kit.  He googled it, and I now know that is is screwed under my back seat.  So I am hanging out of the car, upside down, unscrewing the tire kit.

Checked all the tires....they were fine.  Not dragging anything.  Nothing looked out of place.  By this point it is getting dark, and snow is really blowing.  I decided to limp the car home, and would deal with it there.  Except.....

Now the car won't start.  Seriously.  It started just fine at the office....after my errands....and now it is dead.

I am sitting on the side of a major road....in a snow storm (albeit still early in the storm, but my car was covered in snow by this point)....with a dead car.

Deep breath.  I don't have AAA (but that is changing this week!) but we do have roadside assistance through our car insurance.  Tried calling them....all circuits are busy.  OF COURSE THEY ARE.  I try again a few minutes later.....get them on the phone....and......The state police pull up to tell me I can't park on the side of the road.

I am not parked!!!!!  My car won't start!!!!

Roadside assistance tells me it will be 1.5-2 hrs to get someone to tow the car.  Police say that isn't acceptable and they will call a tow truck which will respond faster.  OK...what choice do I have.  Luckily, the tow truck came quickly....

Except he can't tow my car where I want it to go (15 min away, near my house).  He can take it to his shop that is at the next exit on the highway.  We passed several other disabled cars in just that short distance, so he had to go get them next.  So he dropped me off at a Dunkin' Donuts on the corner and took my car.

I am walk into Dunkin' Donuts with a paper ream box with my work, cat food, and my purse (I left the puzzle in the car.  *sad* ).  I had been on the phone with my friend around the corner to see if she could get me.   She can't....she is home with her kids....and her friend's kids....and her husband is at work.

Ok...called my boss....he was the next closest in distance and he has a truck.  I felt stupid calling...but I didn't really have many options.  So he came and got me and brought me home.

I got home a little after 6pm (remember...I left 2.5 hrs before).  I fixed a frozen pizza for my kids (nothing but the finest processed food for my family!)....because my patience to now cook dinner was left on the side of the road.  And....I opened a bottle of wine.  And I drank....a bottle of wine.

Yep.  I drank a bottle of wine.  So no, I didn't do any work.  I was home....the kids were fed (not the best dinner, but it was food).....and since I wasn't going anywhere without a car in a snowstorm.....I drank a bottle of wine.  And it was delicious.  I was in warm jammies, with an awesome buzz.  I am not a drinker, and usually don't have wine...but I was given this bottle at Christmas as a gift.  I need to really thank the gift giver....

My friends all tell me someday I need to write a book....because the stories about stuff that happens to me really just can't be made up.  Not that having a broken down car is unique...but really???  Didn't I just fix the sink the other day....haven't I put in my "this wasn't part of my job description" dues for the week???

So here we are....I have to call about my car, but there is a good chance, per the tow driver, that they won't even be able to look at my car until Thursday.  I am hoping that since the storm wasn't as bad as predicted, that maybe the time line will change.  Meanwhile...I will probably have to rent a car.

ETA:  The car nightmare is turning into a whole other post....stay tuned for the next part tomorrow!

I can't complain about my car too much.  We have owned it for over 3 yrs, and the only real issue we have had was when I replaced the tires last year.  So now I have to pay the tow truck (insurance will reimburse up to $50)... get my car fixed....and possibly rent a car....

Yeah, that wasn't in the budget. 

I stayed calm....I did what I had to do....but it was scary.  A broken down car when it is dark and snowy....ugh.  I was just glad I didn't have the kids with me.  Even if I did have AAA, the police wouldn't have let me wait for them, so the scenario would have still played out.  But I do want AAA now....just for the peace of mind.  Nope, that wasn't in the budget either....but I don't really care about that. It was scary...and even if I only use it one time...it will be worth it.

Well.....I guess I better get some work done before I have to shovel the snow!!!


  1. I am glad you made it home safely. And in my book, nights like yours are what wine was made for!

    1. Thanks! I was so brain fried by the time I got home....

  2. Yuck yuck yuck. I am so glad that last December when my car broke down, it was an unseasonably warm day, although I had ALL FOUR of my kids in the car, and it was the ONE week we had no phones because we had turned off our old ones to start a new plan and the new phones were en route, and it was a medium-bad part of the city and it was rush hour traffic-jam traffic and during the stop and go, my car just silently turned itself off and would not respond to a darned thing - would not even turn over and I could hardly turn the steering wheel due to ALL electric systems out (it was the alternator.) Thankfully some construction men were nearby (because the other passersby were not the types you'd like to ask for help) and some phone calls were made, but... I will never forget sitting there blocking traffic for 1/2 hour until the tow truck came.

    1. That is scary!

      After I got home...I realized my car could have died in the middle of the highway....and there would have been a very high chance that someone would have hit me...that freaked me out even more!

  3. What is that old saying "if it weren't for bad luck I'd have no luck at all" :)?
    Glad you got home safe. Hope it is nothing major with your car.
    Try to have a good day.

  4. AAA might be piece of mind but bet you would have waited just as long. Think they only tow to a garage too. Glad you are o.k., the kids were not in the car, and the wine helped. I am not a drinker, I would have probably passed out after half a bottle. Cheryl

    1. The place I wanted it towed was a garage...just a garage closer to my house. But yes, AAA might have been just as long. That is why I said the scenario would probably have still played out the same way.

      I am not a drinker either....a bottle of wine is alot for me! I am lucky I didn't wake up with a hangover.

  5. If you get AAA make sure you look at all the discounts it gets you. Some years I get enough to cover the whole membership. Hotels is where I do the best at since I can usually save 10% plus with the card.

    1. Oh definitely! We don't do alot of traveling, so minimal hotel stays. But even with other things...I am sure it will be worth it in the long run.

    2. Oh one more thing. AAA has different membership levels. The cheapest only tows 5 miles. I learned this the hard way when my car broke down 90 miles away from home. I then upgraded to the higher cost plan that towed 100 miles. I used this to tow my car over 200 miles when it broke down again (I had to pay for the extra miles). They towed the car to my house (it doesn't have to be a shop). Hope this helps.

  6. We have AAA roadside assistance and it is worth every penny. Especially now that my teenage kids are driving the car.

    The roads here in Michigan are terrible. (Actually, terrible doesn't even cover it.) You cannot avoid all of the sometimes very deep potholes covering the road. My little Honda Fit has had to have two tires replaced plus numerous repairs...and that is just in one year!

    We have the expensive AAA membership that will tow you any place within 100 miles. That way, if anyone is ever stuck, they can get towed to the gas station right near home.

    By the way, I have a very difficult time commenting on your posts. I type the reply, then try to comment as a Google account. It takes me to log into my Google account, then takes me back to am empty reply box. This time I remembered to copy my reply so I could paste it back in.

    1. Thanks for the info on AAA.

      As for the comments. ..I do have it set up that you have to be logged in to comment because of some trouble I have had in the past. I appreciate you taking the time it takes to do this....

  7. I loved the bottle of wine, too funny, but I have to say you deserved it! The wine I mean....

  8. Oh man, that sounds terrible... what an awful timing. I was going to say, my car tires make that sort of noise when braking in ice/really slick surfaces, but I havent had it shut down on me. That said, this car is almost new compared to everything else I've driven, and with my previous cars, I was lucky if I could make it to a shoulder to call a tow... hope it wasn't expensive, by the way. I' give you another bottle, if I had any. I think that sort of situation definitely called for it.

  9. Oh my gravy! I laughed so hard when you commented about the bottle of wine. Been there done that! Seriously, I am glad you are okay.

  10. You seriously have some of the worst luck : (
    I am convinced you are just building up brownie points to win the lottery

  11. Sounds like a dreadful day :( Hoping the car repairs aren't too costly.

  12. For something like $4 each six months for roadside service. I know which tow truck I want and they will take me anywhere, to any place I want.