Friday, February 21, 2014

View From the Dashboard

It's been one hell of a day.

We had a usual Friday morning and headed off to my sister's house for our weekly play/lunch date.  I stopped by the ATM to get some cash so I would be able to pay a friend back for lunch before heading down the interstate.  Jackson cracked me up when he shouted, "Look, Mommy!  There's Santa and his reindeer!"  I had no clue what he was talking about but he was quite persistent.  I finally made the connection when I saw the sign.  Ha!

Us adults enjoyed Jersey Mike's subs and adult conversation while the kids played as usual.  The kids and I also visited my other sister.  When I was leaving my sister's house the gaslight went on in the van.  I've always gotten a bit of a thrill seeing how long I can drive with the gaslight on, but I've never run out of gas.  I wasn't too worried since the light just came on, but I also didn't want to take any chances during rush hour on a Friday afternoon. I pulled into a gas station and got out to start pumping my gas.  I could NOT find my debit card.  I dug through my purse and the van, but still couldn't find it.  I emptied out the diaper bag and middle console, looked through the carseats...everywhere.  It dawned on me that I never remembered retrieving my debit card from the ATM.  Feeling completely defeated, I drove away without any gas. 

I coasted about fifteen miles down the interstate before the van just completely stopped.  I was in the fast lane and miraculously managed to pull over on the left shoulder.  It was 4 p.m. on Friday, which meant traffic was beginning to pick up.  I called Jesse, explained the situation, and waited about 40 minutes for him to arrive with a full gas can.  The babies were still sleeping and Jackson was his usual silly, inquisitive self.  After half an hour, the babies began to wake up hungry.  Jackson started to get antsy.  And I became increasingly more anxious as the van shook with each passing car. 

I was so relieved when I saw Jesse pull up behind us.  He transferred the fuel into the van's gas tank. I put the key in the ignition and tried to crank it, but the van would not start.  I tried several more times.  Nothing.  At this point all four kids were screaming.  Jesse tried to start the van.  Still nothing.   By this time it was nearly 5:00, which meant it was peak rush hour.  It also meant it was time for the babies to eat, but I didn't have any bottles prepared and we were stranded on the side of a busy interstate.  Jesse and I quickly assessed the situation and agreed that our priority was getting the kids home.  Jesse could take Jackson and one baby in his car, but we still needed another car that could transport the other two babies.  After a few quick calls we had a plan.  Ten minutes later my brother-in-law came to the rescue and a tow truck was on the way to get the van.

Somehow we all managed to avoid any major meltdowns or panic attacks.  Now we just wait to figure out what's going on with the van and if it will cost us.  Fingers crossed...

Our two hour view from the dashboard as cars zoom by at 80 mph

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