Bubby was a good sport the whole time.
We were scheduled to take Zander up the Good Vet for the first of his Lyme shots and to get a tune up. In the confusion of getting everyone settled and ready to go our barncat, Shine, got his tail shut in the truck door.
Running. Screaming. Running and Screaming. A chase, we got him cornered, and hey since we were going to the vet anyway we shoved him in a carrier and loaded him up. Then we got Zander loaded up in our zippy little car and away we went.
Unfortunately we had just fed Shine so in addition to him pooping all over ... he puked the whole way up there. It was awful. He hated us. We were rattled. We drove faster.
We hurried Shine right in and the vet staff helped me clean him up and then they carefully inspected his bruised tail and declared that nothing was broken. He got a shot of long acting pain medicine and crawled back into the accursed cat carrier which was better than being poked and prodded.
Zander did just fine also. He was a little grumbly but I'd grumble too if some weird guy was shining a light in my eyes. But all was well. We go back in about 3 weeks to get the second Lyme shot. We had to do some fancy shuffling to avoid a pittie in the waiting room but we got Zander reloaded into the car, gave the vet a pile of our money, and started home.
That's when the bottom fell out of our day.
I was just telling The Big Man to pull into the grocery store when....
The Big Man: THE POWER STEERING IS GONE!
But The Big Man was able to drive us to safety because he is a boss and he's good like that.
Our poor little car limped into the grocery store parking lot. The car was dead. Real dead. Not mostly dead but entirely dead.
At this point I should say that my second biggest fear is that the car will breakdown while dogs or cats with us. There we were - with a dog and a cat in a broken down car. Of course, Zander and Shine were the worst ones to have in this - my biggest fear. An hour from home.
To be sure, if it was just us we'd just swear a lot, make jokes, and then do whatever to get going again. But the only reoccurring nightmare I have is that one of our dogs or cats gets loose, runs into traffic, and well... you can imagine the rest.
The car came to a sad stop in a busy parking lot beside a very very busy road.
Queue thunder and lightening with rain. So much rain....
Mild panic starts to set in. But we are people of action so we start problem solving.
I called that rental car company that will "Pick you up!" Lies. They might want to work on that marketing. After being tossed around in their phone system for ten minutes I finally got to a guy who said they can't get car to us because they have no cars. Mind you this wasn't on the weekend. This was a Thursday morning.
Me: NONE? Not ONE car?
More mild panic. Then my husband was on the ground yelling and pulling stuff off the car. After a while he held up shredded remains of a somethingsomething. It did look like a dead snake...so much for the serpentine belt.
Me: Is this where I start crying?
The Big Man: No.
And then he handed me a Reese's peanut butter egg from the store 'cuz he's good like that.
Meanwhile Shine had passed out in the carrier from the drugs and Zander was just looking around quietly.
The Big Man and I tossed around ideas. We had to get our people home and that was really the only thing that mattered. But we were mostly out of options. So we finally just had to ask for help. We aren't ask-for-help people. Mostly we take care of our own business. We'll help other people all day long but for us to ask someone is kind of a big deal. But we were stuck and we had a huge dog who was about to time out and a drunk cat with a sore tail that needed to get home...and I was sitting in my biggest fear.
We called for help. It was at least an hour away.
During that time The Big Man gathered supplies, laid on the ground again, yelled at the car, and banged on stuff. The car status moved from "entirely dead" to "mostly dead."
Finally help arrived and we loaded the drunk cat and the huge dog into a strange car and I drove off fast leaving my husband with a mostly dead car.
Honestly, I didn't give it another thought. He deals with broken down vehicles all the time and if you are a person who has a dead car you really want him arriving on the scene. I don't even think I waved when I drove off. The best thing about my husband is that he is entirely capable. He fixes stuff and takes care of things. I am glad every day that he is my husband. So I drove away knowing he'd be just fine.
I finally got Zander and Shine home. Profusely thanked the person who helped us. Zander had a tale to tell the other dogs and Shine went and hid in the garage.
Meanwhile, The Big Man got the mostly dead car to a fix-it place.
Fix-it people: That will be at least $alottamoney!
He handed them alotta money and they got to work.
It was a very very very expensive day. We expected $20 in gas and one vet appointment...not two vet appointments and alottamoney for an emergency car repair. Our budget is crushed.
Life has a funny way of dropping your biggest fears in your lap. Someone said that it helps you realize what you can live thru. Thanks, that's super. Since I now know that I can live thru my second biggest fear I'd like you all to fervently pray that we can avoid my number one biggest fear..... which is that the house burns down when we aren't here.
My next two biggest fears involve bears and sharks. I've had two bear encounters and while I haven't been attacked by a shark I did have a close encounter with a sailfish that left us both screaming underwater. So that only leaves my greatest fear to come upon me and frankly I can do without the damn house burning down.
Yesterday the worst thing that could happen occured under the best circumstances, so we are thanking heaven that.....
1. This didn't happen to me when I was alone. Actually, I probably would have set the car on fire and stomped off.
2. This didn't happen today when I wanted to have Zander's appointment. I didn't want my husband to have to spend his day off driving up to the vet so I wanted to go today, Friday, and I would have been alone.
If the car would have broken down with just me and Bubby I probably would have freaked out. Bad. But then I kind of had a funny picture in my head of me calling The Big Man at work for aid and him racing across town in his big work truck, driving people off the road, and yelling at them to "Get out of the way! Bubby needs me!" Because he's good like that.
Finally, my husband got home. I made him a huge pile of schnitzel and a mountain of polenta for his heroic efforts. I'm telling you this was the biggest pile of schnitzel the world has ever seen. It was a cornucopia of pork cutlets. We had, in fact, a schnitzel fit.
Then I made lemon bars because when life hands you a big pile of lemons that is the best thing you can do.
Our budget is in shatters, our nerves are tattered but we survived. The car was saved, no dog or cat ran into traffic, we all made it home. Zander is fine. Shine is still mad but fine. And I found out that I can live thru one of my biggest fears.
Have a Good Friday, everyone. Did life hand you lemons? Did you make lemon bars and soldier on?