I worked today and purposefully left early so that I could (a) clean the kitchen before the plumber came and (b) get to teach piano lessons and be home by 5:30 which is when Anthony would be there. I had the menu planned for the evening, and we were going to veg out on the couch and watch the Will Ferrell George W special.
That is still in my DVR cue.
I was approximately a mile and a half down the road, but about 25 miles from home still. I noticed all of a sudden that a "traction off" light had come on my dashboard, so I tried pushing the traction button on the console and nada. I thought "ok, it's been raining it'll even itself out eventually, I'll just be careful when I brake".
I kept pushing the darn button though. Just in case.
As the stoplight I had stopped at turned green, I put my foot on the gas and...the car didn't move. I insisted. So did the car. The car won. In the meantime, the oil light had come on, as well as the battery light. I flipped on the hazard lights so that the 184 cars behind me would know to just go around.
Nearly immediately a woman in a minivan pulled up beside me. I told her I thought I had run out of oil (the change oil light had come on a week...or 2 ago, and I was planning to get the oil changed this weekend if possible). She went to the car parts store for me. I told her I'd give her cash for it when she got back, and she said sure.
I sat there for a few more minutes, checked the oil level (sure 'nuff, no oil) and had a very helpful woman roll down her window as I was doing so and say "You may not want to stand in front of your car to do that, people can't see you"
(yes because I can check the oil from the trunk.)
Get back in the car, and a pizza delivery man stops. He asks what's going on, I tell him and he offers to help me push the car to the side of the road. I gratefully accept and the whole experience scared the heck out of me but I thanked him profusely.
As I sit there I begin to realize that this is probably a lot more serious than no oil. Yikes.
A man doubles back around and stops to ask what's going on. He even gets in my car and listens to it as he starts it. He tells me that it's unfortunately probably my engine. I agree, it most likely is. About that time the woman (whose name is Kim and she's blonde and an absolute angel) comes back with 4 oil bottles and a funnel. And no receipt. I try to hand her cash and she won't accept it. See? Angel.
Man who thinks it's the engine puts the oil in the car for me. We try to start it. Nope. He offers to give me a ride somewhere and I thank him but at that point Anthony has called (so at least someone knows where I am) and I know that I'm going to have to be towed somewhere so I opt to stay with the car. I thank him again and he says "hey. I'd hope that someone would do this for my wife. Of course I had to stop."
I call the mechanic and a wrecker and just wait. Anthony calls and tells me he's off work unexpectedly early and will come wait for the wrecker with me. Here's how that conversation went:
"So where exactly are you?"
"I'm at Hwy 100 and Temple Road"
"Great. I'm on my way now."
"Where IS Hwy 100 and Temple Road?"
He still beat the tow truck there (it was rush hour at this point) and bless him, drove me up to Publix so that I could use their restroom. I'd been eyeing the bushes by the side of the highway for approximately 40 minutes at that point. No, I am not kidding.
I tell him I don't think I'm up to cooking tonight and he says "you won't be cooking tonight. We're going out somewhere"
Then the plumber calls and tells me he'll be at my house in approximately 30 minutes to an hour. I explain our situation and he says "no big deal, I'll just wait for ya."
The tow guy gets there and he's really nice. We chatted up a storm He takes me to the mechanic who is closed for the day. I pay for the tow, put the key in the "drop box" (quotations are absolutely necessary, this is a mom and pop place with an interesting place to drop the keys overnight), and we head home. The plumber is there so he sees the nasty dirty house and kitchen...boo. BUT I now have a working disposal AND my downstairs toilet tank doesn't leak. No more turning the water on and off.
In all of this mess, my friend Mandy had called and offered me the use of their car while her husband Andy is out of town for business. It just so happened the car was parked approximately 2 miles from my house. So she came out, joined us for dinner and then we drove his car back to the house where she showed me all the particulars to it, and then we just sat around chatting for awhile.
After she left we popped in a Veggie Tales movie. Watching anything more challenging would have just been impossible.
So. That was my day. Any of you wondering about my weirdo facebook statuses (stati?) from this afternoon can now rest peacefully knowing what they were all about.
I do fear that this is a BAD thing. Like replace the engine bad. Which in my financial situation is not at all a great thing, but hopefully installment payments and more and more babysitting jobs will help.
The tow driver did notice that there was a huge oil stain on the bed of his truck from the tow--he hadn't towed anyone else today and it was fresh. So it's possible that it was caused by a leak, and I couldn't really have prevented that...and yes, should have taken it in for an oil change right when the light came on but I've been trying to work as much as possible and just haven't been able to. :-(
All in all, I need something that's a bit stronger than the San Pelligrino water I've been sipping on as I type this.