that my life seems to be one little interesting adventure after another? Ask me sometime about the burns on my back from a coffee spill, or the 7 stitches on the inside of my lower lip from working out…and there are plenty more. Well, Kate experienced my adventurous life for the first time last night. As I mentioned yesterday, Kate and I were going to see Stephanie Pearl-McPhee at her book signing in Oak Lawn, about a 50 mile drive from Lake Forest. We set out at 3:30 PM in high spirits, stopping at McDonalds for some good ole southern sweet tea (both of us being southerners by birth) and rolled the windows down and settled in for a long ride. We talked about kids (hers) and about projects and life in general. We even discussed some rather deep questions about life like "Do all women really seek security in life through their husbands?" and why we seek security.
We took the toll way down and got onto I-55 up towards the city. I decided to take Central Ave instead of Cicero and there it happened. We had been making good time, it was only 5:45 or so, when my car went kerplunk.
Me looking at Kate: "What was that?"
Kate looking at me quizzically: "I think you just ran over something"
Me: "Oh. Okay" (all dash board systems were fine)
We eventually had to make our way over to Cicero and once we did we were basically stopped in traffic. The lights were out. Arg. No problem, we have time. (Keep in mind that an entire grid was out of power – no lights/electricity anywhere)
5:50 – finally pulled onto Cicero and made it to the next light
5:53 – my turn to go, press gas, "VRRRROOOOMMMMMM!" was my car’s response
5:53:10 – Me to Kate: "Um, that doesn’t sound good…."
5:53:45 – Me to my friend Michael via phone – "It’s making a really loud noise when I accelerate. Here – Kate will hang the phone out of the car and you can listen…"
5:54 – Michael to me: "I think it might be a belt."
ARG (I’m now on Cicero, a 6-lane road in the far left lane in stop and go traffic. Move off to the side? Not a good option at this point).
5:55 – Me to Michael "Okay, but do you think I can make it the 5 miles to the hotel? I really want to hear this speaker?" (I know where my priorities lie – car? I can deal with it – Yarn Harlot? More important.)
Michael: "No, (**duh**) pull off and check your belts."
6:10 – Pulled off and ended up at a Sears Auto (prolific?). Popped the hood. Belts – fine. Oil – fine. Car not over heating. All systems go (except for the noise)
6:15 – determine that I can deal with this after the book signing, we proceed on to the hotel, stopping in drive through for dinner ("YOU WANT WHAT? I CAN’T HEAR YOU… YOUR CAR IS TOO LOUD!")
6:30 – Make it to the hotel. Three hours exactly from start to finish. sigh. Seats – bathroom – food. Relax. Knit.
6:50 – Announcer to the audience: "Stephanie will be late…"
Keep right on knitting.
7:10 – Announcer to the audience: "Stephanie has had to cancel…"
7:11 Kate and I were out the door. Maybe, just maybe, we could make it to a car place that was still open.
7:20 – Car-X and Enrique. I pull up and Enrique says "It’s your exhaust. There’s probably a hole in the muffler or pipe. But you can make it home, no problem."
Me to Enrique: "Are you sure? I live 50 miles away…."
Enrique: "I’m 99.9% positive. But I’ll put your car up and take a look just to reassure you."
Enrique: "Yup – you’re missing the whole middle pipe – see?"
Hm. Loud noise = muffler. Who would have thought?
Two hours later, having driven through a dramatic thunder/lightening storm, I dropped Kate off. I think she was deaf by that point. But she sure had an adventure!
(For those of you who are interested in the fate of Camille (my car), I took her into a Midas shop today. Camille is 15 1/2 years old and has 261,000 miles. They ended up replacing the whole muffler system. She needs some more work done, but she is still going strong. She’ll turn 16 this year, and I’m looking forward to the day when she can get her driver’s license and take herself places instead of me having to take her every where.)