Thursday, February 13, 2014

Right Place, Right Time

Today I learned that I can do more with my car than drive and add gas. I can also open the hood.

This is not a great accomplishment for most people, but for those of us who have the manual dexterity of warthogs and have not previously had the occasion to try opening the hood, it's a milestone to be noted in the baby book.

Truth be told, I could have lived just as happily without knowing I had this ability. But this was my morning to deliver meals to shut-ins, and as I was dropping off the final lunch I noticed vapor coming from under the edges of the hood. Because I have an almost paralyzing fear of car fires (I saw a Buick on fire next to the highway when I was six or seven, and I have never forgotten that IT CAN HAPPEN) I did what any rational person would do: I got back in the car and drove as quickly as I could on the six blocks back to the House on the Corner. I opened the hood, felt the tiny thrill of achievement at that success, and bent in for a deep sniff to see if the smoke was animal, mineral, or vegetable.

Then I called Husband.

Have I mentioned what a good guy he is? Even though he is a CPA, and this is less than an optimal time of the year to rescue stranded motorists (even those who may be related to him by--his own--marriage), he  was there within minutes. When I described the sequence of events, he gently reminded me that those fire demonstrations in fourth grade were not kidding, and that if this ever happens again I should (1) probably not drive the car, (2) definitely leave the hood closed in case it actually was a fire, and (3) for heaven's sake don't be an idiot and put your face right down into the smoke. At that point he arranged for transport to the car hospital.

The mechanic hasn't called back with a verdict on whether Pearl needs minor repair or major surgery, but I was in the right place at the right time. I was at the end of the route and  near home, at a moment Husband could come to the rescue.

The shut-ins all got their lunch, and I got a reminder that I have the best Valentine ever.

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