Monday, January 25, 2010

Holy cow!

Picture it: July 23, 2009. It is about 10:30 at night and it is DARK outside. We are driving along a winding road through the back country of Wyoming between Cody and the Montana border. Due to the "Open Range" signs and the hills and switchback roads, we are going pretty slow -- about 40 mph. There are a couple of kids asleep in the back and Ken and I are having a rousing discussion debating the points on whether a book is better than the movie. (My opinion is that the book is almost always better then the movie.)

Out of nowhere, we see a huge, black cow in the middle of the road about 50 feet in front of us. Ken's lighting fast reflexes. He was able to miss the bulk of the cow, but as the cow turned to look at us, her head hit the passenger side mirror knocking it clean off. Home run!

We quickly pulled over and took a few deep breaths. We couldn't figure out where that dumb cow had come from. On one side of us there was a very steep hill going up and a guardrail on the other. We turned around and the cow had disappeared. We were glad to know that she was not dead, but she must have had one heck of a headache. After a while of searching we were able to find our smashed up mirror.

The kids were pretty oblivious in the back, but we said a prayer of gratitude. The what-ifs were almost too scary to think of. No passing traffic, no cell phone service, and me 7 months preggo and smashing into a huge beast of a cow could not have had a good result. We were pretty shaken up and extremely grateful for our guardian angel that must have been traveling with us.

When we arrived at the cabin, Mark told of when his aunt and uncle's Suburban tangled with one of those black cows on that stretch of road. The cow won and their car was totaled. I guess our new van was officially broken in.

Note the cow slobber on the side of the van.

Missing mirror. :(

Monday, January 11, 2010

My no good, horrible, very bad day..

Our trip to Oklahoma (in June) was wonderful, but there was some ominous foreshadowing. Codi and her family also came out to celebrate Father's Day, but about 45 minutes from my parent's house their van's transmission died. A tow truck was arranged and my dad went to go get them. It could have been worse, but it was just a hassle.

I was counting my blessings that I had a functioning vehicle and I was thinking of my tight schedule as I began the 12 hour drive home. I had that day to get home and then one day to unpack, do all the laundry, and clean the entire house before my mother-in-law and Rochelle's family came to visit. Totally doable, right?

As I was driving into Colorado Springs, a mere hour and forty minutes from home, my van lost power. I could barely pull over in between the freeway and a merging highway. The instrument panel was saying I had overheated, but nothing helped as I turned on the heat full blast (in June) and then I could not accelerate. I prayed that our van would not got hit while stuck between the lanes of rush hour traffic and waited for it to cool off. After several minutes it had cooled off enough that I was able to drive about another mile before it died again. This time I called Ken, USAA roadside assistance for a tow, and a taxi service. I was also on the phone trying to find a place to stay. Of course, my phone was ringing, the tow truck and taxi arrived, and Peyton had a very poopy, gross accident. GREAT!!!

Not having any idea where we were or the location of things, we ended up at a cheap motel downtown. Big mistake! Even though they were very nice, it was disgusting. I wouldn't let the kids walk barefoot and I could barely sleep because it was so nasty! The next morning I talked to the auto shop and found out that it would take until noon to fix it, but they did have a loaner car that was being returned that morning and we could use that for the day. That was so helpful!

We went out to lunch and visited several really cool parks. It would have actually been a fun day had I not been so anxious about getting home. Many hours (finally at 5:00) and about $650 later. We repacked the van and took off.

We got about 30 miles away when the van started doing the same thing!!! THE PROBLEM HAD NOT BEEN FIXED. I was beyond frustrated. This time I didn't care what it took; I was going to sleep in my own bed that night!!! By now I was in the middle of heavy, rush hour traffic and it was pouring down cats and dogs (of course!). I would pull over and let the car cool off until I could accelerate again and begin driving and mostly coasting until I had to pull over again. I had only about 30 seconds or less before the van would stop accelerating. I don't think I got over 45 mph the rest of the way home and hills were very difficult. I think it took me about 3 and a half hours to get home. Honestly, I am still amazed that we did not have an accident with all the crazy driving that I had to do.

All of this was a lot of stress for me, especially being 6 months pregnant and quite emotional. I wouldn't let myself cry until I got home. I got out of the van where Ken was waiting to give me a big hug. Then I balled.


One of my New Year's Resolutions is that I am going to be a better blogger. (Meaning more constistent. Sadly, I don't think the content will be any more funny or inspiring than it has in the past.) I went on quite the hiatus last year as I was so sick and tired with my pregnancy and then dealing with a newborn. This year I will be a better blogger than last -- I know that is not saying much. First, if you will bear with me, I am going to do a bit of catching up with my life. This is the closest thing I have to a journal, after all.

Here is to New Year Resolutions!