Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Tough Break

Yesterday afternoon, I was driving home with Lucia when we got caught in bumper-to-bumper traffic around Husky Stadium. That was nothing new. What was different, however, was the white steam that started to spew from the hood of the car. I called Bede and told him what was going on (because hey, I've overreacted in the past to things that looked scary but were really no big deal). He urged me to get out of there and pull over. There was nothing to do but drive over the median and turn right into the No-Right Turns parking lot across the way. Forty-five minutes later, Triple AAA showed up. In the meantime, I had to calm a frightened child and pray that she didn't have to pee (as she'd already had one accident while we were at the bank). I fed her a few yogurt-covered almonds and then told her the story of Why the Tides Ebb and Flow. Afterward, she drew in her sketchpad for awhile, and then started to fret once more. "We're okay," I told her. "We got off the road, help is coming, and soon we'll be home." I quoted Go to Sleep, Gecko: "Some things [we] just have to put up with."

(Years later, Lucia will probably point out that the story didn't quite happen that way. She'll probably say, "Don't you remember that you yelled at me to stop talking? And that you said rude words?" Yes, I do remember them. But I also apologized.)

So far, all that's wrong with the car is that the radiator is cracked. If that's it, then we're looking at hundreds of dollars instead of thousands of dollars. Some things we just have to put up with. Still, I wish this were a city in which public transportation were truly a viable option all the time.


TadMack said...

Oh, uck. That SUCKS. (My contribution to the rude words.) I hate car stuff. I am apt to panic easily as well. Walking: so much easier.

If only.

I'll light a candle that it's not as bad as it looks.

Alkelda the Gleeful said...

Thanks so much, Tadmack!

Noodle said...

YUCK! As one who has had more than her share of car woes, I empathize. And our public transport is non-existent.

diana said...

Oh I am glad it wasn't worse! and that you kept your cool! And that nobody peed during the incident! I will keep you in my prayers. I am surprised that there isn't a better system for you in a modern city! Lack of public transportation when I was a teen was a major reason I couldn't arrange to get to college till much later.

HipWriterMama said...

That just bites, doesn't it? Seems like car trouble is in the air right about now. My car has been out of commission for a couple of days. Engine and brake trouble. I still haven't gotten a quote from the service station on the costs, and I am beside myself.

Hope your car gets fixed soon!

limpy99 said...

Hey, if the worst thing that ever happens is a cracked radiator, one is way ahead of the game. Glad no one got hurt.

Or wet.

Alkelda the Gleeful said...

Limpy99: I agree. I must confess, my first impulse was to stop the car in traffic and pull my girl out of the car to get her to safety before the whole thing blew up.

HWM: I'm sorry you've got car woes, too. It makes me wish I'd taken auto-body in high school... except that I don't think we had auto-body. I'd like to take a class where we go over car problems and practice changing tires, though. I've helped to change a tire twice in my life-- the second time, I was holding the instruction booklet while Bede was under the car, and saying, "Now, make sure the widget goes in the right place or the whole car will break into two pieces."

Diana: At one time, Seattle was considered to have the #2 best bus public transportation system in the country. We can thank Tim Eyeman (and his supporters) for taking away funding that made our system go right down the tubes. The bus system is great in Downtown and surrounding neighborhoods, but there are certain places busses don't go from downtown-- and I really think that's to dissuade homeless people from visiting.

Noodle: Yeah, it's really hard when there is NO public transporation to speak of. I shake my fist.

jules said...

I love love love that you told her a story to calm her down and help her make sense of stuff.

I hope it's not a serious car problem. My car's on its last leg; I hear your pain.

adrienne said...

Yuck times five, but at least you two are safe. It's so difficult to confront that sort of thing calmly -- having one's day interrupted, not quite knowing what's going on, not knowing what's going to happen next.

Lone Star Ma said...

Yucko. My sympathies. I am grateful that you and Lucia are safe and I hope the needed repairs are minor. I also feel much more prone to panic when the girls are around.