112 degrees? That couldn’t be right. This is Connecticut!
But that’s what my car thermometer read as I eased my car over to the side of the curved road onto a random piece of pavement in the middle of the brush.
It was my lucky day! Lucky that I had not lost control of my car when the you-ran-over-something-big-and-metal sound assaulted my ears. Lucky there was pavement the perfect size for my car to sit on. Lucky this hadn’t happened when my mom was in the car with me. Lucky that I was in the shade. Lucky I had AAA. Lucky I had a really big water bottle.
I got out of my car to figure out what had happened. With my dress flapping in the wind whipped up by passing cars, I crouched down and peered underneath. There was definitely something hard and black there, with wires hanging out of it, wedged somewhere between my front tire and my bumper. Either I had run over something, or something had fallen out of my engine.
I called AAA, and connected with Langdon, who was very sympathetic, but who wanted to know pesky details, like where I was.
I wasn’t sure exactly where I was, and I definitely didn’t know the name of the road I was on. So I told him what I did know.
“I’m almost across the street from the biggest tree this side of the Mississippi River. It’s a sycamore. It’s so big, it takes 10 people holding hands to surround it. It’s quite a phenomenon since Connecticut used to be only 20% tree covered when it was all farmland, so there are very few huge trees in this state.”
Yes, I was babbling, but bless his heart, he looked it up. In less than a minute he figured out where I was using Google Maps.
Then came the big wait, but I wasn’t alone. One of Simsbury’s finest, Officer Mandel, pulled up behind me, also Langdon’s doing. Officer Mandel wasn’t terribly excited about my plan to go sit under the biggest tree this side of the Mississippi (some silliness about trying to run in flip-flops across three lanes in the middle of rush hour traffic, and leaving behind my AC). The officer sat behind me, flashing lights providing a buffer against the traffic that had been previously zooming around the curve.
I used my time wisely. I called the garage to where I was going to be towed to warn them. I called my husband who was leaving for an event to inform him. I called a car rental place so I would be able to get home.
Then my luck ran out. After about 45 minutes of sitting on the side of the road, Officer Mandel informed me no one had dispatched a tow truck yet. Then AAA texts informed me the truck’s new arrival time was 5:15, an hour away, which meant the garage and the car rental place would be closed way before we arrived. Because my car was off the road, it didn’t make sense for the officer to remain, both of our cars idling and producing all that pollution, so at my urging, the officer reluctantly left.
Ten minutes later, former Marine Michael Moore turned his pickup around and came to see why I was sitting on the side of the road with my hood up.
I showed him the problem under my car. The next thing I knew, he had gone to his truck for a roll of clear packing tape. In 10 minutes he had taped my car back together…seriously! He followed me to the nearest driveway to make sure there was no other problem, checked to see if his handiwork was secure, and said goodbye.
An hour later I was home, racing inside 30 seconds before the heavens dumped gallons of rain water. Now you see why this was my lucky day.
If you know Michael Moore, or Officer Mandel or Langdon from AAA, could you please hug them for me?
They really made my day! Give a shout out to the people who make your day.
PS That’s me under the tree. I took those picture last winter.