sunday afternoon, stuart, nicole, spencer and i decided to go to IKEA in covina, one of our favourite places. since they were buying large items like bookshelves, we decided to take our 55 chevy station wagon on its first road trip. it was such a good little car. it tried so hard. and it made it all the way out there, all the way around full of stuff and (almost)
all the way home. it had overcome obstacles such as a motorcycle 'gang' of idiotic teenagers who took up four lanes of traffic, and barely being able to fit all our purchases inside so that three of us were in the front and one person sat indian style in the back and pushed the bookshelves away from their head after every left turn. stuart was doing an amazing job at driving too, with the two people on the right side telling him if he was clear to change lanes. in beaumont, we stopped for gas (and of course, starbucks) and saw some steam coming from the hood along with a sort of chugging sound. its an old car, we thought, it is having a hard time, but its nothing bad. then we headed home.
anyone who has been to palm springs knows of the enormous hill between all those cool windmills which every indie band must have as the cover of their cd at some point. there is also nothing out there for miles except sand, wind and semi trucks. quite a good spot for a horror movie, perhaps the sequel to Duel. that's when i noticed more steam coming from the car. nicole noticed it too. 'uh, theres a lot of steam coming out' stuart turns his head 'really?' POOF. suddenly the 'steam'-actually thick smoke- is pouring into the car and out under the hood. we can't see a thing and stuart manages to get the car over to the side of the road and turn it off. he and spencer thought it was going to catch fire, and stuart later admits to thinking about how to get all the stuff out safely and also which pieces of the car are most valuable and can be quickly taken off. i am about ready to run down the steep hill we're on into the pitch black desert. the guys get out, try to see what happened
but there was so much smoke they couldnt see a thing. so they got back in, we prayed about what to do, then called AAA, who informed us that their tow man could only give two of us a ride and so could we call a cab for the other two of us. nice service. we call steve, stuart and spencer's dad, and he heads out to come get us. meanwhile, its so windy outside that you can barely stand up, so we stay huddled in the car until help arrives. this is where the trust thing comes in. i begin to lose it. every time a semi goes by, the car shakes and i start to cry- trying to keep it quiet and not scare anyone. they are all really really calm. spencer is funnier than ever telling old stories of breaking down in stuart's old z car. nicole says, God is taking care of us, and while i know that she is right, still i am terrified. what if we all die? who will take care of isabella? God- she needs parents. at least it'll be quick, i think, the way these trucks are driving. we wont even feel it. and, we are all believers- we will go Home if we die. i am not worried about that. but sitting there anticipating it was nearly unbearable. i realize how much i do not actually trust God in day to day life and am sad that i am so lacking. it occurs to me this whole thing may have happened just because i needed to learn to trust.
soon the truck comes, and the driver, with a goatee and tatoos all over his forearms, tells us that he wont leave us here- he will just have two of us ride in the chevy on the tow truck. it felt like being able to do something illegal and get away with it. or like being a kid and eating candy before dinner. i tell spencer we should make out since no one can see us- and when will this opportunity every come again? as we're being loaded up, i call jenny and tell her i feel like im in Grease, with the car going up into the sky. we tried to take pictures with our phones, but it was too dark. and i have to say, that as scared as i was, it was one of the coolest times ever. and also really amazing to think that some of my closest friends are now my family and they are really really good to have around in hard times. having seen nicole in labour with isabella and now in this, im pretty sure she could work for the CIA or a bomb squad- the woman cannot be flustered. we got to the shop, left the car, got home with steve and half our ikea stuff, and at about 2 am got to bed.
i am thankful that we are safe, thankful for the people in my life, for spencer's comfort and understanding, and also thankful for the experiences God lets in our lives to show us more about ourselves, and to show us that we are not in control, but he is and he is taking care of us. and that with difficult, scary things, come rides on tow trucks and remembering what its like to be a kid.