Rachel was slightly better today, but still not herself. The fact that she won't talk and won't smile was a big clue. The day before Thanksgiving is traditionally Steve's and my big Christmas shopping trip and we'd already scheduled our car to have the oil changed in the city. Granny still volunteered to keep the girls, sickie Rae and all. I felt guilty about it, but changing the car plans was going to be a big pain. So we drove to the city and planned to keep our shopping quick.
Steve and I dropped off the car and walked to a nearby restaurant for lunch. While there we stumbled across some old friends that we hadn't seen in years - not since we'd all added more children through adoption. We had a nice visit over lunch and caught up with each other. Then Steve and I walked back to get the car.
We started off on our shopping agenda and had only gone a few miles when emergency signals started flashing on the dash of the car. We pulled over and tried to interpret all the symbols. We called the car dealer and they told us to drive back to their shop. Our car is a hybrid and relies on both batteries and a gas engine to move. It was evident that the engine was not cycling on and we were running out of batteries fast. A mile later, the car died entirely. We managed to push it mostly into a driveway and called the car dealer again. They called a towing company. We waiting for quite a while for a truck to arrive. Then we loaded the car (pretty fascinating to watch). The tow truck driver warned us that he only had one seat, so we would be "lapping". So, Steve rode on my lap back to the car dealer! Despite the frustration of the situation, it was funny.
The dealer gave us a loaner vehicle and hauled the car into the shop. We went on and did our shopping and found most of what we were looking for. Steve, of course, fretted over the car the whole time.
At the end of the day we went back to check on the car. The woman at the front desk quickly led us through the Employees Only door and into the shop. There the mechanic explained that he knew what was wrong, but didn't yet know how to fix it. It seems whomever changed the oil earlier in the day put too much in and "it got sprayed around where it shouldn't have and the computer just shut it down." In other words - it was their mistake. Steve quickly stopped fretting about potential car repair bills. Everyone was very appologetic and assured us that the loaner vehicle was ours to use as long as needed.
So we finally headed home, two or three hours later than we had planned. It wasn't how I'd expected to spend the day, but it was an adventure! All in all, we are just thankful. Thankful that the girls were not with us, that it wasn't 20 degrees or 105, that we broke down in an area with tow service, that we were not getting ready to travel far away, that a loaner vehicle was available, that the problems were not our mistake, that we were all safe. Today we learned a little about patience and tow trucks and hybrid car mechanics. And about the blessings we have received.