There is no adventure quite like car trouble. While driving over 20 miles home alone on a Phoenix freeway at 8:00 at night, the cruise was set, and I was tooling along at 60 mph about 3 miles from home. I was beginning to think about dinner, and what I would fix to go with the cooked barbecued pork roast waiting in my kitchen.
Suddenly, my car sputtered and my speed dropped to about 30 mph, startling me. The turbo on my PT cruiser was suddenly whirring loudly and the engine had lost all its pep and punch. The engine light was on, and I was not sure what do – pull off on the side of the freeway, or try to get home? I reached over digging through my purse on the car seat beside me, looking for my cell phone but couldn’t find it.
Of all the evenings to forget my cell phone, this was the wrong one to leave it on my desk at work!
I didn’t want to stop on the freeway without my cell phone, thinking, “what if the car won’t start-up again once I stop?” So, I kept driving on the freeway for another mile toward the next exit, with my hazard lights blinking. I was praying, asking for God’s help and protection get to a safe place to contact my husband. I certainly I did not want to end up stranded on the freeway in the dark.
I made it to safely to a convenience store/ fast food drive-through combo and parked in the handicapped spot. A cashier inside loaned me the store phone to call my husband. He and I agreed on the route I should take to carefully drive the rest of the way home.
I set out again with my loping, limping car toward my house. As I drove home, I knew my husband was watching the clock, ready to come rescue me if I didn’t arrive at house in the prescribed number of minutes we had calculated it would take.
Finally, I was home safe!
We both stood in the driveway together, listening to the noisy solo performance of my wildly singing PT turbo. Mystified about the problem and tired after long work days, we went inside and enjoyed the waiting roast for our supper. Over dinner we discussed options for rearranging the next morning to accommodate car repairs, planning to drive two vehicles to the dealership in the morning.
I was anxious about the possible cost of car repairs, knowing that I will have to pay a hefty $125 co-pay for each of my upcoming Benlysta infusions, starting the day after tomorrow. In the morning, I prayed in my husband’s Jeep as I followed him driving my PT. I realized I was stressed by the prospect of unknown car repair costs, and voiced my concern we might have to spend the cash set aside for my first three infusions. I really didn’t want to be in a serious budget bind!
We were soon relieved and thankful when the service repairman pointed out that I had purchased a premium extended warranty. He explained that $2,000 worth of estimated repairs were probably going to cost us only the $100 deductible. I was praising God for the outcome! An added blessing? My warranty includes a rental car! And, not only that, but the dealer also drove me to work, and then picked me up again at the end of the day to go get my rental car.
So, today I am happily driving a shiny new 2011, in place of my ailing and convalescing PT. (What DOES the “PT” in “PT Cruiser” stand for anyway? Pretty Tough, Patience Training, Partly Trustworthy, Pleasant Touring, Petite Tin-can, Plowing Through, Peppy Travels or perhaps Praise & Thanksgiving?)