The big blessing in our double car breakdown was cell phone service. Things could have been so much worse than they were. The Jeep conked out in Pisgah National Forest, miles and miles from civilization.
Let’s go back to the beginning. We were going to take Snot (the Sonata car) to drive to Franklin to church 45 minutes away, but the car wouldn’t start. The battery had run down overnight, perhaps because the car keys were in John’s pocket and might have pressed against the open trunk button. Everyone knows if you want to open the trunk on purpose, you have to lean heavily on the key fob, sometimes twice. Accidents evidently happen in a split second. We went in the Jeep instead, realizing we had to stop for gas. That made us late for church. We walked in as they were closing the doors after the processional cross and pastor went through. The usher grabbed a bulletin from someone in the back row to give us. The church was almost full, and I didn’t see anywhere to sit. The usher led us up a side aisle and nudged a man to let us in the pew where there was space in the middle.
We had a pleasant lunch and took the long way home. I wanted to see if the mountain laurel was blooming, something we’ve checked every week. The plants were in full bloom along the roadside and beside the streams. John wanted the day to be special for me, so we stopped several times beside streams. He came prepared with a book to read (one Nancy B gave him). We passed Looking Glass Falls, and John stopped in a pull-off area next to the stream miles above the falls. I walked to the stream, and when I came back, the car wouldn’t start. We waited a few minutes before trying again. The light would work, but the engine wouldn’t respond, not even with a click or a groan. AAA said a tow truck might get to us in 1 ½ hours. At that point, we looked at each other and agreed that having cell phone service was a great blessing. There are many, many places in the mountains where there are no bars whatsoever. Not only are there no bars, there are no bathrooms. Don’t ask what we did when we rather desperately needed to use the toilet.
Travis, the young man who came to our rescue, was not as blessed as we were. Not once, but both times when he was moving the Jeep on and off the truck, heavy rain pelted him. He worked cheerfully and didn’t hold the rain against us. He thought the trouble might be in the starter motor, but he saw a security light on the dash when he tried to start the car. We dropped it at Sorrell’s, the service station I walk through most mornings, and Travis drove us home.
Before the sun set, we used the booster gadget we gave each other for Christmas to start Snot. It’s smaller than a standard book and certainly much easier than getting a jump start from another vehicle. We had to keep the car going for a while, so we retrieved things from the Jeep and drove through Maggie Valley. What an eventful day it had been! We were so thankful we weren’t having to sleep in the Jeep while waiting for a rescue.