It was 7:30 a.m. Kids had eaten or were eating breakfast. A cooler was packed. My gigantic 31 bag was packed full of towels, sunblock, and clean underwear. I gave my eager helper Delaney a shopping bag and explained to her that her responsibility was to find all the beach toys, put them in that bag, and make sure that everything made it back in that bag when it was time to go home. Once she was done I told her to go ahead and put the bag in the back of the car. I pressed the button to open it and nothing happened. I pressed it a couple more times, nothing happened, and I was like, 'What's going on here?' I figured I must have hit something on the dashboard that controls it, and I opened the driver's side door to see if I could fix it.
I found the button and pressed it. Then I remembered the car needs to be on so I turned the key in the ignition. Nothing happened. As dead as could be. Oh no! Then it came back to me. Last night after the kids were in bed and settled down, I remembered that there was a part of the Mockingjay CD that I wanted to hear without the kids. The last time I'd had it on with us all in the car, I had paused it when my protagonist and her boyfriend started to get lovey-dovey and it seemed possible that they were about to consummate their relationship somewhere in the woods of District 2. So I thought I'd take five minutes and go out to the car and listen and get past that part. I did not want to bring the CD inside because I worried that I would have a hard time finding my place, and I didn't want to hear any part of it over again. I listened for a few minutes and, satisfied that I had heard all I needed to hear, I turned the accessories back off (or so I thought -- there are a couple ways you can turn the key) and went inside. I didn't give it another thought until this morning when I discovered the car battery was dead.
Then I realized that I had sabotaged my plans for a beautiful Memorial Day, and deprived my kids of a trip to the beach, all for the opportunity to sit and listen to Katniss and Gale hooking up in the forest, as narrated by the woman with the English accent. Pathetic.
I emailed Tim with the subject line, "Battery is dead:(", and waited for his response. Meanwhile I texted my neighbor who I was going to meet at the beach this morning, to let her know my situation. Tim emailed back, "Call USAA." That was what I was about to do, but I wanted to make sure. I know we had gone back and forth several times about who we would go with for roadside assistance, USAA or OnStar or AAA.
I warned the kids that we might not be able to go anywhere today, but within minutes of calling USAA, I received a text telling me the ETA of the tow truck company was 8:53. 8:53? I was suddenly hopeful. If the tow truck actually arrived anywhere close to that, we could still go to the beach. I updated my neighbor to tell her we probably would make it, but don't wait for us. The two of us knew that we could probably figure out how to jumpstart the car ourselves, but since it was all the way inside the garage, it would have been tricky.
Tim called me and said, "What did you do?" I told him, and he said, "How long were you in the car?" I said, "It was no more than five minutes! I know I'm not supposed to use the accessories when the car's not running, so I only listened for a few minutes, but I didn't shut the car off properly. I didn't sit there and have a beer and listen to 10 chapters!" He laughed and said, "I think you did."
The tow truck arrived at about 8:30, and we were on our way soon after. The battery had plenty of time to recharge on the 40-minute drive. I'm so glad we got to go after all. We all had so much fun. It was one of those days that make me realize how blessed I am and what a great life we have.
|Delaney shows Timmy the lizard she found, while we wait for the tow truck. That lizard ended up getting in our house and staying there the whole time we were gone. We found him on the kitchen table when we got home.|
|Even tired and sitting there in wet shorts, he's a happy camper. I love this boy.|