We puttered through our neighborhood, turned right onto the busy(ish) road, and then started to turn left onto the jr high road when suddenly the Suburban sputtered and died...right in the middle of the turn.
Imagine me and my gigantor vehicle straddling the street something akin to a beached whale (at least we were far enough onto the new street that our rear end was not really hanging too far into the busy road behind us...that's something).
I turned the key and the engine would turn over, but it wouldn't catch. More awesome.
So there I sat, the girth of my car spanning the central portion of this normally quaint neighborhood thoroughfare. All the traffic of parents coming to claim their children from school flowed awkwardly around me. So so awesome.
What could I do? I was trapped, I had left my cell phone at home to charge (yeah, I forget to charge it a lot), Ellie was in the back seat with no shoes, I was not strong enough to push the car up the small hill at the entrance of the road to get it out of the way. I could see no way out of this mess.
So I did the only thing I could think of. I prayed. Hard.
And, while I am sure Heavenly Father was upstairs chuckling at my predicament (seriously, I would chuckle at watching me in this predicament), He still took it upon himself to send some help my way.
After a deluge of vehicles ignored me while they shuttled by, finally one sweet little lady rolled down her window and asked if I would like some help pushing my car out of the middle of the road.
Yes, yes I would. Thank you very much.
She and her jr high age daughter (who was probably thinking "I am so glad that crazy lady is NOT my mom!") started to push, which wasn't working as my uber heavy vehicle started to slip back down the hill. Enter several other passers by who jumped in to help shove my Suburban up the slope and to the curb.
But, I was still marooned on the side of the road with shoeless-girl-DeMoux and no phone and a long walk home (not to mention a pod of jr highers waiting at the school with no idea why their ride hadn't shown up).
That's when angel number two entered the scene. A frazzled mom who was in a rush still took the time to pull over and let me borrow her cell phone. I tried Josh, no dice, he was in class and couldn't answer. So I called my mom. She strapped on her super hero cape (which comes in the form of a mini van) and swooped in to save the day.
After depositing our middle school friends at their homes, she took us to our house where we waited for Josh to get back from work so we could assess the damage and work to fix the problem.
I started to mow the lawn while I waited for Josh, but after a few minutes our next door neighbor, Steve, came outside looking concerned. He asked where the Suburban was. I gave him the Reader's Digest version of the story and he said he was sorry to hear that. How sweet that he noticed the car was not there and how really really sweet that he came out to check on us. He asked how the car had behaved and gave a couple of suggestions of things that could be the problem. I thought that was wonderful, he really is an incredible neighbor.
But he got even better in my book when he came to the house about twenty minutes later and asked if he could have the keys to the Suburban because he wanted to drive over and take a look at it. Seriously, who does that?
I surrendered the keys and he headed off. He came back a little over a half hour later letting me know that the fuel pump was not working. He said he planned to just replace it there and then bring the car back to me, but our fuel pump is inside the gas tank so he couldn't get to it. He apologized that he wasn't able to fix it. HE apologized after going out of his way to try to repair an issue that was in no way his. Oh my gosh, what a sweetheart. No wonder we love this man.
Anyway, Josh got home and he and my dad (who dropped everything to come help us) towed the Suburban (not an easy feat) to the shop where they did indeed diagnose the problem as a rotten fuel pump which they replaced and then handed us the bill.
That's the part that stinks.
However, we found it interesting that the bill for the repairs totaled just a few dollars more than Josh received that very day on his check for coaching debate this past year. Even though we would have LOOOOVED to use that money for other things, it was a blessing that the car waited to break down until just the moment when we could afford to fix it.
And so, a day that should have been average to the nth degree turned out to be much more exciting than normal, but also left us feeling more loved than normal. It wasn't great to have our car break down, but it was incredible to see the concern and care of the people around us. It was humbling to be reminded that God does adore us and helps us manage the troubles that rear their ugly heads in our lives (even if He mutters an endearing chuckle while He watches us figure things out).
It turned out to be a pretty good day (but I'd rather not repeat it any time soon).