There is just nothing like wrapping up the best vacation ever than wrapping one up with car issues on the way back! Brakes lines bursting to be exact and late on a Friday night – no less!
Many of you already know that my family and I went on a two week vacation in the south. We were travelling with George and my parents (one of who is an amputee, you might remember from the blog post #Tragedy Struck the Hearts). We always travel together, you know, safety in numbers, a driver needs to rest or a vehicle breaks down, that sort of thing. Plus, its just way more fun being altogether! It’s how we roll.
This vacation down and back to Mississippi has been unusual, to say the least. For the first time, we found ourselves having trouble finding motels that could accommodate both a 2 lb. chihuahua and a handicap person! It was either, no pets or sorry we don’t have any handicap rooms available. And that Friday night that our brakes let out was no different!
Smartly, we decide to stop for dinner first and straight across the street was a motel that we knew could accommodate both, but as luck would have it it was ‘Home-Coming’ weekend, or something like that. The motel was booked solid, not a room to let out, as were all the others! As you know, we can’t stop until we find a motel because there are few garages open Saturdays and none on Sundays. Thankfully, the motel across the street let Pappy keep calling ahead until he found one to book ahead and it wasn’t too much further for us to go.
Early, Saturday morning, Pappy and George went down to the car to assess the brake situation. Yes, I am blessed to have two men who can fix pretty much anything, with anything, just as long as they can get their hands on some of the right tools.
They quickly discover a brake line broke. No biggie; easy fix if they can find a store open to get a hose. The problem will be bleeding the brakes later. Using Georges car they found an auto parts store that was open and allowed my men to ‘rent’ what they needed and buy parts they needed. Awesome!
Well, long story short, this day turned out to be one of those days that tries, tests and builds better the human character in each of us! Patience, perseverance and kindness were the key tools to growing and everyone involved around us got to play.
The motel where we stayed would only allow us to stay an extra 15 mins! After that they would charge us an extra day! (Nice! NOT!) Still needing breakfast and there was a Waffle House next door with a big empty lot next to it, we all just cleared out of the motel rooms and went there. Prayerfully, the brake problem was an easy fix from now on, after-all the men had already worked on it for 3 1/2 hrs. ! It can’t be much longer, right?
With the car parked in the empty lot, George and Pappy got started on it right away. Meanwhile; Bumpa, Grandma, Beau, Bubba and myself all piled into the Waffle House. Carmaletta was our waitress. Carmaletta and I bonded very easily. She became the joy of our day! Upon hearing the stress we were in she made it clear that we were not a bother and would not be chased out. We could stay for as long as necessary! That in itself took a load of worry off of all of us. We had a safe, cool, place to wait. Cool, being a key word in the heat of Kentucky.
We kept ourselves busy with a leisure breakfast. Bubba had discovered the juke-box. He kept the Waffle House amused with his selected tunes. Then, he taught his Grandma how to make selections too. Oh – the conversations that can be sparked by songs of our past! Many laughs of ol’ times ago were brought to remembrance.
As the hours clicked by, we would take turns on checking on the men and reporting back to all who were concerned. Caramletta had finished her shift and informed the next shift of our dilemma. She told us she charged the next shift to see to any of our needs and that we are free to stay for as long as needed. What a beautiful example and a beautiful person! Waffle House you are very blessed to have her!
As for our car… it was one of those times where you fix one thing and then another thing breaks! Like tumbling dominoes, one brake line fixed and during a test, another one goes too, right on down to having to replace a wheel cylinder. After 5 hrs! in some nasty heat, my men had the brakes fixed and bled. We were able to hit the road again and we didn’t lose much time. We would all be back home in time and not lose any weekly work (yuck!).
With the car fixed, the men came in looking like they had been in the dirt under a vehicle all day. Tired to the bone, they quickly ordered their breakfast/lunch. The Waffle House team wasted no time serving them and they kept their sody-pops cold and full.
With full belly’s and men refreshed, we said our good-byes to our new and dear friends, who gave us a beautiful send off of laughter and well wishes.
Uh huh! Not all that easy. Twenty minutes down the road, no brakes – again! By now it was getting late, so we might just as well find another motel, and start over in the morning.
Sunday, a quick assessment proved that the new wheel cylinder failed. Thankfully, we were not far from the same company auto parts store that it was purchased at and they replaced it. With the brakes all fixed but needing to be bled again, we were stuck in Bowling Green, Ky until Monday when all garages open for business. (The tool Pappy used last time was rented and they were closed now).
Time is up! It was time for some of us to part ways now to save employment. George had to say his good-byes. He had to hit the road now, with no time to spare in order to get home and still be employed. All was good though, there was nothing more he could do to help. The work was done and now all we could do was wait.
Monday. Bright eyed and bushy-tailed, Pappy was punching buttons on the phone! After multiple calls of dead-ends he finally found a garage that does bleed brakes, can do it today, and doesn’t charge an arm and leg!
By noon, we were back on the road! Within a few easy going, uneventful hours, we were all safely back home chucking our belongings in the door, then running back out to catch up with the world in this micro-wave society!
We are forever running!
If you are ever in Franklin, Kentucky, stop in and say hey to our dear friends. We give them a 5 Star rating!
3833 Nashville Rd.
Franklin, KY 42134