It was supposed to be a simple, quick trip.
Drive down, pick Cody up, and bring him home for Thanksgiving. No problem, right? It's only about a 2 hour drive each way, so I ought to be home in time to make a pumpkin pie, right? Right? I did my pre trip checks -- oil, antifreeze, etc.-- and set out for Jackson.
I got as far as Canton (about 10 miles outside of Jackson) when I noticed my Jimmy was running very hot. I pulled off the highway and into a gas station to let it cool off. I checked the fluid in the radiator and it was slap empty. At first, I thought I might not have gotten the cap securely when I checked the fluid this morning, but no...the steam was coming from the wrong place. I had a leak somewhere.
I ran into the store and bought another bottle of antifreeze and put it into my radiator. I also filled up two empty antifreeze bottles with water, thinking I could just stop and top it up when it started getting hot, then hit the road again.
Nope. I only got about 15 minutes farther down the road when the Jimmy started running hot again. I pulled off the road at the nearest exit, into the closest gas station/convenience store and checked the radiator. Sure enough, it was empty again.
Now, normally in this situation, I would have called James or Mike, but since today was my Uncle's funeral, everyone I knew was in Texas. Cody had wanted to go, too, but I already didn't trust my vehicle to make that trip. Indeed, I barely made it to Jackson. There's no way I could have driven all the way to Texas. Be that as it may...I did text James (because I wasn't sure what time the funeral was) and asked him to call me.
I called Cody and asked him if he could get someone to bring him to meet me. For some reason, I was thinking that if I could just get him to be there with me, everything would be all right. I didn't even know where I was, but I knew I needed him there. I got on Google Maps and messaged him my location-- being thankful for the capitalistic society that made it possible for me to buy a phone with GPS on it, and the capability to send him a map with a little blue dot showing my exact location. But I digress...only slightly.
Cody's roommate is from Jackson, so he knew where the gas station with my little blue GPS dot was located. I told Cody to ask him if he knew a reputable mechanic. He didn't, but he called his uncle, who did.
So, Dejuan* brought Cody to meet me, and stayed with us the whole time. He called his uncle, who gave him the mechanic's number. He called the mechanic, then handed the phone to me to explain what the problem was. Will-- the mechanic-- said he would send a tow truck to bring Jimmy to his shop so he could check it out. About 20 minutes later, he called back and said he couldn't get ahold of either of the tow truck drivers, so he was coming himself to look at it.
After about half an hour, he showed up and the first thing I noticed was his Pittsburgh Steelers hat. The first thing he noticed was all the Dallas Cowboys stickers I have all over Jimmy. We laughed about that, because there is a long time animosity between Cowboys and Steelers fans. We talked football a bit. He checked out Jimmy, and said that the lower intake gasket was blown. That's where the antifreeze was leaking. He said it would not be safe to drive it back to Grenada because I could blow the head gasket and ruin the entire motor. He didn't even want to risk driving it to his shop. I would need to have it towed.
About that time, James called me and asked what was going on. I told him what had happened, and that I had started to freak out a little bit and just needed to talk to someone who would know what to do. He asked if I had roadside assistance on my car insurance. I wasn't sure, so I did that State Farm jingle, and poof...nobody actually showed up and I felt like a fool. Not really. I called my State Farm agent, and she said that I did, but it wouldn't pay to tow the Jimmy all the way back to Grenada. They'd only pay to tow to a local mechanic.
Will was still there, because he wasn't going to just go off and leave me stranded, so I said I'd have them tow it to his shop, and just rent a car to drive back to Grenada.
"You won't have to do that," he said. "I'll drive you back."
"Seriously? You'll drive me all the way back to Grenada?"
"I sure will," he said. "I'll even come get you when your truck is ready."
May I remind you, Gentle Reader, that it was over 100 miles from
wherever I was to Grenada. Then he'd have to drive that same 100 + miles to get back home. Then do it again when Jimmy was fixed. (Except that he may not have to. I have a local friend who would probably drive me down there to pick it up. And Cody has already found a ride back to school, so that's good.)
Wow, I thought. This guy is really going out of his way for me. So, I called the roadside assistance number on the back of my insurance card, and they sent a tow truck. Will called his wife, and she came and picked us up, then they both drove us back to Grenada. It was about halfway during the trip back that we found out that Will is a huge, huge LSU fan also.
Now if that's not a sign I have someone looking out for me, I don't know what is.
Needless to say, we didn't make it home in time to make pies, but because of the kindness of some wonderful people, we did make it home.
And that is something to be very thankful for.
*It's pronounced like DiJohn.