I was rudely awakened by someone calling me soon after...a strange number I had never seen before. Contrary to my usual habit, I actually picked up. It was The Fool. My car had broken down and she was stranded at a gas station sans phone (she had left it at home by accident). She was on the phone with me for a few moments as I scrambled to look up a taxi service for her...but she had to go right after I gave her a number...that turned out to not be a taxi place. I panicked for a good 10 minutes and found myself praying for The Fool, thoroughly convinced that I would never hear from her again and that she would be stranded at some unknown parking lot for the rest of her life. I tried calling her back at the strange number, only to have a cranky individual refuse to help me and asking that I not call their business phone again. As charitable as I want to be, I cannot help but consider this guy a jerk for dissing a maiden in distress...WHO DOES THAT?!? My worry was relieved a few minutes later when another number called me. It was The Fool...and she had been able to find a phone at a CVS across the street.
I got an address from her, called a taxi and had the taxi drive me to the parking deck where the car she'd been using was parked. In case you are wondering, she had been driving to school in another car until the end of last week when she had gotten her second parking ticket within a few days. She had gone to our town's parking authority to get a pass for street parking and they had given her a pass that was good until the end of March. The problem was, it's no good until September 30. Rather than get another ticket, we decided it would be best to put that car in a parking garage for a week and let her borrow my car (Gandalf the White).
So I only have laundry money with me because I had gone to the bank to get laundry money this weekend. I tend to charge, so I never carry cash...especially since I go into the city every day. The taxi driver drops me off and the fare turned out to be $20. All I had was $20 in quarters, so I gave him that with many apologies. Fortunately, he took it well. He had a good sense of humor...thank God. I get the car and realize that The Fool had taken the parking deck ticket with her...so I have to go to the ticket office and tell them that I was ticketless. They always make it seem like it's the end of the world whenever you lose a ticket, so I fully expected to pay a hefty fine. Fortunately, it turned out to be $6 and the attendant was also very kind...as was the woman at the intersection that gave me right of way as I desperately tried to get to The Fool ASAP.
I make it to the parking lot and call my roadside assistance company after sending the Fool off to school so she would not be late. This is after removing all the crap I had in Gandalf's trunk. We always buy bulk when there's a good deal going on, so you can only imagine what it looked like when we piled on huge box after huge box of toilet paper, milk cartons, etc. The tow truck comes and hour later and I tell them where to take me. The guy driving the tow truck turns out to be riot. I was laughing the whole way to the mechanic...even if I secretly didn't approve of him smoking in the truck. However, I was not going to bother him about anything AT ALL. I don't mess with anyone with a bunch of skull tattoos on their arms, especially if they swear like a sailor.
I am dropped off at the mechanic...and they also turn out to have a good sense of humor...as well as a picture of JPII hanging up in the office (anyone with JPII on their walls are okay by me). After settling everything with them, I call up the taxi company again. Only this time, I realize that I had lost my sister's phone in the first cab. The guy driving me this time turns out to be a gentleman and ends up calling the company for me about the phone as he drives. He tells me about how devastated he was when he lost his phone years ago. It had had pictures of his daughter's kindergarted graduation. I start telling him about my day and he tells me about his. I turns out his day is not going too well either...He had gotten to work late and one of the other cab drivers had taken his car, leaving him a car that was not running too well. When he drops me off, I realize that all I have is $20 bills on me (that The Fool had passed off to me right before she left...just in case).
I didn't get a chance to tip the other cab driver well, so I gave the guy an extra $20 for tip. He was reluctant to take it, reminding me that I am having such a terrible monday morning...but I made him take it. I figured it would cheer up his day and maybe, somehow, make up for the two rolls of quarters (and no tip) earlier. I told him that somehow everything would even out for today. And you know what? It did. I put my trust in God and let Him take control of the situation as He saw fit. I may have made it to work late, but I got everything prepared for the class I needed to TA. Also, He sent all the nicest people that could have been sent to me when I needed them most.
God will figure out a way for us to handle any situation we're given, as long as we trust in Him. He always does. And you know what? I think He more than listened to the silent prayers I sent to him as I worried about my sister between the first and second call this morning. He listened to me and He did all he could to keep The Fool safe...and to keep me sane. I dealt with quite a few people today and they all ended up being more than friendly and helpful. He sent me two kind taxi drivers, one kind parking deck attendant, two nice mechanics, and a nice truck driver who had me doubled over with laughter. Also, Gandalf's repairs were nowhere near as expensive as I expected them to be. We had $200-odd worth of work that needed to be done on Gandalf and I fully expected this, a new battery, and at least $400 more worth in repairs before the end of the day (or whenever else the car would get looked at).
The repairs are going to come to $85 and even though that mechanic is usually backed up with work, they had time to look at Gandalf right away (this never happens). Furthermore, the repairs were finished by the end of the day and The Fool was able to pick up Gandalf and put the other car back in the garage. Her card didn't go through, but the mechanics were kind enough to let her take the car anyway and let her pay the bill tomorrow (this, too, never happens these days). According to The Fool, the mechanic was surprised she was even able to drive the car and make it into a parking lot, considering what had needed to be fixed. All in all, it looks like everything good that could have happened, did end up happening. This whole mess of a situation could have certainly been a lot worse...but it wasn't. The car is fine, I never burst into tears today, everyone is safe and okay, the repairs were more than affordable, the penalty for losing the ticket was nowhere near as high as it could have been...and (according to The Fool) Gandalf is running a lot better than he had been before the whole situation. Needless to say, I have a lot to be thankful for it.
|Image Credit Louie's Corner|