Was it good luck, or really really bad?

Matt {Marc's brother} installs carpet in the temples of a religion which shall remain undisclosed. And this week he was at one in the north of England. He works like 14 hours a day except Sundays {thank you, undisclosed religion for your Sabbatarianism}, so oh goodie we thought, we'll head up there and see him!

We went up Saturday, and I insisted on stopping at the Salt Museum on the way up {woa. salt. it's cool}. We planned to go to dinner with Matt Saturday night and then stay in the luxury {free} hotel of Jeep before a sightseeing Sunday. Since we had a car and the carpet-guys did not, we were going to shuttle them around. It was going to be fun. And all that.

So we picked up Matt and stopped at a gas station to ask which Indian restaurant was the best when the guy next to us points out that there is a significant stream of liquid pouring out of the front of the car. Oh that. Yeah, that's normal. um, just ignore it, it will go away.

That ignoring thing hardly ever works. That little Saturday night stream kicked off a string of events that made our Sunday a day to remember, for us and Matt and the carpet guys on their only day off in England. And we kept asking ourselves, is this a string of horribly bad luck, or are we lucky, lucky sods?

Like, at one point the car just suddenly died while we were driving through a roundabout in the middle of the city, but we were perfectly placed in the roundabout to coast, sans power steering and breaks, into a beautifully positioned parking lot. It was in front of a car parts store.

Oh, but before that, we discovered that the city was slightly scary and we would have been murdered {okay not murdered but whatever} if we slept in our car, so our plans were ruined. But, Matt smuggled us into temple housing, from which non-members were strictly forbidden by undisclosed religion, and we slept on his floor. We were totally mission impossible. Matt felt justified by saying that Jesus would have let us in. And I bet he is right.

And there was this other time when we thought we'd fixed the hole and we drove for like 2 hours before we decided to see if it was leaking again {which it was}, but we'd managed to get ourselves to our destination Castle anyway, which was really really cool.

Then there was this time when the car died as we cruised along at 50 mph on a road with no shoulder, but we just so happened to be at a point where we could coast off onto a strategically placed and very rare country lane.

Then our phone was out of batteries so we couldn't call anybody to help. But Matt did have his phone, which we used, but that cost $2 a minute. And boy were we on a wild-goose-chase of phone calls. Nobody could help for this and that reason.

Meanwhile, Matt was able to entertain himself in the surrounding fields, until he had a sudden allergic reaction that caused his face to puff up and his eyes turned into glowing red orbs. But I just happened to have allergy meds in the car.

It was Sunday so nobody would tow us and no repair shops were open, but the carpet guys managed to rent a car which saved our butts.

And we had to wait a couple hours for them to rescue us {Marc, Matt and me} but we did have a camp stove, hot chocolate mix, blankets, and a deck of cards in the car.

They offered to backtrack and take us to a train station but there was a huge traffic jam and they wasted even more of their precious day off just...sitting there.

At the train station there was thankfully one last train left that could take us in the direction of home but the ticket machine rejected all our credit/debit cards, and Matt's too.

So we got on the train with no tickets, which can land you a few hundred pounds in fines, but this particular train had the world's nicest, cartoon-friendly, white bearded conductor who sent us on our way no charge.

From the train station we had to catch a bus to Kenilworth, but we were 45 pence short on the fare. He let us on anyway. And we also passed-on the age-old knowledge of "how to make an expired ticket look valid when you have no money" to two panicked pre-teens. We saved their butts that night as they were almost stranded far from home, where they hadn't told their parents they were going, and they thought we were guardian angels. {Can you be a guardian angel when you're teaching someone how to cheat the system? Well we did anyway and I will contest the charges if we land in Hell for it.}

We looked at each other on the bus home, basking in the elated giggles of pre-teens on their savior bus, and laughed. Are we having a massive string of bad luck, or good?

Granted, our car is still in the middle of nowhere, hundreds of miles away. With all our stuff in it. And, you know, it's gonna cost hundreds to tow it and repair it and whatnot. And the happy days of reliable car are probably over, cause it is an ancient, corroding thing. But we made it home. Home, home, home, never loved you so much.

That was not how we planned to spend our one day with Matt. But...we did spend hours upon hours together, uh, staring under the hood of the car, and sitting on the side of the road playing cards.


KT and Lance said...

He'll never forget it! It's sounds stressfull, But I love all the positive twists!

Good Luck with the Car!

The Hodges Family said...

What a memory!! Glad you guys made it back ok! Love ya!

Singletonmd said...

I think Jesus would have definately let you sleep on the floor too. I loved this blog, good luck with the card!!