Yesterday, there was a hummingbird catch, tag, & release, along with lectures, displays, specialists, and a whole bunch of other stuff. We decided to go. Which was our mistake. It's about an hour drive to the reserve where the event was going on. My mother-in-law, the kids, and I got up early, and left for the wildlife preserve at 6:30 a.m. Forty-five minutes later, we cleared the open, empty range, and hit town limits. Coming down the hill, into town, the car decided to die on us. Still another 15+ miles from the event.
This has happened before, and usually the car needs to sit and rest a while before she decides to start up again. So we decided to sit where we were (at the entrance to an RV park) and wait it out. Except the car did not want to start. Well, it wanted to, but it didn't. With cars whizzing past us, (no one stopped until we had finished) Emma steered while the grown ups pushed, and we moved the car about 3/4 mile down the road to a gas station. Or, at least, what we thought was a gas station. The kids had to go to the bathroom, so we walked up to the doors to see nothing but a mop bucket in the building. ABSOLUTELY NOTHING...
After determining that my lovely husband could not come and rescue us right away, we decided to walk into town. Not entirely sure exactly how far it was, but it was at least a mile. My kids are not walkers. They are whiners.
McDonald's for lunch, the general store for time wasting, and Napa for the price of parts. Three hours later, we notice how dark the sky is getting, and head back to the car to wait for my knight-in-shining-Chevy to arrive with help.
On our way back, we discovered wild watermelon plants with baby watermelon growing on the side of the road. Deciding to kill more time, we found things we could use to dig up some smaller plants, and unearthed 3 small watermelon vines. The kids had fun digging for worms, getting muddy, and playing with roly-poly bugs. After this, we sat in the car as a monsoon storm rolled our way. Leaning the front seats all the way back, Emma and Rob gave Nancy and I 'makeovers', manicures, and massages.
Once the storm passed, the kids started getting antsy, so we let them run around the parking lot while the adults sat in the car, solving crossword puzzles and laughing at the other motorists who made the same mistake we did in assuming the gas station was operational. An hour before Mike got there, a police officer finally decides to show up and see if we need help. No, thank you...WHERE WERE YOU THIS MORNING??
I don't know if you've seen "It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World", but it's the original (1963) to the more recent (2001) adaptation, "Rat Race." Anyhow, there's a scene where actor Dick Shawn is in a hurry to save his 'Mama', played by Ethel Merman, from horrible circumstances. I had visions of my husband driving just like this to get to us.
As I was sharing this thought with my MIL, who shows up, but Mike himself! We got the car loaded on the trailer he brought, stopped to go to the bathroom one last time, and headed home. Twelve hours after we left that morning.
Thank God we were close enough to town to walk. If we had been even 2 miles back, there's no telling what would have happened. As it was, there was a reason we didn't make it to the hummingbird thing. Who knows what it was, but we still had fun.