When we set out on Christmas Eve for our travels to see Ben’s family for the holiday, the only potential blip I could foresee on our radar was a possible (and yet major) let-down from Santa because HD had specifically requested Angry Birds Transformers from the Jolly Old Elf and all this mama managed to get for his stocking were two ABT books. Still the right franchise and all, but I wasn’t sure that one sticker book and one reader were actually going to win the 5.5 y/o over. Thankfully, the stocking surprises were still met with “Just what I wanted!” and dimples, so all was well and we had a really nice visit with the Welsch family. The children had a blast playing with their cousins and all the new toys yesterday, so even though LT did not nap well either day we were there or sleep well Christmas Eve night (no, there were no stripy pajamas involved) and yesterday by 3:30 p.m. I was beginning to wonder if Christmas is the longest.day.ever.in.the.history.of.all.the.days, it was a great holiday. Because of all the not-sleeping, however, we decided to come home today instead of tomorrow and were on the road early enough to be home by mid-morning. Until we weren’t.
Just after we pulled off I-80 to come south into Hastings, the van decided it no longer wanted to accelerate. Ben was given no indication of anything happening – it just up and lost the ability to change gears. Thankfully we were no longer on the interstate and were able to coast down the hill/ramp to the nearby gas station where we parked, turned it off, and tried again, only to find that while we were safely off the road, we clearly weren’t getting back on it anytime soon.
Ben got on the phone to our roadside assistance program (thank goodness for decent insurance!) and I instantly called a friend who I thought would be home and who I knew happened to have enough seats in her own vehicle to come get us, if need be. Thankfully she answered right away and was instantly on top of it, heading out the door to come get me and the kids. Ben ended up waiting (for over an hour and a half) for a tow truck to arrive so he and the van could get a lift to the dealership where we get it serviced in Hastings which is where it will remain until next week because, hi, it is the day after Christmas and no one else is open to even give us any answers much less estimates/repair timelines on how this is all going to resolve itself. Let’s hope it is an alternator or some little electrical problem and not the transmission!
Anyway, thanks to Dear Miss L, the kids and I (and all of our luggage and presents – HD’s main concern) got home in time to eat lunch and get the overly tired baby-man down for his nap which he is thankfully still taking. MUCH improved over the last two days, so I guess he is glad to be back in his own bed. I am glad to be home, too, especially since it appears that our trip home could have been much scarier/worse or might not have happened at all had this little (please, be little!) van trouble started any earlier. Not that Ben’s folks wouldn’t have housed us for as long as needed, but after a really busy few days, I think it is good we got the kiddos home so they can unwind and recoup on sleep and just take it easy while Ben and I are both around for the next week. Good thing we have all the new presents to keep us occupied since 1) we are more-or-less housebound – as a whole family, anyway – until who knows when and 2) who knows how expensive this fix will turn out to be! Any chance Santa brings new transmissions to good Mamas and Papas?!
Update: Transmission. If I click my heels together three times, will Santa please fix this for me?