Business duties called Ms. SpoolTeacher in to the big city, near 50 miles west of where she lives (way out in the “boonies”). It’s always at least 10 degrees cooler out there, in her boonies. Not so much concrete and asphalt and the elevation is higher. The tow truck driver mentioned it as he came up over the crest and started back down the decline.
Tow Truck Driver! Yep.
Ms. SpoolTeacher almost didn’t stop at Trader Joes to gather some supplies, unavailable in the boonies, she was so anxious to leave the congestion and get back to her rural life; but it is a seldom trip, so she forced herself to do it.
So glad she did. She put the groceries in the back seat and started the car. It responded with a shimmy. A very big shimmy and the engine light was on.
It’s probably been two years ago now that she had her engine rebuilt. She’s not a mechanic (Jackie of all Trades that she is) and she has a (so called) friend who checks fluids and things for her regularly. She had even asked said friend to go with her that morning as she was having a notion she didn’t want to go alone for some reason. He declined.
She’s not blaming, mind you. People are free. She is a big girl now and she should check her own fluids. She just hates cars. Wishes she didn’t have to have one. Would like to live where rapid transit is available or get her bike fixed for local maneuvering and just plain forget big cities exist.
The cost of the car, the fuel, the registration, the insurance. Ever more reasons to have to spend time working labor for wages instead of digging in dirt or sewing.
Yesterday, she was beside herself with angst and dread. She let herself worry. Yesterday. While it was happening. But even while it was happening, she was sitting there in the shade running scenarios through her brain of how she would remedy this dilemma. Thinking that “This is a good thing. This will make me make the changes I have been thinking I want to make.”
No cell phone, no towing (she momentarily, in her panic, forgot she had ordered a policy a couple months prior thinking of such a time as this. She almost hadn’t, due to more labor $$$, but she had thought…”hmmm, me thinks I better”), the manager at Trader Joes was very reluctant to let her use the phone to call her so called friend (exactly why she abhors working for corporations, they are so not about anything except profits), “I’m not supposed to let you”, he said. She said, “I will tell you, I just spent $40 in here.” To which he snarkily replied, “I’m not doubting you, we are just not supposed to let people use the phone.” “WE”. Couldn’t he make a managerially nice decision to help a fellow person out of a crisis without the mouse in his pocket squeaking up. She was dressed nice. She looked professional. She didn’t look like a beggar. Not that a beggar shouldn’t have been helped as well….he wouldn’t even look her in the eye.
Her new cell phone
Pay phone. No where to be found and she just happened to have a bag full of quarters for the meters downtown at the courthouse. 50 people walking the parking lot watching the water with coolant drain out of her water reservoir helpful, not. One girl asked. One GIRL. By then, Ms. SpoolTeacher had calmed down from being denied help by her so called friend and had remembered about the roadside assistance she had been so clever to imagine she might surely need this day.
Since Trader Joes was so demeaning, she thought she’d now ask Verison (surely they have phones) if they had a land line she could use for a toll free number. “Land line, no.” The young man didn’t quite know how his boss sitting in the back office was going to take to his letting her use one of those chained in Smart Phones of which she knows nothing of. (Hopefully it had unlimited long distance). Anyway she (with lots of help from the young man) made the call, thanked them profusely, offered to pay for the call, and went back out to think of what she could do next.
She thought, “Maybe it just overheated and needs water.” So while she was waiting for the driver, she took her Ms. SpoolTeacher/Jackie of all Trades/Cleaning Lady empty giant Fabuloso jug to see if the beauty shop could help her fill it up with water. There was a cascading fountain she thought about using, but it was trickling too slow. By this time, she was reluctant to ask for help, people seemed so unfriendly. But the girl at the beauty shop was lovely and together they filled it up, emptied all the bubbles left from soap residue and got some clean clear water.
The car started up without rumbling, but the engine light was still on. “How would she get home.” She couldn’t call so called friend again after hanging up on his rudeness. “You’re just upset, you can figure this out.”
That was the second call. The first one was giving her instructions.
“You know why I’m upset? If it was you calling me, I would say, ‘Where are you, I’ll be right there’. I wouldn’t be qualifying whether or not I would come.”
As it turned out, the tow truck driver was a people person. He got on the horn and found out that he could, in fact, tow her the 46 miles home. The fee came in $2 under her policy limit. “Praise God from whom all blessings flow”, was the song filling up her heart.
Today, she felt a strange calm. “Well if she had in fact, let some level of fluid lapse in replenishing and she had in fact ruined her car for good, so be it. In must be in HIS plan.”
“Hand me the next dilemma, Lord”, she said in her newly calmed mind.
She’s been trying to get off the grid, “Do What You Love, The Money Will Follow“, become a “farmer’s wife/farmer”, live “The Good Life”.
It always seems that she has to be backed up into a corner for what she wants to really happen.
She forgot to mention that after the Trader Joe manager’s attitude and her so called friend’s rejection, she felt a need to traipse her severely paining lower back with her giant water jug across 8 lanes of traffic to get over to Bookmans to sit in one of their wing back chairs and stair at books, eat a banana, think and cry for a spell. While there in their lovely atmosphere of friendliness and ambiance, she got a new spark of an idea to try calling her nephew to see if he could come to her rescue. No answer. But for the record, the Bookmans associate, smiling the whole time, plopped the land line phone on the counter, gave her a pen and paper and phone book, told her to just dial direct and walked away for her to have privacy, never asking if it was long distance or not. A big, big, big shout out to Bookmans. BIG!
Bookmans understands that everything we do as a business has an impact. Thirty years in, we remain dedicated to being a positive influence in our community. We believe in making the effort to interact with and understand others, being involved with and contributing to our community, speaking out against censorship and promoting freedom of expression at every turn, offering a diverse mix of merchandise with broad price ranges, and always exceeding expectations.
And little did she know that all these years of loving buying used books at Alibri.com, Bookman’s has a presence there as well. and there own online selling at AbeBooks.
So, car is home. The registration is due and just in time she has this breakdown. Maybe, she needn’t renew. She’s still drumming up ideas of how to get all the way out of this dilemma. Sell/scrap the car, fix the truck. After all the truck has made it 30 years. Back to “The Good Life” (tongue in cheek) with no air conditioning. It just keeps getting better.
With her new calmed down mind, she saved her back this day and didn’t scrub any toilets. She started determining to sell all her stuff on Etsy but didn’t start digging things out just yet, back still needs healing; but she did do some research for the values of things. While surfing in the cool waters of the interwebby, she ran across a blog about “Permaculturing in Portugal, One family’s attempts to live in a more planet-friendly way”. A family that reminded her about what really matters in the bigger scheme of things, it’s the little things.
Hot Water Heating
It’s about The Simple Life and making things ever more simple and uncomplicated.
Yes, you might think you have to have a cell phone. But that is like insurance. “Insurance is for pessimists.” As Karen Dinesen (Meryl Streep) says when the plantation burns to the ground in Out of Africa.
Ms. SpoolTeacher is just a little glad that she was a pessimist for a moment in time and bought that towing policy. Not her usual persuasion, but sure glad she had it none the less. Things work out. Just the way they are intended.
At least that’s how she feels.