Saturday, we left to drive the 1,000 miles from Florida to Kentucky. My wife and I haven’t spent Thanksgiving with my family since we first got married, so we figured this year would be a good time to change that.
We were making good time and spent Sunday night in Georgia. Nice weather and clear roads were ahead.
Things were smooth as silk until we got an hour away from my parent’s house and stopped for gas. I went to turn the car back on, after fueling up, only to hear “click, click, click”. The car wouldn’t start.
Luckily, I have AAA so I called them and they sent a truck out. The guy in the souped up tow truck (it was a pretty cool looking truck, especially for a tow truck, I have to admit…I should have taken a picture) gave us a jump and the car started right up…..just to die about a minute later. Not only did the car die, but every instrument totally blanked out…not a good sign.
Like an EMP had hit our little Focus, everything died, so the guy towed us to a Wal Mart a couple of exits down. They tested the battery and the alternator, figuring out the alternator was, indeed, shot. Wal Mart doesn’t work on alternators, but the guy knew someone who would bring one out and install it for $260.00 ($170.00 or the part, the rest for labor). Figuring I didn’t have a lot of options (it was getting later in the afternoon) I went ahead and had him install it….praying that the alternator was the real problem. By the time it was all said and done, we had been at Wal Mart for over four hours….which wasn’t so bad as we picked up a few odds and ends we had been meaning to get for our stay up here, anyway.
When the guy finally got the alternator in, we paid him and headed out while I said a few prayers that everything was truly fixed. We had an hour to go and there wasn’t much between Georgetown and Independence except for miles of dark highway. It was also 9:00pm. Had things gone as planned, we would have been there at 4:00’ish. Thankfully, though, the car got us there fine and has been running great, so far.
The whole incident left me feeling thankful.
Thankful that the tow truck driver who suggested going to Wal Mart to have the battery and alternator checked.
Thankful that this Wal Mart had a worker who knew someone (his dad, come to find out) who would come out and fix the problem that night, so we wouldn’t have to spend another night in a hotel…especially being only an hour away.
Thankful that the problem was fixed for a relatively nominal amount…compared to taking it a garage.
And, thankful that we have family to go to in the first place and spend the holiday with. I can’t wait to dig into that turkey and dressing on Thursday. (I’m also thankful for turkey!)
Hoping you all have a safe and happy Thanksgiving holiday!
A few shots from the road: