August 7, 2010

Bad News and Good News

I'll start with the bad news:  Six hours into our ten hour drive home from Camano Island, the transmission in our minivan went out.  I was driving, but it's NOT MY FAULT, I think...

Tim and the boys were all snoozing while I was cruising down the highway.  The cruise control was on (all responsible, respectable long distance drivers use it) when the van started to decelerate.  My blood pressure rose as I tried to gently wake Tim up.  Imagine an urgent whisper and a sharp poke on the thigh, "Sweetie, wake up.  Wake up.  I can't acCELERATE!"

Just as the stress level began to top out, the good news came.  And it kept coming and coming and coming.

I pulled to the shoulder.  Tim and I whipped out our phones.  Tim called the first tow truck company that came up on Google.  Did I mention I love my Blackberry?  I called all the hotels in the area to find the one with the best price-to-dinginess ratio which also took dogs.

When the tow truck pulled up, Cecil greeted up with a smile and four bottled waters.  The van got easily loaded and we were on our way.  We told Cecil two of our hotel options and he wrinkled his nose at both. He drove us from hotel to hotel finding us a good deal.  Eventually he got us an extreme discount at a really nice hotel.  He talked the ladies at the front desk into giving us a deal AND letting our dog stay for free, even though it was not a pet-friendly hotel.

He told us later that he used the cuteness of our boys as leverage in the deal.  Kudos to us for making uber-cute boys.

We signed the receipt(also a very reasonable price) and got our overnight stuff out of the van.  The boys had been cooped up all day in the car so I let them run around in a grassy area off the parking lot.  Of course they started rough housing and wrestling, but no one was crying so I let them continue.

Cecil walked over to me with tears in his eyes and told me that he also had two sons but they were all grown up.  He said it brought back memories of his boys when they were young.  He then showed me picture on his phone of his 29 year old son, who died three months ago.  I started to cry.  What a sweet man.

He left us with a promise that the boys could meet Mater tomorrow.  He also left us with his cell phone, just in case we needed ANYTHING.

Now the van is sleeping at the transmission shop.  We are eating candy and cheese puffs for dinner in a really nice hotel.  We are livin' it up, people, livin' it up.

God is definitely good.

Here's a newer Swagger Wagon, probably with a better transmission.


Ben and Emily Wells said...

Great story! I love how you and Tim live it up with your family and make the most of days like this. Cecil sounds like an angel and I'm sure your time with him was a blessing to him as well. :)

Anonymous said...

I am glad Cecil was the Good Samaritan for my Boise family. God is good and may he continue to bless thePell family. Cheese puffs for Dinner? Party on dudes. Love Meemaw