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Middle of nowhere. Cracked radiator. 115 degrees. No cell service. Stupid dumb auto protection service that is not smarter than their stupid dumb computer program. Stupid. Dumb.

Oh man, I really need a vacation from my vacation. More precisely, a vacation after my vacation. I should probably tell you that I spend nine looong months of the year impatiently waiting for the warm, delicious, relaxing, rejuvenating  too short three months of summer. No homework for the kids (or the mom, come on ladies, you know exactly what I mean), no strict bedtimes, the water park just calling our names, beckoning us to frolic and play.

Without going on too much of a whining streak, let me just say that this was the summer that wasn’t, which quickly turned into the vacation that wasn’t.

So, here’s the whine. Feel free to skip it if you’d like. (Haha. Just kidding. Don’t skip it. It’s stuff you need to know.)

You see, I became a mother-in-law this summer, which means I became the mother of the bride, which means every waking moment (and many not-so-waking moments) were spent preparing for the big day, which in reality means crossing off those first six weeks of summer. (Don’t get me wrong, I loved almost every one of those minutes getting ready for the wedding and wouldn’t trade them for anything…but, they did use up half of the summer.)

And then as soon as the wedding was over, the next week and a half was spent helping my second oldest daughter gather all of her earthly belongings and loading them tetris-style into a U-haul to make the big move to Arizona to begin her first job as an English teacher. Fortunately, or maybe unfortunately, her move coincided with our vacation to Las Vegas, which is a mere two hour drive  from her destination of Kingman, AZ.

On the plus side, her U-haul didn’t get abducted during a week of hanging out in the condo parking lot in the city of sin. On the minus side, most of the vacation was spent house hunting, car shopping, driving, U-haul unloading, and worrying. On the double minus side, I had to leave my daughter behind in Arizona :(

It was in this state of mind that we headed home from our so-called vacation. About two hours into the drive on I-15, we entered Virgin Gorge, the hot, beautiful, hot, winding hot stretch between Mesquite, NV. and St. George, UT. Did I mention that it’s hot?

Halfway through the gorge our radiator cracked. Not good, but also not the end of the world. We figured we’d just pull off the road and call our auto protection service and have them send a tow. What we didn’t count on was that there was no cell service and it was HOT! 115 degrees hot, with nary a spec of shade. So I did what any desperate mom would do, I climbed to the top of a ridge, held my phone up to the heavens with a prayer in my heart and successfully texted my daughter with instructions to call our auto service to send us a tow.

And then we waited…and waited…and waited, and nothing happened. No tow truck appeared to rescue us. Why? Because our stupid dumb auto service representative (and his stupid dumb supervisor) couldn’t figure out how to over-ride the stupid dumb computer program to send a tow across the state line to an area without a zip code. We were six miles from the state line! Only six miles, people! How hard could it be?  My daughter, whom I had texted, was on the phone with a representative  for over an hour pleading our case and…nothing, nada, zilch. No tow truck.

An hour in 115 degrees.

I made the climb again and luckily for us a truck driver headed in the other direction saw me at the top of the ridge, waving my cell phone around like a mad woman. He honked at me and gave me a thumbs up, which I hoped meant that he planned on sending someone to the rescue.

And then we waited again. And waited some more. I don’t know if you’ve ever spent an hour and a half in 115 degrees with the the sun beating down on you (hopefully you haven’t), but let me tell you we felt like we were not far from possible heat stroke.

Then a miraculous thing happened.  All of the sudden in the cloudless blue sky, a little gray rain cloud appeared right above our car and rained on us. Call it luck. Call it coincidence. Call it happenstance. Call it good karma. Call it divine intervention (my personal choice). Call it whatever you want, but there it was, one  glorious little cloud raining on us, cooling us down. Giving us hope.

And then a kind-hearted Highway Patrolman came to our assistance, hooked tow ropes to our car and pulled us the six miles to the Utah border so the stupid dumb auto service could send a tow.

Thank heavens for little gray rainclouds. Literally. Thank you. And for alert truckers and a kind-hearted patrolman.

And to the auto protection service I say, “May you rot in the 115 degree heat in Virgin Gorge. Well, maybe not rot, exactly, but at least spend a few tortuous hours stuck there with no one to save the day.”


P.S. I’m headed out to frolic and play. Maybe you should too.



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