Friday, March 15, 2013

Oh, Adventures

I heard this quote I really like about adventures (and it reminded me of the Hobbit, (which I technically think is boring, but) I love the idea of adventures from the Hobbit) and I really loved it:

An adventure is only an inconvenience rightly considered. An inconvenience is an adventure wrongly considered.

-G. K. Chesterton

So, with that said, I have a story to tell about an adventure that started a week ago. It's a long story, but not quite as long as The Hobbit (thank goodness).

A week ago today, I had an interview with a company that I've been trying to get a foot in the door with for a little while now. Way exciting, right?


So, after my interview (which went well, by the way), I dropped Kam off at the train station so he could go hang out with the guys while I got dinner with the girls and then took the late shift at work. I got a message from Kam around 10 pm asking why I wasn't at work, and I reminded him that I was at work. Turns out he had forgotten that and gotten on the train early to come home. Unfortunately, I couldn't pick him up.

But he took care of that, got a ride home with our friend, Todd, and had a friend in the ward to let him in (I had the house keys, too), and everything was just fine.

So, already an eventful day, right?


But not quite a Hobbit-par adventure yet. Apparently.

I decided (at about 12:00 am) that I wanted to make Kam a big breakfast in the morning. So I tried to sneak out and run to the store real quick. My phone was charging, so I almost asked Kam if I could borrow his just in case, but that would be too conspicuous. So I just opened the door, and Kam asked where I was going, and I said, "I'll be right back." Which he was not happy with, so I said, "I have to go to the store real quick. It's a surprise!"

And off I went to buy bacon and hash browns. At the checkout, I had to recite Kam's phone number so we could get our discount, and I couldn't remember it! It took, I think, three tries. So silly.

So I get in the car, head on my marry way, chug up the hill to our house, and all of a sudden I'm not going anywhere. The car just slows down more and more, so I pull over, turn it off, and try to restart it.


Nothing again.

Nothing again.

No phone.

It's like 12:30 am.

Typically, I'd be pretty freaked out at this point, so it really is a miracle that I managed to say to myself, "Ok, Chloe. You're going to put your emergency lights on, and walk to the gas station and borrow a phone." So that's what I did--or started to do. I only had to walk about 10 steps away from my car for someone to realize I was in trouble and pull over and offer to help. I asked to borrow their phone, called Kam, and he came riding down on his bike.

I'm pretty sure he was hoping I was just making some stupid, "Chloe-doesn't-know-how-to-drive" mistake. I kind of was, too. But I knew I wasn't.

Kam and I tried to start it up another few times, and then another fabulous passer-by (people around here sure seem to like that good samaritan story, or something. Just wait, it gets better.) named Alex offered to help us tow our car over into the nearby parking lot. With still no luck at getting it started, Kam and I walked back home with bacon and hash browns in hand.

The next morning, I would not be stopped. I made the entire package of bacon and half the hash browns, and Kam made 9 eggs. Yeah. It was delicious. And we kind of needed the energy, because right after that a gentleman from our ward named, Sam, offered to help us clean off our battery, jump start our car, and eventually (when none of that worked) tow our car back to our apartment.

There, we proceeded to clean the battery off, and call everyone we know that knows anything about cars and ask for their advice. They were all very helpful, but our car was not easily diagnosed. We did learn a lot about what it wasn't though.

While we were working, two of our friends from the ward stopped by to help. Our friend, Tinoa, suggested we replace the spark plugs, and taught Kam how to do that (and I got to play with his adorable daughter, Evie, for an hour or so. :) ), and Abdul offered to let us borrow his old car, because they had just happened to buy a new car on the same day ours broke down, and they hadn't sold their old car yet. All of this help was miraculous, and much appreciated.

For the next few hours, we (meaning Kam) worked on changing the spark plugs. There was one particularly stubborn plug that just would not come out, so we posted a challenge on the ward facebook page to all of the elders who think they're buff. Shortly after that, a man who had come to cut his cousin's hair, named Andrew, parked in the spot next to us and asked if we needed any tools. He happened to have exactly the tool we needed to get the spark plug out. Another good samaritan miracle.

After all that work, however, the car still wouldn't start. Abdul's wife, Adadi, brought us hot chocolate, dinner, and cupcakes and told us to go inside and get warm, and to give it a break for a little while. We took her advice (and her delicious food) and wound down with a little tv.

But the next day, we knew it still needed to be done. And the sooner, the better. We got in touch with a mechanic in our ward who offered a little service by helping diagnose our car on a Sunday. He could tell exactly what was wrong with it, and we planned to have it towed into a mechanic the next day.

To make a long story a little shorter, Kam got the car towed. The mechanic scared us by saying the valves in the engine might be broken. We prayed that they wouldn't be and told him to fix the timing belt (our culprit) first. He called on Tuesday and the valves weren't broken! Whoohoo! And then, I found out I had a call-back interview! But there was something wrong with a tire on the car, and if I drove all the way to my interview in Murray, again, it might explode (or something. Kam said explode.). So we waited another day to get our car fixed, and continued to borrow Abdul's car for grocery shopping.

A day later, our car was fixed for a grand sum of $wouldn'tyouliketoknow.00, but thankfully, Kam and I have been working hard to keep a budget and a sturdy savings account so we don't have to stress about accidents like this.

And by Wednesday evening, everything was back to normal. Only I had another interview for the very next day (which isn't normal) so we were cutting it pretty close. But we did it!

Well, we did it, but only thanks to all of the fabulous friends and strangers who blessed our lives, and a loving Heavenly Father who sent them, and allowed us this adventure to be reminded of the good in the world. And thanks to my strong and patient husband who worked so hard and long on that car. It truly is an incredible experience to have gone through even a simple trial like this together, because now I can look back on it and know that we did it. Without any bickering, and with a minimal amount of complaining, and with a lot of patience and communication. It takes little successes like that to believe you'll be able to handle the larger trials somewhere down the future. And I do believe that, whole-heartedly.

So, I will leave you with a funny quote related to Kam and my car:

Kam and I getting out of the car at home:

Kam: "Lady, you're a crazy driver."

Me, in a sing song voice: "No, I'm not... You're just picky... I'm just fine..." In a normal voice: "We're here, aren't we? So I guess it worked."

I'm not sure if that was a denial or a confession.

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