Deb Ward, GWS, OWS, PWS, WSI - WATERCOLOR/WATER MEDIA - My passion is teaching adult “beginners”. Weekly classes in my home; workshops; classes for Cincinnati Recreation Commission. My work is nationally recognized and published - see “Featured” on my sidebar. I’m a Signature Member of Georgia, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Indiana state Watercolor Societies, Cincinnati Art Club, past-President of Greater Cincinnati Watercolor Society. Contact info below under “Class Information”

Friday, June 5, 2009


“It was a dark and stormy night . . . . .

That’s what my Tuesday evening was – and I was living in my own personal horror show.

It all started at 4:45 p.m. – my car was loaded and I was off to my class. Or, was I???
At 4:46 the car still had not started, then it turned over, ran very rough, and died. Tried it again, nothing.
By 4:48 I was back in the house, in a panic, getting my husband off the phone.
In the meantime I had (unknowingly) awakened my son from a nap to ask if he could drive me into the city in his truck (a Dodge Ram that I have never driven – it’s HUGE). After a short LOUD discussion through the closed bedroom door, I went back into the garage, in a total panic mode, to find that my husband had gotten the car started (and where he told me that earlier he had a problem with it – hmmmmmmmm).
By 5:00 I was on the road, admonished by my husband to call him when I got there so he knew I’d made it, and to call him before I came home. And, oh yeah, don’t stall the car! (I drive a stick shift and haven’t stalled the car in recent memory, but now, of course, all I can think of is stalling the car!!!!)
That’s when I saw that my cell phone battery was dying. After a frantic dig through my purse I came up with the plug in cord, so that crisis was averted.
After 2 phone calls from my husband and trying to locate any and all downhill routes to my destination - (try that in a city situated on hills!) – I made it to class – about 5:50.
After class, by 8:45 I had loaded my car to leave and one of the gentlemen said he would stay to make sure my car started.
After a minute or so it started – just long enough for me to give a “thumb’s up” and shut the door, at which point it died.
Try after try – it would not re-start. Ron volunteered to stay with me until help arrived.
By 8:55 or so I had called my husband and he said he would come to either start the car and follow me to the car repair or tow me.
By 9:30 or so he arrived, Ron left, and between the 2 of us (after reading the car manual in the glow of the mirror light) we managed to remove the front grill, locate the tow hook in the trunk, install same by the glow of a dying flashlight and insert a tow chain.
I said we should call AAA or leave the car until morning, but . . . .
By 9:45 the tow chain was hooked to my car and around the hitch of his truck and electrical-taped so it (hopefully) would not come loose.
I got my towing instructions – “keep tension on the chain, don’t ride the brakes, be careful not to gain on me” . . . and then, we were off. . .

. . . . with thunder rumbling and lightning flickering!!!

The panic/anxiety attack hit immediately as I was yanked and whipped around the curves of the parking lot.
By the time we got to the main road I was frantic.
By the time we started DOWN HILL I thought I was having a heart attack or stroke – my left hand and upper lip were numb, and my ears all tingly.
YANK – “SCREEEEEEEEEEM” – yoga breath, yoga breath
I finally got the cell phone open, pushed the button, put it on speaker and screamed to my husband – “stop, I can’t do this” . . . .
. . . . just as the rain started.
His calm and soothing voice assured me that, why yes, I could do this and was in fact doing great!

(Visions of scenes from “The Titanic” floated into my head).

We managed to drive a few more miles, me screaming and panting and trying like #*!! to follow him without hitting anything around me – like a silver van that I missed by an inch or so – before the rain began coming down in earnest.
By the time we got under the Interstate (in a baaaaaaaad part of town) I couldn’t even see the back of his truck, nor his lights, which were a mere few feet in front of me. This time when I began screaming he really did stop – with his truck in the rain, me up against the guardrail and partly under cover and partly in the rain.

N O O O O W my husband says we can call AAA . . . .

By now it’s 10:35 (or so I’m told by the lady from AAA who wanted to know if I was heading north or south – WHAAAAAAAAAT???) and the tow truck will arrive 45 minutes from now.
My husband (now soaking wet) went to sit in his truck and I sat in my car, having pushed back my seat and kept on my seatbelt in case some idiot decided to rear end me, even though my flashers were on.
About now it dawned on me that the reason I couldn’t see anything was because, having no power, my defroster and wipers would not work – DUH.
So I sat and waited.
Somewhat calmer now, I called a friend to ask her to call our GCWS president to tell her I would not be at the meeting the next day. Then, business attended to and my windshield clear again, I watched car after car pull over and stop behind me and next to me and up ahead and couldn’t figure out why. I thought the ones by me were just concerned about me!!! Turns out it was HAILING and they were stopping under the overpass until it quit!

Two more phone calls from the tow company – and me explaining AGAIN that I was UNDER THE EXPRESSWAY – “Oh, you’re not ON THE EXPRESSWAY????” – and, by jove, he got it!

Finally the car is on the tow truck, my husband and I are both wet, but at least I’ve calmed down by now, and we are headed up the long hill to the car dealer. . . .

. . . . in my husband’s work truck – his LOUD work truck – a rattle-y step van. With a wobbly seat. And one headlight out. And one wiper and defroster that doesn’t work. (Fortunately the wobbly seat was mine. However, the missing headlight was on his side, but the wiper and defroster that didn’t work were on my side – he could actually see out his windshield – so we were good to go).
After the car was released into the parking lot and the tow truck driver paid, I shut my eyes, pretended I was on a tropical beach somewhere, listened to the screeching and thumping of the truck and magically, we made it home – about 12:20 A.M.
Now, I’m not a drinker, but when I saw my son’s Captain Morgan on the kitchen counter I went for it – one swig. The warmth hit my throat (sore from all that screaming) and I stumbled up to bed.

By the way - did I forget to mention that my husband’s car was already in for repair, so we were now totally “car-less”??? My only options for mobility were: my son’s aforementioned Dodge Ram, my son’s souped up ’91 Mustang, 2 step vans that I can’t reach the pedals in (I’m S.H.O.R.T), a huge dump truck (which, believe it or not I’ve actually driven!), various tractors and construction equipment, a John Deere Gator or 4 cows.
So, on Wednesday, I was treated to another ride in the other step van – this one 25 years old with a door held shut with a C-clamp (but at least the seat doesn’t wobble) – to the car dealer to pick up a rental car.

We will be getting his car tomorrow – and they still don’t know what’s wrong with mine!


RHCarpenter said...

Wooooo hoooo! Now that was a ride and a half - and in that horrendous storm we had Tuesday night? Good grief, woman, you deserve a medal just for making it home without killing someone - or doing so once you got home. I think you also deserved more than one swig of the Captain Morgan - you should have downed the whole bottle and been swinging from the chandeliers by 2 am and asking everyone, "Oh, am I keeping you up?" ha ha So glad you made it home safely and now have a vehicle - sorry you missed the GCWS meeting.

Vicki Greene said...

Oh you poor thing. I am glad that you still have a sense of humor.

Terry said...

I know that I shouldn't be but have got tears rolling down my face from laughing so much at your adventure, I nearly wet my knickers from laughing so much as well. If it had been me I would have demolished the Rum and probably tried to murder my husband, why is it if they take the towing car they seem to drive like lunatics whereas if you tow them they panic if you go about 10 miles an hour. Hope that your motors are soon all fixed and that you do not have any more awful storms

debwardart said...

Thank you all for the comments - well, it was NOT FUNNY when it happened but, in hindsight I could obviously see the humor in it!
Terry - glad you dropped by - hope you enjoy the blog!

Gaylynn said...

You are the best story teller!