Saturday, 10 January 2009

it was a dark and stormy night

Hey - I'm home!

And it was an adventure. I love adventures. Especially when part of the allure is a quiet (clean! By someone other than myself!) hotel room and good food.

Getting there? Part of the adventure.

I'm not a city driver. Highway/freeway driving? Looping through lanes, shifting into overdrive, zooming past Sunday drivers? The best. Blows all the cobwebs out.

But city driving? Inching along, gaze riveted on the car in front of you, too engrossed in watching for the sudden red glare of brakelights to see what's going past your window? No thanks.

It was dark. (Although not stormy. Yet.) and there was just enough snow falling to slush up the roads and dirty the windshield a bit. I made pretty good time (although the slick-ish roads made for a bit of judicious slowing) and was just getting onto the exit ramp when the pavement noise changed for a moment. (I's foreshadowing heah.) Then it went back to normal. I chalked it up to the road surface being wet? dry? something and promptly went and got lost in the outskirts of Halifax.

Halifax is the big city in Nova Scotia. It was designed and planned out to confuse the British, should they ever land there and stragglers withstand the assault from the harbour.

Okay, that and the planning commission is full of blind, greedy people. (Snirk.)

Yes. I got lost. There are these huge mall-like (I was in Beyers Lake/Clayton Park/The Land of Strip Malls and Gaming Clubs, if anyone local wants to commiserate with me on this) developments EVERYWHERE, and not much signage. I finally realized I was lost and pulled up in a strip parking lot to re-peruse my maps. When I swung back out on the road, there was a strange noise coming from my tire. Ka-whumpa whumpa whumpa.

I swore and swore and pulled over (into yet another big-ass catacomb) to assess.

Now. I've had flat tires before. My father wouldn't let me get my license before I could change a tire. But it was cold and wet and sleeting and dark, I was hours from my house, and every warning I'd ever had about being careful in the city was ringing in my head. I drove slowly around the corner, and there - like a lighthouse - in front of me, was a Chevy Jeep Dodge dealership. With people in it.

Which was open.

I parked and double-checked the time. The service bays were dark. Still - maybe they could let me into the covered garage so I could put the spare tire on?

I went out of the sleet and the dark and the rising winds into a clean, comfortable haven, where after I blurted 'I need a rescue' a gentleman in a nice three-piece suit brushed over my idea, shucked his jacket, and went in and changed the tire. Himself. While his co-worker made me a cup of coffee and commiserated about the (steadily more) crappy weather.

My rescuer? The dealership owner. Patrick. (And I'm going to find out what the name of that place is, and promote you where ever I can - because really? That was a wonderful thing to do.)

They charged me nothing and sent me on my way. P even put the tire into a bag so it wouldn't drip mess all over my car and marked where the hole was, so when I went to have the tire fixed it wouldn't be hard to find.

Oh - and he gave me directions so I wouldn't be lost anymore. Simple directions, using landmarks, not this turn north and go 10.6 kilometres stuff. Who does that work for, anyway? You're in a strange place, driving, looking out for signs, watching traffic and peering at the odometer? Sheesh.

I made it to the hotel with no muss, no fuss, no bother, dropped my stuff, brushed my teeth, eyed the bathtub longingly, and went to bed.

Lord knows what further adventures I could have had if I'd tempted fate and stayed up.


Today is cold and snowy and still. We've a winter storm warning bearing down on us, (although we'll see how much of it we actually get) and the kids are fractious and tired of being cooped up.
There's a bathroom that really needs cleaning (bleach!) and laundry

(oh god, the laundry!! Bear did quite a bit while I was gone - unfortunately his idea of doing the laundry consists of washing it, drying it, and leaving it in piles in front of the dryer. So most of the clothes are clean - but the cries of Mo-om! I have no socks! echo around the house.)

and there are a ton of things to do.

I missed you! What happened while I was gone?


Jen on the Edge said...

Welcome back. I'm glad you eventually got to your destination without too much more fuss.

When Grace was about three weeks old, I desperately needed to get out of the house and drove to my best friend's place. I got a flat five minutes from house. Since I was so newly post-partum, I was no condition to change the tire myself, so I called Pete at work. While I was waiting, a man stopped to help me and got the job done speedy quick. Only after he finished did I realize that I wasn't just a helpless female and that I had a newborn in the car. The kindness of strangers...

clickmom said...

I'm from NYC (Where I learned to drive! Watch out for me!) so anyplace not designed on a perfect grid throws me. I can get lost in an amusement park for weeks.

kimmyk said...

Yeah for Patrick!!!

I think that men in general need a laundry class. LAUNDRY 101-The Basics.

because I don't know what happens in utero but they never get that whole "folding it and putting it away is part of DOING laundry".

Glad your home!

Anonymous said...

Oh, what a nice man! I'm glad you were treated so well.

While you were gone I thought of another book you should read: Inkheart by Cornelia Funke. Also by her, The Theif Lord and Inkspell, which is the sequel to Inkheart. You'll enjoy all of them and Cass is getting old enough to read them in about a year, maybe sooner if he reads at an advanced level. Enjoy!


Loth said...

The one advantage you have driving in Halifax is the wonderfully polite other drivers! I have driven in and out of Halifax a few times, I have got lost/stuck in the wrong lane/going the wrong direction on the right street just about every time and have always found the other drivers very patient and helpful - willing to let you change lane and faff about until you get yourself sorted. If you drove like that in Edinburgh, you would be lynched. Honestly!

Stomper Girl said...

Patrick is a great guy!! My Dad did the same with me and the tire changing and I'm sure I COULD do it if I really had to, but I'd so much rather not.

Welcome home.

witchypoo said...

City driving isn't so bad if you know where you are going. Asking anyone in Halifax about Dartmouth is like asking for directions to another planet. Halifax is weird that way, but I could have met you at your hotel.

May-B said...

I am so impressed with Patrick! What a good honest and wonderful man. Glad you were able to catch a break!

mapsgirl said...

I'll take Halifax city driving over Toronto city driving any day!

But I'm glad you're safe and "3 cheers for Patrick!" People like that are far and few between...angels from heaven.

Woman in a Window said...

Oh, I'm in love with the man with quickly cast aside suit. How totally fricken wonderful.

Don't those piles of clean clothes strike you as dirty anyway? They always do me. Nice effort, though.

Chantal said...

That is awesome (I mean the nice people at the dealership). Isn't it wonderful when humans are nice to each other. This morning, Monday morning, there was no nice on my commute. Oh well, there is always tomorrow.

motherbumper said...

I'll have you know I grew up near that catacomb and the road plan was meant to confuse the Yanks my dear ;)