Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Family Fun and the Second Bad Thing

Did I mention that one of the best things about last Monday was seeing family? Three sisters in one day, and 3 granddaughters and a daughter-in-law too. Theresa, Judy and I stopped by to see our sister Elizabeth at the thrift shop where she works (she so has the dream job!); we shopped and visited at the same time. I left with more than I thought I would because they had a golden oak washstand and the price was right and it fit in my car, so it came home with me along with all the other finds of the day. (Yes, I had photos of all of them but you know what happened. Durn).

In the evening Theresa and I visited with our daughter-in-law Jennifer and her girls. They are moving fast into the world of adulthood. Cassidy now has a publishing contract with Young Guns Music in Nashville, TN. They have placed 6 of her songs in Nickleodeon shows already, and she continues to work on her album. Kate is editor-in-chief of her high school's literary magazine and is officially signed to attend Christopher Newport University next year. Allison received a scholarship to attend Flint Hill School next year--she is 14 and an excellent volleyball player, getting looks from some major universities already. The girls are moving on so quickly and it was a treat to actually see all three of them in one place at the same time.

The bad thing happened the next day. Actually, it started on Monday when I noticed that my car really was having trouble shifting gears. It's an automatic, so there wasn't much I could do to help it. We'd noticed a couple odd things in the week before I left but it seemed to be running okay. But Tuesday morning when I got in the car to head off to the DC I-495 beltway, the car would not go in gear at all. Nothing. It wouldn't even move an inch.

That sounds bad, but really it was a good thing. I mean, consider what might have happened had I actually been on the Beltway in all that traffic, and then my car quit. As it was, I was in my sister's driveway, my brother-in-law was there to help and offered his car to me for the rest of my trip. Jay also called a garage and got my car in for repairs. The bad part was the bill: $2890.00. Ouch. There wasn't much to be done about it, though. The car needed a new transmission and that was that. So I drove off in Jay's car with its ultra conservative bumper stickers. (I told Jay I'd bring it back with some new liberal stickers!).

I left Bristow and headed for the madness of the Beltway. I'm a country driver; traffic here has an entirely different meaning from the same word in the DC area. I managed to survive, though, and while driving at 5 miles an hour in bumper to bumper traffic, I saw what I believe might have been the space shuttle coming in to Dulles Airport. I saw a man standing on top of a camper at a dealership and people standing on the tops of buildings and realized that they were watching for the shuttle. I saw something in the distance that certainly was no airplane or other familiar aircraft. I wanted a closer look, but in that traffic? No way. Still, it was exciting to know history was being made over my head as I inched along.

I arrived at my friend Ellouise's right on time, and we took a little tour of the area before dinner. I was raised just an hour away but had never really seen this part of the DC suburbs. The homes have had 50 years or more to settle in, and the azaleas and shady trees were just stunningly beautiful. We spent the evening visiting with her daughter Karen, then it was off to bed to prepare for Wednesday's studio recording and my evening concert.



7 comments:

Courtney said...

well my kids watch nickolodean! I would love to hear more about shows to watch out for!

Rowan said...

Great to see so many of your family members but not so great to have that huge bill for car repairs. As you say though it could definitely have been worse had you been out in traffic.

Hidden Trails Stables said...

WOW! You are very brave for driving in 495 traffic--not something I'd want to do! Loved your post--always interesting.

Robin said...

Glad you got around the beltway. I've lived here many years and my husband drives it everyday and we still hate it!! I laught when someone mentions the rush hour around Ripley....

JJM said...

I have had my car quit on me, about ten at night, driving south on 95 towards DC. By "quit", I mean the engine simply cut out -- caught again after a moment or two, but went out again, and again, and again. Speeding trucks to the left of me, speeding trucks to the right of me, speeding cars zipping in and out of all the lanes ... [whimper] Very, very scary stuff, that. You were definitely lucky to have yours go out in a driveway!

Great news re: Cassidy -- hope you'll let us know when the album comes out.--Mario

Nance said...

glad you got your car fixed, made it thru the traffic and got home again! Missed your posts! I see you are catching up now -- and that's good.

Granny Sue said...

It is good to be back to my blog, Nance. I miss writing it when I'm on the road, but it does take time and often I either don't have the time or the internet connection to keep it up when I'm traveling. Lots of travel coming up this month, too--the Greenbrier River Race with grandkids this weekend, the Ohio Storytelling Conference next weekend, Migration Celebration the following weekend, then family reunion and Vandalia!

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