Last Saturday I went on 1 long drive by myself.
I left my house at 7 AM and drove 270 miles to Baltimore to have lunch with EU, an elementary school teacher I had when I was 12 years old.
I visited with EU (and another friend, let's call her K) for about 4 hours and then jumped back into the car and drove home.
Before leaving the Baltimore area, I stopped at another friend's house.
BB had a baby 17 months ago that I needed to meet.
After dinner with BB and her family, I drove 250 miles and got home shortly before 12 MN.
Steve insisted that I take his car, which happened to be new. (really new, like-2-day-old new)
He is extremely generous about stuff like that.
I gelled with it quickly and actually enjoyed my drive...which is unusual considering the neck strain I usually experience after just 1 mile of driving.
It was 1 really good day.
As I was driving home I thought about my life as a teacher, and I started (okay rather selfishly) reflecting on who would possibly make the 550 mile drive in 1 day to have lunch with me among my former students.
I thought of 2.
One of them was HS.
HS is now a college student who currently lives 10 hours away, in Wisconsin.
Shortly before midnight, at 11:39 PM to be exact, approximately 2 miles before I got to my house I got this text:
I could not believe how serendipitous that text was.
It was so energizing.
HS and I ended up having lunch yesterday.
Also yesterday, Steve started experiencing car trouble.
(Car trouble is bad, but in my mind, new car trouble is even worse.)
He called me up and asked me if I experienced any glitches during my long drive.
He said that 80% of the time that he idled at a stop light or stopped at a stop sign, the car would suddenly kick into park mode--
He asked if it ever happened to me.I told him that it had not.
I started worrying that I messed his car up
He reassured me that it is nothing to worry about but asked if I could take it to the shop for him.
I said, "of course" (or maybe I offered. I don't remember).
As I cautiously took his car to drive the girls to school today, I kept waiting and expecting it to happen to me.
I was kind of edgy and white knuckling a turn I needed to make at a busy intersection with a yield on green light when, from a distance I heard a familiar pattern of a car horn.
"beep be bep beep, beep beep"
I could not tell if it came from behind or if it was from an approaching car.
I got confused.
It was not the sound of an irate driver.
Both Gabi and Kika heard it too.
They both said, "Did you hear that??"
I said yes!!!
That. Was. My Dad's. Signature. Car. Beep. Pattern.
Even the girls recognized it.
I relaxed my grip on the steering wheel.
I just knew that all was going to be well.
After dropping the girls off I went straight to the car shop.
They tried to diagnose the problem without success.
They knew that it only happened when Steve was driving.
It never happened with me.
They scratched their heads, baffled with this symptom.
The only intelligent guess they could make was that Steve did not shut the car door tightly and so a safety feature of the car would kick it into park.
But, even then, we all agreed that it did not make sense.
Secretly I thought that perhaps the car favored how I drove and not Steve's pattern of driving.
Suddenly, it DAWNED ON ME.
The car malfunction was caused by his nicotine habit.
I have not asked him yet, but I guarantee that on the day of his troubles--that he did not have a spit cup for his chewing tobacco. I bet that every time the car suddenly switched to park it was because he opened his car door to spit at stop lights and and stop signs.
When I suggested this to the car mechanics there was an uproar in the shop.
I had fixed the problem.
There is a naughty part of me that does not want to tell him however I have found that, in life--when you make a discovery that you know can help someone else, it is too good not to share.