My mother moved out to New Mexico almost a decade ago. We have always been really close and I missed her a lot. So about four or five years ago I started taking annual trips out to the desert to visit her.
Every year, before my trip, I take my car in for a full "check-up". I have them check the batteries, the filters, change the oil, etc. Everything was good and off I went!
The first leg of the trip was great. I stopped off in Arkansas to visit one of my very best friends, got to attend her son's Pre-K graduation and had a lovely time. I made it to Amarillo just fine, stayed over night in a hotel, and woke up early the next morning for the last bit of the drive.
Then, before I even made it to Albuquerque, my transmission got jumpy. I slowed way down and pulled off the highway at the very next exit. Luckily, the gas station I pulled into was right across the street from a mechanic.
The mechanic drove it around, ran some tests on it, and told me the transmission was shot. He said the car would make it all the way south to where my mom was, but something in my gut told me it wouldn't. I called my mom and asked her to please come pick me up.
I was going to drive back across the street to the gas station so that I could figure out what to do with my car. It did a halting start and then it shut off. So, not only was the transmission bad, there was something wrong with the engine.
A couple of hours passed and I could tell the mechanic wanted me off of his lot. Mainly, because he kept coming by and telling me my car was fine and that I should chance it on the highway. I told him that it stalled out. He asked me to try it again. It started. I said, "I don't think my car is going to make it, but if you just want me off of your lot that's fine. I'll drive across the street."
I pulled out of the mechanic's parking lot and my car died at the stop sign. I restarted it... twice. It finally made it across the street to the gas station. (That was a lesson in trusting your gut instead of an all-too-cavalier mechanic.)
Shortly after my mom arrived to rescue me.
The car is still sitting at the gas station. A new transmission would cost way more than the car is worth and the engine was stalling out also. The earlier flights are way too expensive (Memorial Day Weekend) so I won't be flying home until the first week of June.
My surgery has been postponed, but I didn't want to flake on you and change The Art Shop dates again. So, we're sticking with May 29th through June 14th!
Right now I am just grateful that I was close to my mother's house when the transmission went out and we still get to have our annual visit. I have my laptop and everything I need to start the sale from here, too. I also brought a sketchbook and will be doing little doodles every day.
Other than a quick and sad goodbye to a car that has done great things, but no longer serves me, this has been a great trip. Every time I come to the desert I see something new and exciting. This time it was a scorpion in my mom's kitchen and a jack rabbit not ten feet from her back door. And mom and I have a few short day trips planned--in her car.
Next time, though, I might be flying out to the desert. ;)
<3 The Pop Art Girl