Friday, August 17, 2012

Fun on the Thruway???

Okay, many of you know that I left Minnesota on Monday morning, bright and early to drive to New York.   Well, the trip almost went as planned.

Monday, I drove 600 miles and slept in a service area.  (It's not as bad as you might imagine...the driver's seat back lays down all the way so I was least as comfortable as one can get sleeping in a car.

Tuesday, I again drove 600 miles and slept in a service area.   By this time the cats were a bit ansy, but they managed to settle down.  By the way, they were in the car with all the comforts of home - food, water, litter box and beds!   More than I had!!!

Wednesday...ah, the infamous Wednesday.   Only had 200 miles to drive.   35 miles from my destiny, two truckers - one right after another - flagged me.   One, okay...but two...oh, oh!?!   I immediately drove onto the shoulder to see what was going on.   Well,  it wasn't good, let me tell you.

The front driver's side wheel on my trailer (of course, it had to be the one next to the highway!!!) was smoking up a storm.   This is a smoke-free trailer!!!!

Okay, so what do I do?  After thinking a while, I thought maybe I could drive slowly - and I do mean slowly - to the next exit.   After trying it a while on the shoulder and running into the guardrail with my trailer I decided that no, that was not a good thing to do!!!

So, I called my roadside service whom I had asked about rv and trailer coverage before renewing my service.  Sorry, we do not deal with trailers...but that's not what you said when I asked...sorry, can't help you.

Onto plan the non-emergency number for the thruway patrol.   Dial.   Ring.   Automated have dialed a number which is not in service for you.   Click.   What the...!!!  Then I remembered, I have a telephone number which has a New York City prefix (used to live there).   They thought I was calling from the city!!!

On to plan three.   No I was not in panic mode, but I was frustrated.   Call my insurance for roadside assistance.   They were really nice.   Yes, they could help me.   Found a tow service (for a trailer?) and a place to fix whatever was wrong.    The tow service would get there in an hour.   Okay.   No problem...right!!!

Well, about an hour later, the insurance company called back.   Sorry, the tow service cannot service the Thruway.   Okay, exasperated, what do I do now?   Call the Thruway Service Assistance.   So I called.   After trying to get them to understand that I had two single axles on the trailer and one of the tires was, not flat, smoking, they said they would get someone out to me.

And this is where the story changes from frustration to inspiration.   You see, the towing service person came out, examined the trailer and realized the depth of the problem and then said...'We'll take care of you...don't worry...we can fix the problem and save your axle."

Now, let me tell you that it took several hours of work on the thruway - I drove well off onto the grassy area before they began working - but they stayed until the problem was fixed.   What was the problem?   A failed wheel bearing due to no axle grease which, of course, lead to everything on that side of the axle disintegrating!!!

Inspired, you ask?   Well, I wasn't really upset with the folks I dealt with...even with the first call.   The person I talked with had no idea about any previous contacts...he didn't know that I was told there was coverage.

But the service folks who did come were considerate, concerned, effective, kind and really, really nice.   So, yes, I was inspired.   I can imagine that these service folks deal with all sorts of people under stress who are probably less than considerate.   The fact that they were as nice as they were gave me hope in my fellow human beings.   And, in my previous line of work, there were times when that hope was less than stellar.

So this 'change of plans', this 'mechanical failure' allowed me the opportunity to see all the wondrous good in everyday, ordinary folks and inspired me to continue hoping and believing.   There is more to the story that even further confirms my inspiration but I will share that later.

So what inspires you?  Where do you find hope?   Let me gently suggest that instead of big, extraordinary adventures and experiences, perhaps looking a little closer to home, to your own life will provide all the inspiration you need.

Maybe the purring of a cat asleep on your lap?   Or, the laugh of a baby...your baby?   The simple peck on the cheek as the love of your life leaves for work?   A friend who calls when you really need to talk?   Maybe a smile from a stranger,  a passage from a book, a work of art, or a beautiful flower?

Inspiration is really everywhere around you.   All you need to do is be open to accept it.   And you know, once you are, life sure looks a lot better...and all those dreams seem attainable once again.

Thanks for dropping by...

Enjoy your weekend and be sure to spend some time on yourself.