Our car looked like a crime scene if ever I had seen one (which I had not). I profusely explained to the car wash attendant why our vehicle had to have the pre-soaked, undercarriage steamed, superior detailed, super deluxe, run-it-through-one more time car wash.
I was almost out of breath explaining why there was blood on the arm rest, dog hair flying around inside the car, and mud in the front floor board in the summertime. It looked like Neal and I had dragged a body through the front seat.
By the attendant’s lack of response, I figured he either didn’t care, had seen it before, or spoke another language.
We Had Gone to a Wedding, For Heaven’s Sake
The five-hour drive to Kansas to our friend’s wedding was relaxing. I was in the backseat propped up with a giant reading pillow behind my back, a neck pillow, head pillow, arm rest pillow, cushioned comforter to lay on, under-the-knees pillow, three books, seven magazines, iPad, earphones, DVDs and 20 hours of music at my disposal, just in case I needed them.
The wedding was unique and charming, located at the bride’s family farm in front of their 100-year-old red barn, which is a rustic, historic landmark in Wichita, Kansas. Impending rain held off until the vows were spoken, then it came down in torrents. Guests were darting inside the barn and multiple buildings waiting for it to stop so we could enjoy a bar-b-que dinner, Texas style.
Sporadic rain stopped and started for an hour and a half. At one point I managed to follow a lighted path to the outdoor Deluxe Porta-Potty. It was an ideal way to keep over 100 guests from traipsing through the owner’s house dripping water and muddy footprints all over their floor.
The only problem was that the steps up to the door of the Porta-Potty were a little steep. One woman on the way down the steps, who had enjoyed a little too much of the bubbly from the red barn, slid off the bottom step and plopped seat first into a mud puddle. She must have been having a fun evening, because she didn’t even seem to mind her re-entrance into the party.
At this point, Neal and I thought we would make a run for our car at the back end of the parking area and get out of the rain. By the time we spent a few minutes in the car, we were so comfortable that we decided to go ahead and leave the reception a little early.
A noticeable trail by our car had car tracks that led to the main highway not far away. I gunned the engine and took off. Everything was fine until we reached an incline leading to the main road. Since I never drive on dirt roads, let’s say my skill level was undesirable.
As the car rolled back down the incline, it landed in a deep mud puddle. I went forward. I went backward. But, all I did was sling mud everywhere and bury the car half way up to the tires in mud.
Not to worry…we have a Navigator System in our car. We had subscribed to the Lexus Safety Connect Services, which included an Emergency Assistance SOS Button and Enhanced Roadside Assistance. One push of the button and we would be on our way out of our dilemma. Only, we found that we did not qualify for the Lexus roadside service. We were considered to be an emergency rescue, so they had to call a local tow truck to pull us out.
Moment of Truth
Two hours later…as we sat in the darkness waiting for the tow truck, we would flip the lights off and on every time we hopefully spotted the lights of a passing vehicle.
To the left of us was a hospital. We could almost see into the patients’ rooms, but couldn’t make out the name of the hospital. I don’t think an ambulance would pick up two able-bodied people that were just stuck in the mud, anyway.
To the right of us was the laughter of happy guests in the distance and no way for anyone to get to us.
Twenty feet in front of us was the highway. It looked like we could step right out and walk to the road, but we didn’t think bogging down ankle deep in mud was a good idea, either.
After a long pause, I said, “Neal, do you remember the movie, Dumb and Dumber?”
“Yeah, we could have starred in it. You know, there are three levels of dumb,” he said.
“Yes, there is dumb, dumber, and mud-dumb,” I said. “We qualify for the last one. Do you realize there is luscious bar-b-que just across this field? Is there anything in the car to eat?”
He rummaged through the glove compartment and came up with a half-eaten peanut patty. As I reluctantly choked down my half of the mound of sugar stuffed with peanuts, I said, “This is absolutely awful.”
He gave me a look of disbelief as he said, “You gripe about survival food?”
At that moment we saw lights from the tow truck and frantically flashed our car lights to signal. Of course, it would be hard to miss us—a white car angled downhill backwards. Within minutes we were on our way back to the hotel. I’m sure no one noticed we left early.
On the Road Again
The next morning we were headed home. Our son, Kevin, asked if we could take an eight-minute detour off the main highway to pick up a rescue dog he had located through the internet. He wanted to surprise his children.
No problem. We picked up an adorable Terrier and were soon on the road again. Of course, the little guy was nervous with a new owner and a car full of strangers.
He stayed in the back seat with me most of the time, then once sprung off my knees with his short Jack Terrier legs toward the front seat. His claws scratched Neal as he landed on all fours on his arm. That’s where the blood came into the picture.
A few hours later, a bit weary and frazzled, we arrived home. The next morning I rehearsed the trip to the car wash attendant. Somehow, I don’t think he believed me.
Living in the Moment
The moral of this story is that you never know where the turns in life take you. If you have wound up in a mess with breast cancer, don’t get stuck in the mud. There are resources and people to help you throughout your journey. Don’t be mud-dumb and try to make it alone.
NBCF offers a valuable resource for those diagnosed with breast cancer. Beyond the Shock gives education to the multitude of questions one has about breast cancer and opportunity to network with other survivors. Breast cancer survivors, dig deep into your inner being and discover how incredible you are.
Thought for Today:
“Diamonds are nothing more than chunks of coal that stuck to their jobs.”—Malcom S. Forbes
Let’s Talk: How did you turn a bad situation into a positive one?