we sat, broken down, during commuter hour, just north of milwaukee, in the fast lane of I-94. big red had stalled and would not start.
d called to me on the walkie-talkies i always insist we have with us when we are driving separate vehicles. i was car lengths ahead and had moved from the fast lane back into the right lane in sudden stopped traffic when he said, “k.dot! i’m broken down!” i took the next exit, drove back north on the highway, took the exit after i saw him sitting in the fast lane, cars backing up in stopped traffic. i eventually made my way to be right behind him. sitting in the fast lane of the interstate with angry commuters approaching and trying to resume their 75mph to no avail is not my idea of a fun time. the police officer soon got there, and it was a great relief when he pulled behind us with his lights on, effectually calming things down and blocking us from oncoming traffic.
and there we sat, broken down in spirit as well as mechanically. we looked like the beverly hillbillies and i would have drawn the comparison aloud, but i fear that the police officer was too young to understand the reference. big red and little baby scion were both full of stuff, for we were moving off-island and back home. dogdog and babycat were in the scion with me, none too pleased with the sounds of traffic.
while waiting for the tow truck, d, with no success, occasionally tried to start big red. and i, of course, while relaxing, stationary, in the fast lane of the thruway, texted jen, mistakenly panic-dialed my girl and wendy when i was trying to reach roadside assistance and googled reasons why an F150 would turn over but wouldn’t start after a sudden stop. i, channeling my sweet poppo, decided it was the fuel filter or something to do with that, not that i could do anything about it. i just liked trying to figure it out. and i had nothing but time on my hands. big red hadn’t had a lot of gas in it on island and we had just filled the tank a couple hours before this happened. my guess (truly just a guess!) was that when big red stopped suddenly, sediment that had collected in the gas tank temporarily blocked the fuel filter. sounded plausible to me, dogdog and babycat, both of whom had great investment in my figuring it out.
about 45 minutes into the wait for the tow truck, big red decided to give up the game and started.
the very-nice police officer got us off the highway and we all stopped in a parking lot to chat about our fun time together.
we googled back roads home and while we were slowly driving these back roads, d crackled over the walkie-talkie to me, “well, i wish that our good angels would make something good happen.” i answered, “maybe they just did.”
angels are indeed all around us. it is possible, of course, that there was a reason not to be on the highway at that particular time. maybe there was a reason we needed to pause in our trip. perhaps there was a reason we should drive the back roads home. surely, there was something.
we pulled into our driveway safely about two hours later.
i don’t purport to understand this watercolor WRESTLING WITH AN ANGEL. i, instead of wrestling with angels, will express a gratitude for all the ways we remained safe in an event that could have had many difficult turns.
thank you, our good angels.
©️ 2019 david robinson