Yes, I admit it. I’ve been wishing for adventure, hence the year of adventure in 2011.
So when I had the chance to buy a 2001 Jeep Cherokee for a decent price, I took it. Low mileage, decent condition, and let’s not forget fun. Just what an adventurous girl needs.
Which is how I was feeling today driving down the expressway. Fun. Adventurous. You can’t drive a Jeep without feeling adventurous, that 4 wheel drive just itching to be engaged, although in what situation I had no idea. And I’d put my bumper stickers on the back – “Border Collies” and “Woof” (waiting for my “Wag more, bark less” sticker) – so I was feeling like the Jeep was minemineallmine.
I was headed to the mechanic to have him see why the “check engine” light was on. No worries; I’ve been driving my Altima for 2 years with the engine light on because the gas cap leaked vapors or something and triggered the emission code. Whoopee. No biggie.
After that, the plan was to head off to the StuffMart to get new floor mats, some more tennis balls and bubble fluid for the dogs, and then maybe a drive through Tim Horton’s for a coffee in my new dogmobile. Maybe I’d even go home and get the dogs, since they love Tims and haven’t had an adventure in the dogmobile yet.
So I’m cruising down the expressway, feeling upbeat after lunch with two girlfriends I haven’t seen in a long time. And then … clunk. Whoa, did I do that? I looked in the rearview mirror to see if I had run over something. Nope, so I moved to the right lane and … clunk. Rats, that was me. I turned on my blinkers, veered into the breakdown lane, hit the brakes and the clunkclunk … forward motion stopped … smell of something burning …
Well, what does Adventure Girl do in this situation?
First, call darling husband because he was expecting me to show up with the Jeep any minute. Then call AAA and request a tow. And then you wait, the Jeep shaking every few seconds as cars, trucks, and tractor trailers whiz by at 60 mph. The only downside was that I had to pee. Otherwise, I felt pretty safe sitting there in the dogmobile waiting for darling husband and the two truck. Safe, but wondering what the heck happened.
When I stopped in the breakdown lane, the engine was still running, but I didn’t want to risk making any more problems so I didn’t try to go any farther. I don’t know much about engines, but I know that if something clunks in the car and you jerk to a stop, it’s a good idea not to push the issue.
Darling David showed up soon, and he said that there was a skid mark in the back where it looked like I might have slammed on the brakes. Except I don’t remember slamming on the brakes, so he speculated that maybe something froze up in the back and the rear wheel locked. Could be good, could be bad, but maybe better than an engine problem.
The tow truck came, hooked the dogmobile up onto the flatbed, and away it went.
And there it was – today’s adventure. The test, I think, was less about the car’s problems and more about my attitude. Am I angry? Nope. Feeling put out? Nope. Frustrated? Nope. A little bummed, yeah, because I really like driving this Jeep. And with darling daughter borrowing my car it was nice that I could have wheels and she could have wheels while she got things straightened out after her accident.
But the key to adventure is having a positive attitude, not freaking out, not panicking. The same lessons you can learn making pie crust from scratch, I guess. It’ll all work out in the end.