The girls and I just arrive home from a trip to see "The Little Mermaid" on stage at Tuacahn in St. George. It was fantastic. I fully recommend it, and I have pictures to show how much my girls enjoyed it as well. However, on our trip home yesterday, we made it only as far as Cedar City before the van completely broke down. Here are the reasons that worked out well for me:
1) We had promised to stop at the Cedar City Wal-Mart in order to buy money orders for my dad. Breakdowns in a Wal-Mart parking lot are infinitely preferable to breakdowns at 75 mph on I-15.
2) Mormons in Wal-Mart parking lots are incredibly friendly and helpful. A mom with three kids of her own took pity on this scraggly band of girls and gave me a jumpstart when we had a suspicion it was my battery.
3) When it turned out that it was not my battery, but rather probably my alternator, I had on hand my fantastic younger sister, Annie, who was willing to take all four of my children out of the 95-degree heat and into the air-conditioned comfort of the Wal-Mart toy aisle, where they can be entertained for hours.
4) We recently switched car insurance companies to one that includes roadside assistance--that means towing--and the lovely customer service agent arranged a tow for me.
5) The tow truck driver on call was just pulling into Wal-Mart himself, with his two darling and helpful little boys, to do some shopping for his wife. That turned an estimated 45-minute wait into a 5-minute wait. (Thank you, Brett from Bradshaw Auto! You are amazing!!)
6) My mother- and grandmother-in-law were willing to drive both of their cars (to accommodate all of us) all the way to Cedar City and back to St. George. I love them.
7) We arrived at the service station at 6:15, when it ostensibly closes at 6:00, but the kind manager left his shop open long enough for me to explain my troubles so he could start on my van first thing in the morning.
And it all worked out. We were back on the road from Cedar by noon, and home again by 7:00 (after a brief stop visiting my mom and brother in Provo). Phewsh! Since my van insists on malfunctioning only when I do not have John to repair things, I think that went about as well as could be expected. My only regrets are that I didn't have any contact information for my dear friends the Corrys (Melissa--e-mail me!), so I burned all my time in the aisles of Wal-Mart instead of checking out her wonderful new digs.