Sunday, July 27, 2008

36 hours I won't soon forget

Bear with me here. Wed evening I headed down to Biloxi to spend the night with my uncle before heading over to NOLA Thurs to deliver the quilt for the art show. Nice drive down, pleasant evening with my uncle and a good night's sleep. Up and out around 10:30 the next morning for the hour drive to NOLA. Plenty of time, since I had to be there between 10-4. 20 minutes down I-10 and the car died. Crap. Call Rickey and he comes over with his truck and towed me maybe 2 miles to a repair shop in Diamondhead. So far, so good. It's now about noon so I have time to take him back home and still get to the gallery by 4:00 with plenty of time to spare. Drop him off and head back down I-10. Beautiful day, nice drive and not a lot of westbound traffic. Everything going great until about the state line, then it came a flood. Literally. I was in his big, heavy pickup and I was STILL hydroplaning occasionally. The 1 hour drive took over 2 hours since we were lucky to be hitting 35 mph for the last half of the trip. Nerve wracking doesn't begin to describe driving across the bridge in an unfamiliar vehicle that's much larger than my Honda, with about 10 feet of visibility through the rain, and half the morons driving without their lights on. Apparently, God was just washing the city down for my arrival though, because about the time I pulled on Canal St. the sun broke through and the weather was gorgeous! Thank goodness, too, since I didn't have plastic over the quilt, just a fabric wrap on it. I found a free parking space literally at the door of the gallery. One of the secretaries squealed with delight when she saw my work too. After dropping it off I hooked up with my friend Charles for a beer at Ryan's and then down the street for lunch at Maspero's. It was great chatting with him and catching up on stuff. The only hitch was the call from the repair shop that the bill would be $950 for a blown radiator and head gasket.

Friday morning I took off in Rickey's extra car to go put the deposit on the car repairs. Great trip over to Diamondhead and back until I got ONE BLOCK away from being back at the trailer (yeah, he's still in a FEMA trailer) and the car overheated. Cracked radiator housing. Crap. Good thing the truck is in great condition, huh? Meanwhile, I'm looking at an overnight trip turning into a 6 day saga on the coast. Quick trip to the Family Dollar to at least get something to change into since I only had 2 shirts and a pair of jeans with me. Another meeting with the powers-that-be about his grant from the IRD at 1:30. He didn't qualify for that grant, and they knew it the instant they looked at the paperwork. They SHOULD have known it 3 months ago when he submitted the paperwork and told him then. It would have cut out all the worrying he's done in that time. Drop the car off on Pass Rd. to be repaired and get another call from the people fixing my car. Once they got into the engine, they magically discovered there was an additional $400 of necessary repairs needed that they "missed" in the estimate. Um, no. We'll be by tomorrow to pick the car up so figure out what I owe you for what's already been done. An hour later, another call, this time from the owner of the shop. "Gee, we're real sorry we screwed up your estimate, so we'll make it right by eating the extra cost and fixing your car for the original quote." Yay! Something finally going right in this comedy of errors!! Back to the trailer about 5:00 for a nap.

We napped until about 9:00 then decided a run to the Waffle House was a good idea. That's one reason I love my uncle Rickey so much. His sleeping and eating patterns are as weird as mine, and he thinks a run to the Waffle House is a good idea any time it's suggested. So off we go in the one remaining vehicle that still runs. The aforementioned honking big-ass pick up truck. The WH is maybe 3 miles from his house. We made it 2.99 miles of that distance before we were broadsided pulling into the WH and the truck rolled. Not a lot of detail about the wreck, other than the fact that we (I) had now gone through THREE vehicles in about 36 hours. Well, that and the fact that we were now trapped in the truck in the middle of Hwy 49. The cops and firemen were great, and neither of us sustained any real physical injuries, although the wreck was pretty impressive looking strewn all over three lanes of traffic. The truck looked remarkably good for being turned over in the middle of the road too. Rickey's ex-step-daughter's ex-husband came and picked us up (after we ate, of course) and offered us the use of his spare truck to get back to Jackson yesterday. We'll take it back down on Wed when I go to pick my car up and then head over to NOLA for the artists' reception that evening. If any of you have any special pull, could you see about having the rain hold off this time?

The cops who worked the wreck said ours was the 4th wreck they'd had in the last hour and a half on about a 1/4 stretch of highway right there.


Mary Ann Littlejohn said...

What an adventure you've been on. I hope things will go better now. Sounds like you've used up most of your back luck for a year.

Your quilt is wonderful. Maybe I'll get over to NOLA while it is still hanging.

Karoda said...

ooo, lord, God is could have been worse, so I'm thankful you are okay and still holding your constitution! wishing you peace and continued blessings.

sion said...

holy dooley girl, what a shitstorm. Glad you came out of it in one piece, albeit poorer.

Rissa said...

Good googly-moogly...what an ill-fated trip! I am glad to hear you two are all right!! I am agree with sion, sorry about that sh*tstorm!!!