Saturday, November 28, 2009

Big Fish?

I'm beginning to suspect that there's a really big fish (as in “stray sheep”) who will be deeply touched by our concerts this year, because a whole string of minor mishaps already marked our way before we even had our first practice. Sickness (minor, but affecting the throat): Sr Julia and I. Accident: Sr. Raymond (a hard fall) and Sr. Bridget (a hard bump on the head). Car breakdown: that would be me again, with Sr. Maria Joseph on the way back from the airport yesterday. As we got onto the Goethals Bridge a dashboard light appeared, and then a constant chiming sound. Neither of us recognized the little symbol, so I dug around for the manual. Even after 109,000 miles, it was still in the quaintly named “glove compartment.” Uh-oh. “Engine Critically Overheated.” On the narrow span of the Goethals, with semis before and behind us.

As smoke began to pour out from under the chassis, we finally made it to terra firma: literally. We pulled up on the grassy patch before the toll booth. Seeing the damsels in distress, several cars slowed down and people offered to help. One man went way further than that. He pulled his van ahead into the emergency zone and came toward us while his wife used the emergency phone. Pat (that was his name) was a native Staten Islander, now a longtime resident of Philadelphia. He opened the hood and saw that our coolant was at the “minimum” level. The brisk air helped bring the engine temp down, so he encouraged us to drive to a service station just a bit past the first exit—and he followed us all the way there. The men at the station started right on the problem, pouring in two gallons of coolant while smoke continued to issue from the sides of the poor, much-abused van. And then the lime green liquid came spurting out under the passenger seat from the mother of all leaks. (This from a vehicle that was serviced last week.)

Meanwhile, Sr Julia's plane was landing and Sr. Maria Joseph was to have already been en route to pick her up.

Suffice it to say that the old cell phone got a workout yesterday.

Eventually, Sr. Mary Joan came to the gas station and picked me up, while the mechanics made swift work of patching our leak. (Sr Joseph made it back about an hour later with the well-loaded van, filled with books for our Alexandria bookstore.)

We hope Sr. Raymond will be landing soon... Hope she's “offering it up”--we've got a big fish to catch for the Lord!


Lisa said...

Wow, all I can say is "Thanks be to God" that all are safe! God bless the guardian angels sent to guide your ways. In my head I hear the song, "Oh, I believe there are angels among us ..." If that's on the concert repertoire this year it will certainly have added meaning!

Lisa said...

PS-I hope that the Sisters are going to get reimbursed from the mechanics who serviced the van last week if it was something they replaced or should have :)