Jennifer’s Daniel has a story to tell that will make you believe in miracles. Well, I’m going to tell it, not Daniel. He’s not here so it’s got to be me. It works best for me that way because with him in close proximity there’s always the danger that he’d want me to tell the truth and nothing but the truth. So, since I’m unsupervised I’ll just tell it like I remember.
Daniel is driving a 2003 PT Cruiser GT that has in excess of 170K miles on the speedo. During that time it’s had minor issues that were easily dealt with, making it a good commuter vehicle for him.
His commute includes windy, narrow, Cornelius Pass Road which always has wrecks on it. Missing them all is impossible. If you use that road on a regular basis you will eventually encounter a wreck, or be in a wreck. That’s just the way it works. Yesterday, though he neither encountered a wreck or got in one, he got a pretty good scare once all the possible horrible outcomes had been considered. The rest of the family was spared the bad news until it could be related as good news.
Amidst the teeming stream of vehicles rushing home from Portland to Scappoose and St. Helens, Daniel felt a shudder in the car that quickly became far more than a mere shudder. Fortunately he was able to get to the shoulder and out of harms way. Not knowing what was wrong, and wisely choosing not to attempt to drive it, he called me and I went to see how I could help. My initial feeling was that my AAA card was going to come in handy, and that turned out to be the case.
After calling for a tow we sat, talked, and listened to the radio for three hours before the truck showed up. During that time we were visited with one Oregon State Trooper and one Multnomah County Sheriff Deputy. The Trooper, seeing that we were OK, wished us well and left. The Deputy, however, put out some flares to warn drivers. It was pitch black dark where we were sitting so the flares were a great idea.
When the flares were placed the Deputy was walking back to his vehicle when a car whizzed by, well over the speed limit, with no attempt to move away from the parked vehicles. The Deputy said, “I’ll be right back,” then jumped in his vehicle and chased the guy down. It was a beautiful thing to see. True to his word, he was back in about 15 minutes, made sure we were still OK then went off into the night. Both of us were very happy about the visits from both the Trooper and Deputy.
We had the PT towed to my house so we could take a look to see what we could see before attempting to call the high-priced help. I got to bed around 12:30 am, way past my bed time.
This morning Daniel and I approached the PT with the intention of moving it into the driveway. Our attempt to push it was proving to be very difficult which caused us to look closer for the problem. This revealed to us the true nature of the miracle. The tie rod on the left front wheel broke allowing the left wheel to go its own way. Had this happened when Daniel was going down Cornelius Pass he would have surely left the road and plunged into the canyon because there’s no other place to go. The miracle is that it didn’t break then. It broke after he turned on to Highway 30 for the final phase of the commute.
A trip to the local O’Reilly Car Parts joint provided us with the second miracle when we discovered that the part we needed only cost $14.71. That’s what it cost to get it back on the road. Truly amazing, I’d say.
Other costs were time, effort, and extremely greasy hands. Considering the possibilities, the entire family was vastly relieved and none of us cared about that.
Daniel was safe. That’s what we cared about.
Now I can’t help but think about Jennifer because she drives those same roads on her commute, too. I may make myself crazy with all this unless I have everyone’s assurance that they’ll pray for all the commuters in the world no matter what roads they drive. That should cover all possibilities.