Mama Diaries

Wednesday, July 18, 2018

The Little Engine That Could

Do you all remember that cute childhood story about the blue train that tried to climb a mountain? "I think I can, I think I can, I think I can..."

Well, that's exactly what was going on with my little blue car as we climbed the mountains of Kentucky and Tennessee.

This past weekend, I took a trip with my kids to Ohio to visit my dad. We drove. Going there was no problem. (It's a 14 hour drive.) Coming home? Well, that was another story. As we got into the mountains of northern Kentucky, my engine light went on. Something was wrong. I didn't get too bent out of shape over it because I thought it might've had something to do with needing an oil change. But then the car started knocking and bucking and stuttering...right when we were going up a steep mountain. I thought for sure it was going to stall right there in the middle of the mountain.

"What's going on?" my daughter asked, her voice rising a few pitches.

"I don't know," I said, navigating to the far right lane. "The engine light is on." 

"Is the car going to blow up?"

"I hope not."

"I don't want to die!"

"I'll do my best to not have that happen."

When the trouble started, we were 5 1/2 hours from our home in Atlanta. I struggled trying to decide if I should find a mechanic in Kentucky or try to get closer to home. I opted for the latter.

We crawled through the mountains, barely faster than 40 miles per hour. First through Kentucky, then Tennessee, and then over some smaller ones in Georgia.  Even the giant semi-trucks flew past us. And of course it rained on top of it. It was the most harrowing ride ever!

I don't know how we made it, but nine hours later, we did. All the way through it, I kept thinking, "I think I can, I think I can, I think I can." Just like the Little Engine Who Could.

Apparently, positive thinking helps!

Endnote:  The car is getting repaired now. Something short-circuited in the engine and caused it to not allow enough oil into it. It was in complete "limp mode." It should be better shortly.


31 comments:

  1. Glad you made it. Those mountains are no place to get stuck.

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  2. OMG you almost killed your faithful car! :P

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  3. Hi, Sherry!

    I totally agree that it's no fun at all when your car blows up. :) You guys were very lucky to have made it all the way home with your engine in that condition. I'm glad you did. Your story reminds me of the steep inclines we faced on our 2014 car trip to the Grand Canyon. Hour after hour we encountered "steep slope" signs and passed "runaway truck ramps" too numerous to count.

    I invite you to visit Shady Dell Music & Memories - "The Little Blog That Could" this Friday when I will be marking an important milestone. Thank you, dear friend Sherry!

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    1. I think I missed your important milestone. So sorry. I'll hop over and see if I can find it.

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  4. Egads. That sounds like it sucked. I remember one trip back to visit my parents, my oil pump went out and seized up. I had to replace the engine. Glad your car was able to make it, even in limp mode.

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  5. That's scary. Glad you made it home. A road trip is not the time for car problems. Various friends will rent a car for a road trip rather than driving their own, especially if they're worried the car might not make it.

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  6. Eep. I also worry my car will have a problem when I'm traveling from home...even just an hour away. lol

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    1. Doesn't matter how far away from home you are, having car problems or being stranded stinks!

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  7. Sure wouldn't want to get stuck there. Car trouble never seems to happen when close to home.

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  8. Yipes! That doesn't sound like any fun at all. I'm glad your car was able to limp all the way home. Our '74 Suburban's pump went kaput when we were on vacation some years back. It was in the middle of alligator alley, too, with critter-infested waterways on either side of the road. Fun, fun, fun!

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    1. Oh, yuck! I'd hate to have to worry about getting eaten by gators on top of it!

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  9. Pleased you made it safely Sherry, the title of your post was a fine examole.

    Yvonne.

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  10. Oh, so glad you made it home safely. I got worried as I read your post.

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    1. I'm glad I made it too. Not a fun ride home!

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  11. Oh, yikes! How scary to have something like that happen during such a long drive. Glad you guys were able to get home safely!

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  12. I am so happy you made it home safely!!! That is scary! Happy your car is getting fixed too! Big Hugs!

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    1. Car is fixed. Cost a little over $400. Not great, but it could have been worse!

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  13. This incident lends a beautiful age old wisdom of believing which attracts positive energy and glad both of you could make it.

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  14. Glad you were able to make it home—car problems on the road are the pits.

    Blogging mostly these days at www.thepulpitandthepen.com

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    1. I'm glad it happened on the way home and not the way there.

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  15. Hi Sherry,

    Glad you managed. Sounds scary.

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  16. So glad you guys made it safely! Car problems can be scary- especially far from home. Thank goodness the car kept running! Good luck with the repairs. :)
    ~Jess

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