Saturday, June 04, 2005

But the Spirit of Jesus did not permit them

I'm beginning to understand how Paul felt trying to get to Bythinia (Acts 16:6-7). I blogged long ago about our first failed attempt to go to Stratford upon Avon. Well, today we figured our odds of actually making it were pretty good because we were travelling with a large group from church. The preacher's wife, Helen, was even kind enough to let us borrow her car. All we had to do was follow in the convoy for the roughly 35 mile trip. After having been in the car for 10 minutes (mostly in traffic) I was starting to get familiar with the car... even adjusted the radio. While we were waiting at a redlight, I noticed that the radio was off, and then I noticed that other dashboard lights were not on. I had a feeling that this did not bode well. And it didn't. When the traffic began moving, I let off the clutch and the car died. I tried to recrank... nothing. The battery was dead. In vain I beat upon the steering wheel to honk the horn so that the folks we were following might see our problem. Unfortunately, the battery was dead AND the horn was not located on the steering wheel. Of course, this all happened in the midst of heavy traffic.

After a couple more attempts at starting the car, I got out and Mary jumped in the driver's seat. I pushed the car about 40 yards and, thanks to a helping hand from a nice guy who then let us cut across in front of him, we turned down a side street and Mary coasted into a parking spot. All of this was too much for Helen, who promptly fell asleep.

After a couple of minutes, my mobile phone rang... the preacher, Mike, wondering where we were. I told him our dilemma and he turned around and was with us in less than 10 minutes. We jumped the car off, but made it less than a mile before it died again. The entire convoy was waiting on us. The guy leading the trip, Phillip, decided we should just call it a day and forget Stratford. Instead, we left Helen (the preacher's wife, not the baby) with the car and the rest of us went to the city centre and had lunch at The Big Wok... a huge Chinese buffet... all Phillip's treat. Helen and Mike have AA coverage (same as AAA coverage without the 'American' part), so they rang them up and a guy came out and fixed the car by the time we finished lunch... broken alternator belt. Mike and Helen were kind enough to let us keep the newly fixed car overnight so we can skip the hour long ride on the bus in the morning for church... 10 minutes in the car.

So, it appears Stratford will have to wait until some time later when we come to the UK. And I should mention that I took Mary's parents for a "fly by" of the place in late March, though all they did was buy 2 British army shirts at a flea market and a book from a bookstore. I hope the Spirit has no problems with our intentions to go to Edinburgh on Monday-Tuesday.

I should mention that Mary and I had a delicious meal last night from Martin's Restaurant, an Indian place just a stone's throw from our house. They delivered some Chicken Masala for me and Lamb Dhansak for Mary. Highly recommended.

Here are some pics from today, and a couple from earlier this week:

Folks from church at the Big Wok:
My Photo

Helen, the preacher's daughter Roxanne and yours truly at The Big Wok:
My Photo

Helen trying to stand using the couch:
My Photo

After toting her favorite towel over to me, she grabbed my leg, tried to pull up and said distinctly, "Da da!". Of course, I picked her up. This is a freeze frame of some video:
My Photo


At 1:15 AM, Blogger Barclay said...

does this mean that american mechanics are one step closer to the major leagues?

At 6:54 AM, Blogger Mommy of Boys said...

"Da Da" -- that's what Evan calls me too!


At 11:38 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Michael,Have you tried the latest feature with Yahoo Messenger?In the newest version you can leave someone a voice message(versus a text message)if the person is not online when you try to send them a message.It's a feature Milan will continue to enjoy,especially when communicating with Europeans.

How thoughtful of you to give The Moms a blog bouquet several days ago.....Lisa

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