for those familiar with my adventures, you know j’adore an excellent road trip.
whether it’s a short one to leipers fork, tennesee or all the way across this gorgeous country of ours. i am prone to an international one from time to time, but it’s been a minute, or three years to be exact, but i digress.
sometimes no matter how well you think you have planned for the worst, it comes around to bite you in the tookus all the same. this would be me during the first six months of 2019. “lady eloise,” my beloved ford explorer of the last decade, was having some issues which warranted a visit to our local car hospital.
my car shop is the greatest, because with as many vehicles as my family brings them, they allow me to pay my invoices as i can. “lady eloise” received some life support to the tune of $2500 for the third february in three years, but it’s less expensive than a car payment each month. i was due to depart for a cross-country road trip, so it was collectively agreed she would be fine with 170K miles to her credit.
so on march 3rd, we headed west.
within the first two weeks of being in los angeles, “lady eloise” decided she would like a new starter. even with the other bill outstanding, we consulted our shop back home, added $400 to the total, paid it & my girl was back in action the next day.
on march 20, which also coincides with my 50th birthday, my daughter was involved in an auto accident back in nashville. luckily she made it out safely, but not her suv.
the insurance company announced they would total out the car, offered me $2k, of which i in turn used $1300 to pay for repairs for it to be drivable (mck was already planning on purchasing a new car) & made another payment on “lady eloise.” bada bing, bada boom life was back in business mode.
my work kept me in los angeles for 2 months. “lady eloise” & i drove from studio city to glendale, to hollywood, to malibu or santa monica on any given day. if you have any knowledge of the los angeles area, you know this is 1) a lot of miles & 2) a lot of time. we were super happy.
in may, it was time to leave our second home & travel east. “lady eloise” was filled to the brim with extra goodies & whilst packing i remarked to one of my dearest friends, “good lord, i hope i don’t get a flat tire & have to unload this crap to get to the spare tire.”
off we went, where we sidestepped it to phoenix for an evening of family. the following day we were up before dawn & going to make a long run of it all the way to oklahoma city. 16 hours to be exact, but we were also up to a good challenge.
around groom, texas, i was on the phone with my high school bestie, traveling at a quick 85 miles per hour when all of a sudden i could see nothing but white smoke billowing from the back of the car. i dropped the call & immediately pulled over. i had a flat tire & it should be noted the sun was beginning its descent behind the hills.
luckily i had pulled over right past an exit, thus i was able to back down the on-ramp, keeping me off of the freeway shoulder & safer from racing traffic. in contrast, i was less noticeable from passing traffic & therefore no one stopped to give me an assist. i immediately made a call to roadside assistance & because i was scared of being out there after dark, i telephoned them twice & corky (RA) chose my call over another. he was a solid dude.
basically, an hour prior when getting gas, i noticed an oily substance on the back windshield. discounting it as road construction leftovers, i cleaned up “lady eloise,” & returned to the open road. my mistake was i didn’t know it was the transmission fluid spraying up the backside of my girl. also it turns out, the white smoke was from the flat tire which was the ultimate god send, because if had continued for two more hours, odds are “lady eloise” would have died in the dark in the middle of nowhere.
corky said he had no idea if i would make it all the way to OK, but i could try, gave me his number & wished me well. as day turned into night & upon speaking with two ex-boyfriends, i was ordered to get off the road immediately. “lady eloise” made it to the la quinta inn of elk city, oklahoma which would become her final resting place.
i spent three days there dealing in all of the chaos that comes with selling a car for parts, on a weekend, in a tiny town, in the middle of our great country. it was exhausting, unsettling news & would be a larger emotional toll than i realized in those moments. i cleared her contents, rented a car & headed back to nashville. i then spent another month paying off her original repair bill.
here’s the point, even when you think you have considered all the scenarios or even planned to the finest detail, life is always going to throw you a curve.
here are a few pg tips you should remember just in case:
- solid preparation, even though something goes horribly wrong, is usually what keeps you from being harmed further or possibly dying. no, i don’t know exactly how to change a tire, but i did know to get it out of the vehicle (after removing two wrought iron chairs & christmas train tracks) so it would take corky less time to change it before dark. i was also fully versed on my car insurance & that it had road side assistance because of the starter situation earlier in the month.
- it’s good to be kind to all of the people helping you along the way, because they will bend over backwards to make your horrible situation less expensive & less painful all the way around.
- stay friendly with your exes, especially the ones who know about safety & still care about your well being.
life happened to my beloved “lady eloise.” we had many great adventures with our other pal, homerthewondermutt riding shotgun. even today i was missing her interior capacity for hauling whatever i need, but it was her time.
oh, my daughter did get her new car, i took her old one & she has been dubbed “lady luella.” she doesn’t have the interior space of her predecessor, but she is paid off & her car insurance is less than $50 per month. whoo hoo!
so i learned to adjust my sails, compensate for my surroundings & moved on. just know it could always be worse & it’s all going to be okay. life just happens & it usually makes for some really good stories.
with peace, love & gratitude
Capucine is the owner of project girl consulting, a design & organizing firm. armed with a fine arts education from belmont university & an eclectic professional background, capucine began project girl consulting in 2010 to allow a more flexible schedule as a single mum of a young girl. now with a fully adulting daughter in the workplace, capucine’s focus is on her work & writing a book.
a nashville native, capucine is actively involved in community service volunteering for room in the inn, safe haven family shelter & the nashville dolphins; as well as serving on committees for friends of warner parks, the nashville symphony, the nashville ballet& cheekwood. mentoring is also a key ingredient in her professional landscape.
growing up on nashville’s famed music row, she adores the live music scene, dining out with friends, hiking at radnor lake & cooking to share with neighbors, friends & family.
you can learn more about capucine monk, aka PG, at www.projectgirlconsulting.com.