I’m very detailed oriented and always have a plan on how I want to proceed with my day. This particular Saturday my goal was to get a haircut, wash my wife’s truck, hit a couple of stores for a shirt or two and find Syd some Lacrosse shoes. Later on that evening my wife and I would go to a dinner party.I head out to Mitch’s and get my haircut but decide to detour to a Burlington on Old National instead of getting the truck washed first.
My wife has repeatedly asked me about adding color to my wardrobe because I am a jeans and solid color polo shirt type of guy, and truthfully I agree so I look at some button downs. I start looking for some sneaks for the Sydster and quickly find a couple of styles I think she would like. Syd is a lot like me, not a big shopper. She will go if you MAKE her. I text her some pix and she loves both styles but I cannot find her size. I decide to try another Burlington in Morrow to see if they have her size. Here is where my plan is detoured, literally.
My intention is to go back down Old Nat’l to 285 and run to Morrow but I turn right and go toward Holyfield’s mansion (I refuse to call it the Rick Ross house). I think to myself, “Why did you do that? That’s the long way.” Oh well, I’ll ride it out, turn left on 138 except I am listening to Joel Osteen's sermon “Are you listening” on XM. He’s talking about how, "God will talk to you without words and direct your footsteps." Well, I forgot to turn. Now I am going FURTHER toward Fayetteville instead of Morrow. I guess I'll just go to the post office and then hit Morrow. It’s out of the way but I might as well knock out another errand.
I hit the post office and I have two choices, turn left and avoid traffic at hwy 85 or go right and get in the traffic. I pull out to turn left and for some reason I, at the last possible moment, turn right. I mean I am in the middle of the road for the left turn when I turn right. Again, I am thinking huh, ok keep it pushing. I drive towards Morrow and as I get up near 19/41 I decide to use the back roads to avoid all of the traffic. I’m rollin, still listening to Joel talk about “God is constantly transmitting to us, but too often we are not tuned to his frequency. God speaks to us through subtle things" when I pull up behind a few cars waiting for the traffic light. I wait, and wait, and wait. What is going on? Oh great, someone is not paying attention that the light changed. The cars start going around the non-attentive driver and I follow along.
I look at the lady in the car and she is sitting there texting or talking on her phone, not sure which. I’m fussing her out as I drive by but she is not even looking up. As I look in the mirror at her it suddenly dawns on me that when I drove by her brake lights were not on. She is still sitting in the road with a green light. Oh snap, her car is not running. Keep in mind this road is a 50 MPH state road and she is in the fast lane with a green traffic light. Someone is going to smash into her. I whip the truck around and go back, pull into the turning lane and hit my flashers.
I knock on the window; she had no clue I was standing there. She opens the door and tells me the car has no power. This is a pretty new Chevy Cruze so that doesn’t make sense to me. I tell her to put the ignition in unlock and put the car in neutral. I am going to push you into the turning lane so no one hits you. She can’t get the car in neutral. I ask for permission to reach in and turn the key. I try and put it in neutral. It won’t budge. This car is stuck in park and cars are driving by at a good rate of speed, not crazy fast but fast enough to cause some serious damage or worse if we are hit.
By this time another guy pulls over and asks if we need help. I tell him what’s going on and he tells the lady to do the same thing I said, key and neutral, nothing. I pop the hood and look at the battery. It’s brand new but there is corrosion on the negative cable. I jiggle the cable and her wipers start moving. AHA I found the issue. We try to start the car but the power immediately drains, click. Well shoot, WAIT…I jiggle it again, the power comes back on. “Put your foot on the brake, put the car in neutral.” IT WORKS. Me and the guy begin to push the car as I direct her to turn towards the convenience store. Another guy jumps in and helps us push the car.
Once we get in the parking lot the third guy leaves and I pop the hood again. I purchase a can of soda from the store and let the fizz eat the corrosion. The second guy has a set of jumper cables and I try to jump her vehicle with mine. No juice whatsoever. We try again and again, nothing. The lady is on the phone with her dad, she can’t be more than 20 years old. I tell her what we are doing so she can relay the info to Dad. The other guy that helps then says, “Hey, this battery is the wrong size.” I look and sure enough it is not filling the battery tray. It’s too small. The lady says, “I’ve been having issues and so we changed the battery”. I ask if the car is in warranty and she says yes. I tell her this appears to be an electrical issue, to take the car to the dealer and let them figure out why the car is not running. She works at the Sams which is right next door to the convenience store. She can leave the car and her dad can have it towed.
She thanks us. The other guy grabs his cables as we talk about the fact we both have daughters and are grateful to be in the right place at the right time. As the guy walks to his car and I put the hood down on mine all of sudden we hear VROOM. The car started. The lady tried to start the car one more time and it worked. The guy and I look at each other in amazement. I tell her I will follow her to the Sam’s in case the car stops running again but we make it to the store no problem. She thanks me for making sure she is safe and I bounce. I hit the Burlington and find Syds shoes and can’t wait to get home and tell this story.
I did not mean to drive the route I was on. I did not intend to go to Burlington in Morrow. I didn’t plan to go to the post office that day. Had I not listened and followed the misdirection that happened I would not have been in the right place to help this young lady.