Friday, November 28, 2008

How We Spent Thanksgiving Day

We normally celebrate two Thanksgivings every year: Canada's, in October, at a provincial park with friends and church family; and the US's, in New York, with friends we knew when we lived there. US Thanksgiving was yesterday, and here's how it went...

We left home at about 9:15. The van stalled out a couple miles from home. Josiah was able to start it again right away, so we kept going. It did not stall out again while we were still in Canada.

We dropped off Nate's passport (he went with our friends the Underwoods, so he got to enjoy the day in New York) and stopped at Walmart to pick up a few things and take little children to the bathroom.

We got TO the border at about 10:05. We got THROUGH the border at 10:50. No problem with us, we just got in a slow lane.

We traveled about 20 minutes, with the van stalling out about 4-5 times. As it got progressively harder to start each time, we called our friends to tell them we weren't coming, and were going to try to get the van back home.

Heading back, the van stalled twice before we got to the border. Josiah noticed that it would go into a stall when he pressed the brake, so he drove slow enough through Massena that he got all the green lights and didn't have to stop. Once he got a red light, and he was prepared to make a right-hand turn rather than stop, but the light changed just as we got to it.

Then, as we turned onto the road leading up to the border, the van stalled out. We were in a turning lane, blocking traffic, so the boys had to get out and push the van uphill and off the road. This time we could not start it again. After waiting about ten minutes, it still wouldn't start.

Tom decided to take Sarah, John, Abby, and Lizzie home in the car, pick up his tools, and come back. We sent one of the nut pies home with them, and kept one to eat ourselves. So Tom dropped those four off at home and got his tools. But then when he tried to leave home, the car wouldn't start! So he had to work on that. He got it running and came back to see if we could start the van.

Meanwhile, I was not wearing snow boots, and with no heat in the van, we were all quite cold. I kept getting out and stomping around to keep the blood moving in my feet. By this time it was close to 2:30 I think, and we had been waiting there for about an hour and a half. I was getting more concerned about Timothy. His cough was worsening, and I had forgotten his puffer. I could hear him wheeze more, and wished I'd sent him home with Sarah instead of Abby.

Tom came back, and the van started! I drove, in case we stalled at customs and Josiah would be needed to push. We got to the top of the first bridge crossing the St. Lawrence. Just as we started down the other side, the van stalled. I was able to coast into customs. We stopped at the window, showed our passports and permanent resident cards and answered all the normal questions. I told the guard we were stalled and the boys would have to get out to push. He asked if I needed help. I told him my hubby was in the car behind me, and we'd be okay. So the boys pushed us through customs into the parking lot, and the guard waved Tom through without asking for ID or any of the normal questions.

This time there was no starting the van back up. I took everybody but Tom and Josiah home in the car. At about 3:15 we got home. Almost as soon as we got home, Tom called and asked me to come pick them up, that they were going to have to get the van towed to the shop. Thankfully, the car has not been acting up anymore. But we had just gotten the van back on Monday, after almost three weeks of being in the shop.

We have the money for another van, but we had hoped to replace the CAR not the VAN. The car is not a big enough second vehicle for us.

So that was our day. My feet finally thawed out, and the Underwoods were sweet and brought turkey leftovers to us last night.

Hope the rest of you had a good day!

1 comment:

Melissa said...

That sounds like a trying day! My van broke down on Thanksgiving Day also, but it was just Cale and I and we were driving around looking for deer. He was able to keep it running and we took it to the shop, called home and had someone come and get us, although it is just a few miles and we could have walked.

I hope yours is an easy fix and everyone at your place is well. I miss you when you don't post!