The car is fixed today.
On Independence Day, on the way to the barbecue, the car engine went pop. Just as I asked, “did you hear that?” smoke began to pour out of the engine. It was all very dramatic and we pulled over right away. A crawler-by stopped to help (I would like to say passerby, but this was the Jerusalem-Tel Aviv highway on Independence Day, I’ve seen parked cars move faster) and he saw this:
The worst part is, all the photos from Yom HaAtzmaut look pretty much like this one.
Which, apparently, is not what a car radiator is supposed to look like. Amazingly, he was able to kluge it back together with a kippah clip, and we made it to the barbecue by driving slowly on the shoulder of the road, moving steadily at speeds as fast as 15 kph, which was still faster than everyone else most of the time. Just the other cars on the road were picking up speed we got on the turn lane getting off the highway on the way to the gas station. There we were, kids packed in the back seat, limping along with our hazards on and praying that we would make it, wondering if that funny smell was the car or the road, and another motorist slowed down and… asked us for directions.
“Is this the turn off to Latrun?”
I don’t know what about us inspired confidence in this man, but the fact was that we were the only people at that point who were moving slowly enough to talk to probably had something to do with it. The driver (I’ll introduce Tigress, the girl who lives with us now, later) and I both thought it was hysterically funny, because there really is always someone who is worse off than you… or thinks he is. At least we had to know where we were going.
Our friends (Tigress’s parents) met us at the next gas station and pronounced the car drive-worthy enough to get to where we were going, so we made it to the barbecue. As we were parking near the house, the radiator began to smoke again. The kluge lasted long enough for us to get to our destination exactly, and no longer.
Oh, and a note: if you ever have to get stuck somewhere, get stuck at the house of someone you adore, who just happens to live in the forest, has adorable children who play well with yours, spare bedrooms, and pool. If it weren’t for the minor headache of getting the car towed and having to take public transportation home with four kids, wet laundry, and picnic equipment, it would have been a vacation.