Spring break is upon us again. And after the winter we’ve had still having, we are so eager to head south in search of some sunshine. But it’s been quite an adventure already and we are only 3 hours from home.
We planned to leave as soon as Jake got out of school yesterday. We spent the morning finishing our packing & Matt had some errands to run. Mother Nature decided that after the 6.1 billion inches of snow we so enjoyed this winter, she would bless us with about 6 inches of rain in a 12 hour period yesterday. When Matt returned from his errands, he discovered the Family Truckster had a huge problem after he drove through some high water. The ground wire on the fuel lift pump shorted out. And I’m just repeating what he said here because there’s obviously a reason auto diesel mechanic wasn’t a career choice for me. So he spent most of the morning fixing the wire. He’s handy like that but I think his spider killing abilities (sometimes even bare handed!) is why I fell in love with him.
So we were back on track with even time to spare. Then I heard a crash down in the basement. And since we don’t keep Jake chained up down there anymore after that pesky CPS call, I knew there was a problem. The sump pump couldn’t keep up and our basement now had 2 feet (& rising) of water. So much that it had caused my Christmas storage totes to float and the stacks fell over.

Our lovely indoor pool.

To say Matt was a little upset would be an understatement. Our conversation went like this:
Matt: a whole bunch of words I can’t out on here since we are trying to be a family blog
Me: what can I do to help?
Matt: shoot me

I was gonna ask matt to take a picture of me holding the sump pump hose so I could caption it “shitters full!” But he wasn’t in a cooperative mood. Oh well at least we got the basement pumped out.
I suggested to Matt maybe we should scrap leaving today, start fresh in the morning but he wouldn’t hear of it. Around 6pm we pulled out out the drive heading to the KIDS in Benton, Illinois. We stopped around 9 for a late dinner at the McDonald’s in Casey, Illinois and when we went to start the truck, it was completely dead. While matt contemplated torching the truck and camper I went back inside to ask someone to give us a jump. And just fyi, how you ask someone to do that makes a world a difference. Walk into a truck stop and ask someone to jump you will most likely get you something you don’t want. Thankfully a very nice guy tried to jump us with his van and even went back to his farm to get his farm truck. But it was no use…..

Our campsite at McDonald’s.

To make matters worse it was pouring rain and the truck was parked in about 2 inches of standing water. Matt finally figured out that a bad starter was the likely culprit. The same starter we replaced two years ago on the road in Michigan. As we were contemplating what our plan B was going to be, one of the McDonald’s employees came out and asked if he could take a look. Without hesitating the guy crawled under the truck, getting completely soaked. He then relays back to Matt how the wire on the starter is bad. He crawls back out, runs to his truck and grabs his tools. For the next hour or so he works on taking the starter off. We learn our new friend’s name is Adam. He works on a dairy farm in addition to his job at McDonald’s. He’s pretty much taught himself how to work on cars since his dad passed away four years ago and….. get thjs. He’s only 17!!!

Our new friend Adam.

We finally decide that our plan B was to walk across the street to the days inn, get a room and call napa in the morning to get a new starter. Adam even gave us a ride so we wouldn’t have to walk.
We walked into the Days Inn soaked, dirty and carrying an assortment of trash bags of our stuff when my phone dings. The countdown to my vacation app sent me this:

I showed it to matt and all we could do was laugh. Patel, the Days Inn night manager looked at us like we were nuts.
The accommodations at the Days Inn were a little less than desirable. The mysterious smears on the bathroom floor would have probably been enough to have me look for other accommodations under different circumstances. Thank goodness I have watched enough Hotel Rescue to know how to check the matresses for bed bugs.
This morning matt called the local napa, explained our situation and the owner agreed to deliver our new starter for no additional cost. Yay for good people in this world! Matt walked back over to the McDonald’s and guess who came back to check on us? Adam! He came by after his morning work on the dairy farm. He helped matt put the new starter in and we were back on the road by 9 am.
I gave adam the web address to this blog and just in case he ever stumbles upon it I want to tell him a couple of things.
Adam, you truly were a godsend. I don’t know what we would have done without your help. Thank you is not truly adequate. You not only have some tremendous talents, you have a heart of gold and that combination is so incredibly rare. Your dad would be so proud of you. Thank you!

Southbound and down. Hoping for a better day.