Tuesday, June 17, 2008

The last chapter in our moving mini-series

We started the day on the right foot for sure! We had Amarillo's World Famous Donut Stop! These are the most delicious donuts in the entire world. We even picked up an extra two dozen to take with us to Grandmommy and Papa. I did notice that my check engine light was still ablaze, but I decided to throw caution to the wind and head down the road to our final destination.

With donuts in hand, we were on our way!

We made it through Stratford, and then on across the Oklahoma state line. We even snapped a quick photo. Then we decided to fill up while we were stopped in good ol' Texhoma.

However, when we pulled ahead, my little bullet would not go over 20 mph. So, just outside of the great metropolis of Texhoma...we were stranded. My mini-van wouldn't even go in reverse. The transmission was done!

Here is a photo for your amusement.

Take note of a few things in this picture. One, you can see the city in the distance. Two, there is a curb...yes, a curb on the side of the road, preventing us from pulling onto a shoulder. If we could have taken video you would have noticed our triangles behind the camper, and our hazard lights blinking.

After two hours on the phone with our trusty USAA insurance company, we had increased our tow mileage to 112 miles, and then agreed to pay the difference to tow the van 175 miles to Hutchinson, Kansas for a new transmission. You see, there is not transmission repair shop within 50 miles of our breakdown.

We then begin the task of UNloading everything from the van, into the trailer...in 100 degree weather. Just as we finish up, one of those good ol' Oklahoma Sheriff cars whizzes (and without a hesitation in speed) past us. Nice. So, feeling a little overheated and very frustrated, I proceeded to give the local law enforcement a ring-a-ding. I mean, he did not have any light flashing or any siren blaring, so if his job is to protect and serve, why didn't he at least stop to see if we were alright? I could have been dying on the side of the road, and he would have just coasted right by! Being a military wife, I understand the obligations a government employee has, and this guy was not doing his job!

I dialed information and was connected with the Chief of Police in Texhoma. I rattled my spill to him, knowing he was not a part of the Sheriff department, but I did not have their number. He apologized, and I told him we had made tow arrangements for our vehicle that we had now left on the side of the road.

We were now riding in the truck, overheating, with no AC. Again...I have photographic documentation...

Now. the rest of the story gets interesting. Here it is in timeline form...
1. Lindsay gets a call back from the Sheriff department. A woman apologizes. Lindsay informs her that the car is on the side of the road, and a tow truck is on the way from Hutchinson, Kansas. The woman says that is fine and she will notify the Highway Patrol.
2. Windblown and weary we make it to Hutch.
3. Lindsay leaves her cell in the truck by mistake.
4. 5 a.m. on Tuesday morning I load up to make the drive to Manhattan for receipt of household goods. (We were pushing it!)
5. I have 13 missed calls and messages.
6. My tow driver cannot locate our van and has driven to Stratford and back.
7. The Sheriff department has ordered my van be towed to Guymon and it is now impounded. Yes, you are reading this correctly.

Above: My vision of the Law Enforcement in Oklahoma.
Below: The tow driver that held my van hostage.

8. I make a call to the dispatcher at the Sheriff's office. She questions my chat the day before with Nancy No-name that apologized for the irresponsible Sheriff. She wonders how I got the number if I was not from there. I guess calling Information is a new concept to her.
9. The Sheriff does not report until 8:30 a.m. so I am instructed to call back.
10. Basically, after talking with the Chief of Police again, the assistant Sheriff that ordered the tow, and the actual and I quote, "elected OFFICIAL that doesn't answer to anybody" I paid $500.00 in tow charges and my van was released.
11. I hate OKLAHOMA and Sheriff Peoples has no idea what type of storm is headed his direction.

The nuts and bolts of the situation are just this. His department not only neglected their job when we were stranded on the side of the road, but then his department ordered the tow of our vehicle in error. What more could we have done? So, this is probably not the last you will hear of this tale. I have big plans to seek reconciliation. Now, we have a new transmission, and the AC is repaired in the truck.

Don't you just love a happy ending?! What is my famous line...it is ALWAYS an adventure with the Welch's. You can't make this kinda stuff up!


Melissa said...

Holy crap Lindsay!! That's really insane--and frustrating--and funny all at once. How is everything in the new casa?

Lisa said...

Ok, seriously? Just so you know, if you get some humongo settlement from the dumbuty's in OK don't forget about the little people. (i.e. ME! You can mail my check to...) :)


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