I’m such a procrastinator.

For two years we’ve had a single key to the family van.  This van is the only vehicle we own large enough to transport all of us…tightly, but safely to Mass and other activities.  One would think, with the obvious importance of our primary source of transportation, that we’d have at least two sets of keys and a spare.

Such was our intention…and we know all about “good” intentions!

That said, it was certainly no surprise when it occurred to me yesterday morning, list of errands in hand, that my keys were not on the buffet.  Nor were they in my pocket or purse.

A sigh of extreme irritation.  Dropping everything, I march to the computer, open Skype and hastily type a message to my husband:

“Hey…have you seen my keys?”

The long delay before his typed answer revealed what I feared:

“Sorry!  They’re in my pocket.  I’ll try to work something out, but I’m really slammed right now…”

So I put away my list and my plans…but not my irritation.  It grew steadily throughout the day.  A hastily typed message:  “Can you come home now?  Don’t forget the boys have Teen Night and I need to pick up a couple of $1.00  gifts for the exchange…I can’t leave here any later than 5:30.”

Poor guy.  Working so hard, the insistent messages from his frazzled wife disturbing his day.

Well…he didn’t make it home early.  He got home approximately 10 minutes before I needed to leave.   The boys readied themselves, I grabbed my purse and my list…and then changed my plans:

“Why don’t we all go?  We can pick up dinner with the little ones, and do these errands together!”

Am I nuts?  Take ALL the children shopping?  When I could have gone alone?  Kind of nutty…but he took me up on it…

A few minutes later all eight of us are in the van…it was an extremely cold, drizzly, miserable evening.  Five minutes into the drive, we noticed that the heat wasn’t working.

“I think the thermostat’s stuck…”

Those were the last words hubby said before the van completely lost power right in the middle of rush hour traffic on I-70.  He really is the best driver I’ve ever known, and his skill in getting that vehicle into the emergency lane was something to see.  Cool as a cucumber…nothing disturbs him.  Not so, his wife!  All of a sudden I had this image of me…in the passing lane, doing about 70 mph during rush hour…and the van losing power.

I don’t really want to finish that picture.  I’d like to think I’d be as cool as he is, but I really don’t think I would.  I couldn’t help thinking what incredible “God-incidences” there had been throughout the day.  Hubby took the keys…had he not, I’d have been out, alone, when the problem occurred.  Had I not suggested the “family outing” I’d have been in rush hour traffic, alone…and it…was…bad…

I’ll spare you the minute details of how long it took to deliver the boys to their destination.  Hubby insisted they make their outing.  Or how long it took him, working in the freezing cold and drizzle, to get the vehicle cooled and operational.  Or how it continued to overheat every two minutes.  Or how frightening it was, at least for me, when the vehicle would lose power.  How we went from parking lot to parking lot.  I wondered if we’d ever make it home…

But, how sweet were the prayers of the children!  The van was filled with “Hail Mary!”  “Please, St. Joseph!”  “St. Jude, help us!”  Each one of the children offered a prayer of their own, asking God to help Daddy get us  home.  I feared that journey on the interstate, but amazingly enough the red light went off, the vehicle maintained power and we made it home.  A few feet from our driveway…the light came on again and we coasted into our customary parking spot.

And there it sits.  The family van won’t be moving anywhere anytime soon.  Hubby is quite sure it is a head gasket.  As he does all our repairs, he knows the complications of this particular job and is not sure if he can do it, due to the location of the gasket.  And it’s a Chevrolet.  My “Ford Man” constantly expresses his frustration over the fact that Chevy doesn’t want the average Joe repairing his car.  Head gasket removal on this van is  terribly difficult, terribly expensive.  He has the skills…he just doesn’t have a hydraulic lift and endless hours to work on it.

Yet…I’m quite thankful.  We made it home safely.  Hubby still has his little car to get to work.  I have surgery in a few days, so it’s not like I’ll be out and about.  The only problem:  Mass.  Please say a prayer for us!  Our sweet little van seated eight.  This weekend, I’m sure my mother-in-law will be able to help out, but after that…I’m just not sure.  God in His infinite wisdom has already worked out the details of this dilemma, I’m quite sure.  We just haven’t received that particular directive!