On the phone with my auto insurance company, needing to use the free towing option with our policy…

I found out I’m only covered for up to five miles(!)

Yeah, that’s what I said.

Only five miles? But… you don’t understand… five miles from here is still five miles from nowhere!

The customer service rep was sympathetic… offered a couple other solutions—each would’ve cost close to $150—just to get the car to the repair shop.

On second thought… maybe I can figure out something else. Thanks for your time.

Son’s car has been sitting here for a few years while he served overseas. We drove it weekly until the battery died. And then the registration ran out. Since then it’s just been sittin’ there. I keep praying the rats haven’t nested underneath or eaten the wires.

He came home, bought a convertible, and agreed to let his sis drive the Buick—affectionately nicknamed “the Granny car” (because grannies drive Buicks, or so I’ve been told). Still has the dent on the hood from when he hit a deer one late night coming down the mountain.

Time to pull out Plan B…

Find a friend or neighbor with a truck, and a tow hitch, and a tow dolly, who isn’t too busy today or one day next week, to drive half an hour one way, to tow the car another half hour the other way, back into town and to the mechanic.

Made a couple phone calls.

One friend had the truck, the hitch and the time.

Another friend had the tow dolly.

The one friend is a born and bred country woman. K and her husband own a small ranch. She’s the tough, no-nonsense type, but petite, with a huge heart.

Her four sons and mine are grown and busy with their lives. But we sure could have used one or two of them this afternoon.

She pulled down our driveway, put the truck in reverse, back and forth, back and forth, to line up the tow dolly with the Buick.


I stood watching… just about the time she cut the engine I realized it was up to we three women to get the car onto the dolly.

Ouch. I sort of forgot that minor detail.

(Remember? The battery’s dead. Couldn’t drive it onto the dolly, obviously. And if we could drive it, none of this would have taken place.)

Now we just have to get the car onto the dolly, she said.

Yeah… I’ll put the key in the ignition and put the car into neutral. Then we’ll just push it. Right?

I figured out of the three of us, she had the most experience with this type of thing.


Turned the key. Nothing. Couldn’t even see the gauges on the dash. We had to remember the letters: R for reverse, N for neutral, D for drive and L for low gear. I know—there’s a P in there, too.

Moved the gear shift lever into neutral.

Ran inside to get #1 girl to help push the car up the ramp.

We pushed and pushed, but the car wouldn’t budge.

K decided she’d have to pull the car into place, and got a strap from her truck.

Nearly two hours later, after literally inching the car forward, we did it! (Honestly, K did most of the work. And thankfully she knew what to do!)

I paid her for gas, plus some. Handed her a glass of ice water. Then we chatted for a bit before she got back into her truck and drove up our driveway—

Towing the car.