I just returned from a four hour trip that should have taken me only two hours.  The day started out wonderfully enough…I drove up to see Marie and take her fishing. Last week she had birthday money and we spent two hours perusing through Dick’s Sporting Goods to get EXACTLY the right fishing pole, strong fishing line, (in case she catches a shark or something similar,) bobbers, lures, hooks and pretend “bait”  (yeh…like worms are really green with black speckles…)  I am pretty naive when it comes to fishing;  we live on a pond with tons of fish, so therefore all bodies of water have fish.  Driving around Marie’s school, we settled on a nice fishing spot that had some large rocks for sitting and many trees for shade.  It turned out we didn’t need shade for long because it became overcast and VERY cloudy, then began to rain.  This didn’t phase Marie, who is known for 4 season, all weather fishing on our pond at home.  Although drenched, she patiently fished, changing bait and lures several times to try to attract the appropriate fish for the area.  Although no fish saw fit to chow down on her line, fun was had by all. She was convinced that the fish could look up through the water at her hulking body and swam in the other direction.  She vowed to next time dress in camouflage gear. (It was only later that I learned that that particular “lake” was actually the drinking water reservoir for the area…no fish…and I was darn lucky all she was using for bait was plastic worms and tin lures!  EWWWWW if it was real worms!))

After dropping Marie back off at school, it started to pour out.  My good ole van isn’t always so good. In fact, it has an electrical short whereby if it gets splashed with water, the engine shuts off.  (It’s one of those things I should have had fixed, but WHO has the TIME?) If the engine has a constant flow of gas, it works okay even if it is wet.  However, if it slows down and there is no gas getting to the engine AND it goes through a puddle, the engine just stops.  Fortunately, I can hear when it happens AND the car keeps rolling on, so I have time to pull over to the side of the road into the breakdown lane.  Being in rush hour traffic AND in a torrential downpour wrecked havoc on the ride home.  When stopped in traffic, I’d put the car in “neutral” to be able to give it gas, shifting to “drive” again once the traffic started to move.  Of course, this did not always work, and often the engine would shut off and I would have to pull over again.  Although the traffic was very slow moving, and as far as I could tell my pulling to the side of the road neither inconvenienced nor blocked anyone, it was amazing the number of cars that would lean on their horns at me.  If I were paranoid, I’d think they were upset…but instead I just smiled and waved. What nice, supportive drivers! Fortunately, the car always started up again, and I’d pull back out into traffic, doing the “neutral”/”drive” dance in hopes that it would keep running. It didn’t.  Time and time again, lengthening the drive home to four hours, I’d pull over to the side of the road, and cars would pass me.  It was like playing leap frog, but I never got a turn to leap…

I think I’ll make time to have the car fixed tomorrow…


To read more about our life, here is a link to my book:

The Apple Tree: Raising 5 Kids With Disabilities and Remaining Sane

Link to the Readers Digest review of my book:


Comments on: "It was Like Playing Leap Frog, but I Didn’t Get to Leap!" (29)

  1. We used to have a car that did that same thing. Makes for a tense commute! But at least you had a fun day fishing!

  2. I used to have a car like that–nearly drove me over the edge. Yes, in the fullness of your life, which I deeply admire, I do hope you can find time to get that fixed!

  3. Love the way you keep your cool! But please remember that tomorrow is car fixing day 🙂

  4. LucyBre said:

    When going on holiday a few weeks ago, we had a car journey that was meant to be 2 and a half hours long. We left the house at 1.20pm… We didn’t arrive until 9.30pm 😦

  5. You really have a knack at keeping things in perspective! A leap frog experience like this would tip most people right over and their blog post would be nothing as up beat and all’s well that ends well, as yours is. Thank you for that!

  6. strawberryquicksand said:

    Did people really toot and beep at you for pulling over with an obviously crook car? Goodness!!!! I’m glad you took it in your stride and waved and smiled. 😀 Your fishing trip sounds like a fun day and it seems that Marie is coming out of her shell slowly but surely. xo

    • Yes, they beeped. They layed on their horns…and all I did was move into the breakdown lane, I didn’t even slow any traffic down. Actually, those people must not have a very happy life. If they are angry at me, they must be angry at everyone!

      • strawberryquicksand said:

        Oh blah! That’s why I love Morocco. They beep constantly, but it’s friendly “look out, I’m right here” kinda beeping…

  7. A.D.D And Me said:

    Your blog is funny and inspiring! My mother only had two children. However, if she had the day that you had, she would be cursing and yelling. I admire your outlook on life. Your children are so blessed to have you!


  8. You are so patient to put up with the hooting and the tooting! 🙂

  9. I felt bad for you as I read but still had to laugh. The leap frog image was just too good!

  10. Yes! Definitely time to get the van fixed. Reminds me of an old pickup truck that I bought, that had starting issues. I had to make sure to park on a hill, so I could let it roll and then pop the clutch to start it (standard transmission). It didn’t take too many days before I bought a rebuilt starter and put it in. Then had to replace one of the battery cables, and then the solenoid. It was just the beginning- learned a lot with that truck.

  11. i find that most travels include some type of hiccup… if it goes too well, something’s wrong haha. that said – im sorry it took so long to get home, but glad to hear the fishing trip was fun even without the fish. glad to hear the van is getting fixed so four hour rides home, playing one-way leap frog may be avoided for next time. 🙂

  12. I love that Marie wants to wear camo next time fishing- I’ve often thought the same thing! Hey, if they can follow my finger across the aquarium glass, why not see me lurking over their home? I bet if you get to a lake for fishing she’ll catch a haul!! Clear out your freezer 🙂

  13. Hi.

    oops fishing in drinking water that’s cute. lol. Sorry but it made me smile. I hope you got or are getting the car fixed very soon. that didn’t sound like much fun.


  14. Thank you so much for sharing your positive, uplifting, funny spirit. Makes me smile every single time I visit.

  15. So glad you are taking care of this, and by extension, yourself!

  16. […] Raising 5 kids with disabilities and remaining sane – seriously, name says it all! […]

  17. Saurabh Bohora said:

    I am inspired!!!

  18. […] Raising 5 kids with disabilities and remaining sane – seriously, name says it all! […]

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