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My phone was alarming as it does every afternoon at 2:45. Time to pick up the kids from school. Since it’s Wednesday and the whole school gets out at 3:00 I decided to leave right away. I grabbed some slip on ballet flats and headed out the door.

The garage door finished opening all the way as I put my key in. There was a quick flash of light at the ignition and then nothing. No sound. No car lights. Nothing.

I turned the key several times. Nothing.

I texted Heath and walked back inside. Just closed the garage door and hoped for inspiration. What now? Heath called and I explained what happened. He left work immediately and I got on the phone for help.

First I called the school to say I couldn’t get my kids because my car wouldn’t start. The secretary was calm. She asked if there was anyone else they could go home with. No. I have no neighbors with kids at that school. 

I thought of one neighbor who lives a couple doors down but I have no idea what grade her daughter is in. She’s not on my emergency contact list. I know she would take my kids home for me but I don’t know her number and she had probably already left by that point. Of course as I type this now I think of a family in the ward who could’ve helped. I always forget that family moved to the top of the street with no name and their kids go to the same school as mine. There are only three families in the ward, including my own, who go to that school.

The only people I could think of were my friends with school age children. I called Abigail. As her phone rang I remembered that hers is the third family that goes to the same school. She has a kindergartener who is already home and she’s on my emergency contact list. No answer. I left a message anyway.

Then I called my next door neighbor. No answer at home but I did have her cell number. She answered right away. I explained the situation and she asked if I needed her to pick up all my kids or just the elementary kids. She was at the middle school picking up her daughters. I told her that Gavin takes the bus and I just needed help with the other two. She said she could pick them up as soon as she was done at the middle school.

I called the school back to let them know. They know Carol and I believe she’s on my emergency contact list. That’s when my heart started pounding. Heath was heading to BART. My kids would be taken care of and the situation finally sunk in.

It’s funny how my mind is clearing and now I’m thinking of other people I could have called for help. The other people could have helped but it would have been a juggling act. I’m so thankful for my neighbors that I have carpooled with for so many years.

Velma will be towed in about two hours. Who knows what we do from here? I guess I better get used to Heath’s car. That’s how my kids will get to and from school this week. Kind of crazy to think that after they had two days off from school with nowhere to go, or at least another car to drive, now my car poops out!

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