Thanksgiving 2019: Not A Good Day To Be Our Waistbands Or Our Car’s Axle

Thanksgiving Is For Adults

We have always enjoyed Thanksgiving more than Christmas. Christmas is more geared towards children and unless we get a phone call from DCS in the next week, we’ll be spending the holiday without a foster child. Thanksgiving is different. Thanksgiving feels like our kind of holiday weekend. Neither one of us is working, unless you consider Erin’s marathon online shopping session on Black Friday as “working.” Football and basketball are on TV, we get to spend time with family, and did we mention we’re not working! And I (Ryan) can honestly say that if I try to think of a bad Thanksgiving memory, all I can really come up with is being a little too hungover on Thanksgiving and thus not enjoying my two pounds of Eby’s polish sausage I normally consume. This year’s Thanksgiving was a test, but for reasons you probably wouldn’t suspect.  As we are writing this, three weeks later, some parts of our ordeal are still being resolved. But it surely hasn’t been as difficult as it was Thanksgiving morning 2012 when I walked into Grandma V’s house, smelled the garlic from the polish sausage, and almost tossed my cookies due to some poor life choices the night before!

Grandma V is one of the most independent 94 year olds you’ll ever meet. So it probably pissed her off more then anything else that she had to spend Thanksgiving in an assisted living center to receive physical therapy for her broken femur. Hopefully she’s back home for Christmas. On that day though, her spirits were high and under the circumstances, we still had a nice visit. Our stop at Grandma J’s wasn’t too much different. A lot of food, family, and my mom’s irritating cocker spaniel. Things went off the rails after that. We had just left the gas station, when our rear axle broke on the drive back to the house from Grandma’s.

Impact from the first accident caused the “bubble” and eventual break.

We were completely stranded in the middle of Western Avenue.  We called roadside assistance and were able to get a tow truck ordered. However, because it was a holiday and our options were limited, he was based out of western Michigan! We kept it together though, because it was Thanksgiving. As it we were sitting the nearly hour and a half waiting for the tow truck, we killed time by finding a mechanic to have the car towed to and tried to figure out how we were going to get ourselves home to the dogs.

Not Our First Rodeo With A Minivan Rental

Not surprisingly, Uber and Lyft had no one available in the Michiana area. Thankfully, we were able to arrange a pick up from our aunt and uncle. They were kind enough to take us to Grandma V’s house so that we could borrow Dad’s Jeep for the weekend until we figured everything out. The next day, feeling a little deflated and suspecting a hefty car repair bill was coming our way, Erin was in no mood to Black Friday shop. The one bright spot in that day was that the mechanic called at 7:30 am (on a day after a holiday!) and said he could take a look at our car that morning.  We explained that we had just been in an accident and the damage was in the exact same spot as the breakdown on the car. About an hour later, he called back and told us the good and bad news. The damage was most definitely caused by our most recent car accident. That much was clear. However, as it had been almost a month since the accident, it was going to be an uphill battle with the insurance company. After almost four hours on the phone with State Farm, we were told we were on our own to pay for the repairs on the axle (quoted at $3,000 and not to be ready until mid-week).

Only an Irish coffee and walk with the dogs could help lower the blood pressure!

  We were also responsible for getting ourselves a rental car to get us and our dogs back to Indy.

22 year old us may be disappointed in the van choice…but 22 year old us also drove a leaky Cavalier and a Wrangler with a door that wouldn’t shut! So they can shush!

Maybe we were just trying to stay positive and find the humor in the situation. Maybe it’s an indication that we’re officially going through a mid-life crisis. But we found the idea of renting a mini van to get us back to Indy not only functional with three dogs, but incredibly comical. Ironically, this wasn’t the first mini van that we have rented. We had some fun cruising around Park City, Utah for Erin’s cousin’s wedding in a mini van. Everyone thought we rented it on purpose so that we could fit ski’s in the back of it. Lets just say that they were disappointed!

Functional, comfortable, and spacious (as long as Six lays down).

The whole situation was a laugh riot to Erin, who had never been to South Bend International Airport before, let alone to pick up a rental car there. The “mom-mobile” only had 300 miles on it and aside from having no acceleration capabilities or satellite radio, flaws were difficult to come by. Both rows of back seats folded into the floor, the ride was pretty smooth, and the rear axle was in one piece! If it hadn’t been for Six Pack’s weird aversion for not laying down very often during car rides, the space would have been more than enough to fit all three of them comfortably. And speaking of space to fit all three, both of our bratty greys were able to experience the luxury of riding in it by themselves due to their separately scheduled surgeries.

Of course returning the van to the airport after we had picked up our car was an event as well. As Erin was pulling into short term parking to wait for me to drop off the van, she watched a man resisting arrest in the drop off lane right by an entrance. You’d think after how many years of visiting “The Bend” that none of this would be shocking to her!

At Least This Holiday Was Vomit Free

We can’t remember the exact year, but there was Thanksgiving recently that ranks about the same as Thanksgiving 2019.  It started off innocently enough by celebrating “Friendsgiving” with some of our closest friends the weekend prior to the actual Thanksgiving. Little did we know, but a couple of the little ones were carrying a stomach bug that would cripple the immune systems of Ryan and about a dozen of our friends. Ryan had made plans to run the Drumstick Dash in Broad Ripple that Thanksgiving morning with our friend Matt. Matt would not be able to leave the bathroom that day, let alone to run 5 miles. Ryan was able to get about three miles complete before nature and the stomach virus had other plans. That Thanksgiving was by no means ruined. It would’ve been nice to go to South Bend that year, but Ryan’s Thanksgiving dinner consisting of Ritz crackers and 7-Up does make for a laughable memory years later. And as soon as the claim check from the insurance company clears for the repairs done on the Mercedes up in South Bend, we should be able to start laughing about this year’s Thanksgiving.


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