Tuesday, August 19, 2008

An Update from the Mountains

We're stuck in Highlands, NC like I mentioned in a previous post. I'm terrified I'm going to lose my job. They first told us, Monday, that the car was fine. We balked and said, NO, it broke down on us on the side of the road and it isn't fine. So Taylor went and picked it up and it broke down on the way back to our hotel. Then he took it back.

Today they got a fuel filter and replaced it - and we were sure it was fine. The car sped away as the mechanic went to test drive it. He came back and said, "It's fine." Taylor jumped in the car to test it himself and it didn't make it out of the parking lot. It began sputtering and wouldn't accelerate. They now say, "Oh right, I it must be the fuel pump. $300 for all that, and we can't get to it till tomorrow because we have to order a part."

Alas, here we are. Sitting in the Pizza Place checking email because we can't afford another night at our hotel ($90 a night, at a 50% discount) and are checking into other options. They guy who owns the car shop, Popcorn, said he'd try to get us a place cheaper tonight, so we're playing the waiting game. I called my boss and left him a message, pretty much begging him not to fire me, but I haven't heard anything. I feel lost here. Stuck in a tourist town that costs a million dollars isn't fun when you aren't a millionaire or ready for that kind of expense.

The locals are lovely - and understanding of our situation. We went to a local clothing shop called Jolie's where people told us they had t-shirts at 70% off and bought a shirt a piece just to have fresh clothing. Since we had only planned on making a day trip up here, we don't have any clothes to wear that aren't gross. While looking for our new threads, we were in the sale racks and a lady that works there named Jill asked what our situation was. We explained that our car had broken down, and she talked to us for a minute. She surprised us by taking $20 out of her pocket and gave it to Taylor, saying that she insisted we take it, and it made both of us cry, embarrassed, but thankful. It was so sweet the gesture she made, and she insisted that people had helped her out in the past and she knew that we would pay the favor forward. "Besides, you're cute." We cried more and she even cried a little, and we were thankful. In the meantime, two ladies who were shopping overheard our conversation and also gave Taylor $20 in his pocket and said, "Life has been good to me, I want to help too." We laughed, cried a little more, and said thank you to the sweet older ladies who were fawning over us and our plight.

We changed our shirts in the dressing room after we had bought them and picked up our suitcases to journey to find some food. We no longer have the luxury of the Main Street Inn, so we're wandering gypsys in Highlands, a place so unlikely for gypsys they even have a Farrari parked on Main Street as a testament of the insane riches around this place. There is no ghetto here - only million dollar lots of land and old couples enjoying shopping in a mountain town.

We have a life to get back to, and I'm stressed that we're not there to live it. It's like having life on hold. I miss Nashville - and Gracie - and wish we were sitting in our living room with Mike's ghost.

Miss you all. See you soon, hopefully, even if we have to sell our car to the scrap yard just to get home. (I hear you can sell it for $10 a pound. That's about $330 on our end and would get us a rental car home, and gas.)


A place where Indians use to give salt to their horses. Behidn the Don Leon Deli Cafe.

Where our car is waiting on us. They are wonderful guys.

The garage

Yours truly waiting at the garage, hoping for good news.

The aforementioned Farrari. That is definitely not our car.

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