This past Saturday morning I thought I really had my act together as I headed for the FM. I'd done all the necessary tasks around the house (Mom duty, dog duty, cat duty) that have to be accomplished before I set out and despite the fact that some still-unknown-to-me force majeure knocked out our electricity for about two hours on Friday evening, bringing my KitchenAid stand mixer to a whhooorrrllliinngg standstill at a most inconvenient moment and generally throwing off my baking timetable such that I scratched a couple of planned items from my list, I was pretty well on schedule for my ETA at the FM when I left the house.
Then about 5-6 miles down the road and about a third of the way there, steam started coming from underneath my car hood. Understand: I live way out in the country. There are no service stations around here. I don't have minions at the ready to rescue me from car trouble. There is a mechanic in our nearest town who has a tow truck but I'm fairly certain his shop is closed on Saturdays (as are many of my home town businesses, to my -- chagrin? annoyance? incredulity?) and I don't even know its name or phone number. I do, however, have not a minion or a knight in shining armor but a good family friend who, if he's available, has helped me out of the occasional scrape involving vehicles and plumbing and heavy lifting. So in a panic -- and that's so me! -- I called him and said I thought maybe I'd blown a radiator hose or something and could he please come help? Actually I didn't have any specific idea as to how he could help beyond looking under the hood and telling me what was wrong and I guess giving me a lift back home and helping me figure out a plan of action to get the car somewhere it could be repaired -- I hadn't thought that out, panic mode being what it was. I was maybe 15 miles away from where he was, but he made his way to where I'd landed, at a propane (and propane products? I've never seen Hank Hill there) and Amoco station which is, kind of oddly, out in the middle of my nowhere and which is, kind of amazingly, open until noon on Saturdays.
I had a car packed gill-high with breads and snackbreads and apple cakes and cookies and three different kinds of scones and I can't remember what-all and all I could think about, besides stupid car! how bad is it? am I going to have to get it towed? what timing -- it's the weekend! how long will I be without a car? was what in the name of sanity am I going to do with all this BREAD??? Fortuitously the propane/gas station employs a very nice lady with whom I have visited while filling up my tank, and who has told me she would like to stop at the FM on her way to work (she apparently lives on the other side of Kennett) but she must be at work at 7:00 a.m. on Saturday mornings so her hours are the same as the market's. She was there. I told her I was waiting for help for my car. I told her it was full of breads and baked goods. She bought several items. I was somewhat relieved.
Eventually my rescuer arrived. After a thorough examination and assessment, he determined that the steam that I saw resulted from an aged, sprung spring in the radiator cap that allowed excessive overflow to escape. I just needed a new radiator cap. Observe, above, the old.
Cost of friend-aid: a dozen scones.
So. I drove on to Kennett. I set up although it was well past nine. Nonetheless, I sold quite a lot of my stuff; yet at the end of the morning, I still had a couple of loaves of each kind of bread and a few snackbreads and one apple cake and three bags of cookies. What to do? What to do?
That afternoon I took them to my church and left them all in the kitchen. I knew my fellow Methodists couldn't resist, and particularly in the summer someone or another brings in garden overruns to share, the double sinks on any given Sunday filled with okra or tomatoes or plums. The next morning our organist, who always arrives at church early to make coffee, called to ask what I wanted done with all the breads and such, and offered to set out a donation bowl with the proceeds going to our animal shelter -- the perfect solution! Everything was scarfed up and we gave more than $30 to the shelter.
As a post script: many thanks to Pam whom I called to ask to go to the FM and tell one of the vendors to advise anyone looking for "the bread lady" of my perceived car trouble and likewise to Libby who posted a notice on facebook of my plight. I have lovely friends.