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But I Need My Car!

It turned out to be a day of running around the city.  I took care of my minivan; the 'check engine' light was on for the last two days.  So, I dropped the kids off at school, drove to 7-11 to get my coffee and donut, and went to the auto repair shop.  The repair man checks the car and begins giving me an oil change.  He comes back in with the bolt that seals the oil pan and says its damaged. 

"You need to get it replaced."  he said.

"Okay", I responded as I am sipping my coffee.

About three minutes later, he returns and says, "We have to replace the entire oil pan because it is damaged.  I cannot let you drive off with it in this condition.  What are you gonna do?"

I'm thinking to myself, "What do you mean, 'What am I gonna do?  I have no car!'" 

I begin calling my wife only to remember that she was in an all day conference-I could only text her.  Meanwhile, the repairmen comes back in the room and says to me in his heavy accent, "You will be without this car for the wekend.  You can get it on Monday.  God be with you!"  And he walks out. 


This was supposed to be a routine look at the car.  It has now become a miniature travel on foot. I had to walk a mile to the Metro in the rain and 40 degree weather with two big bags from work.  I found out where my wife was, hopped on the Metro,  picked up our other car, and then the kids.

I have begun to talk to my boys about different survival techniques.  No, I am not talking about killing squirrels to eat or using tree limbs to make rafts. And plus, squirrel tastes nasty, especially city squirrels; country ones have a better tas...sorry.  Our latest 'survival' conversation was how to walk in unfamiliar areas.  They understand, hopefully.

We have been truly blessed to have the things that we have.  But what happens when those comforts are unexpectantly taken from us, like my car?  I had to think on my toes in this instance.  I am almost sure that if I don't teach this to my boys now, they may be lost when those situations come.  And we know they will come.  A while ago, we were at the dinner table talking about procedures needed to be done if there is a fire in the house.  The conversation freaked them out a bit, but they will know what to do.

How are you preparing the kids for the unexpected?  Talk to me.  I am NOS in learning...


  1. Dijon, I am so happy the boys who have a father like you to teach them survival skills. If we don't teach them, who will? It's so weird because eventhough the car situation appeared to be a somewhat fiasco, it was a blessing as well. We had the chance to have lunch by ourselves which was a real treat! Love you and keep blogging!! I love it!

  2. You have to talk to the kids about the potential situations and then give them opportunities to use their wits. Every time I drive somewhere I ask me kids to tell me how to get back home. Many times they give me good directions.

  3. Dijon,
    I am glad you are seeking out these opportunities to teach the boys. Our children are growing up so much more comfortably than we did and, as adults, will live more comfortable lives from the lives we live. It concerns me that our children do not get enough real-life situations to learn "survival skills". As the need to hunt for food, build shelter, and manage life's inconveniences continue to lessen for them, we must do all we can to ensure that when real crises do occur, our children have had opportunities to develop the necessary fortitude and courage to face them. Great lessons. Thanks for sharing.

  4. I have recently had to talk to my kids about death and what it means. I have had to also talk with them about survival techniques. They saw the pictures of the floods that we recently had here in Georgia and were freaked out by them. I had to explain what happened and what needed to be done. Then my husband, kids and I came up with our own disaster plan for our house. You can never be too careful. Developing the disaster plan gave my kids a sense of ownership in taking care of the family and I think they appreciate it.


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