Consider the lilies…*

… The lucky things just have to be beautiful.

Hippeastrums, or Amaryllis. At left, a Golden Shrimp flower

And they are, which is why I’m thankful for them. It has been a slightly dismal week. We’d looked forward to a nice break, a holiday from the daily grind. Just me, the Husband and doggo in our caravan, doing stuff we enjoy in a different and relaxing location.

Instead, it turned into a week of worry, stress, expense and fairly extreme confinement. To cut a long story short: we broke down (or rather, the car stopped working in mid-highway, just turned itself off) in an extremely inconvenient place. Car couldn’t be fixed, recovery service wouldn’t transport a dog to get us all the way home. We were stuck in a tiny, rather remote caravan park with no car for 5 days in a space 4m x 2m (13 x 6½ ft), in temperatures exceeding 30°C/86°F. Happy days. Good job the air conditioning was working! Worse than hotel quarantine – no bathroom, and three of us in that space 😕

Wild Turmeric, or Curcuma longa

We’re home now. Still no car, that remains in the inconvenient remote spot till the garage gets round to taking a look at it tomorrow. Much depends on what they find. However, the  Husband has his motorbike to get to work and I have my feet and a bicycle for local things like grocery shopping. It will be OK. The caravan is unpacked, finally. The huge mounds of laundry are done. Doggo is delirious with joy at rediscovering all his favourite places and beds. We have friends who will give us a ride if there’s an issue. I’m a bit weary, but it’s under control.

But I do wish I was a lily…*

*Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they toil not, neither do they spin: yet I say unto you, that even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these.” Luke 12: 27-28

64 thoughts on “Consider the lilies…*

  1. Marty K says:

    So glad you all are home! ❤️ Breaking down on holiday is horrible. Hoping that the garage can get the part for the truck soon and Hubby can travel up there to fetch your vehicle — all fixed. Please give Mr. Mouse a few skritchies from his Auntie Marty. 💜

    We’re having a similar, yet not quite as dire situation. Our cars are all older (average 20 years) and stuff is starting to go wrong right and left. It isn’t anything huge (except for the catalytic converter being stolen off Hubby’s car), but it’s all fairly expensive when compared to the value of the cars. We’ve just started looking at new(er) cars this week.

    • katechiconi says:

      Getting home was such an immense relief. All told, things could have been infinitely worse, but the uncertainty about the vehicle is stressful. Sometimes, I miss my old VW Kombi. I could work on that with the simplest of tools, but these days they start with removing acres of plastic covers and then immediately plug it into a computer… Our choices were somewhat limited to start with by a) finance and b) something that was capable of towing the caravan weight. Mouse wishes to let you know that he is only prepared to forgive the hardships of the past week because of the generous supply of frozen chicken necks we fortunately had to hand.
      Onwards and upwards!

  2. Oh dear…courage, Kate. It sounds like a serious trying experience…I am glad the dog is happy, the laundry is done and the lilies are beautiful!

    • katechiconi says:

      Trying it was, but it’s done and we move on. The turmeric flowers are gorgeous, and blooming like crazy despite the serious dryness. I must give them a drink this evening…

  3. nanacathy2 says:

    Beautiful flowers after a stressful time, now breathe and enjoy the scent.

  4. Home is where your heart always is and everything is surmountable when you are there. All is written and all is planned … happy you are home safe & things could definitely be worse. ❤️

  5. craftycreeky says:

    It does sound a stressful few days, even worse when you’re looking forward to a relaxing few days! My son had a similar experience when his van suddenly cut out in the fast lane of the motorway, the mechanic had been trying to find the cause for a couple of days when James remembered he had a hidden dead switch! They think the kids feet accidentally knocked it…as Cathy says, deep breath and enjoy your gorgeous lilies.

  6. claire93 says:

    sorry to hear that last week away turned into a bit of nightmare. Glad you all finally managed to get back home safe & sound!

  7. Sharon says:

    Home sweet home never was more sweeter. Glad your safe and have all those beautiful colorful flowers to make you smile!

  8. Dayphoto says:

    I hope the repair is not very expensive and the car is hope in record time.

  9. kymlucas says:

    How frustrating for you both, especially if it does turn out to be a timing belt that has just been replaced. However you sound like you’re handling the trouble the only way they can be … by dealing with an unexpected setback and moving forward.

    • katechiconi says:

      The problem lies in how much damage a broken timing belt can cause… It’s going to depend on whether it is or isn’t an interference engine: the internet gives conflicting information, some sources say non-interference, others saying interference. If non-, then we’re probably going to be lucky if that’s the problem. Otherwise the damage could be extensive, again, *if* that’s the problem. We should find out today. It’s out of our hands….

  10. Ach! What is it about this last week that’s been such a trial? Yours sounds miserable. I started a prescription for prednisone due to an awful allergic reaction, only to discover I have a far more serious allergy to prednisone itself. I felt, in the dark of a few nights, as if I might check off the planet as a result. I had a childhood full of asthma but never quite as persistent a feeling that I was trying to breathe through a pile of old socks. Starting to feel better and know, yet again, how much more I should appreciate my “regular” life. I hope Chiconia feels like a heavenly realm after your Time O’ Misery. We are so. damn. lucky.

    • katechiconi says:

      Oh Lord! Are you OK? Have they given you something else instead to deal with both sets of issues – for example, dexamethasone? Mind you, dexies are fairly problematic themselves, lots of side effects, but if it’s a matter of breathing or not… Chiconia is indeed a safe refuge in dark times, and makes me appreciate my good fortune.

  11. Chris S in Canada says:

    I read the story Mouse wrote, or rather dictated I guess, and was full of sympathy. I hope things go forward more smoothly now.
    That has always been one of my favourite scriptures. Those lilies and the turmeric are simply glorious!

    • katechiconi says:

      Yes, Mouse dictates his sagas, since he “can’t be bothered to bash away at that plank thing like you do, so tiring on the front paws…” I find the turmeric flowers splendid, like rather gaudy pineapples! That whole Zingiberaceae family is fabulous, and most of them also smell wonderful.

  12. magpiesue says:

    Well, that was no vacation! Fingers crossed for good news (or as good as possible) from the mechanics re the car. Thank goodness for flowers! Some days they are the one bright spot that can be easily appreciated.

    • katechiconi says:

      No indeed. We’ve heard nothing from the mechanic, so unless there’s news in the morning, we’ll be making more phone calls. Meanwhile, my friends and neighbours are being wonderfully helpful and calling to ask if we need groceries or a ride, or…. And the important stuff is within walking distance, even if it’s a bit hot. We’ll be fine!

  13. anne54 says:

    I am so pleased to hear that you are home, even if there is unfinished business in the country. You and your DH are such resourceful people; I know you will have it untangled soon.
    Did you see the segment on Gardening Australia about the Zingiberaceae family? It was lovely to see all those showy tropical plants. They have such an exuberance.

  14. Turmeric flowers are up there among my favourites… I hope the news today is as good as possible. The G.O. has arranged for our ute to go in to the mechanic later week before our trip -without van- next week. The slight overheating issue and squeak he suspected might be the water pump, was the water pump! He’s getting new coolant and the timing belt replaced as well!

    • katechiconi says:

      The G.O.’s precautions sound very sensible! We thought we’d got things covered, but there’s no accounting for happenstance. I’m hoping the turmeric will propagate itself enthusiastically, I think a home supply of fresh turmeric sounds a great idea! This is the first year I’ve seen so many flowers, so maybe the conditions are suddenly perfect, or something. We’ve decided to put off the chooks for another week, or until we get the car back, whichever is later. Can’t really bring them home on the back of the motorbike! No news yet on the car. I will remain patient and not let it bother me…

  15. Home safely and lilies in the garden – things to be happy about 🙂

  16. tialys says:

    Is your recovery service part of the car insurance or is it a separate thing? If separate (or even if not) maybe you should shop around at the next renewal date and find a service that would take a dog should such a thing ever happen again.

    • katechiconi says:

      It’s a separate thing, like the RAC or AA in the UK. We had no clue they’d refuse a dog, or we’d have seriously reconsidered. I’ve put out a few feelers about alternatives already, but you need a large national organisation, because the distances here are so enormous.

      • tialys says:

        True. I can’t believe one of the big ones wouldn’t include dogs – it would be a good selling point,

      • katechiconi says:

        You’d think so, wouldn’t you? We were lucky in that the driver who did pick us up and tow us to the caravan park was prepared to turn a brief blind eye to a 35kg greyhound in the back seat, drooling all over his orange hazard cones in the foot well… Otherwise, we’d probably have been left on the side of the road!

  17. Going Batty in Wales says:

    Glad to know you are home safe and sound even if the car is not. I imagine that until the car has been looked at by the mechanics it is impossible to plan what happens next and that is almost more stressful than dealing with the repair or replace bit. Good luck with all of that and meanwhile enjoy home and lilies, a lovely husband and a beautiful dog.

    • katechiconi says:

      You’re exactly right. The not knowing is definitely the worst part.

      • Going Batty in Wales says:

        I am hoping that by now everything is becoming clearer.

      • katechiconi says:

        Not entirely, but what IS abundantly clear is that we will have to spend a lot of money we don’t currently have. Painful as that will be, it’s still less than having to buy another car…

      • Going Batty in Wales says:

        Car repairs are horribly expensive especially, I gather on big cars but you can’t tow a caravan safely with a little one. I hope it is mended soon.

      • katechiconi says:

        It’s going to be a new engine, I fear, so is going to take a while. We have to wait for assessments and so on. Luckily we have very helpful friends and neighbours, and the Husband can commute to work on a motorbike.

      • Going Batty in Wales says:

        It is at times like this that we appreciate having good neighbours most! I am glad yours are helping you.

      • katechiconi says:

        We have a good community spirit in this street, and take in each other’s bins, collect mail, run errands, offer tools or chainsaws, and most of all, have a street party at Christmas. There’s also a little gentle one-upmanship happening with Christmas decorations, so I’m looking forward to watching the battle between Julie and Andre again this year!

      • Going Batty in Wales says:

        It sounds a lovely place to live!

  18. Oh how horrible… a lovely relaxing time turned into a nasty stressful one. Ah well, at least you are home safe now.

    • katechiconi says:

      Being home and in one piece makes up for a multitude of problems. And we’re lucky, stopping dead in the middle of the highway could so easily have been deadly, with some huge truck ploughing into the back of us at top speed.

  19. Oh Kate, how horrid. Glad you are home and by now I hope nearly recovered form the ordeal.

  20. manicmumdays says:

    Very challenging and trying times!
    When I worked for a car hire company twenty odd years ago, I drove a vehicle of your model from one town to the next (home) – about 120klm … it slowly just shut itself down and died! First the radio went, then the air conditioning, the indicators and lights and all the rest of the electrics … we made it to home town. As we approached the first set of traffic lights and they turned amber I pulled over and parked safely, rather than dying in the middle of the road. And die she did!
    I believe they had to replace some electrical bits n pieces and she was back on the road again. Hopefully yours will be a quick and easy fix x

    • katechiconi says:

      You know exactly what I mean! Sadly, we’ve been told the engine is cactus because a belt came off and went flying around inside doing damage, so we’re now trying to source a replacement. Meanwhile, I’m doing a lot of walking!

  21. Good grief, what a trial. I’m glad you’re back home and resettled. There is no place like it.

    • katechiconi says:

      That’s so true. Despite the fact that none of the actual problems had gone away, the relief of getting home was palpable. We all needed a bit of familiar space!

  22. cedar51 says:

    Well here I am, yep behind with most online reading of blogs – because I finally found a nice way to read books via e-book via library via smart phone screen.

    Reading the comments now see it’s going to be expensive to fit, possibly it’s in the “fixers workshop” now… let’s hope you can take another trip real soon…

  23. I’m so late getting here and now see that the problem with the car messed up everything. I’m so sorry to not be paying more attention here. Getting cars fixed can be grueling slow as mechanics have so much work, parts are harder to get and the costs are exorbitant. I’m keeping fingers crossed that there will be some good news to come out of all of this. One of my greatest fears is a car just stopping in the middle of the highway. So dangerous and ruinous of the trip. Sending hugs and good thoughts.

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