"Dad. Where are we going?"
"We have to take this van back."
"I thought you said we were renting it."
"Nope. It's Sara Hotchkiss' van."
"We're going to her house?"
"Nope. To her work."
"Why can't we go to her house?"
"Because my motorcycle is at her work . . . hold on, just let me tell you what happened."
I had a dentist appointment that day. Isobel went to school. Bettie went to work. Eva went to a friend's house, for an hour. So I rode my little Trail 110 to the dentist. Well, most of the way to the dentist. I pushed it the last couple of blocks, after it got a flat tire. I didn't have a repair kit with me or anything, so after the dentist appointment, I walked about a mile to a tire shop, which happens to be owned by a lady in our ward.
I wanted some Fix-A-Flat, but they didn't have any. Sara suggested I try a nearby gas station, and if they didn't have any, she could order it from her parts supplier. They didn't have any, so I walked back (a mile) and pushed my bike (a mile, uphill both ways, by the way) back to the tire shop. I thought I might as well just get the tire fixed as wait for Fix-A-Flat and hope just hope it would work.
When I got there, Sara was gone for a minute, the other guy I'd talked to was on the phone and the Service Manager said, "We don't work on motorcycles." So it was back to the Fix-A-Flat. I waited for the other guy and he ordered it. 20 minutes, he said. I'd now been gone an hour longer than I planned, so I called and warned the babysitter, who said I had three hours or so before she needed to pick her kids up from school. No problem.
After an hour of National Geographic reading, Sara apologized and said the parts guy was on the way. After another hour, she was getting annoyed with the parts guy, who she had just heard still had seven stops to make. Finally, it got there. So we put it in, filled the tire up with air and ... 30 seconds later it was flat as ever.
That's when she offered to let me borrow her van. I drove home, picked up Eva and then Isobel, and then waited for Bettie to get home from her faraway visits so we'd have a ride back when we dropped off the van. In the meantime, Sara talked the Service Manager into letting somebody try to patch the tire. And they got it done.
So on the way over to pick up my bike, Isobel started peppering me with questions, and I finally just told her the whole story, and it ended like this:
"Now I'm going to drop the van back off at Sara's tire shop. We're going to walk over to your mom's work. She's going to drive you guys home. And I'm going to ride my bike home."
And after all that, Isobel said, "Dad, since you mentioned the Hotchkiss family ... Can we go over to their house? They have a trampoline, and two fuzzy dogs."