I love our little car. It is special in so many ways. Our whole community raised funds over a period of less than six months to get it for us…to enable a little girl to be able to attend kinder and be a part of family outings. It’s easy to drive, to operate (in terms of accessibility) and to park. What I don’t like is when the little, red STOP light comes on the dash. Eeeek.
That’s exactly what happened last week. The red battery light along with that word that appeared to be printed in large neon letters. Bring it straight in…said my friendly mechanic. Long, complicated, mechanical-ese story short…the alternator was broken…and in a very tricky spot to fix. We all bemoan the regular car service time as inconvenient. Unfortunately fix-it time for a wheelchair accessible vehicle is even more involved and difficult. And so the fun began. How to pick up a girl from school without our wheels? Enter the ingenuity of my favourite Landcruiser driver. Add in a huge car seat for the girl, motorcycle tie downs for the wheelchair and creatively used muscle for one tricky lift and a kid was happily set for her first fun in a four wheel drive. (I sat in the back with her to make sure she was alright THEN remembered just how car sick I get…blah.)
So, the car is in pieces but the girl is home ready to cruise through the weekend. Next problem…hospital appointments on Monday. Hmm. Enter Wheelaway. Accessible cars to hire within 15 minutes of home?!? And they had a van available for Sunday pick up?!? I verbally hugged the woman over the phone. (If you need friendly accessible vehicle hire in Melbourne check out www.wheelaway.com.au ) A bit of practise had me confident driving our borrowed HUGE set of wheels and happily using the hydraulic hoist but parking was a delicate affair! Let’s be real…it was a bus. Picture a disabled parking spot. The bus was exactly the same length without the hoist down. It was tall too. I found myself nervously ducking in the hospital underground car park even though the measurements said we should fit. However it saved us from being stuck at home and the kids loved it.
Then the call came…your car is ready. Excited reflief. I patted the steering wheel and welcomed our little green car back home. Phew. Brmmm brmmming once again. Now to accessible-ise the Landcruiser for a more permanent plan B and future four-wheel driving fun for Missy…ramps, tie downs and engineering certificates oh my.