We did have a very smooth day of travel, driving with reasonably harmonious children, eating natural trail mix and Utz pretzels, watching a few episodes of Veggie tales, working on my latch hook rag rug, and getting out to walk around and use the facilities every two hours promptly, until around 5pm. It was at that point that I mentioned to Jessie a vaguely unpleasant smell, and he noticed at the same time that we were trailing exhaust behind us. Just like that the van lost power. He pulled off I-75 immediately and popped the hood. He discovered that the serpentine belt he had just replaced yesterday (along with our alternator, at our mechanic's suggestion) had come off. We were blessed that a kind man (who we later learned is a christian, and a father of three himself) pulled over within 2 minutes of our breakdown, and drove Jessie up the road to get a new belt. Jessie had no trouble replacing the belt, but in the process discovered the reason the belt had been knocked off is because our water pump had bit the dust. Rather a frustrating development since we had just had the van in the shop and this problem went undiagnosed. Anyhow, we managed to make it to the next exit, where, providentially, there was a Dodge dealership right off the exit. They are going to replace the pump for us first thing in the morning and send us on our way. Everything else we needed for the night (lodging and dining) was right there across the street from the dealership.
I can't help but count our blessings in the midst of the annoyance though. I know too many people right now who have had incomparably more devastating things happen in recent weeks and days. Our little bumps in the road seem pretty trivial in comparison.
We hope to make up our lost time tomorrow and arrive late evening at Josh and Bree's place in Lexington, KY. Thanks to all of you our friends and family who are praying for our safe travels and for me and the baby specifically.
Here are some pictures we took earlier at one of the rest stops in Georgia, where we took some time to walk around and play with stick and pinecones. Its COLD here, by the way (which agrees with my pregnant thermostat just fine, thankyouverymuch) .