VW Patty Wagon overnight trip to MA family gathering part 2

After the bridal shower in Hingham, MA, our family headed to Framingham, MA, for my Aunt Elise’s 88th birthday celebration at St Patrick’s. Music mends minds; it is the panacea for the elderly challenged with memory issues. My mother, the consummate enthusiastic singer, is so dedicated to her sister; she sees her almost every weekend and immediately breaks into song to lift her spirits. It’s special. My sisters and I would do the same for each other. Aunt Elise is the eldest of 5 kids from an Irish family; my mother is the youngest with 3 brothers between them. Elise dedicated her life to raising 5 amazing children on her own while working as a full-time nurse and part-time realtor in the 1960′, 70’s and 80’s. From as far back as I can recall, she always had a glisten in her eye, she never spoke ill of people and was always positive. So it was fitting that we, my sister Lisa, named Elise after my aunt, escorted her to the Patty Wagon for a little shot of comforter, as she references, aka southern comfort. Smile. These are priceless times. Happy Birthday my dear Aunt Elise. After leaving St Patrick’s, the patty wagon headed back to New Haven with my mother and two aunts. I could tell they were white knuckled with no seat belts in the rear and a 42 year old car that may, or may not, make it back. With no AC we had the windows open and couldn’t hear anything from the backseats; we texted instead ha ha. Randomly, my sister Lisa drives past us on route 90 holding up a red umbrella with a look on her face that alerted us, it was not her umbrella. Determined, Lisa was focused on getting the umbrella to the proper owner so she could cross that off her to do list. Lisa called to inquire about the umbrella; my mother couldn’t hear her on the phone; it was too loud in the VW. Figuring we would deal with it at another time and that Lisa was long gone on Route 90, at least I thought, with her luxury AC and Bruce Springsteen blaring. Suddenly, my drivers side windshield wiper breaks; and it is now raining. As my mother alerted my two aunts from my dad’s side of the family, Judy and Sue, of our dilemma, I pulled off to the side to assess; No go. It was dangling like a wounded arm. What to do. I don’t mind being alone, but now I am responsible for my precious cargo passengers. So I crawled forward, and, like a mirage, I saw a stopped car ahead pulled off the side. IT WAS LISA!!!! Unbelievable. She had NO idea of our situation. She was so determined to hand off that damn red umbrella, and thank Goodness she did. As I approached her car she has a slick smile with red umbrella in hand. I told her, not only is she keeping that red umbrella, she is adding my three passengers and bringing them back to New Haven, safely. Out of patty wagon comes their luggage in the rain with 18 wheelers whipping past us. I reassured my mom, sister and aunts I would be fine. I found respite from the rain under a bridge, but knew I couldn’t stay there long. Too vulnerable. So now I white-knuckled it 3 miles in the break down lane at 10 mph in monsoon conditions to the next rest stop. Figured I have wine, a bed, and ipad to hunker down for the night; revisit the trip and the weather in the morning. Then of course it hit me, a truck stop; for sure there had to be a driver who would fix the wiper. First guy I came upon was Spanish, and mucho gusto and bano didn’t get me far; I resorted to sign language charades. This wonderful man called his Spanish-English speaking amigo and asked if I had plyers. I did. Still with tags on, he fixed the wiper in five minutes and I was on my happy camper way. Something about this patty wagon that just brings out the best in everyone. Peace on. Join the journey at www.pattywagonadventures.com


  1. Lorie Lorie

    The glisten in her eyes…first thing one sees in Elise!
    Just a great story!,, “Comforter”…” mucho gusto”…the wiper, loved it,

    • Patty Nicolari Patty Nicolari

      Thanks so much for your support Lorie. Cant wait to start posting my Ansonia stories.

      • Lorie Lorie

        Just a great post Patty! Enjoyed every word!

  2. Furahi Achebe Furahi Achebe

    Great story! Keep em coming.

    • Patty Nicolari Patty Nicolari

      Thanks so much Furahi; I will do that!

  3. Gina Gina

    I love when you all break into song 💓

  4. Carolyn Carolyn

    Wow. What a story and can’t believe Lisa was pulled over. That was daddy helping you through Lisa. ❤️

    • Patty Nicolari Patty Nicolari

      Sis it really was a miracle in my mind. I always feel I can take care of my self no matter what the situation, but when I am responsible for my loved ones it brings a level of anxiety. The Nic Chics sisters are all connected in spirit…we have each others back.

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