I was Supposed to Be in Nashville Tonight, But…

Eight months.

Ask me if I’ve had a stressful day.

“Nick Shell, have you had a stressful day today?”


Today was the big move back to Nashville. However, I type this post from a shady motel in a nameless town halfway between my hometown and Nashville. Though at least my wife and son should nearly be to Nashville by now.  Actually, they were both here with me for a few hours but then we came up with this plan to have my wife drive my car to Nashville and for me to stay here with her broken down car until the morning, when my dad and brother-in-law will drive up from my hometown with a spare car for me to get to Nashville and something to tow my wife’s car back to my hometown so they can hopefully get it fixed.

I just didn’t feel good about my wife and son staying in a motel with me where there very possibly could be a drug dealer staying in the room next to me.

That’s right, of all days, my wife’s car decided to die today.  At least we made it to a motel in time.  Thank God we didn’t get stranded on the side of the road! Because both of our cars were loaded to the ceiling with our belongings, so that would have been a nightmare trying to get our son and his car seat into my car when there were literally no free square feet.

Other things we are thankful for, regarding this event are that A) we weren’t in a car accident, B) this didn’t happen on Sunday afternoon when it would have been much more of a struggle to make it to work on Monday when we start our jobs back, C) my dad and brother-in-law are driving here to help so that we didn’t have to pay a tow truck, D) I’m remembering to save my receipts from this “business trip,” and E) even if this motel is so musty that I refuse to let my bare feet touch the carpet, at least they have free WiFi so I can document this story while I’m stillvery much in the story.

So as we move back to Nashville with the spare change we have left in our savings, now we had to put $68.54 on our credit card for this motel room. And we’re followers of Dave Ramsey, who teaches that it is a cardinal sin to use a credit card.  Therefore, this is painful.

I’m totally rethinking my current life motto, which was the name of the previous post: “Nothing to Lose; Everything to Gain Back.”  Maybe I should take out the “nothing to lose” part.  Granted, I’m aware that at any moment anything I have can be taken away, but when I said “nothing to lose” I meant it in the sense that we had been humbled.  But okay, maybe my new life motto needs to be something like this:

“Please, God, let me keep what I still have, please let us get back on our feet financially now that we know what we are doing, please let my wife’s car get healed without costing us too much more, and let us gain back everything and more that we gave up in the move to be close to family plus the cost of starting back over because financially we couldn’t make it work back in my hometown. We will work very hard, I promise.  Sorry we spent all that money on Starbucks over the past four years. But seriously, we are so much better now at financially planning our lives. So, God, please?”

That motto seems kind of wordy to me.  But I can’t think of anything more true and relevant.

I will close with two requests.

The first is that you, the reader, will leave me a comment letting me know about inevitable typos in this post.  My wife always does my editing for me, but in this case, that’s not an option. (I’m okay with sentence fragments, though; they’re part of my style.) Typically, there are at least five typos.  Can you find them? I will be so grateful for your help.

The second request is to any clever car companies out there.  Let’s make a deal. You see, it has pretty much become an annual event that my wife’s car breaks down and costs us at least $1,000. In fact, this is actually the second time we’ve been stranded at a motel in the middle of nowhere because her car broke down. So just think about this:

Clever car companies, any of you, if you were to want some major free publicity on this widely read daddy blog on Parents.com, you would definitely get it if you gave my wife a new car. You know, like one of those baby-friendly cars that gets really good gas milage and is good for the environment… the whole “go green” thing that everybody’s always talking about. We’re those kind of people.

Imagine all the pictures of the car that would show up on this daily blog of mine, all the hyperlinks to your company, the way your brand would be represented by an All-American everyday dad, his beautiful wife, and their awesome little son… they way your brand would become the heroic answer in a viral sensation. I mean, that’s just product placement at its finest, if you ask me.

So… any takers?

This is where tonight’s Dadabase post written.

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  1. by Jenny

    On July 18, 2011 at 10:26 am

    Been there, done that! You will laugh, one day, about this situation if you are not laughing now. Even if you are laughing it only gets more hilarious as time passes!

  2. by Nick Shell

    On July 18, 2011 at 10:59 pm

    :) I have all confidence that you are completely right about this!

  3. by Alisha Romesha

    On August 6, 2011 at 11:13 pm

    (I am a good friend of Jill’s, your beautiful wife.)

    First off, I didn’t see any typos, so good job. I am usually really good at catching those, but it is getting late so I hope I’m right that there are none. :-)

    Second, I have never read your blog and was browsing Jill’s FB page when I saw you three were moving back to Nashville. I decided to get the “scoop” and read your blog.

    Third, Everything will work out. Life throws us curve balls and this must be one for your family. It may be hard right now, but it sounds like the two of you are smart cookies (I do know Jill is!) and you will get through this.

    Lastly, great blog and thanks for sharing. I enjoyed reading it!

    Alisha Romesha

  4. by Nick Shell

    On August 8, 2011 at 8:39 pm


    Thanks for commenting. I totally know who you are because I remember your family’s Christmas card hanging on our fridge a couple of years ago. I appreciate your encouragement. Nice to meet you. I have heard so many great things about you from Jill :)


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