Monster to Mentor (4)

A collaboration with Hazel Gale: Founder of the Mind Monster Project

Zipping along at 45mph, the truck lost power. I pressed the gas pedal in response. The engine roared, but forward motion was quickly coming to a halt. Guiding the truck to the shoulder, I put the transmission in park and turned off the ignition.

Now what? I wondered.

My family was five hours away casting lines into 7 Mile Lake.

I turned the key, shifted to drive, and touched the gas pedal as if I was carrying a full cup of scalding tea. Vrmmmmm!, the truck responded…without moving a millimeter.

What to do, what to do?

I called the anglers for advice. No answer.

Options Gail?  What are your options?

Well, you can call the sheriff. You can call your in-laws. You can walk home - only four or five miles. Or...you can call your neighbor, Mechanic Bob, who has spent a handful of days over the last year keeping truck on the road.

Little Girl Me piped up, “We should just walk home. Then we’ll call the sheriff’s department to let them know about the abandoned vehicle.”

“Nah, I’m going to call Bob. Maybe he’ll have a suggestion.”

“No, don’t do that! It’s Memorial Day. He doesn’t want to be bothered.”

“He won’t mind,” I replied. “You’ll see.”

“But, but…the exercise will be good for us…..,” LGM whined.

“Shhhh! I’m dialing!”

I pulled up Bob’s number from my contact list and within a couple of rings he answered. I talked him through my predicament. He walked me through some try this and try that. I found the transmission engaged in reverse, but backing home was not a viable option.

When I slipped truck into its lowest gear, we inched forward.

“How do you feel about limping back home in low with your hazards on,” Bob asked.

“No problem,”

“Do you want me to come follow you?”

“No, no,” I got it.

“Okay, I’ll be watching for you. Stop here first and I‘ll take a look, but I’m afraid I’m going to have to refer you to transmission experts this time--not my area of expertise. If anything happens, call me back. I can always tow you home with a rope.”

Truck and I made it home without annoying too many drivers behind us. We edged to the side and let folks with healthy cars pass when necessary. As promised, Mechanic Bob was waiting for me when I crept up his drive. He took a look, and truck now waits for a tow from TNS Transmission service.

See Little Girl Me…people are often happy to help. You just have to be brave enough to ask.


pretty much anything that happens early on in our lives can potentially twist itself into a limiting belief of some kind. Monsters do not only come about as a result of serious trauma; they’re just a consequence of being human. ~Hazel Gale


I have a memory of my mother scolding me harshly for asking our upstairs neighbor for a shiny wrapped treat from her candy dish.

“Gail Lynn—You do not ask! If she offers, you may have one.”

I’m certain I’ve passed this same message down the line to my own child.

Sorry kid.

In contrast, I can clearly recall my father saying, “There is no such thing as a stupid question.”

Why did my unconscious latch on to one belief and not the other? Beats me. The good news is we can change our beliefs once we recognize a pattern and take steps toward a new script.