My crazy life has been some kind of crazy on steroids lately. March and the early part of April were a bit slow. I’ve been needing that to get caught up from the Christmas rush that lasted into February.
But, last week was one I’d rather not repeat any time soon.
I volunteered to help with some Easter preparations at church. That was fun on Saturday.
Then I woke up on Sunday morning as usual at 6:20 am. There was a meeting scheduled that afternoon so I didn’t get that nap I really should have taken then.
Sunday evening I headed north to Tulsa, OK. The trip up was fairly smooth, mostly because it was during the dead of night.
Monday’s return trip was another story. The closer I got to Dallas the heavier the traffic got.
By the time I got on the Central “Expressway” traffic came to a standstill. Made me wonder who names these roads anyway?
Fortunately I’m legally allowed to go over my 14 hour work limit once a week. I used it up on Monday and prayed for a productive rest of my week.
I was close to the thirty hours awake mark when I left work and headed home. About halfway there that little noise Clifford started complaining about got very loud just before it went quiet.
When the steering of my van got difficult I was pretty sure what happened. One of the pulleys for the serpentine belt gave up the ghost.
I limped the old van into a car parts store parking lot and popped open the hood.
Keep in mind Clifford is 17 years old. That about 97 in human years.
The pulley in question was on top so it was easy to reach. The weather was warm and dry, not my usual working conditions for a breakdown.
The first thing I did was go inside to make sure they carried said part for my elderly vehicle. They did. I bought one right then and there.
After I got the old part off I discovered the center piece needed to be separated from the pulley. Since they’re designed to fit very tightly I knew this would be a challenge getting them apart.
I thinks to myself…if these guys have some way to get these apart with a nifty tool they may have pity on me and help a feller with an elderly van out.
The guy in the white shirt at the counter looks at my dilemma for a few seconds before he heads to the shop and shows it to his tech…what used to be known as a mechanic back when Clifford was young.
The white-shirt fella walks back in and hands me the part back. “It’s all one piece. You have to buy the right part.”
It was at that moment I was definitely glad I decided to fix this myself. Perhaps if they had mechanics on duty I would have been better off.
I picked up a chisel and hammer and worked methodically on those two pieces until they indeed separated.
I spent about as much time attempting to show the white-shirted nit-wit the two thingies in my hand, but he stealthily avoided me.
I put the new pulley on then tried to route the new belt through the entire series of pulley thingies. It was too long.
If I had been awake I probably would have said something I would have later regretted.
I looked all over Clifford’s hood area for a diagram of how this contraption was supposed to go back together. Nothing.
After returning the useless belt I showed the back counter guy that it was longer than the old belt. He gave me my money back.
I walked a half block away to the next car parts store. Not my usual luck with a breakdown. Their belt was too long, too.
I popped Clifford’s hood back up and searched more diligently. There that pesky diagram was…right under those two water hoses running over the radiator. Finally, something worked out as it usually does during a breakdown…I wasted time looking for something too obvious.
So, the nit-wit working on my van goes back in and re-buys that belt that was too long.
After a day and a half I was able to go back to sleep.
Fast forward to Tuesday night. I’m driving back from Houston. It’s pitch black out. I catch a glimpse of something off to my right just before the loudest sound I’ve ever heard while driving a big rig.
I expect to see the windshield in cubes. It isn’t. I look to the right side of the glass and discover an egg struck me just above the wiper.
I quickly review my memory banks for where I was just before this incident..no bridge for that to fall off from…no vehicles carrying chickens right in front of me.
So then I surmise some guesses. It could have been the Easter bunny practicing throwing eggs to speed up his hiding efforts…or mayhaps he wanted that carrot I was eating at the time…or it could have been juvenile delinquents having “fun.”
I decided that since I could see to drive I’d keep going without attempting to smear it off with that strip of rubber just below the point of impact.
I drove about a half an hour to the next truck stop. One fuel island is actually open…not my usual luck when I pull in for fuel. I attempt to get some paper towel from the denspenser on the post…nothing. I step over to the next one…paper towels come out for five movements of the little handle pointing out at me…I’m at the end of the roll.
Twelve inches of paper towel will have to be enough. I don’t have 14 hours to invest in correcting some idiots’ fun.
Jesus warned me each day would have troubles of its own. He didn’t promised me they wouldn’t come stacked on top of one another, too.
It’s all working together for good…somehow. The Bible promises me that much…not that it will make sense in this life.
By the time I get to heaven it won’t matter anyhow, so come quickly Lord Jesus…before the next egg is hard boiled.
Keep smiling. Wade