Friday, March 21, 2014

Never Ask: "What's the Worst That Can Happen/"

I'm glad that I've decided to start doing this again.  It's a better venue for stories that are a bit too long to post on Facebook.

As most of you know, I own The Beast -- a 2004 Ford Expedition with a honkin' big V-8 engine and capacity for 8 full size people plus luggage.  I get gallons to the mile, not mile per gallon, but I LOVE MY TRUCK!  

This is the back of The Beast loaded for the trip to RSCM in August, where it hauled two adults, five kids and luggage from Philadelphia to Newport and back.  During the course of the last 10 years, the Beast has served me well.  Transported kids, dogs, furniture, etc.  I really haven't had to do much to it, other than routine maintenance.  Until yesterday.

As I was driving Mom to radiation, a flashing message comes across the message center -- CHECK CHARGING SYSTEM.  I have no idea what this means.  The car seems to be running fine.  I continue to the hospital with Mom and do the 21st Century thing when I get there -- I google it.  What I find out is something is wrong with my electrical system.  Ok.  Drive Mom home and head to teach my knitting class in Haverford.

More strange flashing lights.  The radio goes on and off by itself.  The anti-lock brake light flashes.  The dome lights come on and off.  I am not touching any of this.  At this point, the car is still driving fine and I'm wondering if I need a priest for an exorcism or a mechanic.

On the way back home from knitting class, the entire dashboard goes dark. DARK! Speedometer doesn't work.  No gas gauge.  No radio, no heat, no lights.  Now, I'm really starting to think I need a priest.  Get home and call the mechanic who says -- "Don't think I can fit you in tomorrow, maybe Monday."

Well, it's Thursday.  So that means I need to pick up Daughter 2 and a friend and school and drive 20 minutes over to church for Chorister practice.  BTW, I'm also coordinating dinner for 70 that happens between Choristers and Adult Choir rehearsal.  So, I get the in the car and head to car line.  I figure, what's the worst that can happen.  Shouldn't have thought that.  I paid for it.

Those of you who have children know car line.  At Daughter 2's school it is run with military precision.  You do not mess up the flow of car line.  So I pull up into one of the two lines and the car promptly DIES blocking one of the two lanes.  Yep, I am now that mother.  The one blocking car line and screwing things up.

I call AAA.  I endure threats, dirty looks, curses and daggers.  But, there were many who as I directed traffic around the Beast, rolled down windows and asked -- can I help?  Do your kids need a ride?  Do you need a jump?  So for each idiot, there was at least one nice person.

Truck gets towed to mechanic.  Fortunately, Hubby was able to come get kids and then get me at the mechanic and take us over to church for rehearsal.

Mechanic just called.  It's the alternator.  Could be worse.  Car will be ready this afternoon.
No exorcism necessary.  Just a check for the mechanic.

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