I know I have mentioned before that I’ve been delayed in what I am doing or planning to do. Often I’ve learned that being delayed prevented me from being in an accident or stopped on my journey. Often the delay causes me to think — “Do I REALLY WANT to do or go or spend?” Sometimes the delay causes me to change my plans. Sometimes the reason for the delay remains hidden.
Friday — at the camper — I experienced a delay. It started with a broken pot. I pulled it from the cupboard, the edge struck something and shattered into shards. One of my favorite pots, one I used often — not every meal but more than once a week. Not only broken pieces but shards to pick up. It took awhile, not only were they on the counter but escaped to the floor.
Once I finally cleaned up the mess, we were heading out for breakfast. Except — delayed again — my scooter was returned. The speedometer cable had broken and it had been picked up for repair. It was supposed to be back on Thursday but plans changed. Finally heading for breakfast, a half hour later. I saw an unusual sight outside the restaurant — a bicycle with bags strapped to its wheels towing a small trailer. I was intrigued. The bike belonged to Mr. Alan Thompson, a 68 year man who wanted to ride around the perimeter of the United States. He started in Ohio in 2015, made it as far as Portland when he returned home to rest for a year. He started again in 2017 in Portland and was finishing his ride. It was August but it felt like Fall, the temperature that morning was a balmy 55 degrees. I asked him if he spent the night in a motel to stay out of the cold. Thankfully he did. He was riding for Habitat for Humanity and Save the Children. Both worthy causes.
Next appearing at the restaurant was a group from a classic car club. I started to chat with them but they had only taken a bathroom break and the gentleman was requested to rejoin the group. I didn’t even get a look at their old cars. My husband has an old car and we both were interested in the group. They were the Summer Knights Car Club — meeting at Buona Beef in Glendale Heights, Il.
Next taking a bathroom break was a group of police men and woman. They didn’t stay to eat either. I was glad that the man riding the bike had stopped for something to eat. I really enjoyed hearing his story. He wasn’t accepting money but I could make a donation at his website: usperimeterride. org — his blog or firstname.lastname@example.org.
It turned out to be a very interesting morning.
If there is an explanation for the sequence of events that occurred on the last Tuesday in June, I don’t know what it is. Maybe if I write it down, I can make some sense of it. Or maybe, it will just remain a mystery.
First, my husband had made an appointment to take our car in Tuesday night for repairs. We were in the country, with only one car. Friends who might have helped us had gone home. I thought we could use my son’s black scooter as a second vehicle. My husband could drive it to the garage and I would bring him back in the car. Then he would have a vehicle to drive back to the camper after dropping the car off. It would have worked. EXCEPT, the black scooter refused to start. I called for service on the black scooter.
Next, we learned that there had been a major hacking of the computer systems at some of the hospitals. That wouldn’t affect us because we had no health issues scheduled EXCEPT our cell phones went down. Neither my flip top nor my husbands smart phone had service. We don’t have internet at our trailer. When I went down to a place the internet was available their computer network was not operational either. ??
I have a small blue scooter that was made in 1987. I only ride it at the campground and it doesn’t go fast — but it doesn’t need to. My son DID NOT THINK my husband should ride it on the highway. I walked over to a friends and asked it they would be able to provide taxi service. I was very happy when they agreed.
My husband took my blue scooter for a ride. It shut off five times in a distance of a mile. I called for repair service on my blue scooter.
I was worried that one of our children would try to contact us and be worried when they couldn’t. Thankfully our campground sent out a message that cell phone service was down.
Normally I’m not tied to our cell phone or our computer BUT I had a different feeling when we were shut off. HELPLESS? ABANDONED? Thankfully we didn’t have any major problems at the time.
We have a 2001 Ford Taurus. The mileage on the car is approaching 200,000. And our car is showing its age. Recently the low coolant light came on. We were headed for our youngest daughter’s house — 3 hours away. We bought a bottle of coolant at the gas station and proceeded on our way. We were at our daughter’s for a full week but we don’t have a relationship established with a repair garage down there. My husband thought that if we kept adding water, we would be okay. And we were. We even traveled to horse country — another 60 miles away.
Returning from our daughter’s we ran into HORRIBLE TRAFFIC. It was Friday, the Cubs had a game and there was a festival on the lake. It took over an hour, driving in the city, to reach our house. The low coolant light came on during the drive but the car continued to run, the heat register didn’t go into dangerous territory.
We were going to wait until we went out to the camper — 100 miles from home — to have the car fixed but the problem seemed to get worse. We needed a new water pump and a new hose. My husband thought we NEEDED a new car but he wanted to reach 200,000 miles. In spite of a few bumps and wrinkles, our car was in good shape.
We drove our fixed car to North Chicago, to visit a doctor. NO PROBLEMS. The next day my husband drove to get mulch for the back yard. The car was smoking on the return trip. I was at the EL platform, heading downtown to buy a sticker for our car when my husband phoned and told me not to go. I hadn’t brought my house keys with me. Returning home, I saw him cross the alley as I approached our block.
The NEW water pump put too much pressure on the OLD HOSES. More work needed. Hopefully that is all the repairs our car will need for a while. I’m hoping that it will continue to run well for at least a year.
I noticed that when I was driving our car, it seemed to hesitate when I was waiting for a light to change. At first, it occurred only once or twice when I was stopped at a light. Sometimes it didn’t happen at all. I first noticed it in the summer, when my husband was driving. It reappeared in October and didn’t seem to happen when I was driving. But whatever is wrong with the car — happened more often. I was concerned. I was afraid that our car would stop when we were in the country and we wouldn’t get it started again..
Since my husband has signed up with the Veteran program — the hospital that he will use is more than 30 miles away from home. It is mostly express way or toll way driving which is why we chose that particular place rather than something in the city with its traffic problems. He had an appointment on Tuesday and I was concerned that we might get stuck on the highway. He took the car into the garage on Monday, which was our only free day for the week. (The rest of the week was extremely busy — my plans, God laughed.)
They determined the problem was caused by the ignition module and changed it. Tuesday morning, the car was worse. My husband had an appointment with a doctor in North Chicago. There was NO WAY we were driving that far. I canceled the appointment and rescheduled. The car went back to the garage — this time it was a fuel injection part. I had planned to ask about my husband’s prescription for insulin at the hospital. He was on his last pen and refills hadn’t arrived. The VA doctor had informed me that she had ordered the medicine.
Wednesday, we had planned to go to the clinic for an exercise and nutrition class. We drove three stop lights when the original problem occurred AGAIN. Sadly, we drove the car back to the garage. I phoned the clinic and cancelled our class, inquiring into the prescription for the insulin. I learned that the prescription was on hold — it hadn’t been approved yet. Nobody told us. Arriving back home, I placed an order for a refill with his non VA prescription. It will cost us more money but we will have control. I won’t have to worry about the mail delivery.
It is Thursday. The car is STILL AT THE GARAGE! They haven’t figured out what is causing the problem. Thankfully we can go to the songfest scheduled for today by walking. I can take a bus to get my husband’s prescription. With our unexpected free time, I baked cookies and put up more Christmas decorations. I am really praying that the problem with our car will be resolved. Even though it has more than 200,000 miles — it was running without any problems. We can’t afford to replace it right now.
Its not like I forgot — the date just slipped my mind. I knew my father’s birthday was on the horizon. I momentarily forgot that the date of his passing was also near. My father passed over one month after the anniversary of my mother’s passing. I joked she called him home because he was having too much fun flirting with the nurses. He passed over four days before his 85th birthday — we are in SACRED SPACE.
The presence of “my friends in high places” is often felt more on anniversary’s, birthdays and holidays. Now I’m not suggesting that those are the only times when I sense their help — far from it. Any day, hour or minute is a prime time to “help” me and I’m grateful for their help — most of the time. I don’t appreciate being hit on the head.
We planned to be at our daughter’s in Central Illinois, to help her while her husband was out of town. I packed clothes to stay for seven days. My daughter and I talked about food — my husband is PICKY. That never was an extreme issue until his diabetes got in my face when he suffered a low sugar attack. I prefer to not have that happen again. Okay — I’ll admit it happened at home, I did the cooking. But often my husband doesn’t care for the food my daughter makes, she puts whole pieces of tomatoes and red peppers in her chili. When we are only there for a couple of days, it is not a problem. A full week on the other hand is more of a concern.
My bags were packed, the food for the trip organized — I was ready to go. Then GOD LAUGHED. He took our car away for four days. When we finally got it back, a snow storm was on the horizon. Travelling to our daughters exposes us to many miles of windswept highway. Then the temperatures tanked. Then I learned that the outside temperature downstate was as cold as at our house. Then I learned that while the first floor in our house cools considerably, our daughters first floor, because of the high ceiling becomes frigid. Even though I wear thermals and heavier clothing, I don’t do well with frigid. Trip postponed AGAIN!