Ever have one of those days in which you just KNOW somewhere somehow you did something wrong and the karma gods are getting even?
Well I will tell you, the last 24 hrs has been just that!
It started yesterday afternoon when I drove south to pick up the Manchild for the weekend. As we know, I drive a fine 1997 Ford Escort station wagon, that just hit 310,000 miles (no typo there!)
I am the only owner and bought it brand new.
Well, since it is 18 years old and has that many miles, things are starting NOT to work. One back window won’t roll down, the rear windshield wiper is dead, and I have no air conditioner , to name a few. So when the cruise control seemed to give up the ghost yesterday, I just took it in stride.
That is until a neighbor knocked on my door about 930 last night, to tell me my brake lights were on. “Strange,” thought I, “How could they be on?” Sure as hell, they were. The brake pedal seems to have drooped just enough to make the lights come on (and in doing so, disengaging the cruise control!) Currently there is a stick underneath the pedal propping it up.
I need that car to get to airport bright and early Monday, and my mechanic is closed on the weekends. I have a plan, and I will let you know if it works. Luckily I did NOT need it for the busy Saturday that was planned.
The Mathmajor needed to move out of his apartment and into a month to month place as he is graduating in December. The plan was to take Michelle’s car (with air-conditioning) up, rent a u-haul up there, and get it down. He, Manchild and I would get it done in nothing flat.
To make this work, Michelle and I woke up early, and went to fire up her car to take her to Woodinville. She was going to walk 9 miles home in training for her halfthon. We were up, jumped in her car (2007 Volvo with less than 100K) and click! Sure as hell, her battery was dead!!
What the hell?? OK, something coulda been left on, so we did what anyone would do. Jumped started the car! (It’s the only car skill I have. Red to positive, black to negative….) It fired right up.
I drove her to the Willows lodge, the starting point, only to se 2 cop cars and a hook and ladder truck were there! Thankfully I saw no smoke, but seriously I was beginning to wonder whether Michelle should walk!
I dropped her though, and drove home and turned off the car. I gave it some time, and cranked it, VROOOOM! OK good to go!
I went down and hung out at Starbucks waiting for her. She cranked it out, and we were ready to head up for a big breakfast before I headed north. I jumped in the seat, turned the key, and CLICK!! Dead in the water! CRAPPPP!!!!
Time to call AAA! Annie, the rep, was trying to be chipper, but given my morning all it did was annoy me, and then she said “It will only be 2 hours…” DAMN!! I needed to be in Bellingham at noon!!
Well, we got Michelle breakfast within walking distance (even after doing 9 miles) and she did her best to cheer me up knowing I was just mad. Not at anyone, but just life at that moment. Two car issues in the same day was too much.
An hour later, while still waiting and hanging at Starbucks, I pull up twitter to find: ALL lanes closed, on N/B I-5 at Mt Vernon. Followed soon but I-5 both ways closed! And, as you mighta guessed, I have to drive North right through the middle of the closed freeway. AND yep, it has to be today he moves. Tomorrow we celebrate the mom in laws 82 birthday, and I am stuck in Spokane all next week. Today was the day!
Editor’s note: What a screwed up day! Initially, the N/B lanes were closed for a homicide investigation of a drive by shooting. While this was going on, somehow a S/B semi lost control, crossed the median and damaged 23 cars!!!
At 10:30, AAA showed up (half hour early! Booyah!) and sure as hell the battery is past its prime. Good news, though, he has a replacement! 15 minutes and a chunk of money later (The volvo of course can’t fit the cheapest battery) We are on the road.
OK, call Uhaul. “Hi, I need to postpone my truck, never gonna get there on time.” “I’m sorry sir, you will need to call 800Uhaul, we don’t have your reservation.
Editor’s note 2: A) He never asked me my name so how does one know, and B) this is NOT the day to say stuff like that!
“I am looking at it RIGHT here! Res #, your address, high noon..” Oh THERE you are! No worries we will hold it till you get here! (In the end, was a very nice guy, could be I was a bit testy!)
OK alternate routes! My first thought was take the Ferry to Whidbey Island and drive north. I would regain I-5 well north of the accident! However, its hot, summer and saturday, there is no telling how long the lines would be. My only other idea was 2 lane Highway 9. OK, we have a plan! Manchild and I were off!
Ten minutes later, we ruled out the Ferry. The reader board on I-5 said there was a 2 hour wait for a boat. Then we’d have to cross, then drive north… Nope no dice. Keep driving!
15 minutes later we were almost in 3 different accidents ourselves. People were swerving, tailgating, and doing the worst driving I’d seen in years. I warned the Manchild to prepare for a loud noise and let loose with the loudest and longest F-Bomb on record. I felt MUCH better. I then looked at Manchild and said “Screw it! Highway 9 it is, it HAS to be better than this.”
Well sometimes we makes the right choices, and sometimes we doesn’t…
This time I am happy to say it was the correct one! We never dropped below the speed limit (though at times, in towns, it was only 25 mph), and it honestly was a pleasant drive.
I had the truck at 1:30, and at the apartment by 2. We had him out and moved in to his new place in less than 90 minutes! Mathmajor even had a chance to meet his neighbor, Steve, the oldest hippy I have EVER seen! Picture Shaggy from Scooby Doo at gray and haggard. Since they both like mandolins (Mathmajor can pretty much play anything that strums) they should get along fine. As we left we heard Steve tell a neighbor. “My first impression is good, I think he will be fine….”
The drive home was uneventful, but we did get the see the semi, WOW…