My husband is definitely a man. When he left for work Friday morning I thought the car sounded a little "off" but he was the one driving and he went on his merry (okay, not so merry) way. That was 5 a.m. At about 5:40 a.m. he called. Something was wrong with his car and he was going to need me to come get him after work. Too dark to see what was wrong but there was water coming out from under the car. At least he made it to work and was in the parking lot there. Fridays he gets off work a little early (usual time is 2:30 p.m.). I wait until after 7 a.m. and call my sister to find out where her husband will be later in the day in case we need help. Nanny says Richard will be home around 4 p.m. but they have camping reservations for the weekend. I assure her we will only ask if there is genuine need.
So when I went into work I told my boss and others that I would be leaving early (not a bad thing) but would not know what time until my hubby called me. I have excess vacation hours that I need to take before the end of June anyway as they won't carry over to the new fiscal year so there was no way my boss was going to say I could not leave and he wouldn't anyway. Family comes first. So Joe calls and says he should be out of work by 1:30 or 2:00. Problem seems to be the water pump. It's leaking and water getting on the belt is making it slip and the alternator is not charging. He wants me to come and either bring him home or follow him as he drives his car home. It only seems to leak when it sits still? I call Jen and let her know what is going on so another person knows and she is helping check on Mom while Dad is out of town (These things have always happened - since I was a child - when Dad is out of town). I leave work at 1:30 (my darn work ethic still made me wait to take care of the mail so no one else had to deal with it).
Home to fill up water jugs and load them into my car. Remember, I'm wearing this medical boot on my left foot and steps are a real problem right now. Our house is elevated from the street. There are at least 12 steps to negotiate from the street to the porch. So I figure out I can use the empty plastic pop and tea bottles I have been saving in anticipation of creating "fish" for VBS decorations. Thank goodness I saved the lids, too. Fill the bottles, load them in a box, use a luggage trolley to roll across the sidewalk from our house to Mom and Dad's where I parked my car instead of on the street and load the car. No steps that way. Just a straight shot out the back door and down the sidewalk across the lot between our houses. Three times. I have at least 15 gallons of water in the car including a 5 gallon jug that I hauled up from the basement one step at a time. Then back and forth once more to put the dogs back in the house and get my purse and cane and a few towels and some cold drinks in case we need them. (You think we're going to drink the water I put in the car?)
By the time I get to Joe it is nearly 3 p.m. He pours water in the radiator and reservoir. We watch it flow out but the leak slows (the water ran out, duh) and he drives around the parking lot. He thinks it is okay but I'm watching the trail of water he leaves behind him. He doesn't see it until I make him look. He parks the car again and says he wants to get some Stop Leak so we drive to a truck/car service center because the local Wal-Mart does not carry Stop Leak for radiators - just for oil. Then back to the car and re-read the directions and pour it in, add water, run the engine, and watch the water and Stop Leak flow out from underneath. But the leak slows (of course it does, the water ran out!) and he decides to try again. He drives around the parking lot and this time there is no water trail and the engine never overheats. He debates the best way to drive home - I70 to 470 and Rt 2 or over the hill top and all the twisty turns but no stop lights (remember, he says it only leaks standing still). I gently suggest more traffic means more help if something goes wrong and wider roads mean more places to pull over. He still has not decided which way to go when we leave the parking lot.
But off we go to I70 and almost make it to Rt 2 after climbing and descending I470 (Bethlehem) hill. Halfway down he pulls off on the exit ramp and looks under the hood and says the belt that was getting wet from the water is no longer there.
We debate what to do.
I drive to my sister's house and get there just as the big storm that has been predicted all day finally arrives. Just rain at first and I sit on the porch for a while as I got there before she or her husband got home from work. They are leaving to go camping so I don't know what they will be able to do but at least there is a phone. The storm gets windy and thank goodness I have a key so I go inside to be met by Peaches the dog who is terrified of storms and so glad someone, anyone, is there. She follows every step I take. I call Nanny at work and let her know where I am and why and she says Richard will be home soon. I also call Jen and Mom and let them know where I am.
The storm continues. Hubby is sitting in a broken down car along the interstate during all this wind, rain, lightning and thunder. I am sitting with a dog plastered to my feet.
Richard comes home about 4:30 and says the best thing to do (which was my opinion all along) is to call a tow truck. I call the car repair shop (we are almost on a first name basis with this car) and they recommend a towing company and I call them. It will be a half hour before someone can be dispatched. I go back to hubby sitting on the exit ramp. We wait. We wait. We wait. An hour and a half later the tow truck shows up. Dispatcher sent him to the wrong place. It's still raining.
Finally we get the car towed to the repair shop following the tow truck through the rain. We get home over 5 hours after I left work. Then I cook supper.
Men and cars.
Thank God we are all safe, though.
And this morning the day lilies started blooming.