Friday, July 15, 2011

An Adventure in Car Trouble

I am partly to blame for the part being that I did not see that they-being my family- did not go ahead and take care of a problem immediately. But then, hindsight is always 20-20.

Recently my son came to me and told me that there was a pin size hole in the radiator in his car. James is currently unemployed but attending college. His daily commute is rather long taking nearly an hour each way. He has found a route that avoids most of the interstate driving but not all. The hot summer driving is not good on any vehicle much less one that is already moving on borrowed time.

My husband the truck driver was home last week and when James told him about the radiator they went so far as to call local parts stores and found a radiator- but they didn't purchase one. That was when I should have said something, got them to go ahead and get the thing, but I didn't.

Wednesday James called me at work. He should have been at school what was he doing calling me? I called him back to find out that he was sitting on the side of the road--his car now broken down with a fully cracked radiator. He had already called road service and they were on their way. They would pick up the car and deliver it to the house. He also had a way to school already there waiting with them on the rollback. I no sooner got off the phone from talking with James when my husband called. After that conversation my afternoon was planned, go to auto parts store and then to pick up James.

When I got off of work at 4 I headed toward the house and the check book. I kept watching an ever darkening sky. I was barely home when that darkened sky opened up and the bottom fell out. It was raining so hard I couldn't see through it to the far side of my yard. I was going no where as long as this was going on. With one dog stretched out in his doghouse watching the rain and the other hiding in the bathroom in the house I waited it out. Over an hour later the rain finally stopped. After managing to get the dog back outside I grabbed my purse and headed for the car parts store. It actually didn't take long to have everything that I needed and with the help of one of the gentleman that worked there I had everything loaded in the car and I was back on my way. Looking at my watch I decided that I might as well go ahead and head off toward Mooresville.


My thoughts were that being that I don't drive as fast as most people on the interstate in a city area, I'd get an early start and still get there in time. This would have been fine-- but I quickly found out that if you are on the interstate near Charlotte, you are going to drive fast. You are going to keep up with traffic or you will be run down and left on the highway nothing more than a big greasy spot. One thing I felt was in my favor was that I drive a mid size at least I could be the others drove past me at eighty miles per hour while I trolled along at a speed that I hoped would keep me from getting pushed off the highway.
I had told James to give me the easiest directions to the school. Without hesitation he gave me the route that had me driving all interstate. Well, there were fewer turns. With my written directions within reach on the seat beside me I was nervous but not terrified as I tried to find my way to the school. The knowledge that I have no sense of direction playing over and over in my head. I just hoped that I wouldn't end up in Atlanta or worse somewhere up north where no one would understand my southern drawl..I had managed to get on the interstate easier than I thought I would. This act alone usually has me clutching the steering wheel and begging for something blocking the road a few miles back that would stop traffic and allow me easy access. Once on the interstate I took my place in the center lane and watched people pass me by, as I only slightly clutched the steering wheel. Traffic got heavier the closer I got to Charlotte. I drove on, just trying to stay out of the way. Once I got so far I began watching for my exit. An exit that had me holding my breath as I made my way around and on the next leg of my journey. Once again taking my place in the center lane I watched the cars catch up behind me, split and pass me by. I wasn't worried about keeping up with them, I wanted them away from me. I wanted the road to myself that way my 'responsible' driving wouldn't get me run down. Even as I got closer to my destination I was worried about missing my exit and ending up somewhere far far away. Thankfully James's good directions and my determination to find the place we planned to meet enabled me to find the fast food place where he told me to wait. I thought that it would take me over an hour to get there. It took forty-five minutes. Now I had plenty of time to wait and hope that no one in the fast food place would call the police and report a loiterer.

It can be interesting watching people. As a whole we do some strange things. Like the people who were either going on or returning from a vacation and playing musical stuff in the car. From the car to the trunk, from the truck to the car. From the backseat to the front to the dash. People deciding to get shoes or another shirt and go in for a meal. Bringing that meal out to the car and then playing I want to sit there, no I'd rather sit there you sit here while they sit...I quit watching it was making me dizzy.

When time came for James to be out of class I called his cell but he didn't answer. Finally fifteen minutes after class ended I called and he answered. When I told him I was waiting and where, he told me that he would be there in a few minutes. When they did arrive I moved to the passenger side to allow James to drive. I had plans.

A part of the route took us by Lake Norman. It was late in the day and the sun was going down. I was hoping for some good sunset shots. I took a couple as we made our way back home. When we arrived at the lake I was tripping the shutter release just as quickly as I could. I could edit, crop and delete later. The guy that rides with James who was riding with us only commented to offer the information that 'up ahead' would be a good opportunity...and he was right. I did not get a photo of the nuclear plant, just blurry trees which I deleted. I did get some shots of the dam though.

James brought us back through the country, I hate to admit that if I've been through there it was so long ago that I don't recall it. If it wasn't that I was more than ready to get home, prepare the easiest thing possible for supper and call it a night, I would have asked James to take the long way home instead of the quickest.

When James pointed out the moon I kept watching for a chance to get a moon photo. Unfortunately with the moon being on the other side of the car and hidden by the clouds, that was one I didn't get. The minute we turned onto the Dirt Road I finally breathed a sigh of relief. Inside the house I preheated the oven for a pizza while James moved his car to his grandpa's building then drove my explorer down there to unload all of the parts for his car. While the pizza baked I fed the dogs and then uploaded the sunset photos into my computer. Happy with the results I decided to share a couple online. When the pizza came out of the oven and was cool enough I cut what I planned on taking to work for lunch just as James entered the house. He had become one greasy mess in that few minutes of time. I told him the pizza was his as I fed the cats and the bird. Telling him good night I headed off to prepare for bed. Little did I know...this adventure was far from over.

                                                                                                         to be continued

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