Wednesday, March 6, 2013

The Truck

Well tonight I joined the group of people who can proudly say they rescued someone on the side of the road.  Jon called right as pizza was done cooking for dinner saying he was broken down and could we come and get him and bring all of his tools.  He then mentioned we would be taking out the alternator going to Advanced Auto Parts getting a replacement and installing it.  Sounds simple - ahh but add in the 3 screaming kids, darkness approaching, the non-stop gun fire at the range across the street (making it hard to hear each other) and dinner not in the tummies and it makes for a FUN ADVENTURE!  We made it to Jon in record time as I turned the oven off, threw the girls and tools in the car and made haste to where he was stranded.  It only took us about 25 minutes to remove the alternator and then head out to the store to get the replacement.   The girls were locked down in the car seats for this whole part and were still pretty happy since they got to share a sleeve of ritz crackers and the big 2 got to eat fruit roll ups.  When driving to the store I might have been going faster than advised and had to make a sudden stop when we heard a bam - the bad alternator taking a nose dive in the back seat (whoops!).  Well Jon went in to get the replacement and you get a discount if you bring in the old parts - well that bam from earlier might have broken the alternator in half some say.  Jon explained to the man that his wife was driving fast and slammed on the brakes and broke into which the man replied I believe you.  The lady in the store however stood up for my honor and said - don't blame your wife you dropped it didn't you and Jon told her no that I tend to drive fast but she could ask me if she wanted.  At this point the Advanced Auto Zone lady recognized Jon and his many trips for the truck over the past few months and said most people would have given up on their truck by now but good for him.  So back to the truck we drove with a new alternator and flash light so we could see in the dark.  We got the alternator on in a few minutes with only a few hiccups.  The major lesson at this point was don't tighten the bolts down too tight or it will be difficult to undo when you realize you needed to do one thing differently.  Did I mention I released the big 2 to run wild in the van at this point and occasionally had to go and defend Kelly as she was screaming her head off.  At this point it was pitch black and cold but we only had one last step - put the belt back on.  Sounds simple once again but I can promise the only thing simple about it was the directions!!  So I wasn't strong enough to hold the tension do dad back far enough for Jon to get the belt attached so we switched spots and I got under the truck with him pulling the do dad.  Yeah that didn't work either but I sure did get to eat a lot of dirt and possibly have a wrench dropped on me - I wasn't strong enough to get the stupid belt on the thing.  At this point (8:30 - past dinner, bath and bed time for 3 little girls) we called in Jon's assistant Ingels to save the day.  I drove home to get the girls fed while some more brute force came.  When I got home I realized what happens when you leave pizzas in an oven 3 hours longer even if you did turn off the temp - the residual heat continues to cook the pizza and well it is not appetizing.  So burnt pizza, blueberries and milk was what the girls got for dinner while I took a shower to clean enough grease off of me that I could help change them and feed Kelly and not get grease everywhere.  After that the kids went to bed, Jon called and said the truck was fixed - YEAH.  10 minutes later Jon called again laughing saying that the belt shredded.  Ahh life - well he ripped off the torn park and drove home the 2 miles praying that the belt didn't bust.  He made it and now he gets to go to the store in the morning and get a new part for the truck!
Hopefully this is our last big adventure with the truck.  Jon has learned how to change the brakes, fuel pump, spark plug lines?? and alternator on this car and from what we hear these will be good tools to have for the hoopties we will be getting when we get to Okinawa.

It is all about leverage with rusted bolts
I did not sign up for this
Pizza - don't leave it in the oven for 3 hours even when it is turned off

Can you see the happiness?  Notice Kelly's red face in the background imagine the sound that can make

Smile because seriously what else can you do at this point?
Happy to be home and in one piece but not about the belt in his hand

No comments: