No, we weren’t stuck on a mountaintop in the wilderness, nor a valley down by the creek. We spent last weekend in an AutoZone parking lot. I must blog about these things or else I forget they ever happened when I’m older and grayer and more senile ;-). So far, every adventure I’ve been on with Lance has been enjoyable. The key to a happy life is to enjoy your shipmate in smooth sailing or in shipwrecks (you may quote me on that, go right ahead).
Last Saturday we were headed home from a ‘quick’ trip to town, stopping at our 3 favorite home improvement stores. The truck bed was full (as usual) and we were going to make one last stop for fuel before heading home ‘early’. Early enough to make dinner and get some more work done on finishing up the foundation. After exiting the highway, heading toward the gas station, Mr. Dodge Ram dies. The ‘funny’ thing being, it died last spring, a block from this same gas station. Apparently our fuel gauge has been getting increasingly worse (we know this now after running out of fuel 3 times due to faulty readings). Thankfully, a fellow trucker, offers a quick tow across the street. Lance proceeds to pump in 35 gallons of diesel and then does the diesel dance (what you have to do to get a diesel running after you run out of fuel). Still no go.
Most people choose to get towed home or to a mechanic. Lance isn’t most people. After making a few calls for the desired part to fix the truck, we get ourselves, the truck and all our home improvement supplies towed to a local auto part store. Heck, it’s only 6pm by the time we get there, plenty of time before they close at 9 to get the parts needed to fix the fuel pump. One major hurdle was getting rid of 35 gallons of fuel so he could drop the tank. We ‘sold’ the fuel at 1/2 price to a worker and his buddies. What we didn’t plan on was, it taking close to 4 hours to get the fuel out…..
At 10:30, Lance begins his project. It’s dark. It’s cold. Mary has to pee. There is no internet for me to ‘steal’… Listen to me whine. My job was to sit in the truck. Lance had to detach the now empty fuel tank and replace the interior fuel pump (on the cold concrete on the dark parking lot). I can’t write about his adventure, I didn’t have grease and diesel and rusty screws to deal with. I had cold, boredom and having to pee to deal with.
It was a sunny Saturday, but a cold dark Satur-night. I wasn’t dressed for 30 degree weather. I felt around under the seats for something to warm me. Eureka, I found FIVE cloth grocery bags. You know the ones you always forget to bring IN to the store. I put each leg in a bag, one around each arm and the last one I shoved both my knees in. This was surprisingly helpful (it gave new meaning to the term, Bag Lady). Not moving or going outside was helpful too (remember, I had to pee). I sat there and watched the Dominos pizza car drive by making an ungodly amount of deliveries down the same street.
Lance finishes his project up, but the truck still didn’t run for longer than 4 seconds. It was now 2am. We decide to call it a night (or a morning). We walk several blocks to the nearest open convenience store, a 7/11. Wow, I haven’t been to a 7/11 store in years. Turns out this is the only one in Idaho, doncha know. They had big gulps but no public restroom. They did have a phone book, so we called a cab and went to the closest hotel. Did you know you can get a cut-rate at 3am. The front desk clerk said she couldn’t get into her booking system but she’d give us a river view room (unless the river was lit up, I didn’t find the primo room a perk). I just asked to make sure she hadn’t already given the room to someone else earlier in the night.
Our anniversary was a week away, I told Lance this could be our 2nd honeymoon. His dirt/grease/diesel covered face just looked at me like I was crazy. We were thankful for warmth, a bathroom (thank you Lord) and a bed (even if the pillows looked like oversized chiclets). The next morning we walked back to the AutoZone and spent the day with some very helpful young amateur mechanics under the hood, figuring out what the problem was. What a fun day (after I located the nearest restrooms). I thank God for a resourceful hubby and helpful strangers. I must say, I have a renewed appreciation for the sound of a diesel truck purring….