August 27, 2006
School went back into session for Paige on the 15th and Breanna returned on the 16th. Imagine trying to get 3 females ready in the morning with only one bathroom. All 3 of which have new haircuts they are trying to adjust to. Good times. We have it down pretty well though. I get Paige up and into the shower from 5:45 – 6:00am, I follow directly after, Breanna is a chicken and takes her shower the night before. Unfortunately, we all seem to need to use the mirrors all at the same time and though we have a 48″ vanity mirror, it still is not enough room. It got pretty bad one day and I was forced to create a minute by minute schedule for Paige so the she could better understand why I was constantly telling her the time and rushing her. The 10 year old brain sometimes can not comprehend the idea of keeping a schedule until such things are spelled out for them in exact detail. So, since that has been done, things are going more smoothly. But let me take you back in time to the first day of school for Breanna.
Everyone was up and showered and shining and ready to go. Paige was loaded onto the bus at 7:05 which gave Breanna and I a few extra minutes to repolish anything that needed it. So at 7:15 we hop into the truck and turn the key. The radio and air conditioning come on but the engine does not. The ignition feels weird. I can put the car in gear. I can take the key out and all of these things still work. I can not turn them off. My first thought is…SH*T! we can NOT afford an auto repair bill right now.
So, I call my husband who is at work and really can not do much of anything but I just need him to be a part of my misery. Then I call Dad who comes over and takes Breanna to school for me, and then lets me borrow my mother’s car to get to work. My parents have agreed to let me borrow the car until the weekend (it was Wednesday).
Dave comes home and decides to check things out and also decides that he is going to fix it himself. Now in the history of our marriage Dave has not ever taken on such a challenge. He always took our vehicles to Lloyd, the mechanic. Even for tune ups. So, though I must admit I did not have the most confidence, I did have a lot of admiration for the fact that he was so determined and was willing to cheer him on and support him. He figured out WHERE the problem was early on, the ACTUATOR ROD was malfunctioning in some way. So Thursday or Friday he called the dealers and located a part. We drove to pick it up and they could not find it even though they said it was in stock. However they did give us a printout/drawing of the steering column taken apart which showed each individual piece. Dave had already purchased a Haynes manual which did not have any information on how do take it apart, and a trip to Pep Boys to get a Chilton manual proved to be wasted when it did not show anything either…however we did not have to pay the 40 bucks for the manual since Pep Boys was kind enough to let me disect it before purchasing.
Finally, 5 days in Dave has the steering column, and dash completely disassembled and the problem with the actuator rod is the fact that the roll pin holding the two pieces together has fallen out…nothing broken. Now, dear reader, do not get too excited for us. Yes there were no parts to be purchased but this is where the true fun begins. I know, it sounds simple…just put the pin back in. Imagine this scenario:
You have two Jenga towers side by side and the goal is to put a block back into the center of the tower on the right. Easy enough, except the rules are that you have to go through the tower on the left and have equal parts of the block in both towers. Still easy enough but you have to go through meshwork of steel that is placed next to the tower on the left AND you can only see what you are doing from ABOVE. Not to mention there has not been a tool created for such a task so you have to improvise with things such as screw drivers, tweezers, duct tape, a needle threader, magnets, and in desperation even a bread tie was discussed. Oh and you have to do this with failing light. SO you have to find a friend to hold a flashlight for you.
To make a long story short, after 8 days…and a combined effort we got it. I am the flashlight queen. Dave is my newest favorite mechanic. My hero. I highly recommend auto repair as a bonding experience for all married couples. Heck, it became a neighborhood bonding experience. I would like to thank Steve our next door neighbor who came and informed us that the weather was turning pretty bad and we should probably call it a night in case the storm started to turn our way. I also want to thank Dean across the street who felt pity for me and brought over one of those clip on lights and a 75 foot extension cord which got us through our final night.
Thanks to mom and dad for loaning us their car for 8 days even though that is the car my Mom prefers to drive. Much love to you both.
Finally thanks to God for staying with us because I am certain had it not been for the constant prayers for assistance in patience and persistance that we would have thrown some tools through the windshield around day 6.