We've lived in Utah, Nebraska, upper Michigan and now we've settled in Colorado...at least for now! Marley is 10, Isi is 6 and Enzo is 4.

Life is great!

Thursday, January 19, 2012

The Curse of the Black Pearl: Part II

Part I here.

Here is Part II - the best part
less pictures but I think more meaningful

Last Friday, Marley and I had big plans:
Go to the SOO!
The Dollar Store
The bank
The Library!
Pick up Dad!
Go grocery shopping!

Big snow storm.
So before I shoveled the 1 foot plus of snow off the walkway and driveway...
I went out to see if the car would start.

Battery was dead.

I cried like the hormonal crazy woman that I AM!

I came back in the house and pouted...and cried. 
And sent several text messages to Nathan.

He suggested asking neighbors and friends to jump the Black Pearl.
I was tired of asking for help and emotional and I was sure the battery was a lost cause.

We decided we probably needed to get it jumped and then go straight for a new battery.

Nathan worked on trying to see if he could take the early bus home so he could rally some help or something. But, he found that he could not.

Marley of course dried my tears with tissues and asked what was wrong. 
(She is used to the this but usually I have no reason for my tears...or I don't want to tell her the reason.)
I told her that the car won't start so we can't go shopping. 
 She too was disappointed. 
But continued to take care of me.

My mom called because she had seen the weather for our area.
I cried some more.
She said, "I wish I was there so I could give you a hug."
I thought, "I wish you were here to give me a ride!"
She made me feel better and told me to find something to do around the house, a project or just clean up one room.
She also told me to stop crying so much and scaring my daughter.
She's never scared. Not when I'm crying at least.

So, Marley and I cleaned the living room and tidied the dinning room.
We swept the entry, kitchen and dinning. 
That's the whole downstairs!
 That felt good!

I can pretty much get her to do anything if I call her Cinderella and act like one of her step sisters.
She always replies with a low head, "Yes Anastasia."
And then she gets to work!
This was taken of Marley by Marley. On this infamous day in January.
I was just about to tackle the bathroom when Nathan texted me and said there was a battery at our local Napa, just right for our car!  
Problem was, he would get home after they were closed. 
I asked if Marley and I should walk over and get it. 

Remember snowy, icy and COLD outside.
And Nathan informed me that the battery would be a solid 40 pounds! 
I suggested the JEEP stroller.
Marley could ride there and then the battery could ride back. 

Nathan agreed that might work. 
He also offered that if we took the old battery with us we wouldn't have to pay a $12 core fee.
WHICH we could get back once we took our old battery in, but gently suggested that maybe I could take it out and Marley could walk both ways. 

Marley got fully suited up in snow clothes and I bundled up and we went out to the garage.

Before I did anything I checked to make sure it wasn't going to start. 

Marley suggested, "Lets be brave and just fix it mom!"

That made me smile and I said, "Well, we're gonna try."

I explained the whole thing to her. The battery, the stroller, the walk, the cold, and hopefully in the end it would be fixed. 
(As she wandered around the garage she continually encouraged our quest with suggestions of bravery.
That actually helped me a lot!)

While I tried several tools in my attempt to get the bolts off of the battery, Marley suggested that we take the double jogging stroller our friends gave to us in September. 

It was a really good idea. Then they could both ride in the stroller AND it has a giant plastic rain cover that would protect Marley from the wind and cold. The problem was it looked like it was buried in the corner of the garage. 

I told her that was a great idea but it might be too hard to get to. 

After texting Nathan several times about tools and such.
And saying a few swears in my head. 

I stopped saying swears in my head and stuck to just praying.

I found the perfect tool and got the battery out! 

It WAS heavy. 

Then I proceeded to dig the double stroller out. 

I actually only had to scoot some bins aside and then move a stroller and a car seat to get to it.

I hauled it out to the breezeway. 
It sat there while I went out to shovel the walkway. 

Marley came out and played in the snow for about 2 minutes and then got too cold and I helped her inside and put a show on for her. 

I finished shoveling and set up the double stroller outside on the walk. 
I tried to figure out the plastic rain cover.
I put the battery in one side. 

Then I went in the house, we went to the bathroom, bundled Marley up in full snow clothes and she climbed into the other side of the stroller, next to the battery. 
I can't get this picture to come into blogger correctly...so you'll just have to turn your head.
I grabbed some tissues because the cold was making our noses run. 
Which is weird because it was also freezing my nose hairs.

We trudged out to the road. 
No side walks in these parts.
The hardest part was getting the stroller over the small berm the plow makes at the end of our driveway. 
I pushed and then I had to climb to the other side of the hill and pull the strollers front wheel until I got it over. 

We started walking. Well, I did.
It was icy and I slipped twice but I didn't fall because of the stroller and it's heavy contents. 
It was cold!
I hadn't put the plastic rain cover on correctly so it wasn't staying closed. Marley had full snow clothes on and a blanket but she was still cold!
I don't have any long underwear because....I just don't.
So my legs were COLD! 

Round trip the walk is exactly one mile. 
(I only know that because later when I was telling my sister all about this she asked how far away the auto store was and she wanted it in miles. I was pretty sure it was less than a mile. Later I clocked it.)

Thankfully, all the roads were plowed! When we got to the store the parking lot was not plowed... So, it was a little tough to get to the front door. It is a VERY small parking lot though. When we got there one of the workers (a VERY nice man) helped us get the stroller inside by holding all the doors open and even unlatching one of the double doors. 

He said, "What can we do for you?" Just as he noticed a child AND a battery in my stroller. 

I said, "We need a new battery."

He said, "Oh. I see that now." 

The whole exchange took less than 5 minutes.

The man suggested that we leave the stroller where it was and walk around the store for a little while to warm up. 
What a nice man. 

We did. 

We got peanut m&m's from there little machine. 
We walked around and discussed tools and parts and whatnot. 
We really only knew what we were talking about when we came to the broom isle. 
Marley made sure to let me know that she wanted every single one of the those brooms for her birthday but especially the little one that was her size. 
(She pretty much says she wants EVERYTHING for her birthday whenever we go shopping. When she says she wants something, I say, maybe someday. Then she says, maybe for my birthday or Christmas? I say, maybe. She is satisfied and we move on. It works for us.)

Marley got a gum ball on our way out and TWO came out! 
It was cool!

I was able to fix the rain fly so it would stay closed better. And instead of putting the blanket ON Marley I put it behind her head to stop the wind from coming in the back of the stroller.
That was MUCH better.
We trudged back home. 
Gnawing on our hard gum balls.
They were good but hard so half way home we both spit it out into the snow.

Marley went inside to finished her show while I tried to put the battery back in. 

I did it!
I tried to start the car. 
It started with gusto!
It sounded SO brave!
I felt SO good!
I felt validated and empowered!
I was on top of the world.
But also very tired.
It was about 12:45 (good thing we had gotten an early start on the day) by this time and Nathan was getting off at 2. 
We ate lunch in the house. 

Then Marley settled into watching another show and by 1:00 I was out shoveling the driveway. 
By 1:45 we were on our way to get dad!
We got dad.
We went to the bank. 

Between the bank and the store the engine light came on!
Can you believe the nerve of The Curse!?!?!?
It's a good thing Nathan wasn't driving because I think he might have jerked the car into oncoming traffic. 
NO! That's a little extreme and tragic. 
But he was peeved. 

I calmly suggested we stop at Advanced Auto and run the diagnostic and see if it's the same problem.
We did.
It was a new problem. 

But, Nathan instantly had an idea of what the problem might be. 
He said, "Ok, I'm going to research and probably order ANOTHER part and fix this but, this is the last thing I'm fixing." 
He has said this before. 
So I just laughed. 
It seems he just can't let it go.
I'm glad...he'll know our car SO well we'll have it for decades!
Ok, maybe not. 
But, I'm still so glad he is willing to try to fix things himself to save money.

The part is ordered. 
Nathan is confident it will be an easy and quick fix. 

And then....


How have we survived financially?
Well, we still haven't hit $300 in parts so considering the first repair was going to be be over $400 we are still ahead!

Also, since we didn't drive our car for nearly 2 weeks we had more money because we hadn't needed gas. We try to only drive to the Soo three times a week or less (one of those is for church) but still we saved money on gas...which went to parts. 

And we hadn't eaten out. We try not to eat out much too but when we limit our trips to the Soo, it makes our days in the Soo LONG because of all the errands and we usually end up getting something. Even if it's just one eat out per week, that can add up. 

And thankfully we bought our car with cash about 5 years ago so, we don't have a car payment on top of repairs. That's nice.

I realize that the curse has not been officially lifted and ultimately when it comes to cars eventual repairs are inevitable, but unless there is more DRAMA with the up coming repair, this concludes the saga of...



Tiffany said...

I was hanging on every word. Becky, you've got skills! I ma impressed with your mechanic self!

P.S. and yes I do throw away the art projects after taking pictures. Me and paper don't get along too well. School papers are trying to take over the world!

Michelle said...

WOW, thank you for that detailed story of bravery, flexibility, and resourcefulness. Love you guys!!!! Hope the car problems CHILL OUT for a while, you deserve a break!

Shauna Klippel said...

Becky!! I'm sorry about these dilemmas, so frustrating. Now I really do wish I could send a tart! I have been here dealing with car trouble, but not in extreme weather so you've got me there.

On a lighter note, your daughter is precious and a wonderfully sweet spirit who is wise beyond her little years. You are so blessed to have her in your life, her heart is so special it's evident in your writing about her.

Becky, thanks for your posts, you are a great girl. Well, I guess you're not exactly a girl per say but a young woman. Your daughter is lucky to have you.

You look fresh and cute in your picture, it's good to see your face. Take good care,


Sandy said...

your mother is so proud of you. You did not get that from your parents.

Natasha and Jesse said...

Oh, Becky! What an ordeal! So glad you were able to take care of it and Marley was so cute to suggest using the double stroller.

Hopefully The Black Pearl gives you a break for a while after Nathan fixes it.

And funny, but in 3 paragrahps above the second picture when you said you helped Marley inside and put a show on for her...I was picturing you putting on a show for her by dancing while you shoveled the snow! Silly, but I didn't think about a TV show. haha

Also, you look so good in your picture and I love the self picture of Marley. (I think I (we) need to see a baby bump picture though too :) )

Kathy said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Kathy said...

Hear, hear - that was brave, and resourceful and courageous and adventurous and... I could go on and on.

Hey everyone - she's my niece! :-)

Julie J. said...

That double stroller idea was some good thinking! I'm so glad you have Marley there to take care of you and dry your tears with a tissue. And I'm so glad you clocked the miles because I was curious. What an adventure!

Kerra 'n' Josh said...

I wanted to thank you first for your awesome comment on my blog post, I miss you and your wonderful insight on things. Also I love reading you blog, it's inspiring, uplifting, and nice to see that we all have our curse :) Tell Nathan Hello! Love ya

Lilianne said...

That is a crazy story! Whoa. I would have probably screamed at everyone I saw because I would have been so frustrated. Marley is so cute. She's going to be such a great big sister!! I hope Black Pearl is good to you after all of that hassle!! xoxo

KordelandHeather said...

Becky, You are my hero! I hate being cold, so I don't know if I would have done it! I'm so glad you're good about updating your blog too....almost makes me want to try again at mine....almost. Hearing about Nathan fix your car reminds me of my dad and our very old cars that he kept alive for so long. Your little Marley is truly Cinderella! What a happy helpful attitude, and she's beautiful too! Thanks again for the post!

pillingfamily said...

i think i laughed out loud like five times. i love that you got that all down. and i love that you made that car start. you are awesome!

The Wells said...

You need an oragne sled like mom had in West Yellowstone. She dragged Peter everywhere on that thing. Then you need a snowmobile to pull that sled with Marley in it. I promise it will break, but it will be fun until it does.

Good job trucking along! You are superwoman!

Jill said...

You have a knack for making a story about getting a car battery captivating and funny. I love that you call your car the black pearl. Love you guys!