Being away from home for an extended period of time carries a certain amount of risks. We have just kept our fingers crossed that there would be no major mechanical failures of our vehicle or RV. Our 2002 Chevy Trailblazer has just done great up until the last couple of weeks. First our CD player quit working and is holding about five CDs hostage until we get it fixed. Then our back window regulator went out causing our window to slip down and, of course, allowing all the rain we have had here to soak our back seat. Next our right turn signal went bad and now it looks like our air conditioning may be on the verge of calling it a career. Can’t complain too much – the old girl is nearing a hundred and fifty thousand miles and it is only a matter of time before the entire thing bites the dust. In the meantime we are holding things together with electrical tape and prayer.
We have even had to deal with some air conditioner problems back home at some rental property we have that our wonderful family has been able to help us out with while we are away. It seems that these mechanical problems are all coming at once – sound familiar?
I have very limited mechanical abilities but I do have plenty of time. That has allowed me to surf the internet for answers on how to fix some of the problems we have had and first I decided to try to tackle our car’s back window. I found a salvage yard near York and managed to remove the needed window regulator. It was gratifying for me to get the part I needed and pay about a tenth of the cost I would have for a new one. I thought I may be able to install it myself but soon found the risk was too great for possibly breaking the glass. If things don’t exactly fit I tend to “force” them and “forcing” car glass is probably not recommended – so today it goes to the auto glass shop. I know my limitations.
In the meantime Lisa and I noticed our air not getting cold and we kind of looked at each other with that dreamy – this is going to be expensive look in our eyes. At this point any unusual sound, bump, squeak or shimmy causes us shortness of breath and heart palpitations. We know the end is near – we just don’t know how near.
Being away from home comes with it expected adjustments such as figuring out how to get from point “a” to point “b” and getting to know people in this strange northern part of the country. Then there are the unexpected disadvantages of being away from home. At home I know the good mechanics and the bad – the honest car dealers and the hucksters – the trustworthy plumbers from the – you get the idea. Here we have no history with the businesses with whom we may need to give advice, fix or possibly trade our vehicle. We will just have to hope for the best.
Lisa and I have discovered that there is no greater blessing than finding good, trustworthy people who offer help when we need it. That discovery is always good but even more so when you are far from home. And it is the little things that mean so much. I had to borrow tools from a man at the salvage yard to take the car door apart which I spoke about earlier. I was never so grateful for a socket wrench in my life.
God has a way of putting the right people in our path when we have the greatest need. And time and again those people have shown us kindness and offered help that we have relied on. I doubt if they know how blessed we have been by their goodwill. I remember hearing a story about a man in Owensboro who would have donuts each week for the garbage men who picked up his trash. I actually did that for a while and one day got a hand written thank you from them. I’m not sure why I stopped doing that – I know it got a little expensive. But, I know those workers were disappointed when my donuts stopped showing up. People like being thanked for doing things – especially with donuts.
When our time is up here in Pennsylvania – I think we will make a list of all the people who have done those “little things” to help us out along the way – and find some way of saying thanks to all of them. After this experience we hope to never take those “little things” people do for us for granted again.
Now all we need are some “Rolling Pin” donuts.
Steve and Lisa