Tag Archive | Transportation

Car Blessings pt. 1

As we got ready to go on our trip last week, I decided to make sure that the car was good to go.  It was getting close to time for an oil change, and one of the tires was wearing funny.  I kept forgetting to take care of it, but at the last minute we got it in.

I told the mechanics that we were going on a trip, and could they check that tire and see if anything else needed attention.  I usually don’t make a habit of telling mechanics to let me know everything that is wrong with an older car, because it usually will cost me more than the vehicle is worth.

They called back saying, yes – the one tire was completely bad and would have gone out on us.  Not only that, they also checked a small leak that was coming from the engine and found a serious problem developing.  They told us that it was a $1,000 – $2,000 repair, but because they had found it so early, they could still put a stop leak option in for $20, and it will probably fix the problem for another 3 -5 years.

We still decided that a 14 hour drive wasn’t the safest option for that vehicle and opted for the rental, but at least we found the problem while it was still small.  I can’t think of any other scenario where we would have found that leak early.



Trusty Rusty

We took our family on a trip this last weekend.  Finding a reliable vehicle for long road trips that will seat our large family without breaking the bank has been a struggle.  A few months back a generous family member was able to upgrade their vehicle and give us their old clunker, affectionately named “Trusty Rusty.”   Another relative even refers to him as the “Miracle Van.”

He’s not much to look at, and has a lot of mileage under his hood.  We drove him over 500 miles this weekend without a single problem.  I don’t know how, but he gets as good of gas mileage as our economy car of the same age.  It was wonderful to be able to be with family for their important event.



Toyota Camry photographed in Waldorf, Maryland...

Nothing earth shattering today, but a big help is the fact that our car passed safety inspection with no problem.

The car is 22 years old, has 244,000 miles, and does not come with a car payment.  We’ve never had it not pass safety inspection in all the time we have owned it!  Two of our boys have crashed the doors, but those were inexpensive fixes and no one got hurt.  We love our old clunker, and it looks like we’ve got another year with it!

Don’t Roll Your Car


Our neighbor’s kids rolled their car four times Saturday night while driving down the mountain to come home.  The daughter was brought to the hospital in full traction.  A few hours later the hospital completed all the tests they needed to do and determined that she would be extremely sore for quite a while, but other than that she could go home.

They felt like it was a miracle that nothing worse was wrong with her.


I Didn’t Kill Anyone Today!


I was very “lucky” today to not kill anyone.  Sounds crazy, but it could have been very bad.  I was heading to the library, in the parking lot actually.  I was simply driving down the lane looking for a parking spot.  Suddenly this nine-ish year old kid appears in the road out of nowhere.  I managed to slam on my brakes and stop before I hit him.  It was close.

He had been running from the park next to the library – full speed, and ran between two closely parked mini-vans and out directly in front of me.  I was looking the other way and must have seen him out of my peripheral vision.  I had just picked a parking spot and was about to step on the gas and pull in.  Fortunately I did see him in time, and I was still going slow.  I think I scared the poor kid to death though.  Stopped dead in his tracks right in the middle of the street once he saw me.  I think he’ll look before he runs into a parking lot again.


Lost Travelers

Also on this little outing, we had some trouble finding somewhere we could connect to the internet.  Usually not being able to connect to the internet on a camping trip isn’t a big issue, but I was relying on map quest to find where our activities were.  I had intended to print out our directions to all our destinations, but we didn’t have the access the first night that I planned on, forgot the laptop the second night, etc.  We took the long way to our destination the first night.  We went about 45 minutes out of our way looking for our campsite because we got some bad directions, etc.

Friday morning I had my bout of heat stroke.  Our plans for that afternoon were to go into town and find the aerospace museum for some very excited boys.  I knew that the museum was attached to the AF base, but other than that we were clueless.  (It was awesome BTW – http://www.hill.af.mil/library/museum/) By lunchtime I was starting to feel better, but still could not drive.  We decided to go into town, find a cool park to eat our lunch at, hope we could connect to the internet, and if not then ask for directions.  Not only did we have no clue where we were going, but we had a very young driver behind the wheel of the second car who basically had never driven in any town but where we live.  Good luck to us!

To start things off my husband had planned on heading back the way we had come in.  But no, he took a wrong turn.  By the time he realized what he had done we decided we were lost enough that we would just  get directions from where we ended up.  Ogden was supposed to be a beautiful town, and we were sure they would have a park soon and we were hungry.  We drove for half an hour not seeing either a park or a grocery store, and very few gas stations.

Finally I saw what looked like a park behind a school.  We pulled over, and yes, it was a park.  No internet though.  We had a nice lunch and asked around for directions.  The others in the park had not heard of the museum and had no idea where the AF base was.  On the way out we stopped at the gas station that was right there.  Les got directions, but it turned out that they were completely wrong!

He was told to drive a couple blocks further, take a certain street, get on the freeway and follow the signs a few exits down.   As we got in the car Les noticed that specific street was that very intersection!  He decided to turn there and we did.  About 2 minutes later we saw the freeway ahead of us, and started looking around for our entrance.  Instead we saw a small sign with the name of our museum and an arrow.  We quickly turned where it indicated and drove directly into the museum entrance!!!!

Usually I’d call that great luck.  However, when we looked back on the route later, we realized we had driven directly to the museum.  If we had not turned early, or if we had not stopped exactly where we did, we would have gone quite a ways out of the way, and would never have found that obscure sign and the entrance we were looking for.   I know we were blessed, and I’m calling it a miracle!

p.s. Our teenage driver did AWESOME – another miracle in and of itself.

English: This is Downtown Ogden.

English: This is Downtown Ogden. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)