Thursday, June 30, 2011

Brick-gathering Gone Awry

It was warm but not oppressive. It was still daylight. I knew that Home Depot had a relatively healthy supply of pavers that I needed to tap before they disappeared. So I made the trip.
It was a fateful decision.

I think I mentioned Ladybird’s recent woes. Well, she’s not really given me much trouble, just a few scares. That changed Tuesday night.

Little more than half-way home from my adventures with bricks, I hear an odd whine. It disappears almost as soon as I hear it. The temperature gauge starts to rise. Mind you, at this point, I’m on a not- that-well-lit strip of roadway with absolutely nothing nearby. The gauge spikes above normal but not into the red zone. I slow my pace but keep driving.

The whine returns; disappears. I pull into a gas station. And sit. About 15 minutes later, I’m back on the road. The gauge registers normal, but then starts to rise, quickly.

I’m incredibly close to home at this point so I pull into an empty but lit lot. Smoke is slowly billowing from beneath the hood. I am about three or so blocks away from a Dollar General/Family Dollar (some kinda discount store, I always mix these up) that I remember seeing now stays open until 10 p.m. I look at my phone. It’s 9:11 p.m. Whew! That’s a lucky break for me.

I prop open the hood, lock the car and start walking. When I get there, there is exactly one, ONE, jug of Prestone 50/50 antifreeze on the shelf. That’s the only kind of antifreeze they have, at all. It’s as if it was sitting there, waiting for me. I buy it and walk back. I fill the reservoir and then wait. It’s now after 9:30.

I finally made it home around 10, stopping less than a mile after I’d started to let the car cool for another 15-20 minutes. The mother followed me to the mechanic’s last night (I called him yesterday and he said bring ‘er down). It was strange to walk outside this morning and not see Ladybird in the driveway.

Cross your fingers that she will be back on the road soon – and that it won’t take the national debt to make her that way.

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