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What a trip to town!

Posted by Suzanne D on 7/26/03 at 16:01 (125295)

This morning my daughter and I had gone about 5 miles on the parkway headed to town, and BOOM! there was a loud noise which almost sounded like a tire blowing. I didn't think it was that as the wheels felt steady, but I quickly pulled over into the emergency lane. Our poor old van (200,000+miles)died, I think. My husband was gone in our better vehicle (Of course when something happens I am the one driving, and he is nowhere around!). I soon saw smoke/steam rolling out the front. I told my daughter to get out quickly; I wasn't sure if there was a fire or not. Then brown/reddish liquid came pouring out of the front of the van on the pavement, and soon the smoke cleared.

Thankfully I had my cell phone with me and called a friend who came to get us. I also had our local auto salvage number written in my planbook in my purse and called them to come get the van. I checked with my husband by phone who said the color of the liquid sounds like transmission fluid, and that will be too expensive to fix. The van is ten years old and has been great, but I guess it's finished its course with us.

In the meantime, as I stood out by the van I got stung by a bee, and the stinger stayed in my arm. I had to get a kleenex and yank (hard!) it out, and it bled quite a while. Whew! What a day! But it could have been much worse, so I am thankful no one was hurt.

I just thought I'd share our adventure with you! Oh, yes, on the way home, I told my friend to pull into the little corner store so I could buy her some corn from an Amish man who has been selling from his wagon in the parking lot. I thought that was the least I could do for her. I have bought from him twice this week already. I thought as I was standing there how I guess he'd never have that experience of breaking down in his little buggy!

Take care,
Suzanne :)

Re: What a trip to town!

Carole C in NOLA on 7/26/03 at 17:12 (125299)

Oh my goodness! Suzanne, what an experience. I would have been SO scared with the boom, and the smoke/steam rolling out the front. What good fortune that you had your cell phone with you, so that you could call a friend. And what a time to get stung by a bee. Sometimes it seems like unpleasant things like broken vans and beestings come in bunches, doesn't it. Let's hope that's the end of it.

Maybe the silver lining to this cloud will be that you will be able to get another van, sometime, now that this one has died. A new van is fun, and if they are too much, I've heard that used vehicles are relatively inexpensive this year. You are right, that with 200,000 miles on it, your old van was probably ready to be retired.

On Thursday, I had a cloud with a silver lining, too. I don't know if I wrote about it or not. If I did, please forgive the repetition! Anyway, I was taking a shower to relax after work, and washed my hair and let the hot water beat on my face really hard for a while, which felt good. Then I blindly reached for the handles to shut the water off, but when I turned them only the cold water would shut off! The hot water was turned on to its maximum. I got out my tool box and then realized that I didn't have the slightest CLUE what to do or how to get the handle off. It was already 6 PM. So, I called a 24-hour plumber out of the yellow pages, thinking that the charge would probably be $200-300, but what else could I do?

The silver lining was that he came over promptly with an assistant, and DIDN'T overcharge me, and he had it fixed within an hour. It was a washer. He was so honest, competent, and inexpensive that I asked him if he could fix my leaky tub faucet sometime at his leisure next week. I am so glad to have found a competent, inexpensive and honest plumber who doesn't overcharge. So much for stereotypes!

So in my case, the silver lining definitely made up for the cloud. I hope that the same is true for you! Sorry, I didn't mean this post to be all about me. But I'm imagining you in a new, different van, one day. You may be glad that this one died.

Carole C

Re: What a trip to town!

Suzanne D on 7/26/03 at 18:10 (125304)

Thanks, Carole! I appreciate your post. Yes, I am ready for a new (to me, anyway) van. This one has hauled countless kids and school stuff, etc. on many, many runs, so it has done its job well. I realize how much time has passed when I remember that my daughters were 7 and 12 when we got it! So many changes during that span of time...

No, you hadn't told us about the plumber, and what a marvelous find! It isn't often that you can find someone who is honest and hard-working and doesn't overcharge in an emergency. I would say your silver lining is definitely sterling!

Thanks for pointing out about the silver lining! That's good to remember.

Suzanne :)

Re: What a trip to town!

Dorothy on 7/27/03 at 02:13 (125321)

It's lovely to make a 'story' out of an adventure, even on that has some near-catastrophic aspects to it. Glad you all are OK.

Re: What a trip to town!

Suzanne D on 7/27/03 at 08:07 (125326)

Thanks, Dorothy! I loved nothing better as a child than sitting and listening to my two great aunts tell stories. I guess some of the story-telling rubbed off!

When I watched The Waltons years later, I always thought my great-aunts reminded me of Miss Mamie and Miss Emily - except for the fact that my aunts did not make 'the recipe'!

I loved hearing my aunt who taught 47 years (Yes, 47!) tell about how she remembered sitting on my great-grandfather's shoulders as they came up the Cumberland River on a barge from Tennessee to Kentucky.

Another favorite story was of the first time an automobile came through our small town. The people were visiting from Indiana, and word spread that they would be driving the car out each of the 4 main roads for about a mile or so. People gathered near the side of the road to wait and watch. She said she remembered hearing people say, 'Thirty-five miles and hour! What is this world coming to?!'

She retired from her 47 years of teaching when I was 10 and lived until I was 28. She stated at her retirement celebration that her goal was to learn something new every day the rest of her life. I think that's why she never seemed old to me even though she lived until she was almost 90. She often said it was the best time to live because she had seen so many new inventions throughout her lifetime.

Well, I didn't mean to write a book here! I'd better stop before it becomes a novel!

Suzanne :)

Re: What a trip to town!

BevN. on 7/27/03 at 11:47 (125344)

Suzanne,

So now it is time to shop for a new van or a horse and buggy :-/

Re: What a trip to town!

Carole C in NOLA on 7/27/03 at 12:39 (125349)

She sounds wonderful, Suzanne. What a great person to learn from!

Carole C

Re: What a trip to town!

marie on 7/27/03 at 16:15 (125362)

Yikes Suzzane! I bet your heart was racing. That would scare the ba-jeebers out of me. Hope you have recovered from your bee sting. This may sound weird but I've never been stung by a bee. I have had many close encounters but they just don't sting me.

marie

Re: What a trip to town!

Necee on 7/28/03 at 00:33 (125400)

Suzanne I'm so glad that you aren't allergic to insect bites!!!
Your day would have been ruined for sure!
Maybe it wasn't the transmission after all, could it be just a radiator hose that busted?? Sometimes those will pop, and smoke and steam will rise from under the hood. If your radiator hasn't been flushed in quite a while, and new coolant put in, sometimes it will turn a brownish-orange color.
Glad your ok.

Happy trails...

Necee

Re: What a trip to town!

Suzanne D on 7/28/03 at 10:19 (125428)

Right now the buggy sounds safer to me, Bev, but then it sure would take a long time to get places! ;)

Suzanne :)

Re: What a trip to town!

Suzanne D on 7/28/03 at 10:22 (125429)

Wow, Marie - you've never been stung by a bee. That's great! I wonder if you have an olive-toned complexion. My sister does, and she has hardly ever had any type of bee stings or bug bites. I have fair skin, and they always swarmed over me. We could be out together playing as children, and I would be covered in bites while she had nothing.

Suzanne :)

Re: What a trip to town!

Suzanne D on 7/28/03 at 10:25 (125430)

Hi, Necee! Two years ago I was stung on the lip by a wasp and had a very bad reaction. My lip swelled to 4 times its normal size, and I had to go to an Acute Care place for a shot and medicine. I couldn't even go to school the next day because I still looked pretty bad and knew the children would be afraid of me. I had never had a reaction like that before. This was some kind of bee, but it did do a pretty good job on me!

You sound like you know a lot more about vehicles than I do, Necee! My van is being looked at now, so we shall see. You may be right! I am getting to the point of not feeling comfortable driving it as we have had several things to go wrong with it lately. I am getting more hesitant to put money into it with the age and mileage, but then those payments each month are pretty steep...

Take care!
Suzanne :)

Re: What a trip to town!

john h on 7/28/03 at 10:37 (125433)

I seem to get stung every year at least once by a wasp. I remember when my daughter was about 8 months old she was screaming and we found a wasp in her diaper.

Re: What a trip to town!

marie on 7/28/03 at 11:36 (125439)

I am fair skinned...it must be a body scent or something. Mosquitos rarely bother me. We can be in the woods and I am having a great time while my family is being eaten alive. I always jokingly tell my kids that bugs don't bite or sting me because I am one with nature....that just makes them madder.

Have a nice day.

marie

Re: What a trip to town!

Dorothy on 7/28/03 at 15:52 (125466)

Or, perhaps they don't bite you because you are NOT one with nature and they don't recognize you as a palatable snack. Lucky you.

Re: What a trip to town!

Dorothy on 7/28/03 at 15:58 (125467)

There are 'movie stars' who have based an entire career (since it certainly isn't acting prowess) on that lip look you got from the wasp. It used to be said that they got various sorts of injections to accomplish it. Another example of how out of whack our society has become.
I thought it was so considerate of you to say '...knew the children would be afraid of me' - now that's a good-hearted teacher!

Re: What a trip to town!

marie on 7/28/03 at 18:02 (125476)

I must not be that tasty. Maybe that's it...I'm not in sync with nature. Thanks Dorothy.

smiles, marie

Re: What a trip to town!

Kathy G on 7/28/03 at 19:00 (125483)

We all know that Suzanne always thinks of her students!=D>

One of the people that comes to mind, Dorothy, is Meg Ryan. I saw an old movie of hers this weekend while channel surfing and her lips looked so much better before she had them done! And I suspect that even with a fat lip, Suzanne looked better than Angelina Jolie. Just my own personal opinion, but her looks really strike me as gross! Probably a sign of my age!

Re: What a trip to town!

Suzanne D on 7/28/03 at 19:12 (125485)

Dorothy, if you had seen me with my swollen lip, you would have known that the only movie you would have thought of would have been a monster movie! :D People sort of drew back in their chairs when I entered the Acute Care waiting room.

Thanks for the compliment. You always make me feel good by what you write, Dorothy!

Suzanne :)

Re: What a trip to town!

Suzanne D on 7/28/03 at 19:15 (125487)

I guess I'm telling my age, too, Kathy ~ but they just don't seem to make good movies like they used to! I like movies with 'heart' and a good storyline and good acting. The lack of the before-mentioned features seem to me to be replaced by special effects and violence. But then I still like 'Charlotte's Web' and Andy Griffith, so I guess I'm not in the mainstream of America! :>

Suzanne :)

Re: What a trip to town!

Suzanne D on 7/28/03 at 21:00 (125505)

Oh, I imagine she WAS screaming! And I bet it scared you and her mother, too!

Suzanne :)

Re: What a trip to town!

Necee on 7/29/03 at 01:00 (125514)

When I was a teenager, I use to watch my brother work on his car, I'd help him sometimes, and guess that's how I've learned about engines and things.
I can change the oil on a vehicle, and know how to change a flat tire.
You gals out there really should know how to do those things. I've got a cousin who has never pumped her on gas! Now can ya'll believe that! Her husband has always filled up her car for her.... if anything were to happen to him, I don't know what she'd do.

Happy trails...
Necee

Re: What a trip to town!

Dorothy on 7/29/03 at 11:55 (125549)

I did, do, and always will adore and love the Andy Griffith show. I taped as many as I could because I worried that someday they would not be shown anymore. I have a most extremely brilliant in-law who is: a Physics professor, young, Jewish, urban, northern, has an ironic sense of humor - AND YET he also LOVES the Andy Griffith show and (one of the things that makes him brilliant in my book) also believes it to be the best television show. And I: not a Physics whiz, not young, not Jewish, not currently urban, southern roots, with a mixed sense of humor - hereby declare you, Suzanne D. to BE the mainstream of America because you, too, appreciate the Andy Griffith show as it should be appreciated!

Re: What a trip to town!

marie on 7/29/03 at 12:06 (125551)

The Andy Griffith show is one of our family favorites. My sons are especially into the show. Taping is a good idea. I love it because it reminds me of the easy way life use to be. Neighborly.

marie

Re: What a trip to town!

SuzanneK on 7/29/03 at 16:11 (125568)

I rarely get bitten either. I blame on on a not-so-sweet dispostion! Lots of tastier folks out there. :p

Re: What a trip to town!

Suzanne D on 7/29/03 at 21:29 (125613)

:) Dorothy, that's neat to read that your in-law loves the Andy Griffith Show and that you do, too! I have a couple of tapes from times when the Super Bowl was on and another channel played one show after the other. My father resembled Andy Griffith in appearance somewhat, and that has made the shows even dearer to me.

We can have a very diverse 'mainstream of America' Andy Griffith Fan Club!

Suzanne :)

Re: What a trip to town!

Kathy G on 7/30/03 at 10:06 (125647)

I always kind of identified with Barney Fife!

Re: What a trip to town!

Carole C in NOLA on 7/30/03 at 14:03 (125689)

I love the Andy Griffith Show, too. It's the America that many of us grew up with. The characters are almost like a second family.

Carole C