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A humorous week

posted Sep 11, 2011, 6:20 PM by Christine Merrill   [ updated Sep 11, 2011, 6:21 PM ]
Well, well, well. I'm reminded of the famous comment by my 5th-grade friend Andy Hochberg on humor: “Look, you don't get it! A man walks out onto the street, he falls through an uncovered manhole - and that's funny!” If you agree, keep reading, because this was one of those weeks!

Monday. We think that this Monday we went canoeing. We're not sure, because we remember canoeing in about the same way we remember anything that happened before yesterday - as a dream. Anyway, we woke up, got out the canoe, put it on the car, got donuts :), went canoeing (saw some cool birds), and then went to sing at a rest home with the missionaries. All that by 11:30! And we woke up late, too! After such a great start, though, I spent the rest of the day trying to replace the air filter in our car. It was a special order part, which seemed very odd, and it was expensive and bigger than your average filter, which also seemed odd. Then I started in to it. On this car, to replace the air filter you jack up the car, put it on stands, remove the left front wheel, remove the fenderwell, remove two convenient bolts, and then spend 2 hours trying to unscrew the last bolt! To reach it, you snake your arm around the filter into a spot under the headlight in the bumper where you try to unscrew a blind bolt by touch. I tried everything (including just pulling the filter real hard). Finally, I managed to get a rachet on it, and by contorting me, the filter, and the headlight, could get enough room for 1 click. 10,000 clicks later, I removed the filter. Then I saw that it was a one-piece sealed thing and that it wouldn't fit the supposed replacement even if I just sawed the box open. All I could do was put it back!

There was also rain. Many of you may have heard about the rain which started with periods of heavy downpours Monday afternoon. See, I was under a tree, so it wasn't too bad, but then it would start pouring, so I would shove the tools under the car and go inside. Then it would stop, so I would come out, eeeh, uhhh, ooooh, owowowow, click, click, cliiiiick, boom! rain! owowowowow, oooh, uhh, eeh, and run inside. I finally rigged up a tarp at which point it started just raining hard steadily. Eventually, I got the filter back on (reverse the previous comment) and went inside. I was going to persevere and replace the PCV valve until I saw that to do so involved removing the entire intake manifold, including the engine cooling fans and shroud, the brake vacuum hoses, and 'any relevant connectors and retaining clips, marking them ... as they are unplugged'. At that point, I gave up and took the car off the stands - maintenance be hanged! However, the damage was done. The rain continued for 4 days, and we had such flooding that parts of Alexandria were evacuated and the Capitol Beltway had portions shut down. Sorry, folks!

The rest of the week was sort of normal. Lots of rain, dentist appointments all around, and then more rain. The bright spot was Ellis's birthday. She LOVED it! Thanks to the great presents from the Grandparents and the cards and songs and things. One fun thing is that Christine decided to give her a hobby, so she gave her a crochet hook and lots of cool pink yarn. She has already learned to crochet bracelets and just thinks this is the coolest thing ever! You'll have to see them.

The theme of the week picked back up on Saturday. I drove the youth down to a dance at another building about 45 minutes away. At the end of the dance there was the usual trying to figure out who would drop off whom, but we got it figured out. I ran to the car, stuck my key in the trunk to put some stuff back there, and the key snapped in half! My life flashed in front of my eyes, how was I going to get these kids home?! So, I jumped in front of the next car, threw one boy in there, and dragged the other two to a second car. The leader of the second car graciously took them, and then asked me how I was getting home. I hadn't thought of that. So, she gave me a ride along with the rest. Whew!

But, we're not through yet! With the car stuck 30 miles away, we woke up this morning. I had meetings before and after church, but fortunately, I already had rides worked out. So, no biggie, we've got the bus. So Christine and kids biked out to the stop, and as they were locking the bikes they saw the bus pull up “Out of Service.” As Christine stared at it, she realized that it was full of people, but in the few seconds while it registered that the sign on the bus was wrong, it pulled away! Argh, so she waited 30 minutes for the next one, and 5 minutes later walked into church. A little late, but no biggie. A friend returned our sewing machine, so Christine had that, 3 kids, and all the church bags going home. Again, no problem, we've done this before, and with the bike trailer, it really is quite easy. So, they got off the bus, loaded all the stuff into the bike trailer... and found that the bike tire was flat. A 10 minute easy ride transformed into a 45 minute hot slog. When they finally arrived home, they did the only thing that the could: they ate all of the ice cream in the house. When I arrived home 15 minutes later, they could already laugh about it!

And so, that's our week! The car is back (the trunk still works with the button in the front or the remote, and someday I'll pull out that piece of the key - if it doesn't involve removing the gas tank), we are home, and we are all still laughing!