Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Red zone

As if we didn't have enough bills to pay . . . now this.


Tuesday morning I was driving to work, after dropping the kids off at elementary school. I was halfway down County Line Road, woolgathering about who knew what, listening to the news report on the morning's weather and traffic when I happened to glance at the instrument panel (always a healthy habit to get into Young Drivers!).

The temperature gauge needle, which normally sat serenely in the middle of the arc inscribed between C and H was sitting firmly at 2 o'clock and bumping itself steadily (like a blood pressure needle) into the red area.

Now, normally, I've paid little attention to this particular instrument panel on the station wagon. Only when it's freezing cold out do I watch it, hoping it would nose up past the C and into the lined area of the arc--indicating that I could turn on the heater and warm up. (Oh, and  . . . the heater isn't working either . . . but that is a separate story--isn't it?)

And when I am desperately HOPING for movement towards warmth, the needle NEVER moves. Obviously, it does move and it has in the past, but it isn't usually movement you can see. It's cold, the engine is cold, you are cold, you drive, you turn, you drive, you look down and . . . okay, I can turn the heater on now. But the needle doesn't visibly move. It just changes when you're not looking.

But Tuesday, the needle moved. I saw it move. It jerked and wiggled its way into the danger zone. And when I was stuck at traffic lights, it jerked and wiggled more rapidly. I tried turning on the heater, to help bleed out the heat from the engine compartment (something I once had to do in an older car during the summer months--not good times), but . . . oh, yeah . . . the heater isn't working. And it wasn't helping.

I made it to the office and then had to figure out what to do with getting it to the service station, home, and what about Wednesday? We are so used to having two cars--and we've set up our work routine with that as a crucial element in that routine--that finding a way out of that with minimal disruption of the work load we are responsible for . . . well, that is going to be the challenge.

I guess I'll let you know how we worked it out once I know the answer.

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