Monday, July 14, 2008

Traveling / Staying Home

I piled out of bed this morning at 4:10, flipped on the light, went to the john, swallowed a handful of pills along with a caffeinated diet coke, and fumbled my way to the car, after checking to make sure the U.S. Air flight was still flying. Hubby who had packed everything last night took his own morning meds, pulled on his clean undies, long pants, a shirt, some socks with loafers, yoked the dogs to their twin's leash, and picked up his suitcase. We made it to the car by 4:25 a.m.

The airport in our burg is miles and miles from home but we were there by 5:10, traffic being non-existent on a Monday morning pre-dawn. It took a bit to get him the wheelchair but soon he was being pushed through the sliding doors, away to get his boarding pass and in line for his 6 a.m. flight.

The dogs and I sadly drove home, muttering under our breath (me), and whimpering pitifully (them). One final stop at the dog park for a good morning pee and we drove home to await the car repair men who were picking up our only running car to see if they could get some repairs done on and thus give me safe transportation for the week.

I begged Hubby not to travel during the school year. The thought of my having to walk the doggies at 5 a.m. before leaving for school blew my mind. So he delayed this trip until school was well out, we had a running vehicle, and nothing big was planned.

Hubby is off to Washington, D.C. to see his elder sister whom he has not seen in 55 years. Frankly, it seems to me that if they hadn't connected in all that time, then what was the sudden rush? However, after she had contacted him this winter and they had talked on the phone several times, the bug hit him to pay her a visit - and the visit needed to be soon, for after all, he's 72, she's 98, and the brother they are visiting in Philly is 89.

I was "semi-" invited to visit with him, however, the doggies were definitely NOT invited as elder sister "HATES" dogs and cats and any kind of pets at all. Fritzy is really in such poor shape that traveling is out for him anyway and I certainly cannot board him in this condition, so I'm holding down the home front.

Except that things have not gone smoothly, as we had originally planned. The Lincoln is getting a new motor. The Aurora, sweet car that it is, is just too expensive for Hubby to drive, considering the amount of miles he enjoys traveling on a daily basis. At $100 a tankful, we need a car that takes regular unleaded and gets somewhat better mileage than the Aura does. Admittedly the Lincoln only gets two more miles to the gallon, but it does not require the premium variety gas. So "used" parts have been scavenged and the Lincoln currently sits in pieces at the mechanics, who is replacing the muffler and the engine.

We thought the Aurora, which is now designated as MY car, would be fine, but any car that is 13 years old and has sat for over a year pretty much un-driven will throw you a curve every now and then. Saturday night Hubby thought the water pump was going out. The car began to shake and rattle and make incredible noises. Sunday morning though the car was quiet except it now had no air-conditioning. Meanwhile we are replacing the motor-mounts on it and some screws that have mysteriously disappeared and there are other problems, though not serious, that have caused it to buck rather like a kangaroo on starting up. The mechanic pretty much knows what's what but the problem is finding the parts at a reasonable price for a car that is no longer in production.

So I'm currently carless and not sure exactly the ETA on my getting wheels back. Meanwhile, I'm walking the dogs separately. The tandem leash has been dismantled and I take Fritzy for a brief stroll. He has little energy and only wants to go a short distance. Gus, however, thinks we should be walking to the shopping mall for treats and then galloping home -- a distance of at least five miles.

Hubby called and safely arrived in D.C. in good time. He is staying with Sister and is unhappy that her house in without air conditioning. He first question was, "Do you have the car?" and when I said, "no," he thought I should call the mechanic and discuss what was being done. After listening to my silence for a moment, we both had a good laugh. I can take care of doggies and do early morning walkies and make plane / travel reservations on line - but I have absolutely no idea what makes a car run, other than the little fairies inside the engine that undoubtedly produce some kind of fairy dust to get a combustion engine running. He hung up then to call the mechanic himself.

Thankfully, Hubby is coming home Thursday night. Hopefully, we'll have a car by then. Or maybe Gussie will get to enjoy a really long hike . . .

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