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Charlie's Soap

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Tuesday, September 18
Girls go to college to get more knowledge

Well, THAT was an unplanned blog break if I ever saw one.

I figure my birthday's as good a day as any to try to snap this hiatus I took, so here I am.

Since we last talked, I've sent a kid to college, and she turned 18.

Yes, both of those things you "can't even imagine" right now happened in the span of 2 weeks around these parts.

You know how when you have a baby and you figure out what high school class he or she will be in when they graduate high school and laugh at how absurd that sounds?

Yeah, that. It's not so absurd, anymore.

The day we'd been preparing for for many months finally arrived, and we packed up the van to head to college:

Packing the van for college

After hanging out at the hotel that night, we got up the next morning and headed to the dorm at the appointed move-in time:

Arriving for move-in

There was lots of stuff:

How's THIS going to work?

But, it somehow worked out:

Turned out pretty good!

After the van was unloaded (awesome university volunteers, it took like 7 minutes to get all that out and on the way to the room), I went to move the van to the parking garage so I could come back to help her unpack.

I was sitting at a stoplight on this very large campus in 1,000 degree weather when it became quite apparent the van was ADR (Ain't Doin' Right).

Now, if you know me at all, you know nothing at our house ever works right, and the van is no exception, but we'd just gotten it out of the shop the day before, and I'd just driven it several hundred miles without a problem.

Whatever. I was on the verge of the thing dying in an intersection on a busy campus on my daughter's first day of college.

Awesome.

I admit to knowing the alternator was a bit of an issue, so I figured if I could just get it to the garage, I could jump it later and drive around and recharge the battery and be on my merry way.

I somehow got it to the garage and it keeled over the very moment I pulled into the parking place.

I called campus Traffic and Parking (hint: the dispatcher would come to call me by name whenever I dialed them) to come give me a jump later so I could get the battery going again.

They arrived, and I jumped into action and drove the dang thing around and around on the highway surrounding campus, but I could feel it was still ADR, so I returned to the garage where it died again and a second jump failed.

Day turned into night, and I was still at my daughter's college on her first day.

I walked back to the dorm since there was nothing else I could do. I was already planning to stay the night so I had a hotel room and I figured I'd call the mechanic the next day.

But, I had to get back to the hotel it was late and no one had eaten dinner, so I ended up following Busy Girl and my son-in-faux around campus until we could eat and they could take me (his car) back to the hotel.

Pathetic, no?

I promise no one wanted me to leave more than I wanted me to leave at that point.

I searched for a mechanic the next morning and had to get Busy Girl to come back and get me early the next morning and take me back to the van to wait for the tow truck.

The tow truck that took 2 hours to get there and even then there was no guarantee I could get it fixed on a Friday in a small town.

Towed away

(Please note that if they hadn't been able to fix it, I would have had to STAY IN MY DAUGHTER'S DORM her second night at college because there were no hotel rooms left in town.)

My emotions regarding the tow truck wait were completely and totally squelched as the driver shared with me on the way to the shop how his daughter was killed while he was talking to her on the phone in the devastating tornado in April of last year (2011).

Perspective. I got some.

Anyway, a new alternator and several hours later, I was finally on my way home.

Things are most certainly different around here, and we miss her terribly.

However, you really do get sort of used to it, and she's doing quite well.

Only about 8 months left of school camp, and she'll be back home.

10:52 PM |


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