Tuesday, October 9, 2018

My Chevy Astro Van Drowned Last Night

Apparently, my Chevy Astro drowned last night . . . in the driveway.

Rain can be a mixed blessing. We all need it to fall. The rivers, lakes, and streams need to be refilled. All living things need water. However, my van suffers from aquaphobia.

In recent weeks I had to battle an issue with a leak around the windshield on the van. Somewhere, water was getting in and dripping onto the steering wheel, and my right leg, leaving me unhappy and somewhat perplexed. I applied silicone and sealant and I thought I had the problem fixed. After the next two rain events the interior was dry. During the last few days, however, we have encountered sporadic downpours intermixed with continuous sprinkles. I know, that doesn't sound very meteorological of me, but it's accurate. It's our own fault. With the drought blanketing the county this year, we've all been praying hard for rain. Now we have it . . . but it's a mixed blessing.

I went out a couple of hours ago, tossed my purse in the van, the one we nicknamed the Green Lantern, and climbed into the driver's seat. There were a few drops of water on the floor mat and since it was still raining there wasn't much I could do as far as adding more sealant around the windshield gasket. I would wait until after I returned from picking up the niece and nephew at school, I decided. In went the key into the ignition.

The van rumbled a bit when I turned on the key. It started, grudgingly. I began to back out of the driveway and made it approximately five feet. There the engine died. I tried restarting it. It rumbled, coughed, wheezed, gasped for breath, then its little battery light clicked on and the engine quit again. I waited a few seconds and tried to restart it. It rumbled and the van trembled, immediately stopped breathing. Well, I did the only thing I could. I got out and looked under the hood. "Yup. There's that engine again."

Everything seemed okay, but the engine compartment appeared waterlogged. Odd, I thought, for a vehicle that had been sitting still for a day and a half. Engines are made to get wet, at least a little bit, especially when driving in the rain. So, how could my van simply drown in my driveway? I closed the hood and went inside. After a half an hour passed, I tried to start it again. I managed to get the van to start and revved the engine. It sputtered and coughed, but I was finally able to move it five feet forward. And, that is where I left it.

That's where it's going to sit until my favorite mechanic gets here or I can find a replacement for it on CarGurus.com.

Sunday, October 7, 2018

Writing Prompt

Writers know all about writing prompts. They are those little anecdotes, suggestions, keywords, or photos that get you thinking about something that has occurred in your life, whether recent or distant past.

Today's writing prompt, for me, is from the book The Writer's Block by Jason Rekulak. It is a tiny book, just big enough to remain noticeable and small enough to fit on the shelf above my desk. Despite sometimes supporting a few dust bunnies and other times acting as a tether for a newly-constructed spider web, its pages are accessible for that all-important encouragement a writer needs from time to time. It is part decor and always reference.

The Writer's Block was originally published in 2001 - that's when I purchased mine, I think - and has made it through several 'ain't mov'n this' fling events when my life has taken me to a new place and a thinning out of personal items was needed . This little block book always makes that packing crate.

Tonight's writing prompt says, "Write about the worst driving you've ever done."

A tough subject. There's so much to choose from. I guess, it was the one involving the horse.

blue moon
Moon Photo by @chuttersnap on Unsplash.com
Picture this - Blacktop northwest of Windsor, Colorado. It's 1987ish or so. Ahead of me there is a full moon cradled between the twin peaks of the foothills west of Fort Collins. It's about 6:30 in the morning. I am driving to work at my job as a security officer when I look up to observe the gorgeous full moon in repose. WHAM! The white Chevy van in front of me hits a horse (it was open range - no fences) that bolted across the road in front of it. Of course, I slammed on my brakes but hit the van anyway. The horse? It was only dazed after being struck by the van. It got up and ran away. I was late for work. My Mercury Lynx was totaled. The Chevy van had a bad day from both ends - damaged radiator and bent rear bumper. I still have mixed feelings about horses. They're beautiful, graceful, generally friendly, but I think they're also troublemakers.