Friday, June 27, 2014


I had a terrifying experience in my van today. I was coming downhill on Rio Mesa Drive (nearly everything in this river valley is either on or near a hill) and the motor cut out. I could still steer laboriously, but there was no brake! I finally got my arthritic leg up high enough to slam on the parking brake and skidded to a meandering stop. The motor started, then stopped once or twice more then kept going and I proceeded but decided to go up another uphill street to the right. Bad move. It stalled again and I'm careening backward downhill toward the intersection with little control. I managed to swing left around the corner and into the ditch where I was finally able to again engage that ridiculous emergency brake.

Luckily, no one was where I careened wildly, and by this time, I'm trembling mightily. I thought a moment and decided to try again. It started. I put the brake part way down, put it in 1st gear and eased out of the ditch and down to the 260 main road and around the corner, then shifting into second and slowly making my way home where the van is now safely parked.

My diagnosis is fuel pump. It's one of those in the tank monstrosities that cost a fortune to replace, so the van will be sitting awhile. If it were a sane vehicle from a few decades ago, I'd disconnect and unbolt the fuel pump, go get a new one and put it in. No way is this a shade tree deal! Especially not for an eighty year old stove up old fart.

Well, it did solve a problem I'd been wrestling with. I'd booked a Sedona cleaning job for Monday and was questioning whether I'd bitten off more than I could really chew, especially with the probability of stairs to wrestle that heavy machine up and then down, which is even more dangerous, and maybe split levels inside. Very little in Sedona is one level.

This happenstance effectively puts me out of the flooring business, and maybe it's for the best. I'm so ornery that I just hate to quit. Maybe it's akin to my first marriage. My ex made the decision for me. I doubt if I ever would have divorced her. We Dexters are great at toughing it out and loyalty and dedication seem to be a built in given. It also helped keep me in that ridiculous cult far longer than I ever should have stayed.

So, I don't have to feel guilty and like I'm a quitter. We humans are enigmatic creatures, aren't we? We have so many psychological quirks. One of my biggest is just plain stubborness. But, if you want somebody who will hang with you through thick and thin, I guess I'm your man.

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