Wednesday, March 19, 2008

"I think we need a new car."

I know, I hardly recognize my computer since I've been away from it for so long. The past few weeks have been more than a whirlwind of activity getting ready for conference, but so far today, I seem to have found a few random minutes kicking around. I thought I'd use them here to reacquaint myself with my computer and to pop up from the blog graveyard.

One of the million things I've thought about blogging was the fuel system in our van. Recently it's been starting up just fine the first time it's run in a day, and it drives just fine for the first.. maybe 5 minutes. Then it stalls. Preferably in the middle of an intersection, or just as the traffic clears and there's a gap available to merge. And most noticeably - when we were supposed to be somewhere at a particular time or when we're already late. To fix it, we let it sit for a few minutes and then try starting it up again. Once it starts up, there are no more problems for the rest of that day. Sometimes it takes a while and a few start-up attempts. This is very embarrassing when you're blocking the left hand turning lane at a light and the poor folks behind you have to wait through three green lights before they decided to go a different way. Or when random street walkers graciously push you out of the middle of the four-way stop so you can wait out your stall on the side of the road without blocking traffic.

All this started a few weeks ago, and it gradually got worse to a certain point. The first time it happened, we thought we were out of gas and the fuel gage was messed up or stuck. But then it started happening more often and it didn't matter how recently we'd filled the tank, so we were able to eliminate that option. Finally it was so predictable that Sir started taking a different route to work (so he could stall somewhere practical) and I would leave myself an extra 20 minutes when leaving for appointments and such. We decided it was either the fuel filter/fuel pump or water/dirt/gunk in the gas tank.

So, Sir spent a good chunk of a wet, cold Saturday replacing the fuel filter or the pump (I can't remember which one it was now). The next day - the van stalled. We got a bottle of some gas tank cleaner stuff and dumped it in at the next fill up. And we choked up the extra cash to fill the tank with the highest grade gasoline. The day after that - we didn't stall. Apparently, we had solved the problem. Temporarily. After a week or so without stalling (just long enough to drop our guard), the van stalled again, and has been getting worse again over the last few days.

That said, let me get to what I set out to say today.

Yesterday, after we dropped Sir off at work (the van had stalled on the way in), Dolly piped up from her corner in the back, "Mommy, I think we need a new car." "Really?,." I replied. "Yeah, 'cause nemember, yesterday when our car was dead and we had to get a new car?" ('Yesterday' means any day in the past, for your information) "I remember," I said, "but we couldn't fix that car. Maybe we can fix this one. Don't you think that would be a good idea?" "Yeah, but this car was dead today, and the Lord Jesus fixed it, but I think we need to get another new car." The conversation changed and we went on with our day.

Later when we picked Sir up from work that evening, I told him what Dolly had said. He thought it was amusing and decided to ask her about it. "So, Dolly," he started "You think we need to get a new car?" (Dolly had missed her nap that afternoon, and was almost asleep, and very groggy) "What?" she asked. Sir repeated the question and she replied very sleepily, "But I already have a new blue car...." And with that she gazed out the window with her head leaning against the side of her carseat. Content to let the world drive by.

Well, my few random minutes that were kicking around have long gone and I need to be doing my laundry, bathing kids, and finishing the last pre-conference things on my list. Cookies and squares just don't make themselves you know! And if I organize everything just right, I might get a nap today. That would be very good - especially with three days of meetings starting tomorrow night.