|First block, Grandmother's Scrap Basket|
|"Sew" nice to have my sewing machine in my Sanctuary :)|
I happened to look out my Sanctuary window in time to notice that there are changes occurring to the leaves of our Modesto Ash tree. This tree is massive and I'm afraid it may be reaching the geriatric stages of it's 'normal' life, but it had a very full set of leaves this year. And they're just starting to change color, do you see that faint hint of yellowing on those outer leaves? Just a hint, and it showed better when the sun was still higher, but I didn't get the shot off soon enough. We're definitely feeling fall changes, though we're still getting 80+ temps and we're scheduled (Who schedules these things?) for some strong winds and a temperature warm-up, but I think it's only brief. I'm enjoying the much cooler evenings and nights.
|50+ year old Modesto Ash|
So those are the really good things. Next comes the not quite as good, but it all worked out thing. We know God is in control, and He provided again today. Why things happen the way they do, I don't always know, but I DO know that we need to go through trials to recognize that we have a loving Father who wants us to know that He is there even when we think we can do all things without Him, or largely by our own efforts.
I've been planning to go to Costco for quite awhile, but with Marty out of work, I wanted to hold off, along with using up much of the older items in our freezer and pantry. Today was the day to replenish those things. Most all meat was finally used up with the exception of a couple pounds of fish and a few pounds of pork loin, we were about out of toilet tissue, paper towels, nose tissues, and el cheapo paper plates, so off to Costco I went with list in hand. OK, well actually, going to Costco is a bit more of an ordeal as I plan my trips there infrequently, usually only once a month, it's been about three, because it's all the way on the other side of town, about 13 miles, and they don't open until 10:00 (I hate that part, btw!). So I drop Nick off at school by 7:45 (school is only 2 miles from Costco) and since I got up late and didn't even have time to shower, let alone get my much needed coffee, the first place I headed to was the closest Starbucks. Mind you, I needed to kill 2 hours and 15 minutes as well. Otherwise, I came prepared, with a book to read (Master Your Money by Ron Blue), assigned reading by our financial dude for our meeting tomorrow....all of the first eight chapters, and I had my always-with-me crossword puzzles.
I then got to the Costco parking lot, which is near empty aside from early employees' vehicles so I get my choice :) of parking spots, however, Costco is built on a bit of a hill, and for some reason, that exact point isn't conducive to my favorite radio station. If I'd parked in the lane between all the parking spaces it was fine, but as soon as I pulled into a spot, another station would bounce in and I'd get cross-talk from both stations...grrr. I decided to forget the radio and pulled out a favorite CD by Bronn Journey, beautiful harp music. After about 45 minutes of sitting, reading, and listening, I was hungry, and I was starting to see stars, so I decided I'd head over to Jack-In-The-Box and grab some breakfast. I started the car. No, wait, I didn't start the car. The car would not start, what? I tried again, no! It would not start. No warning, no bbbrrrrpppp, no whirrr, no nothing. Am I not in park? I'd turned the lights off, it can't be the battery, I was only playing the radio/CD. OK, well then, I'll turn the radio off, roll the windows up - yep both were still working, and I walked to JIB, grabbed a breakfast sandwich, walked back, tried again, nope, it would not start, and wouldn't even give me the familiar warning that a dead or dying battery gives, well poo-poo.
MARTY!!!! Help!!!! Damsel in distress!!! I was so glad he was home, and that my phone had enough power though it wasn't fully charged, oh, and by the way.. he needed to get out of the house and out of his depressive funk from no leads this week, and a 'sorry Charley' from the potential job 46 miles away :( I digress. He brings me help by way of battery cables and his running vehicle, it took about 20-25 minutes for him to get there, and it still wasn't time for Costco to open, hehe! While I was waiting for him, I was thinking to myself, that maybe, just maybe he'd be open to taking my car to get the battery remedied and I'd keep his car and do my shopping. Yes, he was open to that but needed to go home first and find the paperwork from the battery purchase which was only 2.5 years ago...yes, I keep a log book in my car :) so I knew.
I did my shopping. Oh boy, did I do my shopping. It all fit in one cart, and as I'm checking out, I told the 'box boy' it was his mission to get everything back in without needing a second cart! He did, barely. I loaded my supplies into the car. It dawned on me, I have never driven Marty's car. Remember back around the first of the year when he wrecked the Camry, and replaced it with a 4Runner? Well, I had never driven it, and was almost afraid too. One does what one must do.
I couldn't find the seat mover-forward thingy! My Highlander has an electric button on the side that does that, not the 4Runner, it's a bar at the front of the seat, underneath, that has to manually be pulled up while you scoot the seat forward. Check. My, I'm hot (hehe, it was only 69 out, but felt like 80), how do I turn on the air? Is that it? no, ok this? um, oh, there it is. Reverse, and yes, it is an automatic, but it's a 4-wheel drive automatic, where's the D for Drive? nope, ain't there, is it the 4D? wow, this vehicle is certainly different than my Highlander, even if it IS made by Toyota. So is 4WD the same as 4D and should I be driving with the shifter in 3 or 1 or what? I don't know, why didn't I think to call Marty again and ask. Oh well, I drove home in 4D.
Home...unpacked...freezer stuff in freezer...fresh meats in fridge awaiting return of my energy to break them down into smaller packages before putting into the freezer. Whew, I'm bushed from all this excitement! But wait, Marty hasn't taken care of the battery issue on the Highlander yet, but did back into the driveway, smart man, in case he had to jump start it again when I got back. He'd found the paperwork....36 month 100% covered warranty. WHOO HOOO!!! A new battery at no cost! Praise God! Thank You, thank You, thank You! He took the Highlander to go get the new battery and I took the 4Runner again, to get Nick from school and get him to his piano lesson, all good there. Oh, wait! There's that question about 4D that I forgot to ask Marty about again. As I'm rolling out of the driveway I remember, but he's already gone, and he didn't answer his phone when I called, so oh well. But then I start thinking, well, my first husband had a 4WD vehicle, and you had to get out and unlock the hubs, and then monkey with this separate gear shift, and what if I'm actually driving this in 4WD and not D and am I damaging something and while all this is racing around in my brain, I look down at the dash board lights and see that only the 4 is lit up and not the D, hmmmm. When next stopped, I looked at the the covering where the shifter is, and hmmm again, it seems there's space right next to where the shifter currently is, so I moved the shifter there, oh wow, the 4 light goes off and the D light comes on and the car still goes forward. I guess automatic 4WD's are different than other 4WDs. No hubs, no separate gear shift, no idiot wife damaging her husband's car. I'm so glad! And when I told Marty, he just chuckled.
And since Marty had taken care of my needs, I noticed his tank was down to a 1/4 tank and knew he'd be going off to his guy-meeting tonight so Nick and I stopped at the gas station to fill the tank. Hmmmm, how do you open the gas tank. Seriously!!! No really, seriously? Where IS it?! Is it hiding under the special floormats Marty bought? No, can't be that, is it in the center column, no, not there either. I noticed earlier that the manual was in the center console, so pulled it out, looked up the fuel lever (yes, under fuel, not gas) and discovered it's a little lever-type thing below the steering wheel - odd, yes, very odd placement. I also figured out how to set the radio station on his car while I was discovering all these oddities. I'll keep my Highlander, and I'm one very thankful woman tonight. Thankful God has blessed us with this time, in spite of it's uncertainty, because Marty was home and able to come to my aid. Yes, I could have called AAA, but I'd have had to wait likely an hour or more, and then would have driven straight home instead of getting my much need shopping done. Thankful that though it happened at all, that it was before the warranty on the battery ran out and not after. Thankful that our financial position is such that I could still re-stock, at least this month, this quarter. Thankful that there was some levity in discovering all the odd placements of things in the 4Runner, thankful we have it at all.
And I suppose that's enough for today, my fingertips are actually feeling numb from typing and I need to go grab my dinner, I wasn't hungry yet when Marty & Nick ate.
Blessings abound, but please pray for a job for Marty.