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A One, And a Two, And a. . On Second Thought Let’s Leave It At Two

November 1, 2018

I have four drivers at my house. Two kids with licenses, my lovely wife and myself. I have five cars at my house. Every driver has a car and there is a “project” car that is waiting for me to devote the time to fixing it. It’s a 1996 Lexus ES300.

Over the past summer in addition to the Lexus (affectionately named Iron Man,) my son’s 92 Chrysler has been “in the shop.” The shop being the spots in my driveway closest to the garage.

Finally a few weeks ago, I finished with his car. I had finally tracked down (with the help of a knowledgeable neighbor) the last of the issues with his car. It was barely out of the driveway when I got a call from my lovely wife saying my daughter had been in a minor fender bender.

I went from two broken down cars to one broken down car to two broken down cars in less than a day.

So, my daughter’s car is in pieces in my driveway. (She rear-ended another car.) While I was driving around gathering parts for her repairs my truck quit. I parked it in downtown Provo for lunch with a friend. When I returned, it wouldn’t start. Not even a little.

Fuel pump. The same repair I had just completed on my son’s car. Friend’s towed it back to my house.

I now had three broken down cars and only two working ones; an unacceptable ratio. A long half day’s work, some help from my sons and friends to lift off the bed and canopy and the truck’s fuel pump was replaced and the truck running again.

Several years ago the fuel pump went out in my Chevy Suburban. I remember having money, but no experience. It was $1000 and several days of work in a mechanic shop.

And yet. . .within a week, I found I’d replaced two of them. I don’t feel that different than the man I was those many years ago. And yet, I am.

My daughter’s Honda is not really drivable. The hood was all crunched up, the headlights were smashed and the condensor and radiator support were bent. I didn’t even bother to YouTube any of the repairs. I ordered a new condensor. (That’s the thing that looks like a radiator that sits in front of the actual radiator.) Everything else I got from a junkyard.

As I found a suitable car to part out, again, I found myself easily removing the parts I needed. A few screws, popping out a few rivets and I piled the parts into a wheelbarrow.

When did I get so confident? When did I find myself able to confidently wander through a junkyard choosing and dismantling cars without hesitation?

Next week, I’ll start the assembly process on my daughter’s car. I’ll see if I can’t get back to just one broken down car in my driveway. And I’ll think about the man I was and the man I became.

Rodney M Bliss is an author, columnist and IT Consultant. His blog updates every weekday. He lives in Pleasant Grove, UT with his lovely wife, thirteen children and grandchildren.

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(c) 2018 Rodney M Bliss, all rights reserved

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