Rodney M Bliss

Not Your Average Pre-Trip Planning

I have to take a trip today. I’m headed from Pleasant Grove, Utah to Boise, Idaho. I’ll meet my brother John. Then, he and I will head West to our childhood in Lacey, Washington to bury my brother, Charles Bliss. Charles is more my brother than John’s, but that’s only fair. He has a brother that’s no relation to me.

Blended families are like that.

I had things planned for this week. As I considered my trip I had to decide if I was going to try to get them done prior to leaving, wait until I get back, or just skip it. This Thursday my Masonic Lodge, Story Lodge #4 will be installing new officers for the coming year. I’ve been asked to fill the role of Chaplain again, an office I held this past year. I’m going to miss it. It’s okay, they’ll install me in January.

Other items were less flexible. I haven’t put up my Christmas lights yet. That might seem like something that could easily wait. After all, who will really care if my Christmas lights go up a week late?

A lot of people as it turns out. My house is half of a coordinated Christmas light display. My neighbor (the other half) has had his house ready since before Thanksgiving. I typically do it on Thanksgiving weekend. But, this weekend got busy and I was planning to do it this week. We kind of an official start date of December 1. And since it’s a coordinated display that is set to music, people actually plan to come by and watch.

Yeah, so Sunday night and part of yesterday, I was out on my ladder stringing lights across my roof and around my windows. I finished nearly everything. I have a long handrail that I typically wrap, but I got the bulk of it done and the show can go on without the handrail. I’ll finish it when I get back.

I could have finished it last night. I had a couple of hours, but instead I had to do the other task that was on my pre-trip checklist. My exhaust manifold was leaking. Not enough to trip the O2 sensor, but enough to make driving the car a noisily affair. So, last night I had the shop light out and was busy crawling around underneath my car replacing gaskets. You know, as one does the night before a trip.

It’s 400 miles to Boise and my car has 294,000 miles. I wanted to prep it as much as possible before heading out for a 8 hour road trip.

Not how I thought I was going to be spending the day before my trip.

Packing? Oh yeah, that took about 15 minutes. But it got done too.

Stay safe

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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