It was a good Winter. The forecasters had predicted Armageddon, but as usual they were wrong. It snowed only a few times ... not even enough to justify firing up the snow blower. The thermometer never went below 10 degrees. Life was good. I even went back to work in December, after a wonderful 6 months off.
Jan broke her ankle on a Saturday in February. People trip every day and nothing happens, but she tripped and it broke. The kids were over and we tried not to make a big deal of it. In fact I thought it was just a sprain. But when she got up on Sunday morning and her ankle was the size of an elephant's trunk, I knew we had to go to the emergency room. Yes, it was broken, but not badly enough where she needed surgery. About half way through the process of putting on the cast, it occurred to me that she had broken her right ankle. Her driving leg.
And that meant that she wasn't going to be able to drive the Pontiac. And we'd have to work out a schedule in which I could drive her to work, get her situated and then drive myself to work, which was direct east, about 10 miles. And then I'd have to do it again in the afternoon. All of a sudden, my 30 mile/40minute back and forth turned into a 70 mile/hour and a half nightmare.
Peterson Road is the only main east-west artery in Northern Lake County. And at 4:00 in the afternoon, it's an absolute bitch. By the time I left work, and ground my way through it over to Jan's school, I was in a foul mood. And it was going to take 6 weeks for Jan to be able to drive again. I hate inconvenience.
But, she was the one with the bum leg, so I knew it wasn't any easier on her. However, asshole that I am, I was still in a foul mood most of the time.
About week two into the process, the Pontiac started acting up. The Pontiac ... the Grand Prix ... the money pit was something I never wanted to buy. Jan loved it though, so we bought it. Cars have thousands of moving parts, and in the ten years we owned the car, we had replaced most of them. Still, just when we though nothing else could fuck up, it would.
By February, it had become an every other month pain in the ass. It was always in the shop. One night, on the way over to school, the transmission started to buck ... subtly. Sometimes it was all right, other times, you knew something was wrong. I started to worry. Take the car in and spend thousands on the transmission, or wait and have it fry by the side of the road. Leaving us stuck in the cold. Me, with my foul mood and Jan in her corrective boot ... stranded.
It was time to do something ...
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