Wednesday, June 19, 2013
Had to drive 210 miles to Helena-Montana's State Capitol-today to see the VA docs. I slept late, had to do a fast bath and grab a dish of pineapple out of the frig and fill my 52 oz water and hit the road. Heard some great oldies and the drive was pleasant. All the rain has made everything so green and lush...not the usual in our high desert country! I whipped in at WallyWorld in Great Falls and left them some used water, drove past my favorite bakery and honked and waved. Got back on the interstate and cranked up the tunes again. Began passing several old Model T's. I'm NOT kidding...there is some kind of Model T race and tour going on....I read all about it in my local paper when I got home tonight. I love driving Wolf Creek Canyon. I learned to drive there many summers ago in driver's training. I had an accident there 8 years ago skidding on a patch of black ice, heading towards the river, smacking into the concrete dividers and then getting smacked really hard in the face and chest with my air bag. Lost my beloved Jetta Diesel in the accident. It's taken me a long time to get over the gut-wrenching fear when I approach that spot....but I sailed on thru!
Appointments were separated by 4 hours so left the Fort and went back into Helena to check out the Goodwill. Got some Leslie Sansone (?) videos and several diet and nutrition books I want to check out. Also got 2 beginner videos for Yoga! Will be good to add in to my Sweatin to the Oldies. Stopped and filled up with gas and another 52 oz. ice water. Gave some more blood and got my back cracked and picked up a prescription and left Helena. I was hungry but not wanting to stop there and eat. I'd rather shop than eat!! Yes, I have a little retail therapy problem!! which adds to my clutter problem. Was craving a burger and a salad with Chef's dressing from Eddie's Deluxe in Great Falls. My dad tended bar there 50 years ago when I was a kid and it hasn't changed much.
I thought of calling a friend to join me but decided I'd rather savor the meal by myself. I stopped at Ross and bought 4 boxes of birthday cards-it's my mother's 80th end of June and my first roommate's 60th tomorrow so I'll give my mom 80 cards and Sheri 60!! It's a weird thing I have about milestone birthdays. Also bought a citrus juicer I had seen Guy recommend on a show I watched on the "porn channel" last night.
Noted the big angry purple bruise colored clouds heading in from the southwest. Headed on out to Eddie's and ordered my burger and salad. Told the server I was going to wash my hands and when I got back the salad was there waiting for me. Burger arrived soon after. I savored that salad....chewing every bite 20 times, noticing how they have added spinach leaves and spring lettuce mix to the old standard...keeping up with the times. I cut the burger in half, peppered it liberally and took off the onion and lettuce and tomato to add to the salad. Finished up an excellent meal, paid and headed down to the river road and on out of town. 110 of my 420 mile trip left to go!
Cranked up the tunes and looked in the rear view mirror to see if I could beat the storm...lightning answered! Drove about 25 miles and noticed that the temp gauge was rising...not to the shut off the car level, but still??? I'd just bought new tires and had the oil change and service done on Saturday. Gauge keeps going up. I turn the heater on high and roll down a couple of windows. It's 90 degrees outside and now hot air is blasting my legs and feet. I thought about kicking off my shoes but figured the leather was probably protecting the skin. Tried going faster, then slower. Gauge is still high but not moving up. Drove 40 more miles and pulled into the rest stop...lots of miles between towns up here!! and no rest stops to speak of. Popped the hood and went into the rest room and got water to add to the reservoir. Hoses look good, firm and no visible leaks, no steam coming out...but the radiator fan is not running and it should be. I shut off the car and manually move it just to see if it is seized. It's hot and humid and I am covered with mosquitoes who want dinner. Fan blades move freely. I close the hood and drive the last 35 miles home with the heater on high, the humidity high, the windows down and watching that gauge. It was back to a normal range and didn't move.
Did I say how much I was praying and thanking God during this part of the trip? I thanked Him for having a dad who believed that his daughters should know how to change a tire and check the oil and he bought me 2 1954 Fords to make into one running vehicle so I would understand how it all works. Then I was a generator mechanic in the Army....so I was thanking Him for knowing what to do and asking for grace to get me home. And I thanked Him again when I turned off the highway onto the road that would take me the last 4 miles home. I thanked Him for my grubby little white dogs who wanted to share that half hamburger but wanted me to hug and pet them just a bit before they ate. I unloaded the car and popped the hood and thought how lucky I am to have a car I can fix with bobby pins and paper clips and dogs who love me and the willpower to eat only half my hamburger and for getting home safe with no rain, no hail and no heat exhaustion. I do wonder though if I can track "sauna time" for an hour and a half and if losing blood to all those mosquitoes will show up as weight loss.