We drove to Emlenton for a funeral a few weeks back. It is about an hour and a half drive. A strange thing happened. On the way there, I got car sick.
That doesn't normally happen, and I was a little mystified. At the end of the day, heading back for home, it started happening again. I said to Tim, "It just feels like you're jerking the car a lot more than usual. It would help a lot it you could not do that."
And he said, "It's the air shocks. The compressor has quit."
But we got home and no cookies were lost.
Tim went with the ordinary shocks. The compressor was $350 and he said, "There's no guarantee. I could install that and then find out the shocks are bad too. And he started rattling off prices and other things that could go wrong.
He decided to replace the shocks with regular shocks and just pull the fuse for the compressor. It didn't appear to be working, but his big fear was that it would inexplicably start working, and it would simply drain the battery. Pulling the fuse was just a precaution.
The first shocks arrived, and were damaged in shipping. He grumpily returned them. The second shocks arrived, and he set to work. He jacked the car up, he pulled the tire on one side, and then on the other. I helped when he needed someone to "hold this right there like that". (That's my specialty, right there.) I was working in the kitchen, and heard him muttering. You will never meet anyone who gets impatient as quietly as Tim does.
He managed to lose a nut. I went out to help him find it.
While I was there, I was able to 'hold this right there like that for him.'
I went back into the kitchen.
Pretty soon I heard the air compressor. That was a good sign. The wheels were going back on.
More muttering. He said, "I thought it would sit lower. It's 3/4 of a inch higher in the back end."
That's the sort of thing you hear when you are married to a machinist. But the plus side of it is that you always have prussian blue machinist dye to coat the posts of your political signs to provide entertaining mental scenarios when they are stolen.
In any case, he hopped into his car to start it up. It didn't start. I stood in the kitchen doorway a bit nonplussed. He got back out of the car with a rueful grin on his face. "Let me make sure that I disconnected the air hose and not something else..." and out came the jack and the air compressor hose again.
That is the secret to our long marriage. His patience is astounding.
In any case, he did what he had to do, got in the car and started it. He drove it around the block.
He looked satisfied when he came back. "I just want to pull that fuse for the air compressor, just to be on the safe side." He popped the hood and pulled the fuse indicated by his reading. He shut the hood, and got back into the car.
Once again, his car would not start.
"Well, that's just strange..." He stood there in the fading light. "It was the fuse in the position that they had on the diagram..." Night was coming on, so he made up his mind to simply replace the fuse. He'd do some more reading and hope that the car didn't do some funky thing before he figured out which fuse was the correct one.
He came into the house, and he was in rare form, by Tim standards anyway. He had a very cranky look on his face. "What's wrong?" I asked.
And he said, "I dropped the stupid fuse into the engine and can't find it." I offered to go out and hold the flashlight right there like that for him.
"No," he said. "Do you need your car tomorrow?" As a matter of fact, I wasn't using my car. I rarely do anymore. So he drove my car to work. He called at break time.
I said, "I see you made it in!" and he commented on how nicely my car drives. "Good," I answered. "Just promise me that if there's a problem you won't fix it."
And he laughed like I was the funniest person ever.
He came home tonight with a fuse. He replaced it and once again, his car started up. He came in to examine the fuse diagrams once again before realizing his mistake. His car has two fuse boxes. He had counted right, but he was in the wrong fuse box. He pulled out the back seat and there it was. He pulled the fuse to the air compressor and he replaced the seat.
He took his car for another drive and came back. I had a big bowl of cold watermelon waiting.
He ate happily and he said, "That's how I learn about cars. I make mistakes. Boy, that car drives nice..."
Most patient person I know.