Thursday, December 29, 2011

Just another repair...

A little more money here. Another repair there. Wow, just when I though that things were sailing smoothly for Sweet Pea and me another mechanical issue comes up. On Saturday night I went to start her up and surprise! Nothing.
“Okay, well maybe she’s just cold”, I thought. And considering the temperature has been in the 40’s as of late, it was sound reason.  Fast forward another 20 minutes and she’s still not starting.
Sunday morning (Christmas day) I call AAA to get a jump. To my surprise a technician was there within 15 minutes, and not at all grumpy to be.  He was extremely helpful and after the successful electrical boost he even peaked around under the hood to try to locate the underlying problem. Easy: my alternator. It wasn’t holding a charge. 
For some reason, Sweet Pea is taking a liking to breaking down on holidays. Maybe she shares the same awkwardness around family gatherings and gift exchanges as many do. I’m now prepared for a scheduled break down on Easter, Saint Patty’s and Memorial Day. Though, we did just make it through Hanukkah, so she must be cool with Judaism.

By Sunday afternoon I have had the ol’ girl towed to a RV repair shop.  It’s owned by the rosy-cheeked, soft-bellied Spanish speaking Osmundo.  This is where she will spend an evening with a motley crew of greasemonkies because though Osmundo assures me that it’s a small problem and I can collect my home in the next couple hours, I decide to capitalize on the opportunity to get some fresh air and head back by bicycle for a 45 minute cruise in which I precariously practice my new trick of riding with no hands.

The next day I pull a long shift at work, delirious from the night before in which I received very little sleep due to too much fun with friends, then hoped back on my fire engine red Bianci and hit the slopes for the shop.  It’s pretty much the last thing I want to be doing at the moment, being so exhausted, but the chilly 4 o’clock air perks my lethargy and I make it to the shop minutes before closing time. I’m warmly greeted by a chorus of blue-suited handymen, then Osmundo teaches me the Spanish words for “alternator”, and “Do I owe you any money back?” while I pass over the scraps of my last paycheck, which was intended to hold me over until the next bit of sustenance. Curiously though, I am not deflated, or even upset about spending the $250. Maybe because it instilled the belief in me that perhaps I have taken care of another one of the big things that at some point would need attention, so maybe, that’s just one more thing crossed off the list…perhaps?
I drive back to where I am keeping her these days in Emeryville, exchange my last $20 for fuel and give her a little drink. 

So now I’m about to go out and start her. And with a little luck, she will actually start. I’m working other aspects of the beast, ahem, the beauty.  There are a number of external “booboos” that need some attention, and I want to begin painting the exterior of the cab. I’m thinking a pea color…suitable, no?  At the moment she still has “Big Ugly” penned across both front doors, and it’s doing nothing for her confidence. Time for a face-lift. 
Also on the agenda for the next couple days is figuring out the water situation and installing the compostable toilet (an upcoming entry all on it’s own).  When I was staying with Jacqui and Sean I filled up the water tank, but now when I open the faucet only a gurgling noise arrives, no water.  So, I’ve got to try and sort that out so I can at least brush my teeth and wash my hands in there. And once that’s sorted, it’s on to figuring out how to heat the water with the internal water heater for the possibility of a hot shower….ugh, just listing this stuff is wearing me out.  Before I get too overwhelmed, I better get out there and get to work. One project at a time. 

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