Sunday, December 2, 2012

The Professor and Mary Ann

Thanksgiving Vacation: Part 2

The auto repair shop called last week to let us know the van was fixed. All it was was a clogged fuel filter. Simple. Larry was kicking himself for not checking it, and if he'd only had some tools, he could have fixed it himself and saved us the big repair bill. Oh well. We took off around 11 yesterday and drove back to Beaufort to pick it up. We got there an hour or so before dark, drove out with the van and were feeling great. We had booked a hotel room in Orangeburg, SC for the night, and were looking forward to going out to eat and enjoying a little time to ourselves.

I was following Larry in my car, and about ten miles outside of Beaufort, I noticed him slowing down. Wayyy down. I called him, and he said, "It's not fixed! It's doing the SAME thing again!!" Ugh. We pulled off, and it stopped and would not start again. This time we had brought some tools, so he plugged in our little diagnostic code reader. 4 codes, all reading "ignition". He opened the distributor and blew out a bunch of dust. It would then start, and we took off. Yay! About 10 miles down the road, he pulled off at a rest area, and it coughed to a stop again. Dust in the distributor was not the problem either. We let it cool down awhile, and it started again. By the next exit it was really bad, and he coasted to a stop in a parking lot. We had made it to Walterboro. We took off in my car and found an auto parts store where Larry ran in just as they were closing and purchased a new distributor.

Back in the parking lot, by the light of a street light and with me holding a flashlight, Larry installed the new part. The van would start! We took off and headed to Orangeburg. The timing wasn't exact, but it stayed running and never coughed or sputtered.

As we neared Orangeburg, Larry realized that he had forgotten to bring his insulin, syringes and glucose meter. We checked into our hotel and went seeking an open pharmacy. It was only about 7:00, but they were all closed. CVS, Walgreen's (Really? Just the store is open 24-7? What good is that??), WalMart and KMart. All closed. A customer at one of them told us that the hospital pharmacy was open until 11, so we went there. They wanted to charge us $130 for one little bottle of insulin! In the end Larry decided to just not eat. It was 9:00 by then, so we stopped at Wendy's and I got a small Frosty (so much for my diet for that day!).

The van continued to run, and we got back safely today.

I remember watching Gilligan's Island as a kid, and I always loved The Professor. He was so handy, and could build or fix anything. I'm so glad that I married my own handy dandy Professor! He may have a little of the Absent-minded Professor thrown in, but that's okay - I think I'll keep him!