Wednesday, November 23, 2005
We woke up this morning to a snow covered world. We only got a couple of inches, but it was clearly quite wet, as it was clinging to the trees and brush growing alongside the highway. It made for a picturesque drive in.
We'll be leaving today sometime around 2:30 to make the 4 hour drive to PA. We're supposed to continue getting snow and, in some parts around here, they're actually calling for up to a foot of lake-effect snow. Oddly enough, with the lake-effect snows, we could get a small dusting and just 20 miles away they could get clobbered. Mostly the parts to the immediate east of us get a lot of accumulation when we don't.
It's supposed to start snowing again this afternoon and they're telling folks that, if they're planning to travel by automobile for the holiday to get started by this afternoon, as they're expecting things to be quite messy this afternoon.
We're getting out early for that very reason. Unfortunately, Joe has to work until 5:00 and from there he'd planned to come home, shower, change, pack and leave for Bath afterward. It's only 90 miles to the south of us, but they're supposed to get the snow, too. There's an area about halfway between here and there where the interstate is highly exposed at a higher elevation and there tends to be blowing and drifting snow right in the roadway.
Joe has a Blazer, full-sized, with all the bells and sirens. Unfortunately, he found out in late summer that his 4WD was out. A couple of weeks ago he said his heater didn't work anymore, either. So, does he take his vehicle in to get it serviced? Hell no. He's "too busy." In his defense, he nevr has a day to himself. He works Monday, Wednesday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday, and has classes on Tuesday and Thursday. And, like any typical young-adult, he's blissfully unaware of the ramifications of not maintaining a vehicle when it's not working properly. For example, it never occurred to him that not having a heater was more than an inconvenience that affected his comfort. I asked him how he planned on defrosting his windshield on a freezing day. I also asked him how he thought his engine would stay cooled on a long road trip, like the one he's planning today. Without the heater/AC functioning properly, it's highly probable that it will affect the cooling of his engine (been there, done that...it made a 6 hour trip into a 20 hour trip with the vehcile constantly overheating).
So, last night Lisa handed him the keys to her own truck and, in her best imitation "Mom" delivery, told him that she wasn't giving him the keys to her truck for him, but that she was giving them to him for me so that I wouldn't worry as much about him. (Her truck also has 4WD.) She also firmly impressed upon him that, if he decided he wasn't going to make the drive to Bath, her truck wasn't to leave the driveway. I think Joe was quite surprised by Lisa's offer and we both know Joe well enough to trust that her truck will sit unused if he decides to stay home after all.
Joe and I chatted briefly after that about maintaining his vehicle and I planted the seed that he should be looking around for a new vehicle -- when you buy a used vehicle, you're buying someone else's problems. And this Blazer has been a money pit for that kid. A year after he bought it, he took it in for inspection and the quote to get it through inspection was $1200. There was still $350 worth of repairs that needed to be made that weren't required for the inspection. It cost him $400 to get it through inspection this year as well and that $350 worth of repairs from last year? They still need to be made (oil leak around the cooling lines). I honestly think that if he has a new vehicle, he'll be more conscientious about maintenance, especially since most dealerships around here offer either free or reduced rate oil changes for the first two years of ownership of a new vehicle.
As we snuggled into our bed last night, and I curled up against Lisa's back, she asked me if I was nervous about going to her parents' house for the holiday. I'm not sure what brought that on, other than the fact that she may think that I'm nervous about being around her father (long story). I told her I wasn't at all concerned about her father but that I was concerned about the fact that I suspect they'll do the name draw for Christmas while we're down there and whether they'll include me (as an official recognition of our relationship). She groaned and agreed that it would likely occur -- now it's on her mind a lot, too. If I'm not included, that means there's a confrontation that will occur -- something nobody looks forward to. So, keep your fingers and toes and eyes crossed that her family will take that step.
Have a festive and safe holiday -- I'll be back on Monday.