Wednesday, March 30, 2011
When I was a kid my dad-"the mechanic"-would take me and my brother Cliff to the dump. It was at that time big open pits of all kinds of things. There were old mattresses, broken toys, dead animals, and of course the big draw for my dad-old cars. He would take us there and he would go off looking for car parts-it was free here not like those expensive salvage yards! Cliff and I were left to wander around on our own. I remember coming close to the edge of the dead animal pit, and Cliff who was probably 9 so I was 6, warning me not to step too close to the edge or I'd fall in. We found all kinds of junk there, and I thought it was super fantastic until I got a more mature and hygenic brain. When they closed that dump and put up big signs that said, "NO SCAVENGING!" that was a very sad day for my dad. I on the other hand had grown up and found that day to be one of the best days of my life! But, there were still trash cans at work to go through and things that were on the side of the road to pick up, so my dad still had his sources, but definitely not as exciting as our old dump.
Wednesday, March 23, 2011
Being a mechanic's daughter means that you have witnessed the true limits of cars. This includes how far a car can go without gas. In other words, running out of gas was not unknown to me. One day, in New Mexico up on highway 550, our Volkswagen Rabbit ran out of gas. The Rabbit was of course packed with my siblings. My sister(Fauna) I think said we need to get out and push. We all exploded out of the car-as it was very small-and started pushing. The sky was very dark and it started thundering. I was probably 8 or 9. Anyway the hair on the back of my neck started standing up. So we started pushing faster and faster. The lightning followed and the thunder was so close to when we saw the lightning that you knew it was close. Rain started then, of course. Somehow we made it home...without gas. Later my mother revealed to me that any time you feel your hair stand up on you, lightning is about to strike, and you are a very likely candidate for the grounding. Oh, the fun times we had on the New Mexico roads!
Friday, March 18, 2011
I am a mechanic's daughter. I have survived more breakdowns on vacation than you've eaten at McDonalds. Engine fires are no mystery to me. And yes black smoke coming out of your tailpipe is a very bad sign...I know that by experience. Can you replace a waterpump hose with a gardenhose with clamps? Yes, but that's where the black smoke and engine fire came into my life. I know the in between places in the Arizona desert better than toilet paper. Air conditioning is still such a thrill for me to have in my car that even today when I push it and it doesn't make the car stall, I get giddy. Yes I have helped tow cars before I could comprehend full sentences. Adding towing to my insurance felt like such a luxury. I still sometimes feel guilty about it. I think that I learned that the 2 most important things that you need to fix a car are bailing wire and electrical tape(we couldn't afford duct tape) Yes even though I have tried to mentally block those great fun times in my childhood of the insecurity of exploding or caputting at any moment, they are still there and have left their mark. It's who I am, a mechanic's daughter.
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