I’m not in the habit of asking people for help. Maybe I’m bashful, or I see everything in life as a contract, at least when I’m on the receiving end. From the other side, I’m liable to throw down at the drop of a dime when someone asks me for help, as long as I can help without causing more harm to myself. I sit around and write all day, so it isn’t much for me to close the laptop and give someone a hand from time to time.
Well, this morning I’m in a predicament. I was hoping to write this post after the whole mess sorted itself out, but as I’m going to be here for a while, I might as well tell the story now.
It All Started With a Trip to the Homestead
I had been in the St. Louis area for a while. Far too long, as it turns out. It has been really hot lately, and dry, and trying to get anything done with no running water, showers, or electricity has been hell on me in a lot of ways. The weather finally cooled down, and it was time to get back.
Somewhere on the trip, my truck started making funny noises while driving. I figured I was already on the road, and turning back wasn’t much of an option. I kept on, stopped at a coffee shop in West Plains for some quick writing and editing, and they were closed, lol. I went down the street to the local library and worked there. I headed to the property, surveyed everything, and settled in for the first night.
The next day was Sunday. Nobody was going to be open, so I stayed on my homestead all day, and actually got quite a bit done on the pole barn. Rafters are up, and it was cool enough that I didn’t even sweat, though my arms are a bit sore.
I tossed some cross members up, and the roof is almost ready for tin. That barn is a crucial step in my process. As I continue to clear out cedar trees around the homestead patch, I’m going to have to start brush-hogging to keep them from sprouting right back up (they grow like weeds, tall woody weeds), and I need somewhere out of the rain to park equipment.
The truck continued to get worse, and I dropped it at one shop Monday morning for an inspection. I walked from the service shop to an antique place with a coffee shop inside, and spent the morning working on my words. Essentially, every code that could flag did, and the shop guy didn’t even charge me for the inspection. I changed out a couple parts on my own, and checked all of the drive-train fluids before limping the green monster over to my favorite mechanic down here. He said he would be happy to look at it.
My plan was simple. Drop the truck, grab a rental car, and then hike back to the STL, as I’m sure that Enterprise wouldn’t be happy with me bringing back a scratched vehicle from the woods (I need to clean up my trails again pretty soon). Except there was one problem. It was just past five, and all the rental places were closed.
Through the Night
I parked the truck at wally-world after grabbing something to eat, and I was content to sleep in it until this morning. It’s about 200 yards from the mechanic shop. As the night dragged on, I got more suspicious that I would wake up to a tap on my window, and I didn’t feel like groggily explaining the situation to a uniformed officer. Between myself and the shop was a hotel. I sucked it up, got a room, and listened to the snickers as my license says I live thirty miles away. Nobody inquired directly, and I didn’t feel like explaining the situation.
There are a lot of good people out here, and I probably could have called one of them, but like I said, I don’t like bugging people with my problems. Yesterday was bill day, and after mailing off my last medical payment, I figured the day was a huge financial loss anyway, what’s one more log on that fire?
This morning, I pulled up to the shop with my truck, waited for the mechanic to get there, and called both local rental car companies…
I put in some calls, since it was still early, inquiring if any of the local farmers were making a run to somewhere more populated that did have cars to rent. They often have to make trips to Rolla or Springfield, and I wouldn’t be too much of a bother to tag along, right?
I walked up and down the road, kicking rocks, dreading another night in an overpriced hotel room. One of the rental places told me that they might have something tomorrow afternoon, and my truck is going to be a while getting fixed. The whole drive-train is under suspicion, and the computer threw every 4WD code that there is for this truck. I started calling people out of boredom, and when my uncle heard where I was, he dropped what he was doing and headed this way. I probably owe him at least a steak tonight, as its a long trip. For all I know, he might show up with his camping gear and want to check out the property. But none of that matters right now.
I’m about to take a walk down the road here and grab some food while I try to outline the next few days. I have proof copies of the Viral Spark novel being shipped to Mom’s, so maybe they will be there for me to inspect. Suddenly, I have all the time in the world on that project. I’ll wait for the mechanic to call me, and bring one of these rental places a car when I come back. Then I can toss some tin on my roof, and get prepped for the winter out here. There’s still quite a bit of back and forth to do, but everything is easier with my truck working.
What are you up to this morning?