Friday, November 12, 2010

Train leaving ...all aboard

Have you ever felt that a train wreck was ahead, but you just weren't quite sure where or when it would happen.  Well this homesteader has almost hit the end of the tracks. Our Life Trains carry a combination of passenger cars and freight cars across the countries of our life, dropping a few here, and picking up a few there.  Sometimes it is up hill, sometimes downhill, sometimes the whistle blows,  and sometimes the engine comes to a dead stop,..... could be a bear on the track, boulders from the top of the mountain, or the bridge is out.  We pick up passengers on the way, and drop them off some where in the years ahead, always picking up new ones, and sometimes they stay awhile, leaving their baggage with you, or maybe they carry your baggage for awhile. But the passenger cars always have room, and the freight cars keep filling up.

Take this last year for instance.... the mountains were getting steeper, as the severe illnesses in our the family are quietly filling one of the freight cars....consquently this old steam engine was puffing along, slower then usual, pulling more as the weight from the cars were added on.  First came the layoff, a car or two flew off the track...adjustments were made, rail spikes straightened and on over the hill we went.  Then the old truck finally became to expensive to repair, and went the way of the junk yard heaven....that sadly took one car to fill, but could be emptied if we found a new truck.....soon. The railroad bridge trestle became fragile when the generator went down, and it took $700 for someone to say, "Ah, yep, the motor must be rebuilt to the tune of $2500, or we could buy a new generator for $3500 or more. Into the freight car went the generator next to the truck that hadn't yet been replaced....since there just wasn't enough coal in the coal car.  But that wasn't the end , I looked back and saw there were still more empty cars waiting ...... the Pellet stove that we heat the house with, and have a garage full of pellets stored for the winter, became the next casualty... as there is no one within a thousand miles that can figure out why the pellet rotor will not drop its pellets  including the conductor we bought the stove from... However that freight car is still running empty, because finally, some one from the state of Washington is going to trouble shoot on the phone with hubby to see what the problem is...but only after we had already paid out $250.00 for a new circuit board that someone thought for sure was the problem....toss that into the box car...also.....on its way back to manufacturer (who by the way normally does not take merchandise such as this back) as it was not the quick fix we had hoped for.   OK, so now the temps are down to the low 20's and 30's, snow is on the ground, and I have to turn on the super expensive electric heat to take the ice off the coffee and pile on the sweatshirts..find the feather quilt........another box car starting to fill.    If you think things came three at time ....right???....wrong...little did we know.....Box car number 4 was being added to the train and was rounding the bend......this time however the new occupants were boarding at the station to help our carry luggage..big time.

Last week in the mail came a small bright orange colored postcard, ....flashing red not cross.....signal gates are coming seems as though our one and only working vehicle had been recalled to the Barron Ford dealer for a defect that could be lurking in the undersides.....when it was built.  I almost threw it in the garbage, but since those signal gates were still down and caution lights flashing , decided to call and make an appointment to get the car checked out.  Now to those who know me, the gas pedal in my car seems to have this penchant for peddle to the metal,.... now I say ....its because of my heavy boots, yet that doesnt cut it with the conductor, ....most people call it speeding,.... but in this county with all the PUTZERS who the hell would know. So if you can see your way through all the steam rolling up from the engine wheels, this could have ended in a run-a-way not to pretty situation.  While sitting in the showroom, with a beautiful new Ford car taking the place of the steam engine in my imagination at my feet, out came two very serious looking gentlemen from the garage area....and very gravely sat down in the chairs next to  me....and proceeded to explain that the Ford Company will not let me drive my van home.  IT seems as though there is a crack in the rear axle of my car, due to the defect when it was made....eleven years ago.   HUGE boulders have fallen on the track, and theres no one to push them away .....the train has stopped.  Tim is in Kentucky, on 18 wheels, dealing with his own miseries, and the steam engine here is stalled and quickly running out of coal.  Ford company will give me a check for $3400.00 for the car, which is very generous, since it is 11 years old, and has made contact with about three deer in the last year, (the deer won). And  so maybe..the salesmen who have been listening to this scenario ask.......would I like to look at the cars on the lot, while they call Enterprise and rent another car for my pleasure at their expense. AHAH! These were the new passengers aboard that would carry my luggage for a change....I looked, at the used vans, saw a beautiful red truck with a snow plow but at a price that couldn't move those huge boulders off of the track.  It seems as though they have already checked 100 cars or more, and mine was the first one to have the defect the salesmen tell me, and the cars on this lot go very quickly...I wonder did they have this defect also and should I settle fast in case they get on the cattle car at the back of the train..
 Enterprise was out of rental cars, so they loaned me one of the vans that was offered for sale on the car lot.  Small boulders moved...... I loaded up a few things from my now defunct car and headed into our little town to talk to my favorite Mechanic, at Skyway..."Take the deal" he smiling said as he headed for his own computer....and quickly found another Van that was only a couple of hundred dollars more than that check will be.  And he will even go into Chippewa to check it out, if it is measures up to his standards, he will bring it home, and we wait for the check in the mail, and I keep the rental car until all the boulders have been removed from the track.  The last passengers have come aboard and repaired the tracks, cleared out these particular boulders and I can start climbing that mountain one more time.  However, I am running out of allotted coal for steam power for this year, and we still have a month and a half of travel.

So tell me.....passengers with me on this great escapade of life,..... am I the "Engine that could" ...and can I  make to the other side of the Pass, with time to spare, or will the tracks be buried in a land slide of snow and ice, and the fire go out?......................Oh by the way...did I tell you that I carry a snowmobile in the Caboose?.........Just in case.....................this is the north country ya know!

No comments:

Post a Comment