There and Back Again...

This weekend we headed out to visit my side of the family.  We squeezed in birthdays for June as well as a retirement party for my daddy (and yes, he'll always be my daddy).  Overall, it was a great trip.  And after I get pictures from our anniversary overnighter up, I'll post pictures from this trip...but first, a story!

All weekend, we could see God's hand watching over us.  Josiah felt a bug on him and started walking towards the house...Uncle J met him before Mark got there and pulled off a tick that was just crawling around.

And then Monday...well, Monday...was one right after the other of God's hand of protection on us.

 On Monday, we got up to leave my parents house and head over to a Memorial Day celebration that they were working at (my dad makes pens out of wood...beautiful work...he also makes them out of other materials using a lathe).  After visiting with them, meeting veterans and getting in a little shopping, we headed out a little after lunch.  A rough start off included losing Josiah's balloon and trekking up a hill to get him another.  I think I freaked out the vendors from the sweat pouring from my face and my large belly!  We were not right on the interstate for a long while, so we settled in and looked for a place to eat lunch.  About a mile out from lunch, the car jerks from side to side and then a few seconds later we hear something thud thud under the car.  Mark and I both think that we've lost a tire.  So, he slows down and pulls over immediately.  We both get out and all tires look great.  No flats.  Not even close to a flat.

Hmmm...that was weird but the van seemed to be running fine, so we hopped back in and took off.  We got our lunch, some running around, and a bathroom break done and then we hit the road.  A few more miles down the road, the ABS light comes on for the antilock braking system.  We grab our manual and look it up while Mark pulls over.  Nothing to worry about it seems, the ABS is just a back up braking system and as long as the brake light doesn't come on, we can head on out and make it home.  Mark checks for leaks.  I press on the brake and hear an air sound coming out.  Mark notices too but it still doesn't seem too concerning.  He drives it around a vacant parking lot and then turns it on and off.  The ABS light stays off.

So, we figure we're safe and can get back going.  Driving down for several more miles Mark notices a slight grating sound as he's driving.  It's not constant but is frequently enough that he worries.  I dismiss it, for once, and think it's just the road grade.  Then, the ABS light comes on.  Goes off.  Comes on.  Hmmm...that's really weird.  Then the grating noise gets louder.   I ask Mark if we should check with Gippas (GPS) and see if there is an Autozone near by.

First, blessing of protection.  There is.  And then we pray it's open.  It is.  Mark pulls in.  Consults the people there.  They run a quick diagnostic but can't be for sure if it's the brake pads.  Then a mechanic who worked at Honda came in and heard the discussion.  He thought we may have lost the brake pads and the metal shavings were irritating the ABS sensors and the grating was the rotor messing up.  He suggests we take it to NTB (National Tire and Battery) and let them look at it.  If they're open...and they are.  So we head over there.

An hour and half of waiting and we get the word that it's the brake pads, rotor, and caliper (I know that's not spelled right...forgive the dysfunctional auto author...but this locked up when they were trying to pull it into the garage), that needed to be replaced.  The mechanic that Mark started with at NTB said he could get it fixed by noon the next day.  Okay, so then we start plotting calling my parents and figuring out what to do the rest of the day and where to go for the night.  We tossed around the idea of a hotel (which happend to be less than a mile away).  The mechanic offered to take us there and get his brother to help.  Then the mechanic says he'll have his brother over and he can guarantee if fixed by 1 in the morning.

Did you get that?...this guy and his brother were more than willing to come work, away from their families, to fix our car so we could get on the road.   Mark insisted that they not do that.  The guy he had been working with had children our age so I think he empathized a lot with our predicament.

The plan was decided (and changed several times) that we would wait on my parents to finish their show, go back to their house, unload, and then drive both their vehicles to pick us up.  That would put us back at their house for the night at around 8 and then they would go in late to work the next day to take Mark up to wait on the van.  I would stay at their house (which was an hour away) be continued  (Just because it's getting late and I'm hungry :)

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