Saturday, July 6, 2013

this time

This trip to see the Californians has been slightly different than previous visits.  

For one thing, I got very anxious when Jr's car started misfiring on July 4th, the day after we drove it all the way here, through the 113 degree heat in Sacramento.  When the check engine light came on, Cory got out a device that identified the possible issues by computer code, so Jr looked that up in his owner's manual and realized something was going on with the #2 spark plug.  They headed to the auto parts store, which surprisingly, was open on the 4th of July.  Jr bought the spark plug, brought it back and replaced it.  Unfortunately, the misfiring was still going on.  

Remember, we're 784 miles from home with a broken Lexus.  I was feeling more than a little frantic inside.  How would we get home? What would we do with Jr's car?  What would it cost to have the Lexus dealer fix it?  Was it major or minor?  New car for Jr?  Rental car for us?  Tow it home?  So.Many.Questions.  

Jr, however, is a fixer.  He sat down with his computer and the internet and thought it through, and then logically figured out that maybe it was the coil for spark plug #2.  Before heading back to the auto parts store and spending more money, he deduced that swapping the coils around would help him determine if maybe he just needed to replace coil #2.  So that is what he did and sure enough, the check engine light code moved with coil #2 to coil #3's spot.  (Honestly, I don't know if it was #3 or some other coil number.  I was too stressed for that.  But he figured it out.)  Off he went to the parts store for a new coil and once he replaced coil #2, the engine once again purred.  

I'm telling you, the kid is amazing.  He definitely has his dad's brain when it comes to logically figuring out what is broken, how to diagnose it, and how to repair it.  Only $120 later, the car was working again.  I was so relieved, and honestly, so very, very proud of him. 

Another difference between this trip and others is the sunburn I picked up yesterday at the beach.  Seriously, what was I thinking when I didn't liberally apply sunscreen?  Yet another of my awesome kids stepped up to take care of me.  Jessie found lavender oil and zinc oxide and cortisone cream and a cool, pain-relieving spray that eased my discomfort.  And also brought me a dark chocolate Milky Way as well as a theater-sized box of Jr Mints.  Totally soothed my feel bads.  Love that girl and that she so willingly took care of me.

Before I recognized I was sunburned, the beach was great.  A little breezy, a little cool, but so much fun to see the grandkids and kids together, the waves rolling in, the birds overhead.  I have this theory that any day at the beach is wonderful and this day helped prove my theory correct.  It was a beautiful day. 


I should probably write something about the scratchy throat, coughing, lousy cold that hit Jr while he was repairing his car, but even feeling as sick as he did, he fixed the car and then still had a blast at the beach, building sand castles and playing in the ocean in his new wetsuit.  This kid knows how to have a good time.

And of course, I love spending time with the Californians.  Frequently a grandkid is on my lap or sitting next to me, and often one of them gives thanks for gramma during a nighttime prayer or blessing on the food.  Who wouldn't like that, right? 



I'm not really the kind of gramma who plays nonstop with her grandkids.  While I enjoy all kinds of interactions with them, I really love simply being in the same place, hearing them together, seeing them in their day to day lives.  It feels so good to see my kids being good parents.  And they are.  Good parents.

Early tomorrow morning, with my fingers crossed, we head back over the mountains, across the desert.  

I'm already looking forward to our camping trip in a few weeks when hopefully we will all be together for a few days.  More chances for making memories of good times.  I can't hardly wait.

1 comment:

Lisa B. said...

What a great post! I had a similar experience last summer when Isaac and Walker installed a new faucet up at the cabin. I was anxious, they figured it out and fixed it. It was awesome. So glad you find ways to visit--it makes the distance bearable, no? Or almost.