I'm back! The kids and I have returned from a vacation to Tennessee and Ohio. It was a lot of fun! Naturally, I have a few stories to share from the trip. So, I'll spend a couple of days telling you about them. The first involves a car and a very stubborn Garmin. I bet you can't guess whose car!
Prior to embarking on the trip, I had planned the course which we were to take. I always do that, because inevitably the Garmin loses satellite connection and has no idea where I am.
As I pulled out onto the main road, the Garmin immediately had a problem with the route I had chosen. "Recalculating," it said.
I kept going.
"Make a U-turn," it said. I didn't.
This went on for twenty minutes. Finally, it got on the same page as me, and we went merrily along for almost an hour.
Then it started again. It refused to let me take the main interstate up to my destination, and insisted that I get off and follow a different route. I gave it a Mama growl and acquiesced to its wishes. I had a strange feeling that I supposed to listen to this computerized hunk of metal.
Fifteen minutes down the new route, I heard a terrible scraping sound. The sound of metal against the ground when you're going seventy miles an hour is not a good thing! I spotted a gas station and pulled in.
There were many people standing around, and when they heard my clunker making its grand entrance, they all stopped and stared.
"That doesn't sound too good," one nice lady said.
"I'd have to agree with you," I said, getting down on my knees to have a look under my car. A piece of metal was hanging off from the exhaust system, dragging on the ground. I said a few choice words in my head, which I won't repeat here, and tried to remove whatever it was. That thing was stuck. I couldn't tell if I had run something over, or if it was part of my car.
"I have no idea what's wrong, here," I said. "But I think I need a little help!"
The nice lady got on her phone and called her husband. The man arrived in no time, and took a look. "Yep," he said. "Your heat shroud is coming off."
"My heat shroud?" I asked. "Is it important?"
"It helps your car not overheat, and protects the catalytic converter," the nice man explained. "I can unscrew it for you and get it off so it's not dragging."
Of course I was very concerned that I would have to discontinue my trip and go home, but the man assured me it would be okay until I got back. Which it was.
So that's how our vacation started. But I guess I have to thank my Garmin angel for steering me down another path. Who knows what would've happened if I had remained on that interstate!