Some of you may have seen my Facebook post about yet another thing going wrong with my beloved Ford Explorer, but I didn’t include the whole story there. I couldn’t possibly – there wouldn’t have been enough room!!!
Off I went to put dinner in the oven and call my mother. (My dad had had a CT scan that day, and I wanted to check up on him.) Brian came home while I was on the phone, and dinner beeped at me that it needed basting, so I was multi-tasking. Then, not 30 minutes after I had posted the ad, I received an email regarding my truck. I emailed them Brian’s cell number to call… And, so it began.
The potential buyer called almost immediately. He had cash, he had a notary, and he wanted the truck. Um, the truck was still at the mechanic’s garage. Well, as soon as we had it home, call him; he wanted to come look at it tonight. Would we come down on the price? No. OK – he was 40-45 minutes away, give him a call.
Dinner had 20 more minutes in the oven. I gathered the truck title, my keys and my jacket in preparation for the drive. When the timer went off, I pulled the pan out of the oven and sat it on the stovetop to let it cool, anticipating that we would be home in an hour or so. Brian called the buyer to say we were on our way.
We drove to the garage, and Brian got in the truck. He had graciously offered to drive it, because I was too afraid to! I didn’t want the broken spring to puncture a tire or something! He said he’d follow me, and we started out. Being distraught at the thought of saying good-bye to my bestie (as far as vehicles go), I missed a couple turns, and we ended up weaving through town and taking a short detour, but we made it to the meeting place.
We arrived at 8:20 p.m. By 9 o’clock no one had arrived. Several questionable characters had walked by, though. I wasn’t entirely comfortable sitting in the parking lot of a business at this hour, waiting. I pleaded with Brian to call the buyer, which he did a few minutes later. He was just now leaving. What?! Over an hour after our initial call, and he was just now leaving?! OK – fine. We could make a trip back home for my driver’s license, which I realized I had forgotten. (I would need to prove to the notary that I was who I said I was.)
So, off we went, headed home. I was a bit hot under the collar, I have to admit. I didn’t have all evening to wait around for this guy! When we arrived home, I ran inside, grabbed my wallet and ran back out. Then off we went back to town.
We arrived back at the parking lot around 9:35 p.m. No one was there waiting for us.
We waited. And we waited some more. More questionable characters walked by. All the while, I’m getting more and more steamed. Maybe we should just drive the truck home, and he can come there whenever he gets into town, I suggested. Brian was wonderfully patient. He patted my knee and reminded me that sometimes you just have to be patient. And I would point at the clock in the van and say, “Yes, but we also have to go to bed, so we can go to work in the morning.” I was not feeling in the least bit charitable, at that point.
As 10 o’clock rolled around, I was fuming even more. I pleaded with Brian again to call the buyer. He waited a few minutes and then called. The buyer was about a half hour away. What?! Was he riding a bicycle?! An hour later, and he was only 15 minutes closer?
The business in whose parking lot we were lurking closed. We decided to take a short drive to see if there were any fast food places still open, since dinner was sitting at home on the stove, undoubtedly cold and unappetizing by now. Then we drove back to the parking lot. I kept waiting for a policeman to stop by and ask us why we were sitting in our minivan in the parking lot of a now-closed business. Several questionable characters walked by.
Finally, at 10:45 p.m., the buyer called to say he was only a few minutes away. Fifteen minutes later, two young men walked up and introduced themselves. They thanked us for being so patient. They’d had a flat tire on the way. Why they didn’t tell us that on the phone, I don’t know. It would have saved me a lot of elevated blood pressure and fuming, I assure you!
They seemed excited that my truck looked so good. They checked out the broken springs, with the flashlight on Brian’s cell phone. They started it up and looked under the hood. They were very glad to find a truck like this in such great shape. As it turns out, they had a small repair shop just around the corner, and they had another ’02 Explorer with good parts, but the body was all rusted out.
Then one of them got in and put it in gear. Remember how I said, “Wednesday night did NOT turn out even remotely close to what I had anticipated or planned”? An enormous CLUNK came out of nowhere! What was THAT?!!! That had never happened before! We all looked at each other, puzzled. One of the young men got down on the ground at the back of my truck and looked underneath while the other put it in gear again. Again, the giant clunk. Oh, boy. The differential (the “pumpkin” in the middle of the back axle) was just hanging there loosely - it was supposed to have a frame holding it in place, but it was entirely rusted out. So, when the truck was put into gear, since it’s rear wheel drive, the whole assembly heaved and then dropped. Hence, the clunk. Unbelievable!!! Wow – now what?
Well, the young men talked between themselves, and Brian walked over to me to talk about a new price. There was no way we could ask the original price, not with this new problem. So, we decided on a price, but the fellows didn’t exactly agree. They weren’t sure they could fix this new issue. They were willing to try, but the price would have to be a bit lower.
Finally, we settled on 2/3 of our original price, I signed over the title, they handed us the cash, and we each headed our separate ways. We were so thankful that God had watched over Brian and got him safely to the meeting place! If that axle had come loose while he was driving… Who knows what could have happened!
We finally arrived home, bleary-eyed, at about 11:35 p.m. to be greeted by a horrible smell of skunk. Talk about a questionable character! We’ve had problems with them being around the house, but this smelled like it was right outside the door! PEW!! But, being extremely tired and somewhat relieved to be home, we let the dogs in and tried to ignore the smell.
But it didn’t go away.
I sniffed at Annie and Lakota – Annie smelled, but it didn’t exactly smell like skunk…
So, off to bed we went, since we could barely keep our eyes open. It was just after midnight when I crawled under the covers. And I mean under – I had to pull the blanket up over my nose, because the smell was so bad! Needless to say, I didn’t sleep well, and when we got up the next morning and sniffed around again, there was no doubt it was Annie that was stinking up the house!
Poor Annie, she looked forlornly through the gate, wondering why no one was petting her, and why she wasn’t allowed in the living room with Lakota. Because her curiosity obviously got the best of her, and she just had to find out what that thing with the white stripe was, that’s why!
So, tonight Annie gets a special bath – baking soda, hydrogen peroxide and Dawn dish soap – and hopefully, we can have a peaceful night at home!!