Last week, when Dani came home for the weekend with her friend from Holland, her Chevy Blazer began to act up. They went to Philly for the day and on the way home, it was a struggle to get the truck home. She said it seemed like her car couldn't change gears to speed up. Damn.... probably the transmission. So I had to cut my weekend time short and drive her and Lisa back to Indiana University of Pennsylvania (4.5 hours each way... 520 miles round trip) on Sunday morning.
Before we left, we got her car to my mechanic, who's shop is right down the road. I figured he was going to say it's the transmission, $1300 to fix it or I'll give you $100 for the car. Daddy Dearest was planning to get Dani a better, more fuel efficient car at some point this summer. We figured the timetable was moved up by about 6 weeks.
So I drive them back to school and head straight home. Man, was I tired!!! I think you get more tired when you're driving alone. The upside is I got to listen to an entire audio book on the drive home.
Monday rolls around and the mechanic tells me all the car needed was transmission fluid and it's running great. $75 and dummy me tells Daddy Dearest that I'll pay for it (slapping myself on the forehead).
So I pick up the truck, and of course, the fuel gauge is on empty. I drive to the gas station and fill it up. First of all, this old Blazer drives like a tank!!! It was a little scary, driving it! Then, this monster takes $45 to fill it!!! WTF!!!
I have 2 choices to make.
First choice, I can leave the truck here until Dani comes home from school in 3 weeks. But that means I have to take a day off from work on May 7 to collect her (luckily, she brought most of her crap home when she and Lisa came home). The next day, May 8, her brother is graduating from another college that's 1.5 hours away.
Second choice, I can drive the car out to her on Sunday and have John follow me in my car and we can drive home together. So I choose the 2nd option. Better to spread these trips out if I can.
I had planned to drive the truck this past week, to get used to it, but when I put $45 into the tank, I decided, screw this! and parked that bad boy in my driveway until the weekend! When I told Dani that I put $45 into the tank, she had the audacity to laugh!!! I told her, "Be nice! Or I WILL return the car with an empty tank." She quickly apologized and thanked me. Smart girl. I also told Daddy Dearest that getting rid of this gas guzzler was worth junking it and getting her a small car (like a Kia Rio or something like that). He agreed, whole-heartedly.
I picked up John at his place on Friday, after work and headed back to my house. We had planned to go straight to John's from the college. So John had my car on Saturday and I have the tank. I needed a day to get used to driving it. I wanted the truck to be in the lead and John to follow. I wanted to make sure he was behind me in case I had a problem. Besides, I know the way.
The trip out to IUP was fairly uneventful. I had no trouble with the truck, although it doesn't like going over those mountains! I stayed in the right lane with my flashers on whenever we had any kind of steep climb. I topped off the tank when we got off the turnpike (I delivered it 3/4 full to Dani... what a nice mom I am!). When we got there, Dani and I headed out to Ruby Tuesdays for a meal (she's about had it with cafeteria food for the year!) and John went to the Jimmy Stewart Museum (did you know that Jimmy Stewart as born and raised in Indiana, PA?). So back to the dorms we go for a few minutes and then Dani dropped me off in front of the Museum, so I can hook up with John and drive back to Pottstown.
I had the misfortune to wake up with a bad headache, and it came and went throughout the day. It just wouldn't let up. Caffeine helped somewhat. Then, about halfway home, in Ebensburg, PA, it started to rain. The temperatures dropped from about 75 degrees to 50 very quickly. I had just said I was hoping we'd miss most of the rain when I realized it was hailing. Then the skies just opened up with hail coming down do hard, we had to shout to be heard! I pulled into a closed gas station and took refuge under the overhangs. The hail left as quickly as it arrived, but the cooler temps stayed with us. It looked like it had been snowing... the entire ground was covered in white! Then, just as quickly, it was all gone!
A few blocks down the road I stopped to fill my tank with gas (for a record, I spent $78 on gas on Sunday alone... and that doesn't count filling the tank originally the other day!!) We ran into some bikers who pulled into the gas station seconds before the hail storm hit! They were really lucky!!
The last 2 hours of the trip, we dove through fairly heavy rain. I hate driving in rain, in the dark. Was I glad to get home and get out of that car!!! We left the house at 9am and arrived home (at John's apartment actually) at 9:20 pm. I really could have used a drink or two, but no booze in his place. Maybe I need to leave a bottle or two there... for emergencies.
So hopefully, that will be the last trip I have to make to IUP until August when Dani goes back to school. I know she's going to need help. She won't have her truck any more... she'll have a teeny little 35 MPG Kia Rio or comparable car with her.
I'll be shocked if Daddy Dearest goes instead. Our scorecard for trips to Dani's school? Mom 8 / Daddy Dearest 2. Even if you just count from when she moved to school... Mom 6 / Daddy Dearest 1. And that's just this year alone. I win, hands down.