Thursday, July 18, 2013

Tough Mudder Part 2: The car woes. And other stuff.


The Erudite clan (mom, sister, and myself) were driving up to Tahoe so I could do the Tough Mudder and they could volunteer when, about 10 minutes from my hotel and on a downgrade on a busy road with cars going 55 MPH....I heard a couple of loud clunks and my car died on the road.  I immediately, and through the grace of God safely, managed to get it to the side of the road.

We then called a tow truck.  First complication was finding a rental car place that was open at 4 PM on a Saturday.  We had to get the car to Reno, which was not the closest or most convenient place.

And then, with AAA overburdened and with their computers down and communication incomplete, we had to wait 45 minutes for a tow truck.  It would have been two hours except for the part about three women with a dead car on the side of a busy road thing.  And I have to tell you, in that 45 minutes the sound of the cars passing about drove me to the edge.  It's odd.  When I was younger, I had no sensory issues.  I liked loud music on all the time, despised silence.  Now, I like it quiet.  I only like something playing in cars, when I am running, or when I am doing solo stuff around the house, and even then I prefer audiobooks now.  You can say well of course you are sensitive to auditory stimulation, that is very indicative of someone on the Autism Spectrum.  That logic fails though because this has been a fairly recent, within the past 5 years, change for me.  Maybe I am just getting old?

Anyway...back to my car.  Our amazing two truck driver arrived with the bad news that he couldn't fit three of us in his car (they were supposed to call to tell us, they didn't, ARG).  I said, I do understand that, what do we do?  And here is what he did, and I truly wish I had gotten his name so I could write a letter to go into her personnel file praising his his above and beyond service.  First, he got my car onto the truck and had the Erudite Sister ride in the car for the ten minute drive to the hotel where he dropped me off (I was a wreck, and I had TM the next day, I HAD to relax, and thank God my family got that).  THEN, he took them to the airport to get the rental car.  THEN he said to them just go to the hotel, give me the information and I will drop off the car at the Ford Dealership for me.

Above and beyond.  WAY above.  We were more grateful than I can express.

So on Sunday I did the Tough Mudder and the whole day was fantastic--I wrote a blog post on part of it and will write another one in the near future.  I knew I could do nothing about my car until Monday so I just put it out of my head and did Tough Mudder.  Which worked great.  Until Monday.

I get the call---it's the clutch, and it isn't under warranty.  I go through a series of phone calls and being insulted and back and forth and arguing (a 23 minute phone call.  Shudder. And I didn't give an inch) that a clutch that goes out under 100K isn't wear and tear but in fact defective and back and forth and back and forth....until I realize that my warranty isn't going to cover my clutch and no matter how unfair it was I wasn't going to win (never buy a used car or a warranty, everyone.  Lesson learned).  So how to get my car home?  Thanks to a suggestion from my cousin, I upgraded my AAA so I had 200 towing miles.  I then call today to arrange the tow, only to find out I have to be there.  So tomorrow, I head to Reno, thanks to a dear friend who is willing to go with me and provide a car as we don't trust any of the cars in our house over the mountains, just to call AAA and have them come and tow my car home.  This is after we drove to Reno yesterday JUST to return the rental car, a job we could have put off one more day if we had realized I would have to be there to sign off on the tow.  And this is after endless phone calls--and you all know I HATE the phone--and being treated like crap, and arguing, and...UGH.  It's been a heck of a week.

Though Antonio at Jones West Ford in Reno, NV? Made it easy for me as possible, and totally waived a lot of things he could have charged me for.  He has been sympathetic and helpful.  THANK YOU Antonio.  You are getting some cookies and brownies tomorrow.

And all this has just been to figure out how to get my car home.  Fixing it?  That's just going to have to be a problem for another day.

And in all of this, another problem is present. I can't talk about it, but let us just say that a person is treating is absolutely unfairly, illegally, cruelly, and hurtfully in such a way to totally screw us over and cause an enormous amount of emotional upheaval and financial distress.  It is in the hands of someone who knows more about this stuff than we do.  But still, I don't think it is going to end easily or well.


Here but for the grace of God we crawl along barely clinging on by our fingernails,


Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Tough Mudder Part One: The Patriotic, pro Military, AWESOME start

So, as all of you know as I have talked about it without ceasing on FB...I did the Tough Mudder last weekend.  I will probably tell you more about the terrain, the obstacles, later, but I wanted to take this post to talk about what meant the most to me, what I truly think I will remember even more deeply than getting my first (but not only) orange Tough Mudder Headband.

And that was what happened before the race started, when we were all gathered at the start line.

First, I was there as an individual. Now, you don't do TM alone.  The whole purpose, and why I love it and why I did it, is that this is not a race, you are supposed to help and support your fellow mudders on the course.  You aren't even timed.  But still, I wasn't with a team.  Until a team I was standing by found out I was a solo, was impressed, and invited me to join their team.  I was with them at the end.  It meant...a lot.  THAT is the Tough Mudder spirit, right there.

Second, the normal stuff of cheering, getting you pumped, etc.  Fun! We chanted the Tough Mudder philosophy, which speaks of teamwork and not leaving anyone behind, and has the wonderful line "I do not whine.  Kids whine".

Then they had everyone take a knee and asked all who were serving or had served in the Military to stand up.  Oh, the cheers for our troops was deafening.  DEAFENING.  I was so proud to be amongst our brave soldiers, and with people who clearly loved them as much as I did.

As some of you might know, Tough Mudder's charity is Wounded Warriors.  So they had everyone take 10 seconds of silence in honor and respect for all those that had lost their lives for our freedoms.  In that absolute silence, my eyes started filling.

And then the guy leading us all said that in the Tough Mudder first wave we have a tradition.  We don't  play the National Anthem.  We all look at the flag and sing it.  I was one among hundreds that turned to the flag, put my hand over my heart, and our voices raised to the skies singing the National Anthem.  Now, the National Anthem always makes me teary eyed, for I love my Country. But this time, in this circumstance, with everyone singing next to me...

Tears flowed down my face and I was so choked up I almost had to hit my inhalor.

And that was even before we started, which is for another post.  But...

God Bless the Tough Mudder, God bless our troops, and God bless the USA.

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Moved....sort of

We have a house.  We have all of our stuff in our house.

But the majority of it is still lying around in boxes waiting to find the right place for it to live.

That is OK though--the mad rush of getting everything out of the house on time, then getting everything from the storage shed into the new house (and this in a brutal heat wave, sigh), is done.  My bed is up and running (except who knows where that bottom sheet is) and my room is neat.  My clothes are hung up.  My mom's furniture is assembled and her studio and sewing room is in progress.  We've decided where we want everything to be.  The animals are all here and happy (thanks to friends!).  And the food is put away.

So far, so good!