We are full swing into winter now, but before the weather truly went north, we engaged on a pre-winter adventure! (Well, this was after the pre-winter roofing adventure, but before the main winter adventure which we will touch on another time.)
Our station wagon needed a new fuel pump. The shop graciously offered to fix it for a 4 digit figure. We briefly thought about it (done!), and then it was decided that we would do it ourselves. "We" meaning our boys.
Without much thought and needing a level place to work, we parked the wagon on the street. This was because the garage contained our pickup truck, which was in need of a new battery and wasn't really needed, and because our driveway is pretty steep.
So, the boys were about to start the fuel pump job on the street, when a friend cautioned us that it was not safe to work on the street. So we began to think of ways to move the pickup out of the garage and move the wagon to the garage. We knew it would be an uphill battle.
Working both for and against us was gravity. It was working for us in getting the non-working pickup OUT of the garage, but working against us in getting the wagon up the driveway and into the garage.
Finally, Dave decided that it was past time to begin working on the wagon and saw that freezing rain was in the forecast, so we had a brief family meeting to consider our goals, objectives and resources, and we concocted a plan.
First, we cleared the pickup out of the driveway and parked it on the street. That was pretty simple, except we knew it had to be away from the driveway enough to not be in the path of other vehicles...
Then, we decided to take what some would consider a deficit and turn it into an asset.....
By process of elimination (it was the only running vehicle), it was decided to use the bus to shove the station wagon up the driveway and into the garage. Our usual practice of taking the driveway at an angle to park the bus (in order to not bottom out in the driveway) was to be modified. We had to kind of take the driveway head-on to keep the wagon headed for the garage and not the neighbor's yard.
The preparations began: a spare tire was strategically tied to the front end of the bus, allowing us to cushion the humongous dent being created in the white molded fiberglass bumper of the wagon. We also used some padded window insulation, to keep the tire from scratching the paint.
Hold on, hold on! Besides the impending dent, we did not figure that both the front end of the bus and the back end of the wagon were converging in the dip in front of the driveway at the same time, creating what would later be known as the "debris in the dustpan" effect. As Mommy didn't want to watch the wagon pop a wheelie, we began to scramble for Plan B.
The spectators inside our house accumulated at the front windows. We are uncertain at how many other houses they accumulated.
As you can see, this was an interesting situation.
Enter Grandpa P.
Across the street, Grandpa P. was growing accustomed to checking on what the Kleins are up to now. He saw this as an opportunity for him to help, and he graciously offered the use of the front of his truck to get the job done.
By this time, another neighbor came by to join in the fun and offer valuable insight and moral support. And he also brought his vehicle...
Slow and steady, we made some upward progress with the wagon, until...
the Jolly Trolley came through.
So before the Jolly Trolley could pass, we had to back the bus up, and both neighbors had to move their vehicles!
Here am I in the bus, on the wrong side of the road. The boys put the parking brake on the wagon, Grandpa P and Neighbor B backed out and parked on the wrong side of the road in front of me, and we waited out the commuters.
Not long after, the school bus came through!
The bus was followed by the police, but he was just patrolling and did not come to investigate was we were trying to do.
Progress using Grandpa Ps truck again came to a halt due to the dustpan effect. But, Plan C came to us in a flash: pull the wagon up with the truck!
The only hangup here was that it was necessary to drive over the bus' normal parking spot, which happened to have an oil slick. Tires began to spin, wagon began to fishtail. Solomon scrambled to find appropriate absorbent material to provide the necessary traction. Ashes from the fireplace? Rolled oats? I forget.
Okay, so here is the wagon in the garage. We were very thankful to the Lord for helping us get this accomplished! Whew!
Where is Grandpa P's truck? Well, the truck actually pulled into the garage. We put the brake on the wagon. The truck backed out of the driveway. The boys pushed the wagon the rest of the way in.
Well, a certain feeling of relief came over the Kleins to be sure: we were all alive and the wagon was safely in the garage. And we trust a feeling of satisfaction of helping neighbors came over the gentlemen who came to help in our time of need. We all had a good laugh, we thanked the men profusely, and they went their separate ways.
Then we noticed: our pickup truck was still on the street...
But that is a story for another time... or not at all.