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And The Other Shoe Drops

  Muscatine, Iowa is an old river town along the Mississippi, settled by white folks in 1837.  Iowa State University operated an experimental farm here, and the area is widely known for producing some of the most delicious watermelons and cantaloupes in the country. Last Sunday afternoon, towards the end of my stay at Shady Creek COE (just north of Muscatine), I received a text from my mother, indicating that my father's three month journey in hospice was close to the end.  I hitched up on Monday morning and towed the Scamp ninety minutes to a county park campground on the eastern edge of Cedar Rapids, Iowa.   Indeed, my dad was no longer responsive, and the hospice nurse told us that he could pass away at any time.  We sat with him for the rest of the morning before taking a break for lunch.  I then returned to the Scamp to let Callie out for a short walk.  During that time period, Mom went back to my Dad's room and found that he had stopped breathing.  She gave him a hug and

Home again, Home again, Jiggety-jog.

At 8 a.m. on Monday, when K&J Chevrolet opened, I called the service department and asked if my part had come in (squeaky wheel gets the grease).  They found out that it had arrived at the Nissan dealer in Centralia.   The parts driver told me later that he was on the road to Centralia by 8:10.

At 2:25 p.m. the service department called and told me that my truck was ready.  By 3 p.m. the parts driver picked me up at the campground in my Nissan, and I drove him back and took care of my bill.  It was just over $1000, and almost $800 of that was for the part.  There was no charge for the two trips back and forth to the campground, which was a good 25 minutes each way from Carlisle.  

I was originally hoping that the service department could repair the shifter, but I think that was probably unrealistic.  After 139,000 miles, it was plumb worn out.  Vibration had caused screws to back out, and brackets to bend badly.  It was an expensive part, but I feel better knowing that I probably won't have to worry about the shifter assembly ever again.  

I would recommend K&J Chevrolet to anyone needing service in the Carlyle, Illinois area.  The part delay was out of their control.  Once it arrived, they took care of me, knowing that I was in a difficult position. 

I was so sick of Lake Carlisle and the campground after 8 days of not being mobile.   But last night, the temperature was dropping, and the lake looked beautiful (now that I had my truck back).

I cooked the last of my hamburger (an 8 ounce patty) with Swiss cheese and a stale bun that tasted fine toasted and enjoyed knowing that I could leave any time I wanted.

This morning, I was up at 5 a.m. before first light.  After a quick breakfast, I made a thermos of coffee and hitched up.  We dumped (Callie watches carefully) and were on the road by 6:30 a.m.  It was a 7 hour drive home, and I could have broken it up into two days, but I was anxious to finish the trip off.  Allie is home for a short visit on her way to Montreal with college friends, and she will be leaving tomorrow morning.  

Tonight, it's rib-eyes, portabella mushrooms, and a glass of good red wine. 


MFH said…
Bill said…
All's well that ends well. When's the next trip?
John said…
I’m grateful that it didn’t end badly and without the expenditure of significantly more money. The next trip may not be for awhile. Things are busy at home during the next few weeks. After over a month of Scamping, including the Ashland trip, I have some repairs to make. One of the issues that I haven’t talked about yet, which happened during my hell week, is that the bathroom door fell off the interior fiberglass wall. Vibration and shaking over twenty-two years tore the screws right out of the door frame. I’ll need to take a closer look after some R&R.

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