Monday, September 30, 2013

Intense

 I don't know where to start. Probably the breakdown. 

1. Jess was sick and I was driving to her house to help out. At 7:30 am with no warning, on the Massachusetts Turnpike, with a speed limit of 65 mph my car died. By died I mean the steering wheel locked, the brakes locked, I had no flashers or tail lights. Thank god the traffic was just starting to down because of a backup into Boston. 

I could have been slammed from behind. Easily. Some guy appeared at my window and with a screwdriver in hand, he opened a small shift box that unlocked my steering wheel and allowed him to push me to the break down lane, where I waited for 45 minutes for the Turnpike Authority to send a tow truck. I waited while cars sped by me on two sides. 

I could have been slammed. Easily.

I'll condense the rest: I had to pull myself up to and down from the high tow truck cab six times. I am recovering from knee surgery and still using a cane, still in physical therapy, still stiff and still sore. It was a bitch. My car was taken to a Toyota dealership not near my home and they told me my battery died because a cable line to the battery had corroded. They told me it should have been caught during my regular servicing. I still have to deal with that.

I could have been killed. That's what I think.

I picked my car up late afternoon, paid and turned the starter. Dead. 

I'll condense the rest again. Rental car. Two more days. Defective NEW battery. Replacement. Driving cautiously.

2. I spent two heartwarming days this week with my daughter Jess, baby Reese, Mike and the boys. Lovely though still limping. Damn that. This recovery is two steps forward, one step back. I have another month of physical therapy and I hope hope I walk better and further every day. I hope no more tow trucks. I hope Jessica's return to work this week, after 12 weeks of maternity leave, goes well. 


3. This is a view from the couch of our modest lovely new house in Provincetown by the sea; currently a vacation home but one day...maybe a move there. We have sold the condo in town that we needed to sell in order to buy this house without losing our financial shirts, and we finally sold in the nick of time. We close this Friday. Friday night JB and I will have dinner at the Mews, heartily toast and appreciate, and then we will hang pictures in our new place. 


3. I have a good friend--her name is Lori--many of your know her and adore her many talents. She knitted this for Baby Reese. I wanted to cry when I opened this gift. I have great friends. 


4. Ah Mohegan Sun Casino. I am a slot machine addict. I don't know why that is. If I break even I think I won. JB patiently came with me to unwind for a day. Why unwind? Did I mention my knee rehab has been challenging and limiting and my sleep is most nights disrupted and we're not sure we're going to be able to help our dog Chase be healthy and happy and I'm so shocked by the violence and uncivility in the world?

5. There's more. But there is also good. My family. My daughter and her husband. My darling grands. The sea. Fall in New England. Good friends. A yard that's been neglected all summer but is still fertile and loyal. 


6. BTW: I found this on Facebook. A rubber hand filled with Halloween goodies. JB and I are going to make these for our little guys. Steal the idea: isn't it cool?


7. The new house: nothing fancy, right? And yet JB and I are giddy about it. This week the brick steps are being repaired and restored, the shutters and flower boxes are being painted Ben's gorgeous Nova Scotia Blue, and the overgrown rose bushes and giant neglected shrubs will be cut back and pruned. Every small repair is a dopamine rush.

8. I so rarely talk about Logan. Mr. Ryan and no-longer-baby-Drew and now sister Reese get a lot of my attention and words. Logan quietly observes. He is now two and is stringing three or four words together--sentences. Logan is a happy boy. I love him. 


9. As I write this, the United States government is readying to shut down. Disgusting, this congress. I am thinking about what I want to do, can do, should do, might do, to make the world more to my liking. I believe many many of us need to find one another and support one another as a modern day underground railroad. Surely peace becomes us.* 
* from social justice singer Holly Near

10. My friend Anne has died. I am so very sad. She handled her illness and life incredibly. I will write about Anne and my loss, but not now. 

I still hope I blog more regularly. I want to. I also hope you are each well. Happy new season.
love
kj

24 comments:

  1. Hello darling lady...life's a rollercoaster ride isn't it...so sorry you had to go through that horrible car incident...and the death of another friend...and all the other crap that's happening in the world. Be kind to yourself, enjoy those you love, your home, your garden, the sea... Love to you across the miles...

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    1. Hello Chrisy. Perfect advice. Thank you

      Love
      kj

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  2. Maternity leave is only twelve weeks? What is wrong with the American government? Babies need their mommas for a year at least. Everybody needs health care. I am a socialist at heart, we all need to take care of each other.

    Keep working at the physio, it will come. Sending hugs woman.

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    1. Deb, 12 weeks is indeed more than most mothers and families get. I agree that is do wrong and sad. I see working parents picking their kids up from daycare, exhausted and impatient, and it's so hard for everyone


      Thanks for your encouragement. I have this habit to bitch and appreciate at the same time :-)

      Love
      kj

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  3. Oh honey, how horrifying to be broken down and STUCK for all that time. And yes, you could've been hit, but you weren't. And yes, it wouldn't start again and you got stuck, but they fixed it, you are getting stronger, the world is ?, but then there are people like Lori Ann, who twangs my heart strings, and that makes things better for us all.

    I think your little cottage is unbelievably charming. I think it is winsome. Your blue trim, window boxes etc. will be great.

    Stay strong and focused. Stay stubborn and KJ.

    Love,

    Sharon

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    1. Sharon honey, thank you for knowing I am stubborn :-) I consider it one of my better qualities :-)

      You are right in every way. The glass is half full. (Though I was scared!) I imagine you have just left Maine as the leaves begin their yellow and red palette. Next year, Sharon. Count on it xo

      Love
      kj

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    1. Thanks Zoe. And now I head to you :-)

      Love
      kj

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  5. Sorry to hear of your dis-empowering car experience, and the death of your friend Anne. And the words about Chase bring sadness too. On the other hand, the sale of the condo, and time with the family are good news.

    Blessings and Bear hugs!

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    1. You've summed it up well, rob-bear! Some of this and some of that :-)

      Love
      kj

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  6. Difficult to react on all ten points :-) But I have read them all and I have seen the very nice pictures. I like the new house very much. Cars are wonderful stuff, but they have to do what they have to do and nothing more!

    Mr. Logan is a cute gentleman.
    Wishing you all the best and a speedy recovery, Karen!

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  7. Hello dear wieneke xo

    The house is orgasmically exciting! I hope you have excitement too !

    Love
    kj

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  8. I've missed you here. I've resorted to calling as you know.

    Stay. It's better on the blogs

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    1. Mim, love your calls :-)

      I'm staying for sure

      Love
      me

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  9. Kj, So sorry for your loss and almost accident, your angels were with you. That sweater is a dream, I love dear Lori. So sorry to hear chase is not better, don't give up on him. Kisses to all. xoxo

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    1. Thanks for all your good wishes. Annie. Man, chase is an expensive handful. We are all working at working it out. We love him

      Love
      kj

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  10. Nice pictures, really I am not jealous at all. So let me get this straight you are IN MOTION and your car loses all power, absolutely all power. The steering wheel locks and after a pump or two of the brakes they become very hard and don't seem to be slowing the vehicle. Someone comes along and shows you the slot that you insert your key into to unlock the steering wheel and you can then shift it to neutral and be moved sort of out of traffic. That about it?

    If so ask your mechanic "if the car runs off the battery and the alternator charges it when it calls for a charge through the voltage regulator, and my battery was bad why didn't my car run off the alternator until I turned the car off. Did you by any chance check the VOLTAGE REGULATOR and Alternator output voltage? Oh by the way what was the voltage of my battery when you tested it under load?

    A batter is bad if voltage drops below 9.6 volts DC under load, if the battery had failed while the car was running (doubtful) the alternator should have kept it running until you turned the vehicle off. THEN you would have a no power situation but if your alternator or voltage regulator went bad while driving the battery would lose power because the alternator failed to keep it charged not the battery failure but a regulator or alternator failure would be the first place i went. an alternator running should show a battery voltage of 13.6v.

    This wasn't too much about me was it kiddo?

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    1. Mark, my understanding is that the line to the battery was corroded and when the battery ran out of its juice, it died. Does that make sense ?
      The service mgr locally listened to my story and reimbursed me for all repair expenses. I think he was relieved I didn't ask for a lot more.

      The car died when traffic had just backed up and I probably put my foot to the brake . He told me the car would NOT have died and locked like what while accelerating. That's the thought that freaked me so much--thinking it could have locked like that at 70 mph

      Does this make sense? I like that you know about this

      I didn't say you alwAys make it about you, dear mark, and even if you do I love your comments :-)

      Love
      kj

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    2. You have 2 main wires on the battery
      1) Red the + goes directly to the starter motor with a smaller red wire going to an under the hood fuse box.

      2) Black - this is the ground wire and normally is attached to the engine and then if you look at different places around the engine you will see smaller black wires attached to the body (called body grounds)

      When you start your car it is the second largest load on your battery so immediately after starting the battery is going to say hey alternator give me a drink of juice. All of the rest of the electrical stuff on your var (except windshield wipers) have relatively small drain on the battery, so while driving occasionally the battery Voltage drops below 11.5v and says hey alternator give me another shot.

      The red wires sens + ions out it's wires which get distributed throughout the car and the black wires collect the depleted positive ions now negative ions and returns them back to the battery for a chemical bath which is a process of the electricity produced by the alternator.

      .So now to your question if the battery was that corroded the car wouldn't die, it would NOT start. But once it did start the alternator would keep it running because the battery would constantly be saying give me more juice. And the alternator would have kept sending juice to the car because it IS NOT connected directly to the battery but through fuses and relays to the cars on board computer.

      You have the new battery now and that's cool but i would have the alternator checked for output voltage when hot and see if it maintains that 13.6 or so volts. I think you alternator or alternator regulator (inside the alternator mostly these days so basically the same thing) failed not the battery. Of course the battery could not stay charged , all that corrosion slows the circuit wAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAy down to a snails pace. Have an auto parts store check the alternator most of them do it free and it takes about two minutes. just make sure the car is fully warmed up.

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  11. Life is both fragile and resilient. All you can do is make an effort to be in the moment.

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    1. So true . You said this beautifully

      Love
      kj

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  12. This post was wonderful in that it contained so much. Your experience with you car rivals some of mine with my plane. It also scares me to think that the whole damn car will lock down at highway speeds if, for whatever reason, the juice from the battery is shut off. Why wasn't the alternator keeping it going.

    I'm so very sorry about your friend, Anne.

    I gambled once. I put a a quarter in a Vegas slot machine, lost the quarter, and still feel badly about it, although it happened in 1986.

    "I believe many many of us need to find one another and support one another as a modern day underground railroad."

    But, you know, all the friends in the world wouldn't be able to make up for living in pain if a person can't afford medical care. What this shutdown has confirmed in spades for me is that Republicans as a whole really and truly do not care because why else would they speak of healthcare as a commodity rather than as a right?

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  13. shivers, warmth, memories, feelings, intensity, loss, depsair, hope, happiness- these are just some of my reactions to your words.

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  14. Holy shit! I just got all charged up about your road and batteries horrors. What an ordeal, and with you in recovery from surgery. I am aghast at what you endured.

    On the upside, the new house is a dream house to me, the sweater is totally precious, and the post definitely was intense!

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