Saturday, June 25, 2011

Homeless, stranded, all sorts of good stuff (with update!)

Here we sit, in Mt. Vernon, Illinois.  Our Penske rental truck, cause of so much consternation yesterday, is in a sulk.  The fuel pump is being replaced at the moment (it was belching so much black smoke it was either a fuel pump issue or a failure to elect a pope).  Meanwhile we wait in our little Drury Inn (they allow pets: bless you, Drury Inn).
The truck is now being tried again.  More black smoke--still no pope or fuel pump, I guess.  An incredibly rough idle.
So is this what it means to learn patience?  I have no choice but to wait.  Our next way stop (Dunbar, WV, for what it's worth) is irrelevant at this point.  Don't know what needs to be done yet.  New truck?  Repair time?  I have no knowledge to work with, so I have no choice but to wait.  Is this what it means to learn patience?
Do I have any choice but to find out?

Update, 1:07 central time:

It gets better.  We are definitively stranded, at least for the day.  A replacement truck has to come from St. Louis, and for some reason that will take about three hours.  Then the defunct truck has to be off-loaded onto the new truck.  We know this won't happen quickly.  The truck is stuffed, with Julia's upright topping the list of heavy items.  So that's probably going to be an all-night affair.  At this point I'm just hoping we can get going in the morning at a decent time.
My wife, sweetie that she is, is taking the upbeat approach:  at least we now have a day to get rested before finishing up the move.  There's definitely a lot to be said for that.  This has not been a good-sleep week by any means.  A day of enforced relaxation might be a very good thing.  West Virginia is not an easy state to drive over (and "over" really does seem the right word).
As to the diagnosis: I am so not a motorhead, but I can grasp this: the reading that should have gone from 1 at idle to 18 at full rev only went from 1 to 3.  I don't have to be a motorhead to grasp that there is a problem with that.
So.  I'd say this quit being a patience lesson.  There's nothing really left to be patient about, is there?  Events are quite beyond our control.  We are into the territory of "accidents of history," to borrow a phrase from my Communities of Learning program I'm going through with Union right now.
For whatever reason I got the cruddy end of the stick this time.  Penske doesn't, in my experience anyway, usually hand out lemons, but I most assuredly got one.  The desk manager here at the hotel observed that she's almost never seen a Penske have to serviced like this, and many do come through here (this town does seem to sit at a crossroads in southern Illinois).  "U-Hauls, yeah, a lot, but Penskes almost never."  Nonetheless I got a bad one, unlike the three other Penske trucks that left here successfully today.  Does that mean anything?
Am I supposed to be learning some lesson about "the best laid plans" and all that?  Gee whiz, the whole reason I'm on this trip is that my "best laid plans" for my life got re-routed into seminary and eventually ministry.  At the risk of sounding arrogant, I'm feeling o.k. on that subject these days.
I guess I'm resisting the notion that this "happened for a reason" or that it's supposed to "mean something."  It happened because somebody messed up.  That we'll get some extra rest is a nice side benefit, but it comes at some cost in hotel rearrangements (stupid me made one of those advance-reservation non-refundable reservations for tonight in WV, and now I'll pay for it--literally) and needing to reschedule unloading in Richmond.  And all it "means" is that we'll be a day later arriving.  An accident of history.  Something to moan about later.  A tall tale for regaling others with.  Or, put most simply, life.
Now to be a vegetable, for the first time in several days.

1 comment:

  1. I hope Penske is making some financial remuneration for your lost time and inconvenience. Hope things get better soon.