From Where I Sit – I’d Rather be the Windshield

“Some days you’re the bug and some days you’re the windshield.” Lately, I’ve felt like the bug. Take a peek at my week.

A few weeks ago, our 3/4 ton farm truck’s transmission gave out. The dilemma is repair or replace. At almost 400,000 miles on the odometer, maybe its day is done. In the meantime it’s parked.

A few days ago, our newer farm truck overheated in Edmonton on the Yellowhead during rush hour. After checking the fan belt and the antifreeze levels, the rad was power washed and that seemed to do the trick. Not so. It appears it’s the head gasket and valves. Read a thousand dollars here.

Today I drive to town with the ’85 Olds only to have it die — silently and painlessly in front of the post office — with the windows down. The windows were down because the air conditioning needs repair. Have I mentioned I don’t do well in this heat?

The last remaining vehicle (other than grain trucks and collector cars) in the yard is Hilary’s Probe and its brakes are howling something fierce.

Through no fault of my own, I’m also involved in a time-sensitive church pews and upright freezer saga. Don’t ask.

Then the brother-in-law phones from Hinton to say he’s coming in a few days for the old travel trailer he’s buying. Just what I need during this week from hell.

Hilary’s finishing up grade 11 and starts a Career Pathway project at Lamont Hospital July 2nd. In the meantime she’s been asked to do some photojournalism coverage of Andrew Sportoff Days and The Class of ’42 Reunion. I feel like her secretary as I field her calls, take messages, offer advice.

And each day I drag 100 feet of rubber hose around trying to keep our trees and flowers alive during this unrelenting heat wave. The only reason we have enough water to do this is a new $7000 well. Surprise, surprise. It needs to be shock chlorinated because of bacteria counts. Until then, we buy bottled water.

We look in dismay at the crops and try to plan our next move. To spray or not to spray is the question. We feel for friends and neighbors with hungry cattle and no feed or pasture. We understand the domino effect of this disaster on morale, families, local merchants, farm suppliers. In the meantime we scramble to sell last year’s grain and field calls about pasture rental.

Even lunches out (a fun one with girlfriends and a business one with Sonny) are tough to schedule.

I’m up to armpits in wedding preparations. My office/studio has become wedding central as I make topiaries, sew pew markers and Hilary’s outfit, and plan, plan, plan so it runs like a well-oiled machine.

As a marriage commissioner I’m also scheduling meetings with couples to ensure their wedding day is magical and all they expected.

I don’t know how much more of this I can take. From where I sit, I’d rather be the windshield.

*Reprinted with permission

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