Monday, January 23, 2006

Updates on Family News

Steroids, house construction, and car trouble...

-- Dennis's Neck Problems --

Dennis did feel better while taking the steroid, and he thought it helped somewhat but did not completely cure the problem. The doctor gave him another round of steroids, since the first round had done him some good. He is supposed to check back in with the doctor when he finishes this round. He has been talking to his Workman's Compensation rep and they are paying for this. (These problems are the result of him falling from a transport trailer when he was working in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina.)

-- Charlotte and David's House --

I talked to my sister Charlotte over the weekend, and she is hoping their house will be finished enough to move into in 2 to 3 months. I don't know what the proper name is for the type of construction they are doing, but it is supposed to be an energy efficient and fire resistant modern design. The walls and part of the roof are poured concrete. I think the rest of the roof is conventional trusses. Charlotte said that all of the plumbing was laid in place before the floors were poured. I hope the remaining work will go even faster than she expects because I know they are very much looking forward to a place they can call their own again. (Their home burned to the ground on January 31, 2005.)

-- My Car --

My car had been doing a worrisome thing that was getting worse all the time. Oftentimes when I hit a little ka-ching in the road like a manhole cover, a pothole or road patch, railroad tracks, etc., my car would pop out of gear, usually into neutral but occasionally into second. (It is not a good thing to be thrown into second gear when driving at highway speeds.) After a few seconds, it would go back into the gear it had been in before the bump and everything would be fine until the next bump. This happened several times everytime I drove the car, and I assumed it was a transmission problem.

We took the car to Frank at Pro-Mech in Hopkinsville, and he hooked up his machine to the car's computer and discovered that the computer was restarting itself every time one of these episodes occurred. That led him to think there must be a loose electrical connection somewhere whose circuit was momentarily broken when the car hit a sharp bump.

Frank found a loose battery cable which he tightened up. (This made us feel silly!) He told me to drive it and see if that fixed it, but it continued to pop out of gear. I took it back and he found a wire under the dash that seemed to give when he pulled on it. He took the dash off and, sure enough, the connection was loose. So he fixed it and told me to drive the car and see if the problem was cured. I have been driving it for about two weeks now, and it hasn't popped out of gear once, so I am sure that he did find the problem.

I went by Pro-Mech today to settle up, and he only charged me $60. I had been braced for a transmission repair bill of hundreds of dollars when we took it in, so I am thankful that it didn't turn out that way. Pastor Redmann recommended Frank to me a while back when we needed some work done on the old Dodge pickup, and I'm sure glad we took his advice. It's a blessing to have a mechanic you don't feel is trying to rip you off.

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CONTENTMENT: Keep your heart free from hate, your mind from worry, live simply, expect little, give much, sing often, pray always, forget self, think of others and their feelings, fill your heart with love, scatter sunshine. These are the tried links in the golden chain of contentment.
(Author unknown)

IT IS STILL BEST to be honest and truthful; to make the most of what we have; to be happy with simple pleasure; and to be cheerful and have courage when things go wrong.
(Laura Ingalls Wilder, 1867-1957)

Thanks for reading.