Today, my Facebook post says, “There is NO WAY you can convince me that God Almighty does not exist and that I’M NOT one of his very special and beloved children. Keep an eye on my page…wait ’til I tell you what happened this morning.”
I live a very simple life. I play it safe. I don’t ride roller coasters, roller skate or bungee jump. You won’t catch me jumping out of a plane or wrestling any ‘gators either. The extent of my edgy and dangerous side starts and ends at exceeding the posted speed limit by roughly 10 mph, and driving while sleepy (before 10pm). So, I am amazed at how calm I was in the face of danger this morning.
I had to drive my brother to work this morning. It’s usually an easy drive through Downtown Wilmington to Route 13 in New Castle. The beginning stretch of Route 13, just past The Riverfront is still pretty rough. There are spots where the road has buckled, and the bumps are as big as my thigh. One of the other issues drivers face on this particular stretch of road are bad drivers. They like to drift over the dashed line into the next lane. They don’t check mirrors or use turn signals. This stretch of road will test your character and the overall integrity of your vehicle.
This morning, I hit the thigh-sized buckle in the road, fishtailed slightly, and avoided the vehicle that was drifting into my lane. But something odd happened after I hit that bump and jostled the contents of my car and my passengers. The car sped up. I was pressing the brake and the car was fighting to slow down. I looked down at the speedometer. The needle was holding steady at 50 mph even as I had the brake pressed almost to the floor. I managed to merge into the turn lane at the intersection of my brother’s jobs at 48 mph and had to fight the car down to 30 mph as I pulled into the parking lot. It was only then that my brother turned to me and asked me what was wrong. I turned off the radio and the heat and told him to listen. It sounded like the fan was working at full speed. I pulled into a space and felt the car still trying to get a way from me. I threw the car in park, it lurched violently to a stop and both my brother and daughter protested. “What are you doing?!” (They are convinced I drive like a bat out of hell and that I don’t know how to properly use my brakes.) The car was still on, the needle on the tachometer was pointed directly at 4000 rpm. I was confused. What the heck did that thigh-sized buckle in the road to do my car?! It broke my engine!
My brother suggested I call my dad or our friend Carl to see if they could fix it. Carl was closer, so we called him to meet us. Now, I’m not a mechanic, but I know my baby (the car…that’s my baby). She is not prone to throwing tantrums and having hissy fits on the road. I unlatched the hood of the car and my brother and I looked down at the engine in astonishment. THIS was the thing that caused the problem? They don’t usually need one of THESE to keep the engine running — at least, it wasn’t mentioned in the owner’s manual. My brother was about to reach down and remove the offending object that DARED to test my mighty Cavalier, and my character, but I stopped him. I had to get a picture because there is no way you would believe me otherwise. I called Carl back and told him we fixed the problem. “What happened?” he asked.
“Oh, a nut came loose and got lodged in something. I’ll send you the picture,” I said with a laugh. I disconnected and sent him the picture.
The moral of the story is: God protects me from nuts.
The nut in the engine as it “idled” at 4000 rpm: