But first...the news from the trenches! (My Crazy Family)
The Travelling Mice
The Short Version: Mice nested in my mother's car. Under the hood. And ate some wires. She was unhappy.
The Longer Version: My mother lives in rural Missouri. The area is mainly made up of forests, fields, and streams. For a mouse, it is the promised land. In this mousy utopia, there is nothing quite as nice as nestling up near a warm engine on a cool fall day. Sauna, anyone?
So, when a vehicle sits for more than a day outside a garage it becomes a mouse dwelling. A mouse house. A mobile home for the discerning rodent adventurer. Basically, they move in and eat up the place. Like bad hotel guests.
The result is a hot mess of chewed wires, random bits of nesting fluff, and a car that will definitely NOT start. My uncle was roped into helping. Which leads into my second story, The Outdoorsman, and explains where my dad was when he would usually be dealing with the car. Or calling someone to deal with the car. Details, details.
Now, my uncle is great with cars. He's a little cantankerous at times, but great when cars go boom. Or don't. Whichever. He does, however, spend a great deal of time complaining to the car he is working on. I repeat, he complains TO the car. About his day, my aunt, the weather, and (very rarely) the car itself.
It's sometimes a little difficult to keep track of who he is talking to or about. "And it just rains all the- Hand me that wrench- time. How am I supposed to- Try the engine- get anything done with it just- Anything? Yeah, I didn't think it would- raining all day."
And then there was the issue of getting the part. The guy at the parts store in town said it would be "a few hundred bucks" and advised my mother to go "pick and pull" at the junk yard near the county line.
Keep in mind, neither one of my parents are particularly good with cars. The likelihood of either of them finding the make and model they need on the lot and getting the part from it without injuring themselves or others is not great. There could be bloodshed. They could end up on the evening news. It could get ugly.
In the end, a friend of my dad's rebuilt the part and my uncle put it on. While talking to the car.
The Short Version: My dad thinks he is outdoorsy. He's been using a chainsaw to clear out some trees on his property. So far, he has managed to get his truck stuck in mud up to the frame and nearly lose a limb. It's not going well.
The Longer Version: My dad is a city guy. He was born in a city and raised in a city and has mostly lived in cities. He is not outdoorsy. He does not camp. He will never be a park ranger, canoeing instructor, or scout leader. Which is fine. Or it WAS fine, at least.
He recently got it in his head that he is a rugged outdoorsman. The forest is his homeland. He is Daniel Boone. Or Rambo. Or some odd combination of the two. He is one with the trees. Yeah.
In the past year, he has gotten a truck, a chainsaw, and a plot of land. Two days ago, he got the truck so stuck in the mud it took a two pick-ups, a semi with a chain, and an industrial wench to get him free. This follows on the heels of him nearly knocking out power to half the town when he cut down a tree too close to the power line.
I think I should introduce him to NatGeo. That way, he can watch other people chop down trees and build log cabins. It seems safer. He can vicariously be Daniel Boone/Rambo (Danbo?) and keep all of his limbs.
And that is the news from the trenches.
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The entire Dems Trilogy (No Light, Darkness Blooming, and [NEW RELEASE!] Shadows Fall) will be available for FREE from Christmas Eve (Dec. 24th) to the day after Christmas (Dec. 26th).
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