I weigh myself for my “official” Weight Watchers weigh-in on Friday mornings. This morning, I am down 1.5 pounds from last Friday. Yay! That’s 6 pounds in three weeks, which is right on the 2-pound-per-week loss recommended for safe, long-term weight loss. I’d love the per-week loss to be more like 5 pounds, but I know that’s unrealistic, and it’s unrealistic expectations like that that have doomed previous attempts to failure. So, I’m going to keep a positive attitude and be thankful for even the smallest move downward on the scale.
On another note, yesterday morning was IN-sane. The Spouse left for work at 6AM, as usual. He doesn’t actually start work until 7:30 or 7:40 AM on Thursdays (not sure exactly what time), but he is one of those people who cannot handle the stress of possibly being late, so he allows himself PLENTY of time to drive the 50 miles to work each day. The result is, he usually has half an hour or more to kill before he clocks in, which he spends reading the paper, sometimes doing light exercise, or if anyone else shows up ridiculously early, visiting with coworkers. When questioned as to why he leaves SO early, he always says he tries to “expect the unexpected”. What if there is an accident that closes the highway (it has happened)? He has time to turn around and take an alternate route and still get to work on time. What if it has snowed a foot and the roads haven’t been cleared yet (it has happened)? He can go slowly and still be on time. What if he has a flat (it has not happened)?
Well, yesterday his overly-cautious nature paid off. He left at 6, as usual. About 6:25 he called me to tell me that the BMW was overheating and he was turning around to go back to the last gas station on the way out of town to add coolant. That was not a good sign. I threw on some clothes and prepared for the worst. Five minutes later, he called back to say the water he was putting in was running out as fast as he was putting it in. The BMW has an overflow tank with a hose that goes into the engine. There is no radiator cap on the radiator, so you can’t bypass the overflow tank and put coolant or water directly into the radiator. Clearly, that hose had blown and the water wasn’t getting into the engine. By this time I was in the car and on my way to meet him. He said he’d start driving into town and would go as far as he could. Of course, I hit every single red light in town – every single one! I so should have gotten a ticket! I was speeding through town like a maniac whenever no one was in front of me. It was not a pretty sight. He got to the south side of the “long bridge” – the 2 mile long bridge over the river that you have to cross to get to and from town – and waited for me in the parking lot of a BBQ joint. I arrived and saw him waiting, hood open, in the dark lot. I had to turn left across a stream of traffic that was non-stop. It seemed I would never get across, when finally a small break came. I zipped across, jumped out of the car, grabbed my purse and ID tag for work out of the front seat while he put his lunch box and other things in the back seat, swapped keys, and watched him drive off. Luckily for him, there was another break in the traffic, so he got out and on his way quickly. By this time it was 6:45.
I sat with the car, waiting for the temperature gauge to drop to below halfway. When it did, I started the car and headed north across the bridge. I had brought a gallon of water with me so I could add it in hopes of cooling the car down at least a little bit when it overheated. About halfway across the bridge, the needle started edging up again. All of a sudden, it pegged. It went from halfway to pegged instantly. I didn’t want to drive very far in that condition, so rather than drive all the way across the bridge to one of the gas stations at the north end of it, I pulled off onto a construction road that has been built as part of a huge bypass construction project that is underway. I put on my flashers (it was pitch dark still, by the way), turned of the engine, got out and opened the hood, and sat and watched the temperature gauge. A few minutes later, a state patrolman pulled in behind me. He came to my window, where I explained what was going on. He asked if I needed him to call anyone, and I told him no, that I was just going to let it cool down and try to limp home, little by little. He wished me luck, walked back to his SUV, and drove off. The Spouse kept calling to check on my progress. After about 15 minutes, the needle was back to halfway, so I ventured off again. I made it about a mile (fortunately, I hit all green lights), having to pull over about two blocks from another gas station that sits on the busiest intersection in town. This time it took about 20 minutes to cool down. Off I went again, making it a lot further this time – actually making it all the way through town, again hitting all green lights, and even past the construction on the north end of town without having to stop, before pulling over in the parking lot of a now defunct BBQ joint (go figure – this small town at one time had TWO BBQ places).
It was beginning to get light now. I put the last of the water into the overflow tank – and watched it run out right where the hose goes into the engine. Well, you can’t actually see the hose at that end as it is under some other components on the engine, but you could see the water running out from where the hose obviously goes. The water was running onto the engine, so that helped cool it off a bit. I waited about 20 minutes, then headed out again. There was a gas station just a short way down the road, so I pulled in there to refill my water jug. The clerk gave me another jug full of water, so I put them both in the tank and let them run over the engine. This time, I waited until the gauge went well below halfway before heading out. I was about 2.5 miles from home. I miraculously made it through the last two signals without having to stop. I kept an eagle-eye on the temperature gauge. It was staying around the halfway mark. I prayed. I kept driving, past the last gas station before the turn into my neighborhood. The temperature held. I turned into my neighborhood. The temperature started to creep up, but stayed between halfway and max, so I kept going. Just as I hit the corner of my street, it pegged. I only had a few hundred feet to go, so I just gunned it, pulled into my driveway, and shut the car off. I jumped out, opened the hood, and let it cool down. The whole ordeal had taken about an hour-and-a-half. The Spouse, by the way, had called constantly to check on my progress, and had made it to work on time, despite the backtracking and car swap. I guess his strategy of leaving so early for work paid off. Thankfully, we have more cars than two people should have (four, not counting YS’s car, which WE own), so despite the fact that the Suburban is at The Daughter’s house right now (they borrowed it for a soccer trip), I still had the Audi in the garage that I could drive to work. When people ask me why I have so many cars, and why I don’t sell the older ones, I will relate this tale. I am praying that driving the BMW in this condition has not done any damage to the engine. My mechanic said it is unlikely as the engines are pretty robust, and we did stop as soon as the needle pegged. He’s got a hose on order and will replace it as soon as it comes in. The trick is, we’ll have to limp it out to his shop the same way I limped it home, unless I can get my car towed under my insurance policy’s towing coverage. I’ve gotta check on that.
Well, it’s 7AM. Some of our board members are coming in this morning to do some “job shadowing”, so I’m going to go in a little early to prepare for that. Maybe today I’ll have some success resolving my computer problems. Hope you all (all three of you) have a terrific day.