The Last Ten Days

My wife recently said, as we laid down in bed at a hotel near Charlotte North Carolina, “We certainly don’t lead a boring life.” We both laughed and she said several times, “That last ten days. Just the last ten days.” and we continued to laugh.   

Let me start by saying, “My wife loves and tolerates me and my antics.” For twenty-seven years, she has put up with what many would consider crazy. One day I can home from lunch at my favorite coffee shop, with a contract to buy said coffee establishment. On a trip to the NC mountains, we made an offer for and bought a house to open a bed and breakfast. Whatever idea seemed best, I moved forward with and she put up with it.

A couple months ago, I asked about bidding on an eBay item. “There’s an airplane for sale. How much can I bid, before I get myself in too much trouble?” She told me I couldn’t bid at all, so I offered $2000 for Smith Mini Biplane that would sell for much more. An hour before the auction end, the bid was $2000 and I was not the inning bidder, so I waited until a few seconds before it ended (approximately 4:30AM) and added $25.

Bingo! Oops, I bought a biplane.

After willing the auction, I realized the plane was in Phoenix Arizona and the seller provided no shipping option. Oops, again. UShip and other websites specialize in unique freight, so I created and account on several and requested bids, which ranged from the cost of the plane to several times more. This meant a trip to Phoenix.

We also own a sign company and sometimes work in or near the Phoenix area, so I contacted our biggest client and asked about upcoming work in the area. Well, they had a job, in December and the seller would hold the plane.

Ten days ago, we hopped in the truck, trailer in tow, and left two feet of snow in North Carolina for warm and sunny Arizona.

The problems began somewhere in Texas when a trailer tire blew out and shredded at 11:30PM. Luckily, we were a few miles from an exit with hotel and tire store. And the trailer was double axel with four wheels. The hotel choices weren’t exiting and the bed wasn’t terribly restful but the tire was quickly repaired the next morning. Once again, we were back on track for Phoenix and there were no more problems – on the way out.

Our sign company installs vinyl graphics and office signage. This job was to repair damage to work that was completed four years earlier. Unfortunately, the measurements were incorrect and the graphics could not be installed. We waited for temporary material to be shipped and did the best with what we were provided.

Plane in tow, we headed back to North Carolina.

After getting side tracked to visit family in Texas, which was well worth the extra time, we got back on the road and Amy took the first leg so I could catch a quick nap. But, I awoke to an odd sound and feeling from the trailer, which wasn’t trailing properly.

Pull over!!!

One of the trailer tires was about to come off the axel. The hub was eaten up and we stopped for the night.

The next morning, it took eight hours the next day to CHANGE A TIRE. It took two trips to NAPA, a stop at the plumbing supply store and three times to Tool City, which was an hour each time. The axle needed a new hub. The hub needed new nuts. The shaft needed to be re-threaded. Each new problem meant another trip to another store. We couldn’t do anything but laugh.

What was supposed to take five or six days took ten, and we still aren’t home. 

The plan was dropped with the in-laws and we’re driving five hours, to the NC coast, to repair another sign. This one was damaged by recent hurricanes and floods. It’s a day out, a few hours for the repairs and a day back. Tomorrow night is early-Christmas with our family in South Carolina, then we get to go home and put up a tree, two days before Christmas.

When you can’t help but laugh or cry, we usually choose to laugh.

Merry Christmas to all and to all a happy holiday.

About the author

Breakout author of Black Friday - An American Jihad.

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