My thoughts released; a mind set free
|Last entry was on the 13th and I haven't been very active on the site most of the week. It all started with this past weekend...
My normal work week is Friday through Monday for the winter and business tends to be a bit slow until May. But, the last few weeks have been kind of busy. Friday, for some reason, was even busier and I was tired and looking forward to getting home. But right at closing time a couple of people showed up at the yard and I was running late getting things locked up and into the store. Once inside, I discovered that they were putting up sales, and would have to stay later, until they finished.
A quick side note about my job, I'm a security guard for a home improvement center and work in the yard. Once the store closes, I wait inside until everyone is out of the store, ensure everything is locked up, then exit with management, ensure they set the alarm and lock the door, then I'm done and can go home.
So, back to Friday. I should have been out of the store and home by about 10:00, but because of the sales being posted, it was pushing 11:00. In looking at the bright side, I figured they wouldn't be posting any sales on Saturday now, so I should be home by 10:00, which, with the time change, would be nice.
Saturday was another busy night, but I was able to close up the yard on time and after doing a security walk of the yard was inside on time, only to find the store was taking down the current sale and putting up another sale for the upcoming week. Tonight went even slower and instead of getting home by 10:00, it was after 11:00 by the time I got home. With the clocks advanced for Daylight Savings Time, it was after midnight when I went to bed.
Sunday I woke at my usually time, but with the time change, it was now almost 9:00 and I had to rush a bit to get my time in WdC, get my stuff ready for work and get to work on time. Sunday's my shift starts earlier, but the store closes at 8:00 so I'm usually out of there by quarter after. Last Sunday, however, a snow storm had moved in and I wanted to get to work earlier so my wife could get home before the roads got bad. I clocked in around noon and had an extremely slow day because of the storm. Three people ventured back to the yard in the storm over an eight hour period.
By 7:00 o'clock that evening it was looking like I would be locking up the yard a little early and be out of the store shortly after 8:00. But, with just twenty minutes left to go, a semi shows up and the store manager decides to unload him before we leave. It usually takes about an hour to unload one of these deliveries since they are pulling both an enclosed trailer and a flat trailer. This night was no different and it was pushing 8:30 by the time he was unloaded and exiting the yard.
With the winter storm raging on, snow was drifting in the yard and what snow plowing was done was just enough to keep the main lanes open, with a couple of huge piles at both ends of the yard. For some unknown reason, the trucker decides it would be better to try and run through one of these instead of backing up and avoiding it. You guessed it, he got stuck. It took over a half an hour of shoveling and throwing sand to get him moving again, so it was now after 9:00 by the time I was able to lock up the yard.
By quarter past 9:00, I was on my way home. It was still snowing, the wind had picked up even more so it was drifting and difficult to see, and I had twenty five miles to drive. I seemed to be the last person out on the roads and had to dodge snowdrifts all the way home. Of course, I couldn't dodge all of them, but most I did have to push through were smaller drifts and things were going pretty well, just slow. It took another hour to drive home.
The last mile and a half things got even worse. There was no way to avoid the bigger drifts, so I had to drive in the center of the road and get up enough speed to bust through them. Consider I'm driving an older model Dodge Aries, front wheel drive and close to the ground. Some of the drifts were high enough that in pushing through them, snow would pile up onto the hood and my headlights were packed full of the sticky stuff. But, I managed to get to town only to find a humongous drift on the railroad tracks.
I live just past these tracks, so I stepped on the gas and hit the drift with enough force to push through it. I almost got hung up in it, but the tires grabbed enough to half pull, half spin as I came out the other side. I had snow everywhere, but I was home. I pulled into th drive, parked, and carried my gear inside.
I was exhausted from the long weekend, and now after driving through the storm, I was ready to just get into bed and pass out. Monday morning I woke to sunshine and cold temperatures, but the storm had passed and the plows were out. My wife left for work and I spent a quiet day relaxing and just taking it easy. One last night of work and then three days off.
But, when it came time to leave for work, the car started very hard. Once it was running, it was misfiring and making all sorts of strange noises. It was froze up so much it didn't want to move. I let it run a few minutes more and then tried to back up again. It moved but it was reluctant, the steering was difficult and the brakes didn't work. I pulled back into the drive and shut it off, then opened the hood and looked inside. Snow, nothing but snow packed everywhere.
Well, I didn't make it in to work Monday, and spent the time trying to dig the snow out from under the hood. Tuesday I put a heater in front of the car to melt some more of it out. I don't have a garage, so it wasn't the most efficient way to melt the snow. The last few days were above thawing, so the weather helped, but yesterday I ended up putting the heater back in front of the car and blasting heat under the front while I used a blow-dryer to melt snow from on top of the engine.
The good news is, once I had the snow all melted, the engine dried, and most of the ice busted loose from things, it started right up and ran fine. I looked everything over good and could find no damage done from the drive home. Just in time to return to work today; I hope this week goes better.