The reason it hurts so much to separate is because our souls are connected.
~Nicholas Sparks, The Notebook
Yup, Huzzy’s gone again. And I can’t tell you when he left. Just that he did. I hate that about submarines. It seems as though everyone else can say it and get the support they need on the worst day, yet we have to keep it a tight secret and can’t even let people know after the fact. He’ll be back late summer. And then he’ll be gone again before the year is up. Gotta love sub duty!
It was the first time I watched him get on the bus to head to the airport. Last time, it was me leaving at the airport days before he had to go. And before that, it was him getting into his truck to drive cross-country. It’s a bit easier when something else is taking you away versus you having to do the leaving yourself. Sure, he got on the bus, but he didn’t have to put it in drive and go. Someone else did that dirty job for him.
It was both tougher and easier, though. Tougher because I saw all the other wives tearing up and the kids tearing up. People crying makes me cry. Easier because I knew why he had to go and watching those kids not understand why daddy was leaving made me realize what I’m going through is nothing compared to them.
It was nice to spend a few weeks with him. We didn’t do nearly the amount of stuff that we wanted to get done. The garage still holds so many boxes that not even one car can park in it… we wanted to get at least half those gone so I could park my car in it. But instead, we decided to spend quality time together. Now, the unpacking job falls to me.
Speaking of the car, I decided to do something that would save us money. I decided to sell my ’05 Hyundai Tucson–that still has a manufacturer’s warranty until May 21–for an older car that was better on gas. The thought was I’d get out from under the $220 monthly payments (even though it’ll be paid off next year) and save gas.
So, we bought a nice 2000 Volkswagen Jetta (or so we thought). It was such a good deal that we decided to use our savings to buy it and repay ourselves with the equity in my SUV when that sold.
My brother is an Audi mechanic (Audi scouted him when he finished his college education and sent him to their private school to learn Audi stuff… at their own expense and with a guarantee of a job at the end. Yes, I’m proud of him) at a dealership that also sells Volkswagen and Honda. So he works on all those cars.
He just purchased an older Jetta himself. Says they are great cars with nearly indestructible engines (if you get the 2.0 litre non-diesel). He recommended getting a manual because they are so easy to fix, Huzzy could do it himself. Automatics are a bit tougher.
So that’s what we did. Huzzy’s job before he left was to teach me how to drive a stick shift. We got about 20 minutes in the first day and then were going to spend the next 3 days practicing. But first, we needed to get the brakes fixed (we knew this when we bought the car). Huzzy had already replaced the serpentine belt himself but didn’t want to do the brakes. So we sent it in to a young kid the place we bought it from recommended. He only charges $60 for brakes and $10 an hour for anything else.
He found that the pads were new… but the rotors were horrid crap, which made the pads bad already. So those had to be resurfaced. Then he found that some idiot had put the wrong brake fluid in the car. So that had to be fixed. And then he found the calipers were bad. So those had to be fixed. That was $400 there… not expensive for what had been fixed, but expensive for us living on one income while still waiting… two months after I left… for my unemployment money to come through (that’s another rant). And expensive when I am still paying on my other car.
Just a few miles down the road after picking up the car, it started overheating. BAD. We found that the engine fans weren’t coming on. So we had to frog-hop it back home because Huzzy thought he could fix it. It took us 2 hours to go 20 miles. We couldn’t go more than 4 miles before it overheated and we had to stop to wait for it to cool down.
Huzzy replaced what he thought was wrong (the switch for the fans). But it was still overheating. So we had to send it to the dealership to see if they could find it. And they did. The water pump was bad. Oh, and the timing belt needed to be replaced. Another $900.
It’s still at the dealership. Why? Because I can’t drive a freakin’ stick. And I’m stuck in this new place where I know a whole two people and whomever I’ve “met” online via my blog and Twitter. One of those two people is going to watch our dogs this weekend while I do my drill weekend in Everett. He’s going to help me get the car home and has even offered to teach me to drive it.
Not sure how that will go because Huzzy and I both thought he’d not be a good teacher because he’s really sarcastic and I can see him saying, “Um, this is so freakin’ easy, why aren’t you getting it?!” That would set me off. But, he offered and I told him some things Huzzy was telling me about how to do it and he said Huzzy was being too technical and it’s much easier than that. So we’ll see. I knew Huzzy was being technical, but that’s just the way he is. I”m not technical so maybe our friend will be able to teach me. We’ll see. Pray for patience on both our sides.
Anyway, this post is getting really long. And I really need to get a camera so I can post pictures on here.