"One" of those days
Ever had something really simple snowball into a full-on test of will and endurance? Well, a simple maintenance issue turned into just that for me and now that my rage has subsided, I figured my suffering might just give some a laugh - that's all I can do at this point! Here goes:
Last nite, I decided to top off my power steering fluid as I noticed it was just a bit low when I filled up on Friday. Any of you East-coasters will identify with the conditions - cold and blowing about 50 mph. I removed the cap, wiped it off, and set it on the battery cover. As I turned around to get my funnel, hose and fluid, I heard it blow off and caught a little glimpse as it rolled into the engine compartment. No big deal, right. I looked under the vehicle, but it wasn't lying on the ground. I used the flashlight from the top, but within a very short time, the light dimmed down to almost nothing. OK, into the house for some batteries. We got AAA, AA, C, and 9V - but no D's! So, I grab one of my kids lights. Within about 2 minutes, it dies too! I'm in about 15 minutes now.
Alright, so now I go get my shop light. Luckily (oh no!), I've strung my X-mas lights to the other end of the front porch (where my truck is parked). Perhaps it was the frustration, but I plug my trouble light into the end of the X-mas tree lights and flip it on to have a better look. Now my X-mas tree lights are fried and I have no light at all! After several deep breaths, it's back into the garage for the drop cord. I get that to my X-mas tree light-free porch and unroll, then plug it in. Lights into the other end and I can now see. With frozen hands, I start looking... and looking.... and looking. I can't find it anywhere. I get under the truck. Look down from the top. Get back down under and look. It's nowhere to be found! This goes on for about 30 minutes until I slam the hood, turn off the light and head cussing into the house.
After hearing my fuming, the wife decides to go have a look. Farm-girl, so perhaps it's worth it? She comes back mystified. In anger and frustration, I decide to get another one at the Ford dealer this morning. So.... I call at 0730, they have one in stock. I walk my daughter to school and the remaining 2 miles to the dealer (by the way, it's 38 ° and blowing still). I purchase the top, walk home and discover it's the wrong part! Now I'm really you-know-what. That's it, I'm going to find the top if it kills me. Off to the garage to get my coveralls (as I'm showered and dressed in nicer stuff to head off to work). Coveralls are gone. A 15 minute search ensues and comes up empty handed. Now, I've got to go change into my maintenance clothes!
Finally, after another 15 minutes of searching around with my hands, above the front x-member, completely out of site from above or below, I feel something move. I flick my fingers, and out drops the cap! As I replay in my mind, I can't really describe where it was, but in a combined 45 minutes of looking, it was in a location that I couldn't pinpoint! All tolled, for ~2 3/4 hours of effort, I managed to destroy my x-mass lights, obtain a part that I now have to return (in our area's worst traffic locale), get to re-shower and dress for work, and have frost bite to add to the rest of my middle-age maladies.
I don't know if there's a moral to this story, but I'm guessing all of us have had things that just kept getting worse as time progresses. Hope you all can chuckle and identify with this!