Crappy Holidays!

Last Thanksgiving wasn’t the typical turkey and pumpkin pie affair.

Besides the fact that mom was down in Texas visiting my sister and her family, my older brother Spencer and his family were moving into an old farm house and, the way things worked out, it was best for them to on the Thursday and Friday of Thanksgiving. None of us were bothered by this. It was a unique chance for us a come together and help out.

But the night before the big Thanksgiving move, as I pulled up to Spencer’s house in town, he noticed that my truck was leaking some kind of fluid. We took a look at it and it looked like engine coolant, but it was late and we couldn’t really see what was happening.

The next morning we tried adding more coolant to the truck and the problem became obvious as my truck started vomiting orange gunk all over the pavement.

You have to understand, I am not “fix-my-own-truck-mechanic-guy”. I don’t deal well with car repairs It all just seems like magic to me…expensive magic. What I knew was that any coolant we tried to add leaked out immediately, my truck was now making nasty squeaking noise, I couldn’t go home until it was fixed, and no where was open because of the holiday.

So busied myself with the task of getting Spencer and his family moved into their new place and my best not to dwell on the shrieking monster lurking under the hood of my truck.

We got the job done, moving an entire semi-truck load of stuff, plus a few pick up trucks (not mine obviously) from out of one house and over to the farm, with an improvised Thanksgiving dinner of Casey’s Pizza. Then it was back to moving. At day’s end, I crashed in the living room on the couch I’d just moved in, having helped get Spencer and family get completely into their farmhouse.

On Friday I made a bunch of calls to any auto-shops with no results (apparently none of them offer special deals on Black Friday). It was really starting to look like I was going to have to stay at Spencer’s house into the start of the next week, missing a good chunk of work, which wouldn’t make it any easier when it came to paying for my truck repair. At the end of the day, all I could do was unpack more boxes, play with Spencer’s kids, and help decorate their family Christmas tree.

On Saturday, my sister-in-law got in touch with a local car dealership who they trusted and would be able to look at the truck. And when it was obvious that my truck repair was going to take a few days, Spencer worked out an arrangement rent a car from the dealership (for free!) which allowed me to take his vehicle back home for the week while my truck got patched up. It wasn’t the simplest set up, but everything worked out in the end.

Since my brother and I live so far apart, it isn’t very often that we get to help each other out like that. But when it really mattered, my family helped me out of a pretty tight spot. It’s one thing to understand conceptually that your family will take care of you. It’s a whole other thing when you get to experience it.

This year, Thanksgiving was lovely. An absolute turkey and pumpkin pie affair. My sister and her family moved back to Illinois (and yes I helped with that move too) and our whole family met at her house. The grown ups cooked. The kids ran around and played. Spencer and I taught our oldest niece how to play Monopoly.

So all told…pretty boring. But a good boring. The kind that doesn’t have you wondering how you’re getting home.

Either way has it’s merits. It’s nice to enjoy each others company, but every once in a while we need a reminder that part of being family means we watch out for one another.

So I hope you had a boring Thanksgiving and that the rest of your holidays are equally uneventful, but if not, don’t worry. Things will work out in the end. And there’s always a silver lining to every crappy holiday.


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