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How I spent my summer vacation


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This all started on Monday 8 June, 2015. We were using her truck because the transmission is going bad in my car.

I took Blondie to Midland for a doctor's appointment, when we were done there, we went to Pet Smart to pick up some food, halters, leashes, etc for our dogs, truck was running fine at this point.

As I started out into very heavy traffic on the frontage road for Loop 250 at Wadley Avenue the truck started bucking and sputtering, finally just going dead.

I put on my hazard flashers, raised the hood, had Blondie call AAA for a tow while I went back and flagged people around.

Two young men got out of their truck and pushed us up onto a raised area separating two flows of traffic.

After about 30 minutes or so a tow truck arrived (one of those flat bed trucks) while they were loading the truck, my Nephew and his wife drove by and recognized our truck. They took us to meet my Sister who was in town taking my Niece to her doctor, so from that point we were on the way home. Left the truck with a mechanic and told him to fix whatever was wrong.

Friday, 12 June we were told that the truck was ready to go, they'd replaced all spark plugs and plug wires (1996 Ford Ranger 4 cylinders use two plugs per cylinder). Blondie called everyone we know and everyone had plans for the next few days, except one friend, he said he could take me to Midland on Monday, 15 June, we agreed. Saturday 16 June, this "friend" tells me that he can't take me because someone wanted him to fix a leaky pipe on Monday (why not Saturday, right?).

We did some internet searches and made some phone calls, I caught a bus Sunday 16 June at 10:45 AM, going to be in Midland at 2:45 PM, she called a taxi cab, they were going to pick me up at the bus stop at 3:00 PM. No such luck, about 5 or 6 miles out of town the bus blew a tire and we sat there until 4:30 PM when a tire repair guy finally got us on the road. Got to Midland about 8:00 PM. Stayed at a Hotel overnight, picked up the truck and headed home, got home, decent night's sleep, decided to head for El Paso about 2:30 PM, made reservations for two nights at a Hotel.

At this point, everything was going great, all the way to El Paso the truck ran fantastically well. Got inside the El Paso City Limits and BOOM, the truck quit on me.

After sitting there thinking about things for a few minutes, a car pulled up next to us, he said he was a mechanic and could he look at our fuel filter. I said Why Not? Fuel filter was good, he had me crank it a few times and then said he was fairly certain it was the fuel pump. He followed us to the Hotel where we had reservations for two nights. Just as we got therte the truck died again, I barely managed to get it into a handicap spot next to the Lobby Portico (no power brakes or steering), went in, registered, told Desk Clerk what the problem was, she said "No problem Sir, let me know if I can do anything"

Mechanic says he will be back around 2-3 PM to replace fuel pump. Blondie has an appointment with eye Surgeon for 9:30 next morning. We go to bed . . . eventually.

Next morning, we catch a cab to the appointment, eye surgeon says "Oh, this is bad, we need to fix it right now, let's go" go in and cut off the lens of her left eye, cut off the cataract (Doctor said it was HUGE), then tells her to be there at 9:30 the next morning to do the other eye.

We get back to the Hotel, wait . . . wait . . . wait some more, finally at 4:30 Blondie calls the guy, he says "I've had a small problem, I'll be there in an hour or so". About 7 PM he calls us and says he's on his way.

About 9 PM he shows up with his wife and a car full of boxes (I still have no idea what was going on with him, didn't ask) he gives me some long song and dance, I tell him, again, that I can't hear but here's what we'll do.

I'd given him $100.00 for following us to the Hotel and to buy the fuel pump. So I told him that from this point on, that $100 was his,and that I'd expect him at the truck at 12 Noon the following day, that I had AAA and the Pep Boys right up the street had worked on my Crown Vic and I would call them if he wasn't there.

Next day (Thursday), he shows up, we go get the pump, he installs it, truck is running fine again.

Friday, I get up bright and early and head for Fort Bliss, stop on the way and get my High and Tight touched up, go to VA and got one of my hearing aids fixed . . . sort of.

Started for home, got to the Border Patrol Check point about 60 miles out of El Paso . . . that's right, truck died. Called AAA, truck picked us up, took us to a shop, guy says "You're out of gas" I say "HUH, my gauge shows a 1/4 tank", he says "You're still out of gas" goes and gets a 5 gallon can, puts it in the tank, truck fired right up and been running like a top ever since.


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Blondie had large cataracts removed from both eyes. She can now see better than I can, but they are still in the healing stage, she has an appointment with an Optometrist July 6 and we'll see what happens from there.

 Thank you to all who inquired about her condition.

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